The Ultimate USA Road Trip Playlist

18 December 2017

You're planning a road trip through the USA with no a plan of where you’re going and how to get there. Take your adventure to the next level by adding a rocking soundtrack, a playlist to remind you of your great American road trip! Here is our playlist suggestion.

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Of course, we have to start with one of the most iconic Springsteen tracks to ever be released, this is the song to kick off your American road trip. Born in the USA ss an American classic, much like many of Springsteen's hits, and if you can only pick one of his songs for your playlist, this has to be it.

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

While Miley might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this song is a great addition to an American road trip playlist, and the track’s funky non-stop-pop beats will surely get you revved up for the kilometres of fun that lie ahead.

Hotel California – The Eagles

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in your hair”… sing along, play air guitar and rock out to one of The Eagles’ greatest hits. Another American anthem of sorts, this song deserves a spot on your road trip playlist, not only because of how famous it is, but also because of how many important and interesting conversations it has inspired since its release.

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynrd

Press play on Sweet Home Alabama and just try and resist the urge to sing along, we dare you. It’s almost impossible to pop this track on a playlist and not belt out the chorus whenever it comes on, and on that merit alone it deserves to be on the ultimate USA road trip playlist.

Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire

Keep the Car Running is so easy to get caught up in and is just one of those songs that gets your head bobbing and foot tapping. This song has been likened to prime-era Springsteen, and band members even performed it with Springsteen at one of his stadium gigs.

Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

One of the most feel-good songs on this list, Home tells the story of a stunning little romance and all those “little moments” between a couple that are hard to describe. Whether you’re road-tripping with a partner or just friends, this song will leave you smiling from ear to ear, crooning “Home is wherever I’m with you”.

Feel it Still – Portugal. The Man

Characterised as “Psychedelic Rock”, this is such a feel good song. You’ve probably heard it on repeat on all the best radio stations, and before you know it you’ll be reciting the chorus as though you wrote the song yourself… it’s that catchy!

Fast Car – Jonas Blue ft. Dakota

We all know nothing beats the original, and being one of the most covered songs in history, Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car is no exception—few covers come close to the exceptional story Chapman gave us in 1988, but Jonas Blue’s cover offers a more optimistic approach in terms of the instrumentals and is a little more vibey as far as road trip playlists go (maybe queue up the original when your trip comes to an end).

American Pie – Don McLean

American Pie is one of those long anthem-like songs that seem to melt the kilometres away as you belt it out. Closing in on ten minutes long, it’s a song few people will be able to resist singing along to, and it serves as the perfect backtrack to just about any stretch of road.

Kids – MGMT

You know this song. You’ve heard it on movie soundtracks, in the background of video games, or being played to no-end on the radio at some point. #46 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of the 2000s, this track is a feel-good sing-along that really does bring about a sense of nostalgia, reminding us of the simpler times that come with being a child.

UpTown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

“Too hot, hot damn”, you don’t have to be a fan of funk or boogie genres to appreciate this gem. When Mars smoothly delivers the line “Uptown funk gon’ give it to you”, he could be referring to one of the most memorable songs to add to your road trip playlist.

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

How is it even possible to pick one Red Hot Chili Pepper song when they’ve got so many replayable tracks? Well, Californication takes that honour because lead singer Anthony Kiedis has even suggested it’s one of the best songs he’s ever written as far as lyrics go, and the song itself is so popular that it’s the band’s third most performed song, landing up in almost every setlist.

Wake Me Up – Aviici

Perhaps a fitting song to end of a road trip, Wake Me Up suggests growing from experiences “Wake me up when it’s all over/ When I’m wiser and I’m older” is exactly the lyric to end off your road trip with, because even if you can’t say you’re walking away feeling anymore grown-up after your trip, you will surely have some brilliant experiences to reminisce over one day, and perhaps even realise you’ve grown from them.

Here are some other hits to queue up as you take on the open road:

  •     See You Again – Wiz Khalifa, Chralie Puth
  •     Hello – Adele
  •     Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns n' Roses
  •     Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna
  •     Carry on my Wayward Son – Kansas
  •     Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
  •     I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  •     Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  •     Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
  •     (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew
  •     Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
  •     Dog Days are Over – Florence + the Machine
  •     California Girls – Katy perry ft Snoop Dog
  •     Welcome to New York – Taylor Swift
  •     Holiday – Vampire Weekend