TOP TEN: Songs for the beach


It has been stupidly hot. Ridiculously hot. And like many I have been escaping to the beach. Every time I go there is a mishmash of music as each group is playing out songs on their tiny phone speakers, or broadcasting big bass from speaker systems lugged over sand. So I picked out my top songs about the seaside, so even if you can get there, dip your feet in a bucket and pretend you’re there.

The Ramones – Rockaway Beach

Well I had to start with this, as I am writing this while sitting on Rockaway Beach. It also just happens to be the perfect punk anthem about escaping the city and heading to the beach.

Weezer – Island in The Sun

Maybe the catchiest song on the list. A millennial crowd-pleaser. Plus it’s so simple it was one of the few songs I was able to play on guitar.

The Beach Boys – Kokomo

Well these guys had to feature at some point. Yes it’s a little cheesy. But Kokomo is just fun. I maybe did not need the sax solo, but it’s still charming.

The Kooks – Seaside

Well this one is here purely for my own nostalgia (which I guess a lot of the others are as well, but let’s just ignore that). This first album sound tracked the summer spent drinking cider on the beach as teenagers.

Otis Redding – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

I know a dock is not necessarily a beach. But he’s talking about the tide, boats and bays. So it counts. And it is one of the best songs ever. So it also has that.

Vance Joy – Riptide

What happened to these guys? Maybe sounding like everyone else in the 2010s wasn’t a great plan. But I genuinely enjoyed this hit a lot. And even though the riptide is metaphorical it still makes it on the list.

Will Smith – Miami

It’s a toss up between this, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It and the Rock the Kasbah cover song (Rock the Dancefloor) for best Will Smith song. But maybe skip this version of Miami where Smith does a full latin breakdown in the second half.

Jimi Hendrix – Castles Made of Sand

I have loved this song since first hearing it covered by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I know they get slammed, I can thank them for my introduction to Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix. Of course the Hendrix version is way better

Wham – Club Tropicana

In honour of Sam’s recent Why I Love on the podcast, I thought I had to include this George Michael classic. Though maybe less meaningful than his solo work,  it’s a good time and pretty light hearted just like the beach should be.

Bob Marley – Sun is Shining

If you’re listening to music on the beach (at least a nice one), Reggae has to be there too. It’s the genre of music that feels like it was created with the beach in its DNA. And who else but Bob Marley.

Words by Matt Paul

%d bloggers like this: