Summer is, in my opinion, the time to be making new playlists. And what better way to curate your summer rotation than with some talented Jewish artists? From well known stars like Haim and Doja Cat, to lesser known but equally talented Flora Purim and Micah E. Wood, this playlist spans genres and will help you get through the stickier days ahead.
Check out the songs below, and stream the playlist on Spotify.
1. “Forever” by Haim
It’s not a Jewish playlist without Haim. We’ve been discussing sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim for years now, but their 2013 debut album “Days Are Gone” is still some of my favorite summer nostalgia.
2. “Samba do Carioca” by Flora Purim
2022 Grammy Nominee Flora Purim is a Jewish-Brazilian jazz singer who has been making music since the early ‘60s. Sit back and listen to Purim’s dreamy voice in “Samba do Carioca” and be transported to a (hopefully well air-conditioned) jazz club.
3. “Early Days” by Micah E. Wood
Off of Micah E. Wood’s 2020 album “YOU ARE HERE,” “Early Days” is a light, pop-y and just plain pleasant addition to your summer music rotation.
4. “The Dumb Song” by AJR
Featured in our 2022 18 Jewish Musicians for Your Summer Playlist, indie pop group AJR has had a series of commercial successes. Their 2023 single “Dumb Song” is another hit.
5. “How Long?” by Vampire Weekend
As an early 2000s baby, Vampire Weekend sounds like my family driving with the windows down on a warm, breezy day. Front man Ezra Koenig cements indie rock Vampire Weekend as a quintessentially Jewish band.
6. “Attention” by Doja Cat
Doja Cat’s recently released single “Attention” is the beginning of a new era, veering away from the pop she is known for. The Jewish singer-songwriter has criticized her own pop discography, and seems to be on the cusp of an exciting and darker rap album.
7. “Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly” by Flora Purim
I know what you’re thinking, “another Flora Purim song?” But yes, trust me on this one.
8. “Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)” by Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse
No playlist is complete without Amy (may her memory be a blessing), and Valerie with Mark Ronson is essentially a 2-for-1 on Jewish artists.
9. “Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman” by A-WA
Another sister trio with the last name Haim, the Yemeni and Moroccan Jewish Liron, Tair and Tagel make up A-WA, an up-and-coming Israeli band worth listening to.
10. “Slide Tackle” by Japanese Breakfast
Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast, gained critical acclaim with the release of her 2016 album, “Psychopomp.” While her first two albums dealt with the grief from her mother’s death, Zauner’s 2021 album “Jubilee” strives for joy.
11. “Tell Her – The Song” by Yael Naim
Israeli artist Yael Naim is perhaps best known for her 2007 hit “New Soul.” Her 2019 soundtrack for the indie French film “Mon Bébé ” is also an enjoyable feel good — and mostly wordless — album.
12. “Early Rain” by Ezra Furman
Ezra Furman’s 2020 album isn’t just the soundtrack for the show “Sex Education,” it’s also a delight on its own.
13. “Modern Girls & Old Fashioned Men” by The Strokes, Regina Spektor
Did you know two of The Strokes members are Jewish? Albert Hammond Jr converted early in the band’s career so that Nick Valensi wasn’t the only one. One of my favorite Strokes’ song, “Modern Girls & Old Fashioned Men,” also features Russian-Jew Regina Spektor, and the 2004 collaboration is featured again on The Strokes’s newest album, “The Singles – Volume I,” a re-release of some of the original versions of their classics.
14. “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys are NJBs! Having been born and raised in Brooklyn I obviously had to include a classic, and, in my opinion, “Intergalactic” is one of their best.
15. “Salad” by Blondshell
Sabrina Teitelbaum, aka Blondshell, released her first album in 2023 and is already being called an up-and-coming indie-rock star. “Salad” from her eponymous album even features a light-hearted nod to her Jewish identity.
16. “Mira from Manhattan” by Jacob Derwin
You might recognize Jacob Derwin from season 36 of “Survivor.” Derwin teaches Jewish music in Brooklyn, and while he may be less known for his independent work, “Mira from Manhattan” is a delight.
17. “The Worst is Done” by Weyes Blood
Don’t be misled by her background singing is gospel choirs, Weyes Blood has a Jewish mother! Natalie Laura Mering released “The Worst is Done” on yet another hit album, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” in 2022.
18. “Summer Girl – Bonus Track” by HAIM
I couldn’t resist!