June Playlist: Songs to Lounge in Parks By

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Normally, the first week of June would find us in full-blown summer mode: sweltering subway platforms followed by refrigerated cars, snow-white legs breaking free of tights for the first time all year, the tinkling of Mr. Softee trucks haunting our dreams. This year, however, Mother Nature appears to be confused. While the end of May brought the promise of summer, in all her sticky glory, June descended with a frigid vengeance, sucking the heat from the air and granting our boots and sweaters a late-year encore. Maybe one too many frostbitten nights have left her numb, maybe she forgot to change her calendar — whatever the reason, it seems good ole Mama N. could use a reminder as to appropriate conditions for this particular season.

So this playlist is for her, and for you. This should be the season of lying in grass, popping in earbuds, and forgetting the chaos of the city for an hour or two. Central, Prospect, or Maria Hernandez, we love us a good park. Maybe there’s something essentially Olmstead-ian in it that calls to our Louisville blood. To us, it’s New York at its best: a crazy mess of humanity banding together to create something beautiful. There’s an optimism to the irregular polygons of sky that peek between the leaves to dapple the grass, flickering with daydreams and unspoken plans. For a moment, we can forget the subway grates and taxi horns, the sweltering apartments and crushing rents and long lines and the grind. There are moments of zen and of hope to be found in the grass.

We could wax poetic for pages about each of these songs individually, how they’ve seen us through promotions and heartbreaks, helped us find quiet amid the chaos and accompanied us through long drives and dance parties. But we’d rather just give them to you (we’ve been told we run towards the verbose…), a lovely summer package for you to enjoy in any order you wish. So go ahead and lie back, pop your sunglasses on and these songs in your ears. Just for a moment, be still and soak it all in. Everything looks better in the sunshine.

As always, you can listen along here, or we’re on YouTube and Spotify.

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