A well-groomed monthly playlist to start your morning right. June’s theme: The Cool Pool Party.
We’re big advocates of long, hot showers. A good steam will soothe your muscles, clear your head and soften your stubble before that all-important shave. Of course, for the luxurious fog to work its magic, you have to give it a little time to build. A great soundtrack will make the whole process a faster and more enjoyable experience.
It’s June and if the meteorological powers that be are correct, you’re going to be in for an insanely hot summer. The mercury will be rising, the asphalt might even start bubbling, but you will remain as cool as the bottle of cucumber gin in the back of your freezer with the help of our playlist below. It will turn your morning shower into an idealized version of The Cool Pool Party.
Most pool party mixes we’ve encountered put a little too much emphasis on the “party” aspect of it. Sure, there’s a place at pool parties for thumping techno and its EDM brethren; however that place is Las Vegas. Nowhere else.
At The Cool Pool Party, the pace will be languid, befitting the heat. The sort of music that takes you to a chaise lounge in your mind, icy drink in hand and the blazing sun above. There’s no rush. You’ll hear prodigious use of electric piano and a good dose of brass. And while the vibe may be mostly relaxed—and sometimes go full-on soft rock—there’s enough funk to get you moving in the morning.
June Shower Sessions: The Cool Pool Party
Now picture your humble shower as the pool at the Foutainebleau in Miami, circa 1964. If you’ve ever seen the beginning of Goldfinger, that’s the pool in question and that’s where your soundtrack begins. As the water hits your face, give in to the “Crystal Blue Persuasion” offered by the great Tommy James and the Shondells. It’s the musical equivalent of a Hockney poolscape. And while Sly & The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime” may be an obvious choice, it’s also obviously awesome.
Turns out we weren’t lying about the soft rock—both “Brandy” and “These Eyes” will keep your pace mellow. And if neither of those work, King Harvest (of “Dancing in the Moonlight” fame), will remind you to “Take It Easy.” (And no, they’re not covering the Eagles.)
The man who worked harder in show business than anyone else shows that he was equally amazing when he was laid back like he is on “The Boss.” Marlena Shaw’s “California Soul” and Suzi Jane Hokom’s “Come on Sunshine” are both like warm, unfiltered UV rays for your ears. And there are a few trippy excursions via Shuggie Otis and Roy Ayers.
A lost gem from John Phillips called “Yachts” may have prefigured the yacht rock movement, and is surely the best song ever written about rock stars hanging out on boats. Check those whistles and whistle along. Turn the water temperature down to as cold as you can stand it for a few minutes. A blast of chilly water will give you an adrenaline rush like nothing else, and will provide the necessary buffer between the steam of the shower and the steamy day ahead.
As you emerge, take in one of the all-time great feel-good instrumentals, Taj Mahal’s beautiful, bouncy “When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul.”
Yeah. Water is good.