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Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 12: Road trip adventures

By Mihret Amdu Yirgeta, Rodrigo Verney, Sophia Lopez, Namratha Badawadagi, Ava Zardynezhad, Aymen Sherwani, Maggie Hsu, Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Amanda Wilson, Julieanne Acosta, Valery Perez, Malea Nguyen, Vipasha Paul, July 25 2022

Now that summer is finally upon us, it’s the season for road trips! Whether you’re planning a cross-country trip or jaunting over to the next town, the Gauntlet has compiled the perfect vacay playlist for you! 


“Fast Car” by Jonas Blue, Dakota 

It’s right there in the name! I love this song so much, the vocals and the music arrangement just scratch the right place in my brain. Now, the original by Tracy Chapman is iconic but I prefer this version for a road trip because it’s a lot more fast paced and full of life.

“Nobody to Love” by Sigma 

This one is a little bit sad but it has such a haunting quality to it, it feels a little addictive. The background sounds also give me goosebumps. I mostly love this song for the nostalgia of 2014, and it’s fast paced enough that I can imagine myself driving fast down a deserted highway with the windows down. Just me and the open road.

“Changing” by Sigma, Paloma Faith 

Yes, another Sigma song. A song about changes and letting go is bound to be sentimental, but more than the lyrics, the song is just so nice to listen to. Paloma Faith’s vocals are incredibly satisfying to listen to and there’s more of Sigma’s signature haunting background vocals in there. Plus, the lyrics to the song go really well with the changing landscape of a road trip.


“Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts

We have to stop pretending like this isn’t a straight up banger. You look at the empty fields while on that early morning car ride and when your gaze meets where the sky disappears in the horizon you understand why, indeed, life is a highway.

“Young, Wild & Free” by Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Bruno Mars

Gold will always shine. This throwback is simply the best easy-going anthem. For that moment on the trip where your brain pulls that little lever that makes you go, “Oh, we’re really doing this.”


“Head over Feet” by Alanis Morissette

I love Alanis and this song will get you singing at the top of your lungs, which helps block out any annoying highway noise. But it will also make you look in the rearview mirror and tell yourself “Girl, stand up.”

“505” by Arctic Monkeys

While for the first minute you’ll have to crank up the volume in order to hear anything Alex Turner is saying, by the end of the song it’ll be so loud that no one can hear your horrible singing voice. This is perfect for me.

“Glamorous” by Fergie ft. Ludacris

Jack Harlow really thought he’d outdo miss Fergie Ferg with that new song of his. Sadly for him, the original G, L, A, M, O, R, O, U, S will stay winning. This song has me white-girl-dancing, which means it’s worthy of being on a road trip playlist.


“Flash Mountain” by Djo

Djo aka Joe Keery (aka the Internet’s™ boyfriend) has got some sweet chops. This song is the perfect accompaniment to your haphazard driving on the highway, swerving between lanes and trying to look as cool as possible while driving in the old sedan your mom bought for you. 

“Northern Downpour” by Panic! At The Disco

Now I might be reminiscing about my teen angst era, but one of the few artifacts that have survived those rough years is Pretty. Odd., the album on which this song is featured. It’s for those moments where you feel happy and sad at the same time (a-la Kacey Musgraves).

“Culo” by Pitbull, Lil Jon 

I won’t lie, road-trips tend to put me in my feels. When I need to break up my self-pitying inner monologue, Mr. Worldwide does the trick every time. 


“Listen to the Music” by The Doobie Brothers

A road trip is just as much about the way there as it is about the destination. Sometimes, all you have to do is listen to the music, or even better, sing along to it. This is the perfect song for that.

“Take It to the Limit” by Eagles

This song is for the night-time drives. For when it’s dark and everything is quiet — when it’s just you and the road.

“Take me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver 

This song is for the trip back home. No other song hits the spot quite like this one. Roll those windows down, let the summer breeze in and let those country roads take you home.


“You’ll Be In My Heart – From “Tarzan” by Phil Collins 

Phil Collins has a permanent spot on every road trip playlist. Those guitar riffs and vocals have been setting the tone for the summer since the 90s.

