As soon as you arrive in Santa Barbara, you’ll find yourself wanting to embrace the local vibe here as much as possible. From laidback beach days to beautiful backtrail hiking, this is clearly a beach town that encourages health and happiness above all else. What better way to get yourself into the spirit here than with a playlist that suits the scenery? Here’s our suggestions for 5 songs to add to your SB playlist:
Jack Johnson – Better Together
A Hawaii local and UCSB alumni, Jack Johnson embraces a beach lifestyle and his music follows suit. Laidback, breezy and ultimately feel-good, his songs sound exactly like Santa Barbara. We recommend loading your SB playlist with his hits, because as soon as you arrive, you’ll want to be listening to his melodic voice and soothing guitar to really help you get into the spirit of vacation.
Ben Harper – Diamonds on the Inside
Another local favorite artist and California resident is Ben Harper. Selling out shows at the Santa Barbara Bowl almost every year, his music definitely speaks to the population here. With a sultry and soulful voice, Harper’s songs exude a deep meaning hidden behind a laid back melody. Listen to ‘Diamonds on the Inside’ as you lay in the sand or stroll down State Street.
The Expendables – Bowl for Two
The Expendables are a band that has shown dedication and perseverance can build a lasting success. Originally from Santa Cruz, CA, the group tours coast to coast to spread the Surf/Rock genre throughout the U.S. With a distinct reggae sound, each song will take you straight to the beach in California. For anyone looking to surf and swim while you’re here, listen to this track on the way to get you in the mood.
Slightly Stoopid – Wiseman
Slightly Stoopid has been making albums since the mid 90’s, but their classic California sound that fuses rock, reggae and hip-hop has kept them around and popular even today. With 12 records to date, their sound has definitely evolved, but we recommend tracks from ‘Everything You Need’ and ‘Closer to the Sun’ to really get into the mellow vibe of SB. These sounds will make you smile as you soak up the sun.
The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
We would be remiss not to include some classic sounds for your Santa Barbara playlist, and it doesn’t get more California than The Beach Boys. With the tone of youth but the sound of summer, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ is the perfect, nostalgic song to both put you in vacation mode and allow you to appreciate your surroundings. Whether you’re waking up for a day of sightseeing and activity, or slowly making your way out of bed to hit the beach, ‘Pet Sounds’ will be your go-to album while you’re here.