There are many ways to measure a party's success, from the number of guests to the lateness of its conclusion, but nothing beats a small, good-natured backyard gathering. With a small cadre of smack-talking friends, a sizzling grill and a deck table buckling under the weight of empty beer bottles, a low-key backyard party combines the rush of socializing with the comfort of home.
These five songs provide the perfect accompaniment to that comfort; each exudes some form of contentment, whether in the form of a well-placed string section or words that set a happy scene. The next time you gather up some close friends — or, better yet, load yourself into a hammock with a loved one while keeping a pitcher of iced tea within arm's reach — let these songs set the tone.
For more entries in this summer's weekly It's Time to Party: Summer Songs series, click here.