I initially made this list because January has already been a pretty rough month for basically everyone who lives above Florida with temperatures dropping way below zero degrees. So, I wanted to shed some light on all the cold wind, inches of snow outside your door and just a general lack of heat.
As I went through some of my favorite songs with sun, fire, or heat themes, I realized that the majority of them had a lot of political statements and commentaries. So in the spirit of the up-and-coming Martin Luther King Day, I wanted to bring attention to a few songs with political back stories. People have voices, so if you have something to say, speak up about it like many of the groups on this list do. Below are ten songs to keep you warm for the extended weekend.
1. “People of the Sun” by Rage Against the Machine — The anger that accompanies the funky bass and drums is classic Rage Against The Machine, and this track is no exception. Rage is one of the most out spoken bands that ever existed, and this track is a great example of Rage stepping up for something they believe in, like bringing attention to all of the modern affairs (and historical hardships) that Mexico has faced.
2. “Holidays in the Sun” by The Sex Pistols — This is a great punk song that goes above just the typical anti- class-system and anarchy messages British punks first started singing about. With messages of the hardships in Germany and the Berlin Wall dividing the country into East and West divisions, The Sex Pistols helped bring in the power of the political punk movement carried on strongly throughout the 1980s.
3. “Walkin’ on the Sun” by Smash Mouth — This track also has a great funky bass line and some really jazzy keyboards in it. The song works as a commentary on drug-abuse, giving into fads, and just plain ignorance of the history of culture in America. It’s one of Smash Mouth’s most popular songs, yet the underlying meaning tends to go unnoticed and is really worth listening to lyrically as well as musically.
4. ”Sunburnt Love” by Bangups — Summertime flings and distorted guitars makes this track something to remind you that summer is just around the corner. This song was released in 2009, but the band didn’t gain too much hype until around 2012, making them one of my favorite underrated bands in the industry. Also, it’s just two-guys: drums and guitar/vocals.
5. “Burn Bright” by My Chemical Romance — This track was one of the ten songs released on Conventional Weapons, which means it was initially scratched by MCR for their follow up to The Black Parade. Thankfully, they released this. This is one of my favorite MCR songs of all time. It’s very early 80s New Jersey punk influenced and sheds a new light on a lot of the dark imagery off of their earlier records.
6. “Straight to Hell” by The Clash — Most people nowadays unfortunately will recognize the opening of this track as “Paper Planes” by MIA. It’s not; it’s actually a heavily reggae influenced song The Clash wrote after the effects of the Vietnam War took place on both the Vietnamese and Americans and how each side reacted to it. This is not a cheerful song, but it’s a pretty powerful one.
7. “Set It Off Like Napalm” by Emarosa — Jonny Craig’s vocals are just heart-warming, aren’t they? Also explosions remind me of heat, but it also reminds me of all the other fire motifs and love parallels that pop-up in this pop-rock ballad. Not to mention how provocative the title of this song is. When I first read it, I wanted to hear the track just to know why it has that title. I’m still not entirely sure, but it’s a great listen.
8. “Young Volcanoes” by Fall Out Boy — “Young Volcanoes” is my favorite track off of Save Rock ‘n’ Roll, so it has to be on this list. It is one of the most mellow, yet lyrically clever songs Fall Out Boy has ever released. It’s basically a commentary on what has become of the typical relationships of the modern youth. It’s also incredibly fun to sing along to.
9. “Cities Burning Down” by Howling Bells — Indie rock is so calming, even when the band is writing about cities that are burning. Strange, right? But musically it has a great melody, great engineering and the alluring vocals of frontwoman Juanita Stein. Also, this group is more proof that some of the best music released in the last decade has come from overseas, such as Australia.
10. “Island in the Sun” by Weezer — This is one of the best feel-good songs ever written, until you closely analyze the lyrics. But let’s not do that right now. This song can put you in the mind set of being serenaded on a beautiful island in paradise on a year long vacation, with that perfect someone. It’s melodic; it’s dynamic; it’s tropical. And for bonus points: there’s a Spike Jonze version of the music video with Weezer hugging a bunch of animals.
Natasha Van Duser
Latest posts by Natasha Van Duser (see all)
- Valentine’s Day Playlist: 10 Misleading Love Songs - February 13, 2016
- ALBUM REVIEW: New Years Day ‘EPIDEMIC’ - November 30, 2014
- ALBUM REVIEW: Agree to Disagree ‘If You Think We Suck Now, Just Wait Til We Sell Out’ - July 14, 2014