Steph from Coast Modern, Photo by anna lee media

The out lesbian drummer from Coast Modern shares her tracks of the season.

My summer playlist is the soundscape for my time spent in New York City.

I am currently working on a musical here before returning to Los Angeles. New York City summers are sweltering, humid, and covered in a lazy haze. They don’t age well because, as the summer goes on, the smell of hot garbage builds and builds until your mind starts to forget what fresh air feels like.

It’s a magical time when you may roam around convenience stores you usually would never step into just to be engulfed in air conditioning; a time when the hot, dirty breeze from an arriving subway car is refreshing to you. Most importantly, it is a time when everyone in the city is connected, swimming in the same giant pool of sweat.

That is when I think, “I love this.” I love it because summer in New York City also means rooftop bars, awkwardly tanning in Central Park, taking trips to Jacob Riis Beach, eating ice cream wherever and whenever, getting caught in the rain, and being sweaty. I know the last one seems weird, but I like being sweaty. I’m usually sweaty as a drummer, so maybe I’ve subconsciously embraced it?

Rehearsing in the summer also yields an extra sense of accomplishment because of all the sweat. Sweat makes an ice-cold beer even sweeter. It makes showering more luxurious. It makes clean clothes feel that much cleaner. Okay, maybe I am just romanticizing sweat, but it plays a vital role in this playlist because that could be the one-word definition for a New York City summer—sweat. I am always on the go when I am in town, so I listen to this list with headphones on while either walking or riding the subway. It helps me slow down and puts me into a slightly more relaxed headspace when surrounded by people at rush hour on the train. I also listen to this list when I travel back to LA, representing Coast Modern, sunny beaches, dry heat and my music studio—all things that I love.

Warning: As you listen to this list, you may start to smell hot garbage. Do not be alarmed. It will pass, and you can enjoy the rest of your summer.

Fave Summer Tracks:

“Boyfriend” – Marika Hackman
New obsession. This song sinks me even deeper into those lazy, hot summer days.

“Issues” -Julia Michaels
This song is so simple and so beautiful. I am a huge fan of Julia Michaels, her writing is incredible. I may have listened to this on repeat for hours in the car on tour…may have.

“Runaway” – Allison Weiss
I love this is track, and of course, Allison Weiss. This is the perfect song for a summer escape!

“Before” – Wye Oak
I’m so late to the Wye Oak party, but I’m so glad I made it. This song tugs at my heart strings and is the quintessential back drop for summer romance. I’m a sucker for sadness!

“Get It Together” – Drake ft. Black Coffee and Jorja Smith
Yes. Yes. Yes.