Brighten Your Fall Playlist With Some Beachy Folk Ellie Wilkinson October 21, 2012 Blogs By Ellie Wilkinson I’m already shivering in my Uggs, and it’s not even officially winter yet. With five weeks to go until I fly home to California for Thanksgiving (but who’s counting?), I’ve been listening to beachy folk songs reminiscent of hot sandy beaches, palm trees and In-N-Out burgers. Here’s some SoCal spirit to brighten up your cold Syracuse day. Little Joy – “The Next Time Around” Two of the members of this Los Angeles-based band—The Strokes’ drummer Fabrizio Moretti and Los Hermanos’ singer and guitarist Rodrigo Amarante—met at a music festival in Portugal and became fast friends. The band pays homage to Portugal with a few lines in Portuguese at the end of “The Next Time Around,” adding a slight twist to this sunny song’s retro, 1950s vibe, created in part by the band’s breezy, sweet harmonies. The Drowning Men – “Smile” “I’m just getting by / I’ve been here for a while,” sings Nato Bardeen, the lead singer, reminding us to keep moving forward because this too, shall pass. “I’m drifting / I’m moving / I just want to smile.” Hopefully the song’s catchy riffs and ethereal, atmospheric vibe will give you a little reason to smile. Real Estate – “Beach Comber” While the Real Estate quartet hails from New Jersey, the bouncy rhythm and twangy guitar riffs make “Beach Comber” sound like a laid-back anthem for SoCal surfer dudes. Just replace “Pensacola” with “Newport Beach” and it’s the perfect tune to pretend you’re taking a stroll down Balboa Pier. Beirut – “Postcards From Italy” “Postcards From Italy” sounds less SoCal, more Sarajevo, but I can’t help but imagine white sand and balmy sea breezes whenever I listen to it. The swingy ukele and bright brass give it a warm tone that adds a little bounce to my step, even on gray, rainy days. Kings of Convenience – “Boat Behind” The Norwegian duo’s relaxed, easy strumming and breathy vocals evoke slack-key guitar style while adding a twist: violin strings, which punctuate the chorus and add more pep to the song’s swingy beat. It’s a playful tribute to an old friend or lover, who they describe as a “wind surfer crossing the ocean/ on the boat behind.” Beach Fossils – “Vacation” I’ve already decided that this will be the song on my iPod when I’m on my way to the airport: “I’m getting on that bus/ Got to get out of town/ It’s all that’s on my mind/ Leave the city behind.” The song’s dreamy, drowsy vibe gives it an understated feel that’s at odds with a lot of upbeat beachy tunes, but the harmonized vocals at the end seem almost like a subtle nod to the Beach Boys’ iconic crooning.