Music, Pop Culture

Seven Songs to Say Salutations to August and So Long to July

august playlist

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern PJ Cunningham. Find him on Instagram at @peachycunningham. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

With August upon us, it is time for some procedural playlist shuffling. 

While the notions of summer music and ‘songs of the summer’ are hardly new, I believe that there are important musical nuances that can even help us differentiate between different periods of time, such as summer months. While June, July, and August are all part of the same season, there are different vibes to each, including holidays, weather and activities, that can lead to certain songs fitting certain months more than others.

Therefore, I aim to present an august playlist of seven songs uniquely suited to saying goodbye to July, hello to the new month and usher in a proper finale of summer.

“August Day’’ – Hall & Oates

The first track on our list, as the name suggests, is perfect for a mellow August Day. This song by soul duo Hall & Oates focuses on the odd mix of melancholy and calmness that comes with a late August day and night. With the always-impressive vocals of Daryl Hall accompanied by mood-setting keyboard a one-of-a kind harmonica solo, “August Day” might have been the last song the duo’s 1978 album “Along The Red Ledge,” but it’s our perfect kickoff here.

“The End of July” – Paper Lions

In the second position in our playlist comes another song with complex qualities. This 2016 song off Canadian indie rock group Paper Lions’s album Full Colour creates imagery reminiscent of a late August afternoon, where the sun is beginning to dip and the temperature is beginning to cool, yet the calming warmth of a summer day is still dulling your senses, creating a relaxing haze. In announcing July’s end, this song ushers in the season softly.

“After the Storm” – Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins

Though a different vibe than the first two songs, Uchis’s 2018 r&b/hip-hop hit should nonetheless be a staple on any August playlist. Firstly, it’s a damn good song. From its rich, soothing introduction to Uchis’s haunting yet relaxing vocals to Tyler, The Creator’s gritty yet unbothered featuring rap verse, this song is jam-packed with the reserved excitement necessary to remind us that August is still very much a part of summer and something we ought to enjoy.

“Seventeen Going Under” – Sam Fender

English hit-maker Sam Fender’s 2021 song “Seventeen Going Under,” is a coming of age masterpiece with a higher tempo than the first four songs on this playlist. With key changes, a repetitive chorus and powerful lyrics that force listeners to ruminate on both their own pasts and their futures alike, this tune is a no-brainer for any August playlist. It is a mature, complicated piece that forces us to reckon with the personal growth we experience in the course of each summer, but it is subtle enough to also be a catchy, enjoyable and unique song in its own right.

“Maggie May” – Rod Stewart

We now go from an early 2020’s hit to an early 1970’s hit, with British rock icon Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” making an appearance. Although this song is longer, slower and more melodically varied than Fender’s, its message, which centers around a young man and his complicated feelings for an older woman, provides a similar motif of confused growth and the pains and regrets of maturity. With an unforgettable acoustic guitar lick and impressive lyricism, it’s no surprise this hit has endured more than 50 years on from its first release. It encapsulates the stress the end of the July dream can bring, but also the myriad of possibilities that accompany August.

“August” – Taylor Swift

Come on, it’s literally in the name.

The biggest artist in the world had to feature on the August playlist and it could only ever be this song. A hit song from Swift’s 2020 album Folklore, “August” details the peaks and pitfalls of young romance, a love triangle and, like other songs on this list, a point of no return in regards to growth in August.

It is likely the song most of you assumed would be on this list and you’d be right. Stream this one all month, because why not?

“The Dog Days Are Over” – Florence & The Machine

Ending the August playlist suggestions is a hit that has been a summer classic since its 2008 release. Florence & The Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over” is the perfect August song. It combines the upbeat, cheerful spirit of summer through its upbeat, positive temp with the accompanying acceptance of growth and the unpredictability of the future that comes with the beginning of the end of each summer. It is an allegory for August in a nutshell.

Stop Motion Summer GIF by Stephanie - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, there are the seven songs you should add to your playlist this August. Some are happy, some are sad, some are mellow, some are fast, but they all have two things in common. One, they are all centered around complexity, subtlety and growth. Secondly and most importantly, however, they are bangers. Add them today!

What songs do you have on your August playlist? Let us know in the comments below!

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