Say Goodbye To Summer With This Perfect Playlist

by Dacy Knight

The kids are heading back to school, and the coals are cooling on the barbecue. Your favorite bikini has faded from fuchsia to flamingo, and evenings have transitioned from balmy to breezy. As it does without fail every year, the time has come for us to face the fact that summer's imminent end is approaching. But before bidding goodbye to blissful days of beach retreats and backyard parties, savor the last sun rays of the season with this lineup of songs to include on your end-of-summer playlist.

As the season winds down, keep the fresh tracks flowing with some notable highlights from 2015. This summer was scattered with eagerly awaited new releases from indie favorites. The season saw a knock-out debut by Leon Bridges, hotly anticipated full-lengths from Tame Impala and Beach House, and one-track teasers from Santigold and Kurt Vile.

This mixtape-worthy collection of recent releases serves as the ideal final soundtrack of summer. Each year we must come to terms with summer's passing, grasping desperately to the remnants of youthful memories while grudgingly transitioning our wardrobes and weekend activities to cooler times ahead. So without further ado, before summer escapes us entirely and you begin embarking on any autumnal adventures, here's a taste of hot summer days to hold onto before giving in to fall.

1. "Smooth Sailin'" by Leon Bridges

This feel-good single off Leon Bridges' debut album Coming Home exudes suave soul punctuated by saxophone and high hat. Let the infectious beat and old school sound carry you smooth sailin' through the remainder of your summer.

2. "Gone" by JR JR

The newest track from the band formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. paints an indie-pop picture of nostalgia and wistful yearnings for what has been lost now that "it's all gone." Be it youth, innocence, or summer itself, the sentimentality is disguised by chipper major chords. "Keep pressing rewind but I'm getting older." Nothing like the final days of summer to make you feel evermore distanced from your younger self, and remind you that another year is passing.

3. "The Moment" by Tame Impala

"Storm clouds are closing in" in this synth-saturated single off Tame Impala's latest summer release, Currents. Kevin Parker croons about being "in the moment," and warns that "in the end, it's gone, and there's nothing left to do."

4. "Waiting For My Time To Come" by Colony House

This Tennessee trio released their latest single at the end of June, and its love song lyrics easily evoke the same sentiments we have at summer's end, "I'm just waiting on the seasons to change, waiting for the curtain to fall," or even more emotionally, "Is this the end of this dream I lost?"

5. "Pieces" by Tanlines

Just as we all wish we could rewind to the beginning of summer as its carefree days come to a close, this punchy pop number off the Brooklyn duo's latest album "Highlights" opens with "I saw the sun going down," and speaks of turning back time, "let's meet up at the beginning."

6. "Thunderhearts" by Cold War Kids

This wailing single from the California band's brief midsummer release, Five Quick Cuts, explodes in exclamations about love finding a way, and so will you even after summer's gone.

7. "Shoegaze" by Alabama Shakes

Released just before summer, the sophomore album, Young Chasers from the American southern rock band is made up of vintage-infused sounds and stadium-worthy soul. This mellow track cuts to the core of the passing summer, "let's all make memories, precious and temporary."

8. "No Guilt In Pleasure" by MS MR

The provocatively titled track from the New York duo's second full-length album How Does It Feel could double as a mission statement for summer. Keep it in the shuffle during your final days of debauchery.

9. "Radio" by Santigold

This catchy party gem appears on the original soundtrack for Paper Towns, and is just a taste of what's to come from the American singer's forthcoming album.

10. "Pretty Pimpin" by Kurt Vile

The latest single from the American singer-songwriter's upcoming album b'lieve i'm goin down, slated for release in September, is an aloof amalgam of laid-back blues and stoner rock. Its lyrics are on point with just how summer days pass by: "it was a Monday, no a Tuesday, no Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then Saturday came around..."

11. "Until The Night Turns" by Lord Huron

Strange Trails, the folk-rock band's sophomore effort, is abounding with the same romanticized Americana-charged gusto delivered in their debut. The album's second track is a robust ballad with a galloping beat and lyrics like, "we howl in the moonlight," and "baby it's so bright we'll be up all night," perfect for end-of-summer revelry.

12. "California Nights" by Best Coast

The California-loving indie-rock duo returned with a new release just in time for summer. The album's title track is a rev-heavy haunting anthem that soars like a night drive with the top down beneath starry, or smoggy, skies along the Pacific Coast Highway.

13. "Sparks" by Beach House

The hazy dream pop duo released their latest album, Depression Cherry, during the last sultry days of summer. This abstracted track is clouded to the right degree with feedback through which vintage-organ chord progressions shine through.

14. "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" by Iron & Wine & Ben Bridwell

Iron & Wine's Sam Beam and Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell team up for a full-length album of collaborative covers titled Sing Into My Mouth. This folky acoustic take on the Talking Heads classic does justice to the original, and makes for a nostalgia-fueled slow jam to wind down your summer.

15. "I Will Return" by Ratatat

This dreamy 1970s Springwater cover off the rocktronica duo's fifth album, Magnifique, conjures up a balmy beach day beneath shady palms swinging in slow motion. Aptly titled "I Will Return," the syrupy slow track anesthetizes autumnal anxieties, and promises that it's only a matter of time before summer is back to envelop us in its carefree caress.

Images: Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois/Unsplash, Spotify