The Ultimate Waterside Playlist: Music for Maritime Good Times

waterside playlist music getty images
Tom Kelley Archive/Getty Images

As we slowly emerge from the dark cave of winter hibernation, the water (be it beach, pool, lake, or river), is beckoning us to come play, drink refreshing libations, and relax. Using a patent-pending, molecular-level design process, we here at The Manual have created the ideal sun-drenched musical accompaniment for all your hydro-adjacent recreational needs. After basking in the warm glow of some opening downtempo instrumental grooves, this playlist gently builds up to a nice little upbeat beach/pool party. And since we use only the freshest tunes, you can feel confident knowing that whatever shoreline you find yourself on will be sonically soaked in this subaquatic soundtrack. Though always challenging to pick a few apples from the intricately woven basket, some highlights are featured below.

“Poolside Bar” by Bonus Points

Hailing from Wildwood, Missouri, Bonus Points (aka Chris Burkart) is creating hip-hop-based thematic jams at a ferocious pace. Cocktail in hand, Bonus Points delivers the quintessential waterside playlist opener in the form of “Poolside Bar.” Off his 2016 album, Seaside Suite, “Poolside Bar” is a funky, soul-tinged journey that is so well-named one could easily imagine a Mai Tai in hand while saddling up to a submerged bar stool in a massive grotto-style labyrinth of a pool.

“Gooey (Stripped)” by Glass Animals

The original version of this killer downtempo track by England’s Glass Animals is the bomb, but this stripped-down version makes the gooeyness drip with even more sensuality while flowing ever so perfectly down the serpentine river of this mix. Young, inventive, and boundary-pushing, Glass Animals has found a unique sound with which to feature Dave Bayley’s soaring yet laid-back falsetto vocals and offbeat lyrical content.

“Harvest Moon” by Poolside

Not sure if Neil Young, the author and original recording artist of “Harvest Moon” is down with this dreamy, light-hearted, dance-based version of his heartfelt meditation on love, but, damn, we dig it deeply. With a moniker that demands inclusion before the playlist is even created, Poolside is the optimal vehicle with which to chill, hang, and ever-so-gently rock out when poolside. Bonus: The band’s mix “Contact High Mixtape” furthers the argument that Poolside may very well be the most appropriately named band of all time.

“Rising Water” by James Vincent McMorrow

Ireland’s James Vincent McMorrow has tapped into a vibe that feels both super fresh and futuristic yet historic and comforting as he abandons his car a mile from nowhere. Ringing the tempo bell with the most BPM (beats per minute) of any track on the mix, “Rising Water” is an anomaly of churning, old-school soul blended with a straight ahead ’80s pop bass line and McMorrow’s lilting James Blake-esque voice. It reminds us of older songs that evoke a time and a place so specifically that they become part of our culture’s collective chemical makeup.

“The Outcast” by DJ Tennis & PillowTalk

Another song that is included more for vibe than lyrical content/title, “The Outcast” provides a rather innovative dystopian take on where we’re headed as a planet. Lyrics aside, the tune itself has a sweet, whispered percussion track; big, round, beefy bass; and ethereal, otherworldly vocals which float around this wandering mystical sojourn like a hawk hovering over a windswept beach. Deep House superheroes, DJ Tennis (Milan) and PillowTalk (San Francisco), always deliver near perfect songs and sets. It’s excellent to see them combine their efforts to such great ends.

May this mix complement whatever body of water you find yourself beside (real or figurative) and help you leave life’s stresses behind in the parking lot. Salud!

Food & Drink

A Brief History of Oktoberfest and Why You Should Celebrate in 2018

How did a Bavarian wedding in the 1800s turn into the biggest beer celebration in the world?
Outdoors

Oru Unveils First Origami-Style Folding Tandem Kayak

Meet the world's only two-person kayak that fits in the trunk of a Miata.
Culture

How to Throw a Bill Murray-Themed Party for Bill Murray’s Birthday on September 21

Inspired by his most iconic films, we planned a Bill Murray-themed party to honor the comedic legend.
Grooming

Lose the Liquid with the Best-Smelling Solid Colognes

Rub a finger into the pot, dab some of the cologne on pulse points (like the wrist and neck), and enjoy
Food & Drink

Get Folk-ed Up On Bob Dylan’s New Whiskey Line: Heaven’s Door Spirits

Don’t think twice — just accept that Bob freakin’ Dylan is now in the whiskey business.
Music

It’s Good to be Alive: Tunes to Get You Pumped About Life

From stone-cold classics to more obscure modern tracks, this Spotify playlist has been tailored to help you high-five the cosmos.
Food & Drink

Def Leppard’s Got Their Own Beer Now

No foolin’ — you’re going to need more than a photograph of this new brew from Elysian Brewing Company.
Food & Drink

The Best Playlist to Enjoy While Day Drinking

Next time you plan on day drinking, put on this Spotify playlist and ride the wave.
Music

New Music Preview: Kamasi Washington, Neko Case, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

June has plenty of new album releases in store, but there are three particular records coming out this month that we can’t wait to hear.
Music

Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, and just go. Take this mixtape with you.
Food & Drink

Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Summer Barbecue Playlist

Take your cookout from genetically modified slumping to organic, farm-to-table bumping.
Living

What You Need to Create the Ultimate Man Cave for Music Lovers

Immerse yourself in sound and style with these products perfect for your own personal listening room.
Outdoors

Cut the Cord with the Best Wireless Headphones for Running

It's easier to get in the zone with your favorite tunes when you don't have to worry about pesky wires.