Searching for the Perfect Summer Anthem

The season for road trips, lazy days at the beach and long bike rides just begs for its own soundtrack. Even if you're staring out the office window at a glorious summer morning, you need a summer anthem. So we asked music writer Stephen Thompson — formerly of The Onion — to make some seasonal suggestions.

Cover for the Fountains of Wayne CD 'Out-of-State Plates'
Vigin Records

Fountains Of Wayne: Out-of-State Plates

These songs are relentlessly catchy, but they're also smart. The band is best known for the hit "Stacy's Mom" — but that's not even scratching the surface of the band's charm.

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  • "Janice's Party"
  • Album: Out-of-State Plates
  • Artist: Fountains of Wayne
  • Label: Virgin
  • Released: 2005
 
Cover for the Feist CD 'Let It Die'
Interscope Records

Feist: Let It Die

Leslie Feist's talents shift almost as constantly as her attention. Amid whimsical covers of Françoise Hardy and the Bee Gees, the Canadian-bred Paris habitué sprinkles in her own compositions.

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  • "Mushaboom"
  • Album: Let It Die
  • Artist: Feist
  • Label: Cherrytree/Interscope
  • Released: 1969
 
Cover for the Saraha Hotnights CD 'Kiss and Tell'
RCA

Sahara Hotnights: Kiss & Tell

An all-woman rock band from Sweden, Sahara Hotnights seemed to get overshadowed by The Donnas — but here the attitude feels less put on, like the work of a modern-day Blondie.

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  • "Hot Night Crash"
  • Album: Kiss & Tell
  • Artist: Sahara Hotnights
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 2004
 
CD Cover for 'Love is a Real Thing'
Luaka Bop

World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing

The era of 1960s psychedelia is not dead — it's alive and well and thriving in West Africa. The fuzz guitars, cheesy organ riffs, blatting saxes, fat bass lines, wild solos... they're all here.

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  • "Keleya"
  • Album: World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing
  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Label: V2
  • Released: 2005
 
Cover for The New Pornographers CD 'Twin Cinema'
Matador Records

The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema

This group's melancholy power-pop complements the summer months beautifully. The songs have a way of cycling through four or five hit singles' worth of hooks without sounding cluttered.

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  • "Bleeding Heart Show"
  • Album: Twin Cinema
  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Label: Matador
  • Released: 2005
 

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Out-of-State Plates

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  • Album: Out-of-State Plates
  • Artist: Fountains of Wayne
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • Released: 2005
 

Let It Die

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  • Album: Let It Die
  • Artist: Feist
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • Released: 2005
 

Kiss & Tell

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  • Album: Kiss & Tell
  • Artist: Sahara Hotnights
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 2005
 

World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing

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  • Album: World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • Released: 2005
 

Twin Cinema

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  • Album: Twin Cinema
  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Label: Matador Records
  • Released: 2005
 

World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing

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  • Album: World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's a Real Thing
  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Label: V2
  • Released: 2005
 

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