With summer nearly upon us at Shutterstock HQ, we’re starting to feel that familiar tug toward sand-filled destinations. Our latest Featured Lightbox, “Life’s a Beach,” is a visual ode to fun in the sun, and we’re adding the musical accompaniment with this edition of Songs to Design By.
From sunny ’60s pop to hazy summertime anthems, this collection will soundtrack your next journey to the sea — whether it’s an actual trip, or just a much-needed sunny burst of inspiration for your brain.
Listen to the full mix below (note: you need Spotify installed for it to play properly), explore the “Life’s a Beach” Lightbox, and check out previous volumes of Songs to Design By for even more great music and images.
Here’s what our creative team had to say about each of the tracks selected for this mix:
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” The Beach Boys – “This doesn’t need much explanation. The Beach Boys represent everything about summer and the beaching way of life! While listening to this song, I can close my eyes and see myself catching a wild wave.”
“Island in the Sun,” Weezer – “A favorite from Weezer’s extremely underrated ‘green’ album, this is great for lying back, sipping a drink, and surveying your new sandcastle kingdom.”
“Swim and Sleep,” Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “This track starts out musing about sleeping and swimming like a shark does, so that you could fall to the ocean floor — a place to hide and let everything lip away.”
“Let’s Go Surfing,” The Drums – “A lusty pop song that will leave even the most dedicated pixel pushers feeling nostalgic for some time in the sun and sand.”
“Hawaii Five-O,” The Ventures – “The Ventures helped define the sounds of the ’60s with their sun-drenched instrumentals, and they remain a must-have on any summer playlist. Groovy, man!”
“Rockaway Beach,” The Ramones – “If you’re going to rock somewhere, you’ll want to do it Ramones-style, and that means Rockaway Beach should be your destination, even if it’s only in your head.”
“Beach Rats,” The Growlers – “The Growlers call their style ‘Beach Goth.’ It reminds me of psychedelic surfer music from the ’60s, and whenever I listen to it, I imagine I’m dancing on a beach far, far away from my desk.”
“Summertime Sadness,” Lana Del Rey – “As with most things, Lana has a way of making even sadness sound elegant, and if this is what feeling down in the sunshine is like, it’s probably not so bad.”
“Royals,” Lorde – “This song is a bit of an anthem against all the hip-hop hype. It’s got punk attitude with a great sing-along chorus — perfect for playing with the top down on your way to the water.”
“Where Did the Party Go,” Fall Out Boy – “The first time I heard this song, my instinct was to run to my car, put it on repeat, and just drive straight for the sun.”
“Good As New,” Vacationer – “This is the type of song that helps me just close my eyes and feel like I’m lying down under the sun without a care in the world. Even the band’s name is getaway-inspired!”
“Summertime,” Janis Joplin – “Growing up, I was kind of obsessed with Janis Joplin and version of this classic song with Big Brother and the Holding Company. It just gives me chills. I still have a Janis cassette that I stole from my uncle when I was 16!”
“The Girl From Ipanema,” Stan Getz & João Gilberto – “Once you’ve been on the beach of Ipanema at Posto 9 and experienced the sunrise there, you know you’ve been part of something magical. Live the moment forever!”
“Knee Deep,” Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett – “The whole song is about how the beach is the number one place to be. Your worries and problems are washed away by the warmth of the sun and the tide coming up.”