Memorial Day is behind us. You’ve already read our Summer Guide cover to cover. Summer is basically here—June 21 be damned. And when summer comes, you need a good soundtrack. For me, a good summer jam is bright and catchy and captures that intangible feeling of being totally free for three months. For your enjoyment, I’ve assembled eight songs by San Diego artists past and present to keep you grooving all summer:
“Fuzzy” by The Incredible Moses Leroy: A pretty big hit in 2001, and for good reason. Ron Fountenberry’s warm, crackly pop delight, built around a bubbly sunshine-pop sample, is just too charming not to love.
“Mr. Wilson” by Optiganally Yours: Rob Crow and Pea Hicks recorded two albums entirely using ’70s-era optical organ the optigan, and this is one of their best tunes, in which Crow yelps to the title character, “Let’s talk about peace and love!”
“City Heights” by The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble: I like my summers to get a little funky and soulful, and few bands bring deeper funk than Sure Fire. Plus, the song’s named after my neighborhood!
“Jail La La” by Dum Dum Girls: This catchy little tune about getting thrown in jail is as fun as committing crimes gets. Don’t even bring up Jane’s Addiction right now. Just don’t.
“Answer to Yourself” by The Soft Pack: Some Soft Pack to go with your Dum Dum Girls? Another surf-inspired, garage-rock gem, this one’s pretty much nothing but hooks—as it should be.
“When You Walk Into My Dreams” by Gary Wilson: A smooth synth-funk jam with a weird and jittery frontman—just what your summer shindig needs. It’s danceable and just ever so slightly off.
“Round and Round” by Ratt: Maybe it’s just nostalgia for the video with Milton Berle in it, but this song’s definitely a highlight of the hair-rock era—no joke.
“Monkeys Attack” by The Stalins of Sound: Sure, it’s noisy and disturbing, but it’s also a danceable tune about a monkey attack. Win-win!