The Sunset Edition: The Best Songs to Listen to at Sunset
There’s something transcendent about watching live music at sunset. It’s perhaps that mix of one of nature’s most mesmerizing spectacles with the dizzying rush of a truly stunning performance – and the bittersweet knowledge that the day is almost over. Whether you’re on a rooftop terrace, on a festival ground or sitting with the sand between your toes in a beachside bar: nothing beats the soundtrack that closes a long summer day.
Most of my favorite musical memories took place at sunset. There was The National’s set at the Ypisgrock festival in Sicily, where I sat in the courtyard of a medieval castle, bathed in resplendent red and gold beams while Matt Berginer crooned to Light years.
I celebrated my birthday in 2018 at Nos Alive in Lisbon, Portugal, jamming a cover of Rockin’ in the free world with Pearl Jam and Jack White as light rippled across the surface of the Tejo River.
On the roof of a hotel in Ibiza, I sipped cold beer and munched on big green olives to the kaleidoscopic sound of the best club tunes. While closer to home, at Somerset House’s annual summer series – the skies awash in soft pinks and pastel blues – I listened to Laura Mvula’s sublime performance of green garden.
Many artists have also found inspiration in sunsets. Some find it reminds them of loved ones no longer with us, like Frank Ocean with Pink + White. For others, like LA duo Emotional Oranges, it’s a chance to revel in nostalgia for first kisses, beach parties and hazy summer evenings that seemed to last forever.
To celebrate those beautiful memories, I’ve created a sunset song playlist for you and your friends to enjoy. Cheers!
God of sunsets – SEB
Artist LA SEB’s sunny indie-pop makes you want to grab a surfboard and catch some waves. Or, if that’s not your thing, relax on the sand and have a beer with friends. “There’s something beautiful, yet so tragic about sunsets,” he said of his writing. “For a brief moment at the end of the day, the sky brightens brightly while fading into darkness at the same time. I try to capture that feeling whenever I write music.
Pink + White – Frank Ocean
Talk about bittersweet. Frank Ocean’s song is about how sunsets can bring memories to the surface. A singing piano motif sways back and forth; a bass hook meanders as if lost in thought. It’s a song that makes you grateful to be alive, here to witness another circumnavigation of the Earth.
West Coast Love – Emotional Oranges
The perfect song to relax, west coast love is one of the first singles from the enigmatic Californian duo Emotional Oranges. It’s delivered over lush beats, a languid bass groove, and a dreamy vocal: “Can we bring it back to bay when we bounced/To the sound of my favorite band?” »
The Music Takes Me Away – Mr Scruff ft Alison Russell
The sun is setting, but the music takes us higher. This classic from producer Mr Scruff’s 2008 album Ninja Tuna features the powerful voice of British soul singer Alice Russell.
Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
This ironic number from 1966 tells the sad story of an aristocrat who has fallen on hard times. “My girlfriend ran away with my car / And went back to her mother and father”, cries Ray Davies. What else to do but go to the garden and enjoy a sunny afternoon?
One Love – Nas ft Q-Tip
One of the best cuts from probably the greatest debut album of all time, one Love was inspired by the Bob Marley track of the same name. Its sampling of sunny marimba sound clashes with the grain of the lyrics, providing the perfect soundtrack for those deep conversations that last long after the sun goes down.
Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles
On warm electric guitar accents, Harry Styles captures the playfulness of a summer day. The big horns flourish, the evocative visuals — “Strawberries on a summer evenin’ / Baby, you’re the end of June” — and the uplifting chorus make this a must-have sunset jam.
To celebrate sunny days, warmer evenings and share it all with friends, San Miguel is once again hosting their summer bar in London’s quaint Somerset House. With its stunning riverside location and views of the iconic London skyline, Somerset House Terrace Bar with San Miguel is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy an ice-cold beer, delicious tapas and experiences live music at sunset. San Miguel also partners with a number of amazing musical events throughout the summer: during the summer series at Somerset House, you can enjoy a San Miguel while you dance to Black Noon (July 13), indulge in luscious indie at Arlo Parks (July 12), grab some grime on the Ghett Plateau ( July 14), hit the disco with SG Lewis (July 15), party to perfect pop with Carly Rae Jepsen (July 11) and Mabel (July 17), and enjoy the soulful vibes of John Legend (July 16) . To wild nature festival From August 4-7, you can share a sunset beer and enjoy the idyllic setting of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, listening to Years and Years, Jungle and Underworld. While Classic Ibiza you can listen to music from White Isle reimagined by the Urban Soul Orchestra, live singers and top DJs in jaw-dropping majestic surroundings, including Ragley Hall, Warwickshire (July 1 and 2), Weston Park, Shropshire (July 16), Bowood House, Wiltshire, (July 22 and 23), Burghley House, Lincolnshire (July 30) Blickling Estate in Norfolk (August 6) and Hatfield House, Hertfordshire (August 20). To find out more visit @sanmiguel_fr