“betty” by Taylor Swift 

Firstly, the harmonica intro is tough to not like. It’s rustic, wholesome and reminiscent of the days where you chop your own wood and make campfire soup right before getting rained on.

“This Is Where I Belong – From “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” by Bryan Adams

Who doesn’t think of those drives through the mountain valleys when this song comes on? Passing by wild horses and cows and taking in the fresh pine in the air is everything this song represents.


“Dance the Night Away” by Twice

It’s fun, easy to sing along to and brings a lot of good energy.

“Up Up and Away” by Kid Cudi

Again, it’s rather easy to sing and upbeat.


“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” by Arcade Fire 

All my choices are gonna yell coming-of-age movie and what better way to start than with Arcade Fire. I chose this one because it just yells going on a trip out of the city. If you’ve daydreamed pulling up to your friends house, them getting in your car and you just drive off with no destination in mind, this is the song for you.

“Mountain Sound” by Of Monster and Men

Another song to listen to as you run away from your problems and far from the city.

“Escape Route” by Paramore 

I want to sing this song at full volume, full speed down the highway.


“Ribs” by Lorde 

This songs reminds me of the times that I share with all of my friends, specifically the care-free and childlike nature that exists when we’re together. It’s an unspoken anthem for the homies and comes out every summer!

“Texas Sun” by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges

When I listen to this song I imagine riding through the desert in a convertible with hair flowing through the wind and heading towards the sun! Great vibes all around, warms the soul even on the coldest day.

“Ticket to Ride” by The Beatles 

This song reminds me of the roadtrips my parents and I took to B.C. when I was a kid. We did the eight-hour drive to Kelowna every year to see my grandmother, and throughout the rockies, we didn’t have any music other than The Beatles CD. I would always imagine that I was the girl with the ticket to ride!


“OTW” by Khalid, 6Black, Ty Dolls $ign

Khalid never fails to make the most vibey songs for when you’re driving either on a long road trip or on a night drive.

“Classic” by MKTO

I don’t ever remember learning this song but regardless I will scream the lyrics as loud as I can when it comes on with no shame.


“J Song” by 60 Juno 

My most common roadtrip vibe of choice is always surf rock, granola, mountain adventure vibes. This is THE definition of that. This song comes on in the car and I suddenly become a danger to those around me because I begin to dance so aggressively.

“Strangers Like Me” by Phil Collins 

My spirit of adventure stems from three childhood movies: The Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Disney’s Tarzan. A solid Phil Collins jam is a must. Whoever I’m with has to belt, scream and shout this song or they’ll get kicked out of the vehicle.

“I Need Never Get Old” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats 

Road trips are the best way to lift my spirits. Whenever I get on the road I feel refreshed, moisturized, joyful and rowdy. This song is usually my starter because it sets the happy mood and gives me a good solid first dance.


“Kilby Girl” The Backseat Lovers 

This song reminds me of the little carefree girl inside me that loved adventures — someone that was kind of suppressed over the years from academia. The beat, rhythm, literally everything about this song embodies excitement and adventure to me and was a great a song to have in my road trip playlist to Vancouver!

“Cherry Wine” by Hozier

Hozier’s voice and his guitar strumming are probably two of the most lovely and calming sounds ever. I’d imagine I’m already at my destination in the mountains, watching the sunrise and listening to the birds chirping if Hozier is singing in the background.

“Big Mike’s” by Dijon 

Dijon’s song is a bit of a mix of Hozier and Daniel Caesar, which is such a lovely tune to have in the car as you’re driving along a meadow-like scene. 


“Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift

Taylor created the perfect game-of-chicken summer love anthem. It’s the heart-clenching feeling of falling for someone you can’t fall for, combined with the whirlwind romance of a fleeting summer — the absolute best.

“Slide” by Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, Migos

Calvin Harris is the king of summer bangers and this track is THE banger. It brushes past you like the warm air of summer nights and melts into your skin, credited abundantly to Frank Ocean’s buttery vocals.

“Electric Love” by BØRNS
This song is electric, literally. This alternative artist’s musical abilities are best showcased in this track — made special by it’s nostalgic tinge, mixed with a timeless quality.

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