Sound Seekers

PLAYLIST! Stuntman Stu, Jim Watson, Mark Monahan, and more notable Ottawans reveal their Ultimate Summer Song

By FATEEMA SAYANI

This sleek little speaker is made in Ottawa by PowerStick. The PowerSound operates with BlueTooth and near field audio to play music from a phone, tablet, laptop, or other media player — and can charge your electronics, so the party never stops. Photo by Christian Lalonde.
This sleek little speaker is made in Ottawa by PowerStick. The PowerSound operates with BlueTooth and near field audio to play music from a phone, tablet, laptop, or other media player — and can charge your electronics, so the party never stops. Photo by Christian Lalonde.

Summer songs have a sort of timeless quality. Their sunny vibes bring to mind the open road, late-night walks, cottage parties, and that tinge of bittersweetness in knowing that it’ll all be over by fall. We’re striking while it’s hot with this list of summer songs from Ottawans of note. Use it to compile your soundtrack to summer.

 

“Flashback” Jazzanova Remix – Fat Freddy’s Drop, 2005

“DJ Trevor Walker was playing a remix of this tune like mad that summer. It was just a must — I would drop everything I was doing, and I would run to the dance floor and dance to the whole track like a horny teenager.”
Claudia Balladelli, Music Programmer, Mercury Lounge

 

 

“Young Leaves” – Attack in Black, 2007

“Everyone in my hometown of Sudbury listened to Attack in Black’s album Marriage on repeat when it came out in the summer of 2007. “Young Leaves” reminds me of late-night barbecues, sloppy bush parties, and group hugs.”
Sarah Bradley, Musician, Fevers

 

 

“Here Come the Girls” – Ernie K-Doe, 1970

“I spent a lot of time in Louisiana during the summer of 2010, covering the aftermath of the BP oil spill. I constantly heard this song on the radio, fell in love with it, and that fall my bridesmaids made their grand entrance to a hooting and hollering crowd at our wedding. So fun!”
Robyn Bresnahan, Host, CBC Ottawa Morning

 

 

“Bobcaygeon” – The Tragically Hip, 1999

“Not only one of the most beautiful songs ever written but quintessentially summer in Canada — it evokes the pull of starry summer nights in cottage country, hot city nights, disquieting political unrest, life choices, and love.”
Simone Deneau, Producer –  NAC Presents, National Arts Centre

 

 

 

“Joppa Road” – Ween, 1994

“This song brings all the best of summer together for me. Road trips, slow drives, longing … very nostalgic, and what is summer if not an idea that rarely comes to pass? It’s also pretty danceable in a cheesy, carefree-hippie kind of way.”
Dayanti Karunaratne , Editor, Ottawa Magazine

 

 

“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” –  Beastie Boys, 1987

“While not necessarily my favourite song by them, it’s definitely an anthem that evokes road trips and fun times, part of which are necessary for a great summer.”
—Caitlin Kealey, Partner, MediaStyle

 

 

 

“Little Deuce Coupe” – The Beach Boys, 1963

“It’s the first tune that comes to mind when I’m asked what my favourite summer song is — it’s nice and catchy.”
Mark Monahan, Executive Director, Bluesfest

 

 

“Smooth” – Santana featuring Rob Thomas, 1999

“It’s my go-to summer song lately. It’s just a great tune!”
Catherine O’Grady, Executive Director, Ottawa Jazz Festival

 

 

“Places and Space” Donald Byrd , 1975

“Written and produced by the genius Mizell Brothers, this song has power, man. I close my eyes, and the chillest, most laid-back ’70s vibe comes over me. The lush, soaring strings, the groove, the jazz choir — I can feel the ocean breeze blowing in my hair, the beating hot sun, and peace and contentment. Ah, life is good.”
Marielle Rivard, Vocalist, The Souljazz Orchestra

 

 

“Power of Love” (Extended Dance Mix) – Huey Lewis and the News, 1985

“The classic song from Back to the Future has been on my radar ever since the movie came out almost 30 years ago. I crank it up every chance I get, especially on a warm summer day driving around the capital.”
Stuntman Stu Schwartz, Host, MAJIC 100

 

 

 

“Rockaway Beach” – The Ramones, 1977

“Although released almost 37 years ago, “Rockaway Beach” has become a timeless summer classic. I love this song because it’s part Beach Boys and part machine gun, and when it comes on the radio on a summer evening when I’m driving with the windows down … it’s absolutely perfect.”
Slo’ Tom Stewart, Musician

 

 

 

“Here Comes the Summer”  The Undertones, 1979

“Growing up in Ireland, two minutes of sunshine was always welcome. If it was okay by John Peel, then it was okay by me. Fantastic sleeve too.”
Shane Waldron, Co-Owner, The Wellington Gastropub

 

 

 

“Summer of ’69” – Bryan Adams, 1985

“I don’t actually remember the summer of  ’69 because I was so young then, but it’s always been a great summer song that still finds its way onto the playlists at events and parties. I saw Bryan Adams for the first concert at the Corel Centre, and I presented him the key to the city in the ’90s.”
Jim Watson, Mayor, Ottawa