Feeling a little depressed from all the back-to-school drama and homework loads? Want a break from all the upcoming tests and a return to summer? Well, I cannot promise that stack of homework will just go poof!, but I can give you the next best thing. Jack Johnson, a singer-songwriter and surfer, is my go-to when I want some summer tunes.
He first caught my attention when I went to see the movie Curious George, and noticed how perfectly the soundtrack fit into the movie. You can look at some of the songs he has written and view them as for a younger generation, but I find all of his music refreshingly lighthearted and upbeat.
I do not know if it is the Hawaiian culture where he lives mixing into his music, but when I listen to it, I can practically feel the sand between my toes. While his music has a distinctly indie tone, I find in the lyrics sunny and inspiring stories. They range from his personal life (sometimes dealing with scary surfing accidents) to the beauty of nature.
If you are seeking music that will bring you back to nature, then this is perfect for you. Along with being an avid surfer, Johnson is also a dedicated environmentalist whose deep appreciation for the earth shows vibrantly throughout his songs. This singer plays a range of instruments to keep his music sounding a bit tropical, and eccentric. A honed observation of nature’s small beauties creates thought-provoking poetry. He also has a gift of persuasion—perhaps the next time you see garbage on the ground, you’ll pick it up.
The warm summer breeze is just around the corner, and I suggest Johnson’s latest album, From Here to Now to You as an excellent “vacation feel” album to get away from that pop quiz tomorrow. This album is one of my top favorites, and while all of his music contains upbeat, cheerful tempos and lyrics, this album is loaded with it. With a topic of nature essential to all his work, and a delightfully broad spectrum of song types, you will find “summer” throughout.
Of course, summer is not complete without some silly adventures, and some summertime love. “The Three R’s” and “Better Together” are two of many brilliant examples of songs about love and fun. He has all the key elements of your summer combined in one, and once armed with his albums, you will be able to battle any pop quiz, all extra 20 pages of reading homework, and every summer-depleted winter night.
Bring summer back and check out Jack Johnson!
Tuned In is a regular music column written by Michele Haeberlin, Current Staff.