Birds Of Tokyo fill us in on their favourite summer jams

Birds Of Tokyo
(Image credit: Cybele Malinowski)

Picture this: it's a scorching hot summer's day (or for the Queenslanders among us, any day of the week), you've got the car packed with mates, tinnies and towels, and you're en route to the beach with the stereo cranked as high as it goes. There ain't a cloud in the sky, nor a negative thought in your noggin. You're soaking up the sun and making the most of life – and the tunes! Good goddamn, how the tunes are pumping!

But the ultimate question looms: what are those tunes, exactly? The playlist at hand can make or break the whole day's vibe – you better make sure you've stocked up on the anthems, because all of your mates are keen to get their heads banging and their fists pumping, and they're counting on you to get them there! 

Don't risk sighs and sour looks with your own playlisting skills; you might be the best DJ in the car, but you can't please everyone. Birds Of Tokyo keyboardist Glenn Sarangapany, on the other hand, has spent more time in cars (and vans, and busses, and other vehicles of various configurations) than you, all your mates and all your mates' secret other mates combined – and years of touring have helped him develop a talent for compiling punk, rock and pop hits that nobody on the planet could dare rival.

Before he and the rest of the Birds hit the stage for Coopers' Live, Loud & Local concert series (their show goes down on Sunday, April 11th at the Hotel Rottnest in Perth – tickets are on sale now), Sarangapany shared with Australian Guitar ten of his favourite summer jams. 

Get amongst it!

Dune Rats - "Too Tough Terry"

"Amazing track to start a summer road trip. The video clip is just the best."

Sugarcult - "Bouncing Off The Walls"

"Only discovered the album Start Static a few weeks ago and I haven’t stopped spinning it since. But this early 2000s track is a cracker."

Reel Big Fish - "Beer"

"Long before Dan Andrews, this was the battle call for getting on the tinnies."

Teenage Joans - "Something About Being Sixteen"

"I was late to a meeting because of this song. When I heard it in my car I had to wait another ten minutes for it to be back announced. Love the outro for this track so much."

Weezer - "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To"

"The main thing I wonder is how many band meetings it took before they settled on the name and where the brackets would go for this track. Wouldn’t be a summer playlist without Weezer on it!"

Dropkick Murphys - "Middle Finger"

"My current favourite Dropkick Murphy track. My current favourite 'singalong with mates' track."

The Strokes - "Bad Decisions"

"You can always count on The Strokes to come up with a melody that will be stuck in your head for months."

The Darkness - "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"

"The song structure goes: verse, chorus, guitar solo, verse, chorus, more epic guitar solo, chorus, most epic guitar solo. Do I need to say more?"

Ball Park Music - "Exactly How You Are"

"I have very vivid memories of listening to this song for the first time as I drove along Scarborough Beach. One of the most adorable romantic songs I’ve ever heard."

Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"

"This is the exact advice I wish I could have given to myself as a teenager. Such a cathartic track to throw on and sing with friends."

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…