If you think “tropical music,” your thoughts will likely wander to Bob Marley or (worse) Jimmy Buffet. But for me, it’s Sade all the way. This entire playlist could easily be one Sade song after another, but I promised Anna (our fabulous Bridebird editor) I would diversify. So here are some tropical-ish tunes that may or may not be about love, but they would all serve as a great soundtrack for sipping a pina colada on a balmy summer evening…
The Tide is High | Blondie
I didn’t realize for the longest time that this is a Blondie song. I just thought of it as one of many 80s songs that stuck around even though the band is long-gone. Blondie wrote a bunch of reggae-infused songs early in their career, and this is one of the better ones.
Paradise | Sade
Hey, I warned you! Lover’s Rock would also be a great track for this list, but I personally think it goes better with wine. Also: I’m pretty sure that Sade was some kind of queen in a previous life. There’s something about her that is so majestic, and it’s not just her voice.
Three Little Birds | Bob Marley
I have a confession to make: I’m not a Bob Marley fan. I know! Sacrilege! I mean, I never knew the guy, so it’s nothing personal… I just find most of his music horribly boring and intolerable. I also think dreads are really icky. All of that aside, I genuinely like this song. The lyrics are super sweet, and singing this with my son leaves both of us smiling and feeling good. Try it!
OB-LA-DI OB-LA-DA | The Beatles
Who doesn’t love singing along with this classic song? It’s not tropical, not reggae, but it’s definitely fun. There’s nothing in the lyrics about waves or the sun (and in fact they get rather strange towards the end…), but it somehow still has a beachy vibe to it.
Tropicalia | Beck
I think this song was made for this list. Or this list was made for this song? Whatever. It’s perfect.
Cayman Islands | Kings Of Convenience
Like all Kings of Convenience songs, this one is pretty chill. So if you’re not already feeling pretty relaxed, I think this track might do the trick. Also: check out the video. It features the two kings surrounded by a lot of lamps (which I don’t understand, but I dig it anyway).
Kokomo | The Beach Boys
There is nothing in my family or musical history that would at all suggest why I like this song. It’s cheesy. It’s not the best of The Beach Boys. And yet… And yet… It kindasortamaybe makes me want to sing this on karaoke night. (Not that I do that. I’m very serious about music.)
We Become | Austra
I don’t usually like electro-new-wave-pop, but I like this. This track is from Austra’s album Olympia (out June 17, 2013), so the 80s’ sound is deceiving. And I’m guessing this album is more of a summer fling for me (not something I’ll still be listening to in winter), but I’ve decided to enjoy it while it lasts!
Anna says: Here at Bridebird, music is crucial to our very essence. What I would obsess over at my wedding? The playlist. (Seriously; a likeminded friend just assembled 8 hours of music to play at his recent wedding, with different playlists at the ready in case people were bored, or sleepy, or pumped drunk.) In that spirit, we are thrilled to offer weekly playlists, inspired by a particular theme or feeling or pop cultural moment, that you can buy over at Amazon, or at the music vendor of your choice. Our only request? To please purchase the music legally; stealing, just like a crappy DJ, is poor form. And we know, we know; we left something out/included a dumb song/generally have strange musical taste. Tell us all about it in the comments!