CRA Travel Entertainment
A lot goes into planning a great road trip. From finding the best Guy Fieri-approved diners along your route and the quirkiest roadside attractions, to queueing up road trip songs that make the trip, it’s all about the journey.
We can tell you where to eat, where to sleep, and where to stop (we can even tell you where to find the world’s biggest ball of twine), but to help you make the best road trip playlist, we turned to the pros. We asked some of our favorite musicians, from country icon Darius Rucker to pop singer Hayley Kiyoko, to tell us what they listen to on long drives. Read on for their favorite road trip songs.
Jillian Hervey, Lion Babe
Jillian Hervey is a member of funk and soul duo Lion Babe. The group recently released three new singles: “Be Like That,” “Hot In Herre,” and “Can’t Get Enough.”
Khruangbin’s “Dearest Alfred” is one of those songs and arrangements that can trigger so much pain and beauty in its delivery. But the sound is sweet. I think any road trip embodies that feeling—escaping and releasing where you were and finding joy somewhere else along the way. It makes me think of how life altering just getting out of [New York City] can feel nowadays. Even driving to Westchester, or the Hamptons, feels like another world. Nature has all the allure and sexiness that the city used to have.
Following his tenure as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, now-country musician Darius Rucker just released a new single, “Beers and Sunshine.”
I love listening to R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” on a long drive. Not only does it have a perfect melody for cruising along to, but it takes me back to some of our earliest days on the road as a band. When we were cutting our teeth in the early ’90s, we covered this song almost every night—and then we’d pile into the van to drive on to our next gig. It’s the soundtrack to those drives in my memory, and it still holds up all these years later.
Singer-songwriter Queen Naija just released her latest single, “Pack Lite,” from her forthcoming debut album.
I really love anything from the ’80s to ’90s. It reminds me of my childhood, growing up with my mom listening to a lot of classics. Betty Wright’s “After the Pain,” Karyn White’s “Superwoman,” and Monica’s “Don’t Take It Personal” feel like home. “After the Pain” puts me in a family mood and makes me think of cookouts growing up and the everyone dancing. “Superwoman” and “Don’t Take It Personal” are songs that I’ve been listening to on repeat for years—they’re up-tempo and just make me feel good. I’m looking forward to when I’m back on a tour bus. I can’t wait to get back on the road.
The Grammy award-winning reggae artist just released his latest single “Play with Sky” (feat. Ben Harper). His new album, More Family Time, comes out September 18.
The whole family sings along with “Aaron Burr, Sir” from The Hamilton soundtrack. We are currently on a local staycation in Laguna Beach, and we played this song in the car on the way [over].
Danielle Haim, Haim
Danielle Haim is one-third of sister act Haim. The band released their latest album Women in Music Pt. III earlier this summer.
Cat Power’s “He War.” This song just feels like speeding, especially at 0:34 seconds when the drums kick in. [My sister] Este got this album when we were both in high school, and she was the carpool driver for me and a couple kids from school. It took an hour to get to and from school, and I just remember putting the windows down and screaming the chorus on the freeway. I’ve been feeling very nostalgic recently, and when I’ve been taking little trips to the beach, this is the first song I put on when I hit PCH.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is set to release his latest live album AXIOM on August 28.
I like to vibe to a song by Feist called “The Wind.” Seems to me it’s about resiliency, cycles, force, and moving forward. Her music has helped me traverse some rough moments, but this song activated something different. The row of the rhythm, her voice, the changes, and arrangement, I love it all. It helps me focus on moving forward, on the horizon, and what perseverance can birth. The notion of outlasting the past is one I think of often, given the context of my traveling in environments tethered to old world thinking. You’d be surprised the types of discrimination you get touring with a group of Black Americans with completely filled passports, with extensions and layers of stamps from every corner of the planet. Listening to “The Wind” has reminded me that the hate and disregard [I have experienced] won’t impede my campaign.
Singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko’s latest single, “She,” came out earlier this year.
Arcade Fire’s The Funeral is one of my favorite albums to listen to on a road trip. The first time I listened to this album, it felt like the sonic manifestation of my own soul. Each song on The Funeral evokes so many different emotions in me, from extreme sadness to a sense of motivation and resilience, which I find to be the perfect soundtrack to a long journey. It reminds me of road trips I used to take with my family, back when I was a young teenager. I’d be staring out the window feeling isolated but also liberated, knowing that even though I wasn’t out yet, I already knew who I was, and that was good enough in that moment.
