This isn’t a how-to guide for making a playlist; it’s just my favorite tunes I picked for a road trip to Montreal over New Year’s Eve. Music makes everything better, and it made a phenomenal trip all that much greater. It’s the kind of experience worth sharing with people, and here I am writing to you. It’s a love letter to some songs, it’s a love letter to the road, and in its own way, it’s a love letter to you.

  1. New Perspective” – Panic! at the Disco: Just the “kick-in-the-ass” kind of song to get you excited for the road, making you feel invincible as if you’re 18 again and doing whatever the fuck you want.
  2. Coffee’s for Closers” – Fall Out Boy: Nostalgia and just the right mix of old FOB and new FOB. The song to belt along to as you do 80 miles per hour down the highway doing your best drummer impression on the steering wheel.
  3. Out Getting Ribs” – Local Natives: Slowing it down, a King Krule cover to shame all other. It’s what you listen to when you’re dozing in the back seat daydreaming about everything to come and everything you’ve left behind.
  4. Everlasting Arms” – Vampire Weekend: The one song you know you’re going to share with that girl you meet in the city if you ever have a moment to yourselves because you just know she’ll love it, and all the time you know you’re falling for her.
  5. Ceilings” – Local Natives: Because they’re just that goddamn good, they’re here twice. Listening to this song, laying on the bed, sharing stories with the friends you haven’t seen in awhile, staring up at the ceiling in the last of daylight, wishing the moment would never end. I was there.
  6. Lake Michigan” – Rogue Wave: Hand claps and gang vocals. Rolling along the highway because there’s nothing better to do and there’s everything ahead of you. Foot-tapping, humming good.
  7. Give You My Lovin” – Mazzy Star: When you’re driving along in the open at sunset, the sky red and darkening. You let the song carry you off somewhere, close your eyes, and imagine what it’d be like to lose yourself in the world.
  8. Trouble Sleeping” – Corinne Bailey Rae: It’s dark and the moon’s out and there’s a mood to the ride. Her velvet voice calms you as she tells a story about losing sleep over that someone, but loving them still the same.
  9. Read My Mind” – The Killers: It’s late and you’re still on the road, lights ahead of you. A song to make you remember all the other late nights you’ve had. All the memories flood in, singing softly.
  10. When I Was Your Man” – Bruno Mars: And the end of the night, your friends all quietly singing along, because you’re all old enough to relate to the lyrics, with heartbreak as the common denominator. You’re sad it’s over, that all you’ve been through is just more memories now. But these songs will stay with you forever, and they’ll never let you down.

Photo by Jared Eberhardt/Flickr