Now there are few things in life better than driving on a nice warm day, window open a crack, nice breeze blowing in and (importantly) being on your own for it. Even though my commute is directly into the sun in the morning and likewise on the way home and ordering prescription sunglasses has moved to the “how I save money” side of the list, I don’t mind. The unusual feeling of sunny wellbeing outweighs the squinting, occasional blind spots and blurry yellow blobs in my vision. Driving into the sun has the effect of making you feel that a bright future awaits, that you’re somehow driving to a golden place (Thurles or Limerick?). It makes you feel like you’re in an advertisement for real butter and it’s reeaalll tasty.
So like any person living in Ireland, I take these uncommon bouts of sunny weather very seriously indeed. If you don’t have a plan for squeezing every last moment out of those two days of sun then you’re going to miss your Summer! Whilst half of Limerick heads for Kilkee or breaks out that old encrusted bottle of Factor 50 and lies out on the cracked patio, I head upstairs and go searching for my good vibe, sunny music CDs, lob them in the car and get driving with the windows down.
So if you have to go to work on a nice day, some of the following might help you get there whilst maintaing that sunny disposition.
Blue Oyster Cult’s “Mirrors” album has always represented a difficulty for their fans. Known rightly as a band that makes “thinking man’s heavy metal”, this album has a light, breezy, west-coast vibe to it, unlike their darker, denser material. The bright guitar, keyboards and female backing vocals of Dr. Music, Moon Crazy and The Great Sun Jester put one in the mood for shorts and flip-flops rather than studded leather pants and biker boots. The outstanding In Thee with its soaring guitar solo and poignant lyric represents what’s always been great about Blue Oyster Cult – they’re good for any weather! We’ll keep Tyranny and Mutation for the Winter and we’ll break out Mirrors for these sunny days.
Next up on my sunny-day-drive list has to be the mighty “The Return of the Space Cowboy” from Jamiroquai. This has the best feel-good song of them all – “Stillness in Time“. The original video has them larking about on the beach so somebody somewhere knew that this song was meant for the sun. The great, effortless vocals of JK along with a flute solo and more girly backing vocals will make you want to drive past work and keep going.
And finally, for those of us with the benefit of a long commute, I must introduce you to the wonderful world of Transatlantic. A progressive rock “supergroup” that gives you equal measures of stellar musicianship, jaw dropping audacity, spiritual lyrics and heart-stopping musical moments. All of which can be found in one track on their debut album “SMPTe”. Aptly named “All of the Above“, it’s a half-hour of intertwining parts that always has me hitting replay so my hour-long commute is generally taken over by two runs through this opus. The production is perfection, the music is ridiculously good and I promise you will not notice the time pass by – surely the point of music on a sunny day commute 🙂