Matt Quinn, Mt. Joy
Matt Quinn is the lead vocal and guitarist of Los Angeles-based indie rock band, Mt. Joy. The band dropped their latest album Rearrange Us earlier this summer.
I’ll go with “Sweet Virginia” by The Rolling Stones. The song makes any trip feel cinematic, and it’s a great sing-a-long with friends. It grows into an anthem so that, by the end, the whole car is wrapped up in its energy.
My parents are huge Stones fans, so it also [makes me] nostalgic for family and so many road trips of my past. Specifically, it reminds me of a long road trip my brothers, some friends, and I took to Maine. Driving the endless American interstate for hours, listening to our favorite songs, and being too drunk on the newfound freedom to notice the time—those interactions with songs like “Sweet Virginia” made me want to be a songmaker myself.
Singer Miguel’s latest single, “Funeral,” is out now.
A few come to mind…”Stronger” by Kanye, “Electric Feel” by MGMT, “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “Wow” by Beck. They feel good. And also, “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” by Khia because that song just goes! I definitely want to take a road trip to Yosemite with these. It’s crazy, being from Los Angeles and I’ve never been.
Singer songwriter Roberto Carlos Lange, known as Helado Negro, released his latest single, “I Fell in Love” (feat. Xeniz Rubinos) this spring.
“Hello” by Erykah Badu. Erykah Badu has always been a source of prolific energy, all of her work has lived with me through different times. This version of Todd Rundgren’s song “Hello It’s Me” is one of my favorites, too. I remember cross-country touring my album Private Energy in 2016, and this song was a go-to. It was always connecting with me, through half-awake mornings in the middle of nowhere, watching the sun creep up from the horizon. This version begins with an incandescent glow through Andre 3000’s verses, weaving words of anxiety and resolve through a relationship. Being on the road, being nomadic as a musician, and being married, some deep truths resonate with this song. It was possibly a reminder to call and connect with the love of my life.
Kate Pierson is one of the founding members of the B-52s, who just completed a 40th anniversary tour last year.
“All Blues” by Miles Davis is my favorite road trip song. My wife Monica and I always listen to jazz on a long road trip. It’s soothing, and it can keep you going on a late night drive. Plus, this song has such movement—almost like the clickety-clack of a train or the rubber tires on the rolling road. It reminds me of a trip Monica and I took from Lazy Desert in Landers, California, to our home in the Catskills. We had just finished opening Lazy Desert—our airstream hotel—and we bought a vintage RV airstream. We had our two German Shepherds with us, and Monica drove the whole way while I rode “shotgun” with the dogs pressing up against my sides. Miles kept us company on the road—and kept Monica awake.
Scott Avett, The Avett Brothers
Scott Avett is one of the lead singers of folk-rock band The Avett Brothers. Their new album The Third Gleam comes out August 28.
Evan Dando’s “It Looks Like You” rolls just like the wheels. I listened to it on repeat driving through the deserts of California in summer 2003, on my honeymoon. We didn’t see a car for hours.
Brooklyn-based songwriter Claud made waves last summer with their pop single, “Wish You Were Gay.”
My favorite road trip song is “Bobby” by Alex G. I know every single word, and it’s just the right tempo to keep you awake on the road, and not too sleepy. This song reminds me of the time my friends and I drove five hours our freshman year so I could play a show in someone’s basement. Someone passed out during my set and they didn’t pay me, so we stole a potato from their kitchen. We listened to Alex G the whole way there.
Scott Hoying, Pentatonix
Baritone singer Scott Hoying is a member of a capella collective Pentatonix, which just released their At Home EP, and breakout group Superfruit.
My favorite roadtrip song right now is “ily (i love you baby)” by Surf Mesa, featuring Emilee. This song is so beautifully produced, it feels like heaven to the ears. That, mixed with the nostalgia of the song (originally by Frankie Valli), and Emilee’s ethereal, soft, pleasant voice, just instantly puts me in a good mood. It reminds me of the peaceful drives I have been taking around L.A. during quarantine, simply for a change of scenery, and will definitely be one of the songs I think of when I’m reminded of this crazy time.
Article Credit To CN Traveller.