By Doyle Irvin, American Forests

“Doyle, I need you to make me a playlist for the first day of summer,” Chris Horn, our Director of Communications, told me almost two weeks ago.

Me during summer.

“But, Chris,” I began, confused. “You know I’m a winter. I don’t listen to summer music.”

“That’s why you’re the one who needs to do it,” he responded. “It will be a journey of self-discovery.”

So I started it with “I’m on Fire” by the Boss, followed by “Every Minute” and “Stuck In The Middle With You” — all three represent how summer makes me feel.

Jokes aside, what follows is vetted and verified as a legitimately chill picnic-worthy playlist, featuring repurposed classics to newer breakouts, The Beatles and The Beach Boys to Bela Fleck and a group called Ghetto Blaster Ltd., who somehow turned “November Rain” by Guns ‘N’ Roses into a dub groove lullaby.

If you’re saying, “Doyle, none of that sounds either legitimately chill or picnicky,” well, you have a point: Boy bands and banjoists aren’t usually what I pair with baguettes and brie. That being said, I did my market research, passing the playlist in front of three different people who spend far too much time in swimwear. They approve.So next time you head to your favorite park with a basket full of surprises, follow us on Spotify and bring American Forests along with you. We guarantee a good time!