Away from the Sprawl: The Ultimate Spring Break Road Trip Playlist


That sacred time of year for college students has come—the time when you’re almost completely burnt out on unnecessary papers, annoying classmates and professors. You are probably wondering why or how that breadth class will ever be relevant to any career you end up with. To put it simply: you need your spring break. Whether you’re headed to the beach, clubs or concerts, or you’re just planning to chill and play videogames, one week free of the stress that comes with your costly higher education should make you feel good. Of course, there’s always the more free-spirited option for your spring break plans: road trip.

Hop in the car and go. Doesn’t matter where. Just drive. While you’re driving, however, you should be able to feel the easy breeziness of spring and the cusp of summer without worry. These are Away from the Sprawl’s top 10 tracks to relax and rock out to as you drive down PCH into the sunset.

1.      “Anna Sun” – Walk the Moon

This harmony drenched tune from the Cincinnati quartet should keep you feeling good, with its college-themed lyrics and furiously catchy beat.

Best lyric: “We got no money but we got heart, we’re gonna rattle this ghost town”

2.      “Itchin’ on a Photograph” – Grouplove

The ever energetic Grouplove let go in this song, with lead singer Christian Zucconi’s voice cracking multiple times seemingly from pure joy and excitement over a cluster of drums and a hooky guitar.

Best lyric: “Yeah I’m itchin’ on a photograph / Yeah I’m scratching on a thermostat / Yeah I’m letting go of what I had / Yeah I’m living now and living loud”

3.      “Trojans” – Atlas Genius

This slick track follows bouncy synths over a relaxed yet solid delivery from lead singer Keith Jeffrey that encourages the listener to be spontaneous in life.

Best lyric: “Take a look / Hesitate / Take a picture you could never recreate”

4.      “Tiptoe” – Imagine Dragons

These indie rockers from Sin City make retro seem fresh with this high energy, keyboard-laden track that sounds like it could be taken straight out of the 80s.

Best lyric: “In the morning light let my roots take flight / Watch me from above like a vicious dove”

5.      “Lover of the Light” – Mumford and Sons

The anthemic banjo wielders strike a chord with this song as brass joins their plucking—along with the crashing cymbals, ever beautiful harmonies and understated piano. These British folk-rockers will keep any car ride lively.

Best lyric: “You may not trust the promises / Of the change I’ll show / But I’d be yours if you’d be mine”

6.      “Stay Useless” – Cloud Nothings

Dylan Baldi’s scratchy vocals help give this lo-fi punk-ish song its character, as he sings/growls about adolescent feelings of hopelessness in the catchiest way possible over a chugging, energetic guitar.

Best lyric: “Can I feel / so utterly unreal / but nothing I could do would make things change”

7.       “Animal” – Miike Snow

Andrew Wyatt’s coded and sometimes falsetto vocals, combined with producers Bloodshy and Avant’s vaguely reggae electronic beat, give this track a unique, infectious sensibility that doesn’t let up.

Best lyric: “In your eyes I see the eyes of somebody / I knew before, long ago / But I’m still trying to make my mind up / Am I free or am I tied up?”

8.      “Gold” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Eighty4 Fly

If there was ever such a thing as breezy California rap (note: Macklemore is from Seattle), Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit the spot, with their high, carnival-like synths accompanying Macklemore’s lyrics about relaxing on the beach and giving out gold and compliments.

Best lyric: “I’m kidding, everyone is gold in my city / You paint Betty White gold, even Betty White can get it”

9.      “Safe and Sound” – Capital Cities

This electronic indie duo (they also played Spring Splash last year) provides a feel good, horn-laden track that doesn’t quite have a distinct genre, but still manages to make you want to dance and sing along.

Best lyric: “You could be my luck / Even if we’re six feet underground / I know that we’ll be safe and sound”

10.   “It’s Alright” – Matt and Kim

Rounding out the top 10 is the alt-dance duo Matt and Kim’s newest song, “It’s Alright,” which includes Matt’s trademark gleeful vocals and Kim’s energetic drumming with an irresistible brass and synth-soaked chorus that you can’t help but tap your foot to.

Best lyric: “Maybe we’re going nowhere fast / Ohhh / And maybe we never even touched the gas / Ohhh”

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