Florida has long been a beloved vacation spot, inspiring countless songs about it. These nostalgic hits will leave you with a lasting memory of life in the Sunshine State.
This collection of songs about Florida encompasses a range of genres. From pop to rock, there are plenty of songs you can listen to when feeling inspired by Florida.
Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard
Yellowcard have been at the forefront of pop punk for a decade, and have recently announced they’ll be reuniting to celebrate their seminal album Ocean Avenue. To mark this momentous occasion, they are embarking on an extensive US tour this summer in support of an acoustic version of their classic record that includes special guests This Wild Life, Mayday Parade, Story of the Year and Emo Night Brooklyn at some dates!
They began as Florida natives before relocating to California during the aughts. But their major-label debut, Ocean Avenue, still draws inspiration from their hometown. The album’s title track was written about their early days living and practicing in Jacksonville – where the band still calls home today.
In 2003, the quintet’s debut single was “Chances,” which went on to become a big success and featured prominently on shows such as Smallville and One Tree Hill. Featuring Sean Mackin’s violin, it adds an extra touch of class to their sound.
On Yellowcard’s album, Mackin’s violin perfectly complements vocalist Ryan Key’s lyrics, giving them a more sincere and authentic tone than other bands at the time. Although some have compared them to blink-182 and Greenday, Yellowcard have their own distinctive style of writing that sets them apart.
Ocean Avenue’s major-label debut marked a pivotal point in their career, catapulting them into the public spotlight with songs like “Way Away” and “Empty Apartment,” which achieved critical acclaim, peaking at 25 on Billboard’s modern rock charts.
Floridays by Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett’s new album, Floridays, is an array of songs that capture the warmth and tranquility of being at home in tropical Florida. Whether you’re singing along with the band or humming along to lullabies, each line conveys both an escapism quality and Zenlike wisdom that have made him such a worldwide success.
The title track, for instance, tells the tale of an RV trip along Florida’s legendary Highway 1. It showcases clear blue skies and the ocean’s whisper just beyond the fence.
Floridays is Buffett’s third album to be released under his own label (ABC/Dunhill), rather than MCA, and it takes a detour from his previous two records in terms of country crossover appeal. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive record in its own right and worth checking out for fans of Buffett’s soft rock sound.
Floridays marked the last album to feature Buffett’s iconic mustache, before he shaved it off for Hot Water in 1988. Produced by Coral Reefer Band member Michael Utley and mixed by Jay Rifkin, Floridays offers an eclectic blend of pop/rock and Caribbean-tinged soft rock that perfectly encapsulated 1986’s changing musical landscape.
Kokomo by The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are one of America’s most successful bands, having sold millions of singles and albums worldwide. Their sound captures Californian summer culture perfectly and helped shape vocal surf rock music during the 1960s.
Their last US #1 hit came in 1966 with “Good Vibrations,” but the Beach Boys’ first number one since then was “Kokomo,” which follows two lovers as they embark on a trip to a tropical island. It quickly became their most popular song ever and continues to be one of Spotify’s most covered songs with 186 million streams.
Mike Love composed and produced “Beach Boys Frontman Mike Love” with Terry Melcher as executive producer, featuring John Phillips from Mamas and Papas as well as Scott McKenzie – best known for his 1967 hit “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair”).
As part of the movie soundtrack for Cocktail, it reached number one on Billboard Hot 100 – giving the Beach Boys their first number-one single in 22 years and propelling the soundtrack to quadruple platinum sales. Additionally, it earned a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture but lost out to Phil Collins’ “Two Hearts” from Buster.
Critics initially dismissed the song, yet it proved enormously popular for the band – becoming their first US number-one single in two decades and featuring no songs written by Brian Wilson who wrote most of their classic hits while dealing with mental health issues and addictions.
The Florida Song by Ricky Sylvia
Florida is blessed with an array of talented songwriters who adore its culture, landscape and people. Whether they’re singing about beaches or bustling cities, these songs about Florida will likely get stuck in your head and remind you of all of your favorite moments there.
Ricky Sylvia’s “The Florida Song,” is an upbeat tribute to the state of Florida that pays homage to its unique landmarks and culture. With its upbeat melody and encouraging lyrics, this tune will surely become one of your go-tos – its chorus especially will surely get stuck in your head for days!
Owl City’s song, “Swimming in Miami”, is another surreal, atmospheric track that explores various people and places around the world. Although it can be difficult to follow along with its lyrical story, the end result is a beautiful, dreamy track that perfectly fits in with their discography.
“Swimming in Miami” is both a song about Florida and an unnamed character who becomes so fixated on it that they want to relocate there permanently. As they seek refuge from their identity in colder parts of America, he finds solace in its sunshine and decides to relocate there to enjoy all that the state has to offer.
This classic ballad paints a picture of an idyllic getaway to Key Largo. The gentle melody and soothing harmonies create a tranquil atmosphere, while the lyrics offer vivid imagery and memories.
Florida Kilos by Lana Del Rey
Florida Kilos is Lana Del Rey’s first single from her 2014 album Ultraviolence and it was performed for the first time last night at a show in West Palm Beach.
Lana Del Rey is an enigmatic singer with one of modern pop’s most devoted fan bases. Her self-aware persona and melodramatic songs have won her a loyal following, but Lana also challenges the conventions within her genre with her writing.
She began her career with “Video Games,” but quickly moved away from the over-synthesized pop of its predecessor to pursue a more contemplative style of music. On her second LP Ultraviolence, she traded trap drums and hip-hop beats for fiery psych rock guitars on songs that felt more personal than anything before.
Her loyal fans have earned her a reputation as an artist who creates modern pop songs that capture the American spirit. But much of her best work seems to have emerged from within herself – reflecting some of her own inner demons.
Recently, Del Rey revealed her experience growing up in a drug-using family. She admitted having an intense addiction to cocaine and heroin; though this part of her life was difficult, she still holds hope for the future and finds inspiration to create music about important topics.
Florida Rain by Matt Bauer
Florida Rain is Brooklyn indie rocker Matt Bauer’s latest release and one of his more impressive works. Called “Florida Rain,” it features banjo, guitar, strings and vocal voodoo throughout. The ten track album has plenty to offer – especially the title track which should not be missed! Best of all? You don’t even need to leave home for this one – plenty of beers will likely be shared before nightfall! While some of its inhabitants might have some issues to sort out before release day comes around, Florida Rain has plenty of enjoyable moments ahead. Overall this might not be your most impressive year yet but nonetheless: this could easily take you somewhere magical this month!