It’s that time of year again: fireworks, barbecues and a whole lot of liquids. Although the Fourth of July may not be the most popular holiday among the scene, there’s nothing wrong with an excuse to soak up the sun and enjoy some summer activities.
If you can possibly wrestle the aux cord from your Toby Keith-loving uncle, here are 15 songs to celebrate your freedom.
1. The Maine – “American Candy”
Following Forever Halloween, the Maine have focused on maintaining a stylistic balance of emotive pop and alternative rock, incorporating just enough bright hooks and earnest lyrics that show their maturation. The title track from American Candy seemingly conveys a dark underlying message, but the saccharine melodies make the song an infectious pop-rock jam.
2. Tiny Moving Parts – “Fourth Of July”
Emo math rockers Tiny Moving Parts stir the lonely hearts of hopeless romantics in “Fourth Of July,” depicting the picture-perfect scenario of young love. With forlorn vocals and sparkling chords capturing the wistfulness, this song is the optimal track for sitting back and enjoying the fireworks by yourself, looking back at the good times.
3. Beartooth – “Keep Your American Dream”
A year after releasing their EP, Beartooth took it up a notch on their groundbreaking debut, Disgusting, rising to the top of the scene with Caleb Shomo’s creative vision. With an infectious chorus and hardcore-influenced riffs, it’s a song to put on and throw down during the holiday.
4. Waterparks – “Made In America”
You can’t go wrong with Waterparks in the July heat, but “Made In America” makes for a different kind of patriotic song. Keeping the band’s lighthearted vibe with a pointed message on social strife, the band give some food for thought for your holiday barbecue menu.
5. The 1975 – “She’s American”
Even British bands can contribute to your Fourth, and the 1975 have their own cheeky view on American girls in “She’s American.” The band take you through a checklist on how to spot a girl from across the pond and warns against getting caught up in the novelty of a foreign love story. Maybe it’s not a relevant issue for those celebrating, but this ’80s-inspired jam is worth a listen.
6. Green Day – “American Idiot”
A counterculture rallying cry, Green Day have a punk-rock anthem for those who choose not to celebrate Independence Day. Boasting one of the catchiest hooks of all time, the trio look to expand your mind through ultra-quick chords and a biting message of revolution. If nothing else, it’s a rocking classic that fits into any playlist.
7. 5 Seconds Of Summer – “Mrs All American”
Putting in their own two cents from down under, 5 Seconds Of Summer obviously have quite a different view on America than the 1975. A love song about an international romantic interest, 5SOS bop along with a carefree attitude and the classic charm. Basically, everything we’ve come to expect from one of summer’s favorite bands.
8. Taking Back Sunday – “New American Classic”
If you’re looking to sit back and relax on your day off, Taking Back Sunday have you covered. While it might not be party-playlist appropriate, the soft acoustic strums of “New American Classic” are perfect for anyone who prefers to fly solo on the Fourth.
9. This Century – “American Girls”
With warm voices and sunny vibes, This Century continue the theme of USA love stories with a hometown perspective on “American Girls.” As evidenced by prior entries on this list, musicians don’t seem to have much luck with girls from the States. Nonetheless, the band provide another sun-soaked jam for the poolside.
10. Silverstein – “American Dream”
Silverstein share the definition of their own “American Dream” for the lonely hearts on the Fourth of July. An influential message, striking chords and a belting chorus make for a melancholic, high-quality track.
11. Alkaline Trio – “The American Scream”
Telling the somber story of a soldier returning from war, Alkaline Trio offer a deceptively upbeat entry with “The American Scream.” Making a strong political statement through a classic punk sound, this AK3 track ensures that the meaning behind the holiday isn’t lost amid the festivities.
12. Fall Out Boy – “Fourth Of July”
Arguably the best entry for a fireworks display soundtrack, Fall Out Boy cut through the darkness with their triumphant heartbreak track, fitting named “Fourth Of July.” Hefty synths and booming basslines are all tied together by an explosive chorus that could outshine any airborne explosive.
13. Descendents – “Who We Are”
Taking a different approach to social outcry, Descendents zero in on divisiveness with their anti-establishment anthem, “Who We Are.” Taking some not-so-subtle shots at public officials and bigots alike, the punk icons flaunt their national pride for the modern American through gritty, hard-rock melodies.
14. Sleep On It – “Fireworks” (feat. Derek DiScanio)
Sleep On It ride a wave of heavy pop-punk chords and crushing breakdowns in their meteoric symphony, “Fireworks.” Pop punk is essential to any summer day, but the band’s soaring chorus and vocal assistance from State Champs’ Derek DiScanio make this one all the more memorable.
15. Anti-Flag – “American Attraction”
The ever-politically charged Anti-Flag make their opinions known on American culture with “American Attraction.” Skirting the line between a love song and an anarchy anthem, the band scream through the frustration of corruption with venomous intent.
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