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#MusicMonday: Our Favorite Road Trip Tracks

Welcome to this week’s edition of #MusicMonday, featuring an assortment of tunes that will be perfect for your next road trip, or even your daily drive to work. These selections are brought to you by Maddy Pryor, Catie Simpson, Meghin Moore, Bobby Chen, Matt Westlake, Evan Ponter, and Hannah Lane. There’s something for just about everyone in here, from Kanye to Coldplay, so keep these tracks in mind the next time you’re burning a CD for the car (if people still do that) or putting together an iPod playlist for the road.

Note: The two songs that are not located on the playlist below, “Georgia” and “Kick Drum Heart”, are linked before their blurb for your listening pleasure.


Sugarland — “All We Are”

This song is great for road trips for a multitude of reasons. It’s got easy lyrics to jam out to, quick riffs for air-guitaring, and is the perfect combination of country and pop. In addition, they scream “We Are!” throughout the chorus, so that’s a plus for Penn Staters. Whether or not you’re a country fan, you’ll want to turn up the volume for this one.


Coldplay — “Strawberry Swing”

This song is an instant mood boost, which is a necessity during every long drive. Coldplay is a general crowd pleaser so there shouldn’t be any arguing amongst car-confined passengers. And with the lyrics “it’s such a perfect day” repeated over and over, you might eventually start to believe it — even if you’re only halfway there.



Band of Horses — “Georgia” (Cee Lo Green cover)
This is such a great song to open up your windows to and blast at full volume when driving out in the middle of nowhere. Band of Horses takes this song and adds a bit more flair with the University of Georgia’s Redcoat Marching Band. It pays tribute to the lovely state of Georgia and is definitely a fun song to sing along to no matter where you are. After hearing this song, you’ll be headed “back down memory lane” of wherever you went on a road trip.

Arcade Fire — “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

This is a song made for your scenic road trips, particularly the drive up to State College. Sprawl II, with its synth-heavy, disco-esque beat, feels like an ’80s soundtrack to a road trip where you can afford to drive slowly and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Granted, if you’re driving in somewhere boring like the Midwest where you’re going to need help staying awake, you’re probably better off blasting “Call Me Maybe” on loop.

Kanye West — “Dark Fantasy”

There is just something about this song that is absolutely perfect for driving. Hell, when Kanye put it in his short film Runaway, he was driving a car during it. The first piano strike and question “Can we get much higher?” echoes throughout your speakers, and somehow perfectly matches the surrounding mountainous atmosphere of a drive to State College. So if you have a lot of driving through the Keystone state like I do, make sure to put this on your play list.

Tom Petty — “You Don’t Know How It Feels”
When nothing but the open road is ahead of you (and no cops are behind you), this smooth, stoners’ anthem by rock god Tom Petty is the perfect high on the highway. With a laid-back blues style, a repetitive yet infectious drum beat and the honest suggestion to “roll another joint,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels” creates a perfect accent to sunshine and hot pavement.


The Avett Brothers — “Kick Drum Heart”

Every road trip needs a crazy, fun, pump-up song, no questions asked. From start to finish, the Avett Brothers put together a number that will have you dancing in the driver’s seat, whether you’re alone or with friends. The song lives up to the title by including a sick kick drum that sounds best blasting through your speakers. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself banging your steering wheel along with the beat.

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