To quote the iconic “Smooth” by Rob Thomas and Santana, yeah it’s a hot one. This season has been wild yet life giving to say the least. Thankfully the summer tunes have been as hot as the weather.

To wrap up Summer 2022, I’m sharing some of the songs on my playlist and thoughts on new releases from the season.

Summer was really chaotic—fun and adventure-filled but honestly, a lot. Just when I thought I’d gotten used to something, major changes forced me to pivot and in most cases, it was for the better. I’m thankful that this period of time really gave me the clarity to realize things don’t always have to be so doom and gloom. It made me realize that I’ve done a lot of work and I do have the power to loosen up and have a little fun amongst all the work I’m doing. That said, let’s dive into the soundtrack of my life in Summer 2022.

The music video concept!!!

for the girls by Hayley Kiyoko

“Summer’s for the girls…”

So, before COVID ruined my fun in early summer, I was fully prepared to have a Sharpay Evans moment to this song. And not just because in some way it sonically reminds me of “Fabulous” from High School Musical 2. Dang this song is fun and catchy and she’s right…summer’s for the girls! This is a great anthem to hot girl summer.

debbie downer by LØLØ and Maggie Lindemann

“Brrr it’s cold in here, she suck the life out of your atmosphere…”

I started the summer on the search for new music to listen to and for some reason it was hard to find something that felt fresh to me. Finding this song by LØLØ and Maggie Lindemann got me excited because it was giving me Avril Lavigne pop punk fun. It’s catchy, a little bratty, and might’ve planted the seed for a new music crush.

Clueless by The Marias

“You’re telling me I can’t take this shit no more baby…”

This was my go-to song to feel super angsty about family drama. My sister and her kids came to visit in early summer and although we had a great time, it wasn’t without family drama. It was tough for me to be present as I tried to be supportive of my sister and her pain with our parents while dealing with it in my own way. Not to mention both of my parents had opinions on everything. I really owned my boundaries and preached that.

Moonlight by Madison Rose

“When you left time didn’t stop for you. Keep spinning like the world and the records do…”

I’ve been excited about Madison Rose since she came up on my TikTok for you page with her electric song “Sunshine”. So when she released her full length album, I had to play it at full volume. This song specifically captivated me because of the way she combines her honest song lyrics with that perfect Robyn “Dancing on My Own” beat. Don’t sleep on Madison Rose y’all.

gentle by Lexi Jayde

“Could you please be gentle with me? My heart is fragile, don’t you see?”

When I first heard this song, it felt like Lexi Jayde had given my heart a voice as I approached the idea of dating in this new season. It honestly has been a plea from my heart since the moment I heard it. It’s just such a beautiful, Olivia Rodrigo-esque song. Also the guitar solo reminds me of “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia which just feels so good.

Kind of Girl by MUNA

“I could still change the end, at least I’m the kind of girl, the kind of girl who thinks I can…”

I’ll never forget the day I cried to this song to and from a date. It was a really chaotic day: the power went out at my house, I had a deep talk with my sister, I had my first session with a new therapist (from my car), I went on a second date with someone who ended the date by kissing me, and then ended the day going on a drive while crying to Bad Suns and this song. I guess I cried to this song because it was apparent to me that I was quite literally breaking generational cycles by believing that I had the authority in my love life. I didn’t have to accept that I’d be doomed to follow the broken patterns of my parents. This song really serves as validation that I’m doing something good for me and that’s important.

2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) by Lizzo

“And now he callin’ me, why do I feel like this? What’s happenin’ to me? Oh, oh, oh am I ready?”

Soooo, there’s a chunk of songs here that either got me through or really explained the nervous excitement that started in late July. And no song really captures the precipice I’ve been on like this iconic Lizzo song. With all the work I’d been doing with boundaries and being open to dating, what are the odds that I’d end up meeting someone I’m really excited about? It’s more likely than I thought. It’s possible I’ve been caught off guard by a new friend I made in late July that’s got me asking myself if I’m ready to be loved.

Más by Sofía Paola

“No te quiero asustar, pero lo quisiera explorar…”

My coworkers are SO TALENTED, my God. Sofía’s song gives me the nostalgic Julieta Venegas vibes I grew up with and it’s just gorgeous. I need y’all to listen to it. And specifically, I’m filing this under songs I’m gonna tell my new friend that wanted to learn Spanish to listen to (and it has a hidden message for him from me to decipher as a test).

In the Car Outside by The Killers

“It’s like a flood of grief and sorrow from a haunted life when she cries like a train, it’s a lot…”

Geez, the amount of times I’ve cried to this song. I feel like I spent all summer disassociating to it. I started working with a new therapist earlier this summer to unpack how my parents’ trauma has affected my dating life. I’ve come to realize that while I know I can’t fix my parents, I have the responsibility and opportunity to stop the cycles and deal with the baggage I carry. And it’s a lot. I feel like I can see both my mom and myself in the first verse lyrics and it just really hurts. This was also the only song I could listen to for a bit after I found out there were a lot of people laid off from my company.

Maybe You Saved Me by Bad Suns and PVRIS

“Maybe you hate me or, maybe I’m crazy or, maybe you saved me by letting me go…”

Ok but for real now, who keeps feeding Christo Bowman my journal? When I first sat down to listen to this song, I was like “hmm, I haven’t had to let someone go recently…have I?” and then it hit me. Earlier this year, I mentioned I was dealing with a lot of guilt over a friendship breakup. This song so tenderly spoke to me and made me realize that though it really sucked that I let someone down, ending the friendship was the best thing I could have done for myself. I also love that this song helped me discover PVRIS who’s just amazing.

Fade by THE DRIVER ERA

“What are you waiting for? Take a chance for more, ‘cause there are roses babe. And then there’s you…”

I don’t know why I was sleeping on THE DRIVER ERA for so long but dang, glad I came to the party. I vibed to their album Girlfriend pretty much all summer but I couldn’t shake the fact that on my first listen to their first two albums, I came to the conclusion that this was some of the horniest music I’d heard in a while lol. It’s not a bad thing at all, but let’s just say I added a bunch of their songs to a very specific playlist for myself. Needless to say, seeing them in concert at the end of August had me feeling like this Lonely Island song.

COZY by Beyoncé

“Might I suggest you don’t fuck with my sis ‘cause she comfortable…”

Beyoncé did not disappoint with RENAISSANCE. It’s been iconic through and though to me. After some chaos at work that left me both sad and confused about the future, I realized the need to step into a new level of confidence in myself. The work I’ve done with boundaries has started to seep into my professional life where I realize I get to make decisions about how I grow. This song is the mantra for me figuring out what’s best for me in all dimensions of life: professional, romantic, faith wise, future planning, you name it. By the grace of God, I’m fucking doing it.

Albums you gotta listen to: RENAISSANCE by Beyoncé, Mellow Moon by Alfie Templeman, Technicolor by Madison Rose, MUNA by MUNA, Special by Lizzo, Traumazine by Megan Thee Stallion, emails i can’t send by Sabrina Carpenter

Summer’s kind of ending on a weird note. I’m feeling like I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted to and I feel like I could attribute it to the literal ass kick that this new season of therapy’s been. But I have to say: I’m adamant about having a hot girl fall 2022. I’ve realized that hot girls are self aware girls and I wanna be proof that you can have fun while being safe/setting yourself up for future success.

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