12 Songs to Get You Through a Phoenix Summer

Categories: Lists

Courtney Pedroza

Some of us over here at New Times are in the middle of our first summer here, and at times the heat can be, well, overbearing. Here are 12 songs that have helped us forget that third digit hanging on the edge of the thermometer, compiled by Mandi Kimes. Click here for a Spotify playlist.

1. "Arizona" - Kings of Leon
I can forgive Kings of Leon for releasing "Use Somebody," because before that atrocity, they released a roots-rock anthem for my home state. Title aside, this song, with its southern flare on the guitar, sounds like driving through the desert. The wailing, explosive melody on the guitar is the sunburst rays hitting your skin as you venture through Squaw Peak. With late-night desert parties and drinks to cool you down, the lyric "Too drunk to remember" might also be a well-known summertime feeling.

2. "Summer Holiday" - Wild Nothing
Wild Nothing has always been my go-to band for road trips. With their dreamy soundscapes and their mumbled singing, it's easy to get lost in the music, but not on the road. This song, in particular, talks about teenagers sneaking out of their houses past curfew to visit their summer flame. Next time you escape on your own summer holiday, take Wild Nothing with you to aurally document the trip.

3. "Tune Out" - The Format
Long live The Format, Arizona's own pop band with long, flippy hair and a notebook full of sad, hopeful lyrics. The classic lyric "I tap the brake while you crack the window / The smell of smoke is making my lungs explode / The 51 is backed up and too slow / Let's tune out by turning on the radio" is one that only a person from Arizona could write (thanks, Nate Ruess). It's been more than 10 years since the release of "Tune Out," and traffic still sucks on the Arizona State Route 51, the heat is still just bearable, and the radio is still our only escape from the unfortunate driving circumstances.

4. "Hot Tonight" - Tokyo Police Club
Tokyo Police Club writes a lot of dance jams, and their new Forcefield album is one catchy pop track after another. This song off the new album describes the typical Arizona evening in summer: HOT. "Hot Tonight" is more of the "big kid" summer jam, with its pounding infectious beat and its outlandish lyrics where David Monks sings about drinking in the park and burning the house down. It's a house party gone wrong.

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BethandMike Heywood
BethandMike Heywood

You guys forgot the song "Arizona" by the scorpions! Look it up on YouTube! You guys will love it. The songs is all about Arizona! I think you guys will agree with the lyrics! Best of all its about "Arizona"! :-)


Gee, No Sidewinders? I know, they were Tucson, but really cactus rock doesn't get much better. How can you not love a lyric that says "It's even hotter up there than here" 


@james8394  I have never heard their music, but thanks for the musical head's up! I will have to check them out now.


@mandi.kimes @james8394 They were early 90's. Johnny D & Mary McCann were on the radio. The bass player got tinnitus and had to quit playing. Everyone else sued them because there were so many bands called "Sidewinders" and they were the first to get signed. "The hiss from the tape deck was only drowned out by the buzz from the wine" I hope you do give them a listen. 

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