Summer Soundscapes: The Ultimate Garden Party Playlists

If music is indeed the soundtrack of our lives, then choosing just the right song mix to set the tone of any gathering is crucial. Create a mood your guests will feel fully immersed in when you host your next summer garden party, no matter what theme or time of day you go with. Here, some ready to stream or download playlists that are ideal summer soundscapes.

Create a backyard retro-oasis with TIDAL’s Summer Bossa Garden Hygge. Think 1960s samba-sounds and sexy bossa nova beats, from artists like Quincy Jones (Desafinado), Astrud Gilberto (with her signature breathy voice in Água de Beber), Dean Martin (Cha Cha Cha d’Amour) and more. Serve classic freshly shaken cocktails like the Sidecar, Mint Julep, or the Gimlet. Nibbles? Sophisticated bites that pair with these retro-drinkee-poos to consider are cheese straws, crudité, and shrimp cocktail. Don Draper would approve.


Who says a garden party can’t have a down to earth, country-style? Gather the gang around the flames of the fire pit while you all kick back with something to sip from rock glasses on a summer night. Classic Country Drive on Spotify or Country Cookout with multi-Grammy-winning Chris Stapleton; a great mix of country music’s coolest artists of old and new, including Luke Combs, Beyoncé and more. Oh, and back to that sipper in a rock glass? Serve up Chris Stapleton’s newly launched Traveller Whiskey, was just a matter of time before he joined the ranks of celebrity spirits partnerships.

Photo Credit: Randy Fath Unsplash

Life with John Mayer on SiriusXM is such an eclectic mix of great music, you can’t go wrong playing it, knowing there will be something for everyone to love. Every time I put it on at home or in my car, I say out loud, “how did John Mayer steal ALL my music?” Expect a real cross section of musical genres that changes throughout the day. So, if you’re hosting an afternoon croquet game, the music will suit. Happy hour rosé catch up with friends? Same thing, the music changes for each time of the day and week.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Chance Unsplash

For a girls-garden-gathering, how perfect is CBC’s Women Who Have Changed Music playlist? Female artists who have bucked the trends, done the unexpected and smashed that glass ceiling like Bjork, Nina Simone, Jessie Reyez, and Joni Mitchell are featured. Keep it local and serve BC wine, cheese, farmers market fresh fruit and bask in summery sunshine and good conversation. 

Summer Hits of the 80s is on Spotify and is the perfect summer playlist for your garden dance party. Like any good party, it will start innocently with cocktails and chit chat, and then without planning, tables are pushed aside for spontaneous moves to be made. Only you as host knew this was coming, and you’re prepared with this playlist. Artists like Bananarama (if you don’t dance to Cruel Summer now, when do you?), Wham, Madonna, Fine Young Cannibals and many more mix it up here. Rocker-types will appreciate the variety here, this playlist is not just dance music, so expect some happy guests when John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and Heart blast from your speakers too.