Woman on beach listening to music

Sunshine
vibes and
good times

Spring is upon us, and we can't wait to welcome the warmth. We've created the ultimate beach-inspired playlist to bring a little bit of California lovin' to you all. It's the next best thing to sand between your toes and the sun on your nose.

For those of you lucky enough to take a stroll down the beach this spring, might we first say we are incredibly jealous but (enviously) wish you the best. May the gentle serenade of the crashing waves be music enough to your privileged ears.

As for the rest of us, we'll be savouring the first servings of spring sun while wishing our back porch was a tidal pool and the shadows from the neighbor's house were actually cast by palm trees. I believe "staycations" might be the word I'm looking for. Luckily, there's a ton of great music out there that will help us on our waves... er, ways. It's time for a playlist.

1

"California Dreamin" Mamas & the Papas

California dreamin mamas and the papas

There's something naturally timeless about "California Dreamin." Though the song shot onto the scene in 1963, the simple anthems of wanderlust and warmer weather remain a universal reminder that we'd all like to sneak away to California and lose ourselves in the wonder. It's as though no matter how many years have passed since our younger days, we all get a little antsy at the thought of a spring break.

2

"Let's Live for Today"

The Grass Roots

Lets live for today the grass roots

This tune is simply untouchable. There's few things more freeing than the line "May others plan their future, I'm busy loving you." The beach has forever symbolized an escape of sorts, and The Grass Roots nailed this song with a reminder to put off the worries of tomorrow and bask in the beauty of the present. The instruments are nearly as relaxing as the whispering waves.

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3

"Good Vibrations"

The Beach Boys

Good vibrations the beach boys

What's a beach-inspired playlist without these guys? Spring has a way of shaking off the cold cobwebs of winter with a healthy dose of fresh opportunity, growth and — most importantly — good vibrations. We couldn't resist.

4

"The Dock of the Bay"

Otis Redding

The dock of the bay Otis redding

He left his home in Georgia and headed for the Frisco Bay — perhaps we should too. Otis and his reverence for the changing times are perfect for spring, and it gets all the better when his whistling kicks in around the 2:20 mark.

5

"Sunny Afternoon"

The Kinks

Sunny Afternoon the kinks

Cheers to the spirit of sun and a lazy afternoon. Now I can't advocate the consumption of alcohol, but I'm not going to deny the appeal of what this song offers in the form of a delicious "adult soda." Get your fix of vitamin D and lounge out to this wonderful song. Hey, the pool is kind of like the beach, right?

6

"If I Ever Feel Better" Phoenix

If i ever feel better phoenix

Guaranteed to make your head bob and get you out of the winter funk, "If I Ever Feel Better" is true to what it claims: The rainy days are over, your friends are there to lean on and this beat is undeniably vibrant. Spring into a new you and embrace the next chapter of life. This song totally brings me back to weekend trips up the coast with the windows down and all the best people riding shotgun.

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7

"Into the Wild"

LP

Into the wild LP

You know the scene: You've been smelling the ocean for the last half hour, and your heart races faster with every passing moment. The pedal's to the floor, the city drops off the horizon and the magnitude of the sprawling sea is finally cast before you — cue jaw drop. Take all that and put it to sound. From the building anticipation and relentless energy of something so huge, LP is one of the secret weapons of modern music. "Into the Wild" is about as close to running full speed into the waves as a tune can get.

8

"Island in the Sun"

Weezer

Island in the sun weezer

If you're looking for something lighter — perhaps a song fit for a hammock — try this one on for speed. The lyrics are spot on for this time of the year, and Weezer has a knack of getting stuck in your head for all the right reasons. Hep, hep.

9

"You and Your Heart"

Jack Johnson

You and your heart Jack Johnson

Maybe it has something to do with the music video and the fact that Jack Johnson looks like he's having the time of his life every time he sets foot on a surfboard, but this song — and nearly every one of his songs — deserves a spot on the list.

10

"Maybe So, Maybe No" Mayer Hawthorne

Mybeso maybe no mayer hawthorne

Airy and uplifiting, "Maybe So, Maybe No" is a testament to new hope and the possibility of fresh love this season. The fact much of the music video was shot in Venice Beach, California, only adds to our beachy approach, and you can't tell me the fun vibes in here wouldn't be the perfect soundtrack to a bike ride on the boardwalk.

notable mentions

"Mornin'" by Star Slinger, "At Home" by Crystal Fighters, "Dear Prudence" by The Beatles, "Doorways" by Radical Face, "Too Young to Burn" by Sonny and the Sunsets, "My Only Swerving" by El Ten Eleven

More great music

Ultimate playlists for all things summer
Grammy-nominated songs to add to your iPod playlist
Let's get it on: Baby-making music

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