All you need for a day at the beach are beach towels, sunscreen and snacks, right? Wrong. You need music. A playlist with a touch of international flair should do the trick, especially since we're in the habit of celebrating beaches all over the world.
We hope you enjoy these beach-worthy tunes, compiled for maximum relaxation and fun.
Sawa Sawa Sawale
Ziggy Zaga and Teddy Yo
Ethiopian recording artist Ziggy Zaga brings a light, youthful flavor to this classic African song, first recorded by Nigerian singer/songwriter Rex Lawson. The background melody is a shout-out to El Manisero, one of the most famous Cuban songs of all time. With its catchy, bouncy rhythm and its seductive steel drum sound, this song could easily become a beach favorite.
Watch the video that accompanies "Palmar" by Mexican indie artist Caloncho and you'll see why it made our list. The lyrics (in Spanish) focus on a never-ending fantasy for all beach-lovers - to escape the city and stay at the beach forever. Fall in love with this sweet little tune and add it to your beach soundtrack.
Can't Help Falling in Love
Maybe it's a little cliché to add one of the most famous pop-style reggae songs to our compilation, but you have to admit, this tune would be awesome to hear while lounging under the sun's rays or in the shade of a palm tree.
Is This Love?
Montmartre (Remix of classic Bob Marley song)
What's a day at the beach without Bob Marley? This refreshing remix is whimsical, laid-back and energizing all at once, especially when the girthy bassline kicks in. Just the perfect thing to listen to while stretching out in a hammock, drink in hand.
White Sandy Beach
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole
Kamakawiwo'ole's major hit, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," has 48 million views on YouTube, so you've likely heard it. But take a few minutes to listen to "White Sandy Beach," a lesser-known, bittersweet tune with wistful lyrics.
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole was a revered musician in Hawaii - so much so that about 10,000 people attended his funeral when he died in 1997. Simple and beautiful, this song would be divine to hear while the sun sets in some exotic place...like Hawaii, for example.
Summertime, and the living is easy. Sublime didn't write this song originally, but their version is all their own. It's hot, lively and fun, just like a day at the beach should be.
Celia Cruz, the Queen of Latin Music, had a long and illustrious recording career. Today's Latin music fans might not be familiar with her early work, such as this charming song about candy in an array of flavors like strawberry, vanilla, lemon and chocolate. This song will bring a little added sunshine to your day.
Do Me Justice
If you're not familiar with palm wine music, this little ditty by S.E. Rogie of Sierra Leone about sums it up. A great, relaxing rhythm surrounded by soothing guitar notes, not to mention a wink-worthy lyrical theme. Put this on repeat and relax on the sand for hours.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
Otis Redding's hit needs no introduction, but with all its talk about sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tides roll away, it only made sense to add it to this list. The samples of waves crashing to shore, along with seagulls squawking, helps bring to mind the oceanside mood and pace.
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