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We’re a few days removed from the summer solstice, a time when us northern hemispherians celebrate the sun, the onset of summer, and all things ray-related. In case it’s not obvious, summer and sun are kind of our favorites around here (no offense to the other seasons, or clouds, or rain…we love you too, just differently, and less).

On top of that, there’s only a few days left until National Sunglasses Day (surprise, surprise—we observe that one around here), so to get in the right mood we put together a bangin’ set of sun-related tunes for the world to enjoy. Grab your portable speaker, slap on some SPF-something, and go find your way to the play button while you soak up some sunshine!


The Animals with “House Of The Rising Sun”

This song has been called the “first folk-rock hit” for good reason. Seriously, is there a more instantly recognizable opening riff out there (we’re not talking about Beethoven’s 5th here, come on, let’s stick to answers from the past 100 years)? Sweet Child O’ Mine? Alright, fine, well House Of The Rising Sun is at least in the top 10, and that’s good enough for us.

Katrina & The Waves with “Walking On Sunshine”

Ironically, this music video features zero total seconds of sunshine. It was filmed in the UK, though, so that must have been what they were expecting.

Ramones with “California Sun”

San Diego has, on average, 266 days of sunshine per year (although it certainly feels like more than that). The US average is only 205. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out why people like living here so much (we can talk about rent later, just let us have this one please).


The Beatles with “Here Comes The Sun”

Ever heard the terms “May Gray” or “June Gloom?” If you live in San Diego, you certainly have. How about “marine layer?” That’s another one people like to throw out there to explain cloudy or foggy conditions, especially in the morning. But what exactly is a “marine layer?” In simple terms (we’re not meteorologists and won’t pretend to be), a marine layer is a layer of cool, moist air that hovers above the ocean—and sometimes slightly inland— that is trapped under a layer of warmer air. When there is high enough humidity and cool enough temperatures (eg. typical oceanside nighttime conditions), a layer of fog forms and hangs around all morning until the sun warms the fog up enough to evaporate. For more info and a few fun little science-y graphs, check out this article on the marine layer!


Bill Withers with “Ain’t No Sunshine”

Rain got you stuck inside watching movies all day? Even sun lovers like us can admit that’s not a half-bad way to spend your time every now and then. Don’t let the screen time mess with your eyes, though—snag a pair of Blue Light Blockers here and snuggle up in style!


Weezer with “Island In The Sun”

If you’ve been around long enough, you know full well that we’re big Weezer fans over here at Knockaround. Our crowning achievement of Weezer fandom so far? Probably the collab we did with them back when they released their Black Album. Did you expect us not to talk about that whenever we get the chance?


Violent Femmes with “Blister In The Sun”

Spend a little too much time in the “island in the sun” zone and you’ll find yourself in the dreaded “blister in the sun” zone. It’s a fine line. Best to go find that aloe juice your buddy keeps raving about. Apply gingerly.


Stevie Wonder with “Happier Than The Morning Sun”

It’s kind of impossible not to feel an automatic +5 in the positivity column when you wake up and it’s already sunny out. Extra points if you get up before the sun rises and catch a view of the sky.


Sheryl Crow with “Soak Up The Sun”

Hey kids, friendly reminder that wearing sunscreen is COOL! Don’t act like those kooks in the ‘60s who lathered up with cooking oil and then held literal mirrors in front of their faces hoping to catch more rays than a solar panel.

Soaking up the sun is what we’re all about down here in SD, and we’re darn good at it too. We just like it most when people do it safely.


Gordon Lightfoot with “Sundown”

Come sundown, a special thing happens in San Diego. If you’re from out of town, you might find it strange, peaceful, inefficient, or some blend of all three. People just stop. They pause what they’re doing, they turn to face the west, and they soak in the last drops of sunshine the day has to offer. In fact, many plan their evenings around it. The reverence for sunset in this great city is unrivaled, and it’s certainly not going to change any time soon.


Bonus: Raffi with “Mr. Sun”

Of course the sun is the driving force behind one of the most beloved children's songs of all time. It’s also the driving force behind Knockaround. Heck, it’s the driving force behind everything humans do if you think about it! We love you, Mr. Golden Sun!

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