If you have any common sense, you’ll be heading somewhere this summer to escape the heat for at least two days.
Sure, you can fly, but that means dealing with rough airports, TSA searches, and constantly wondering if you’re going to miss your plane. Instead, you can opt for the more relaxed road trip, and you’ll need some tunes to go along with it.
Go ahead and make yourself an old school mixtape (or CD, really, because who still has a tape recorder in their car?) of some of our favorite indie songs about road trips.
10. Sufjan Stevens – “Chicago”
Is “Chicago” really about driving through different cities? Not really, but that’s the premise that Sufjan Stevens sets out in this song about self-discovery. If you’ve never been on a road trip that really made you think and grow, you’ve missed something. If you’ve been on one of these trips, you can totally appreciate this melody.
9. CHAR – “405”
There are dozens of songs named “405” (not really, look them up). That’s what happens when you’re on one of the biggest highways in SoCal. RAC’s overly infectious song with a chorus is one of our favorites (at least in the indie category), and it’s as much about a road trip through California as any song that hasn’t. was featured as the theme song for an Orange County– TV show that was filmed in Los Angeles.
8. Broken Bells – “The High Road”
Alright, so the song might not be about a literal high road, but it’s still a great nighttime road trip song. It never goes too high, but delivers a chorus with enough singing factor to keep even the sleepiest driver awake. In the end, isn’t every road trip about running away from something, even if it’s only temporary?
7. Death Cab for Cutie – “Passenger Seat”
If there’s one Death Cab for Cutie album to put in the car, it’s Transatlanticism. “Passenger Seat” is probably the best song ever written about driving a shotgun, but it fits whether you drive or not. The song channels those long nights of driving home with your partner, even if it means putting your feet up on the dash.
6. Modest mouse – “Interstate 8”
Of all the roads Modest Mouse could have sung about, they choose the one that goes straight from the Far West Valley to the middle of nowhere and ends up spitting you out near San Diego. If you’ve lived in Phoenix for a while, you’ve probably taken the 8 to San Diego (it’s much easier than taking the 10 to Riverside and heading south from there), and you know how empty this drive can be. to be. You have plenty of time to ask yourself and others, “How are you?” between Buckeye and Yuma (or whatever towns they are).
5. Arcade Fire – “No Cars”
You might not want to be stuck in a car with the whole group (you’d probably need a bus, or at least a good-sized limo), but for those times when you’re stuck in traffic or lost on a dead end road, “No Cars Go” might just be the perfect song to play. The little village known as Arcade Fire can create many different sounds in one song, and this song highlights their variety. Plus, there’s a lot of “Hey!” and go!” moments of screaming, which are perfect releases for the anger of being stuck with nowhere to go.
4. Mumford & Sons – “Hopeless Wanderer”
Is there any band that always sounds more like a road trip than Mumford & Sons? Everything from their folk rock to the rhythmic delivery style of Marcus Mumford works perfectly for long stretches of open road. What better way to enjoy it than with a song about stumbling along life’s journey?
3. Matt and Kim – “Daylight”
For one thing, it’s the only Matt and Kim song that most people know. On the other hand, it makes the road to anywhere feel like a more adventurous and exciting place. Images of cars floating through streets flooded with fire hydrants and skating on subway grates remind us never to be afraid to go somewhere different because “in the light of day, anyone where it feels like home”.
2. Something corporate – “I woke up in a car”
Before trying to claim that Something Corporate is not independent, let’s look at the evidence. It’s a piano-light rock band that launched the brilliant pop career of a fragile, sympathetic white man who wears very tight pants. Yes, that’s what we thought. Anyway, it’s this skinny sweater-wearing guy who sings about spending long nights traveling the country when he was still a little angsty youngster, and that’s the kind of anthem perfect to sing along to while you’re on I-10 in the middle of nowhere at 4am
1. Bright Eyes – “Another Travel Song”
It’s not just Conor Oberst who sings about travel, it’s Conor Oberst who sings about travel. Almost all of I’m wide awake, it’s morning could be used for your indie road trip, but there’s something about the descriptions of various scenes in “Another Travelin’ Song” and “Road to Joy” that both make them go-to road trip songs.
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