“Every year, I get excited to share my summer playlist because I learn about so many new artists from your replies — it’s an example of how music really can bring us all together,” Obama tweeted this week.
The selections span generations, genres, and even continents. Some artists and authors featured on the lists also boast local academic connections, including singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers, who recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School, and author Hanya Yanagihara, who attended Smith College.
Rogers, who was featured in heavy rotation in the playlist shared by both Michelle Obama and her husband in 2019, with her song, “Burning,” once again reacted to seeing that her new track, “That’s Where I Am,” made the cut this year.
Country artist Maren Morris, whose song, “The Furthest Thing,” was selected, also expressed excitement about being featured, tweeting out a series of exclamation points.
Yascha Mounk, a writer who received his PhD from Harvard University, replied to Obama’s list of current reads by thanking him for the “great honor” of including his book, “The Great Experiment.”
“’The Great Experiment’ was deeply inspired by your political vision — by your ability to name the bad in the world while insisting that our actions can make it a better place,” Mounk tweeted. “I am deeply honored that this book spoke to you.”
Other artists included familiar favorites like Beyoncé and her song “Break My Soul,” and Drake and Rihanna’s track “Too Good” — a bop he’s apparently been unable to get enough of for a few summers now. Bruce Springsteen, who has both a podcast and a book out with the former president, also made this year’s playlist with “Dancing in the Dark.”
Classics like “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis and “I Can’t Get Next to You” by Al Green were also selected.
Obama’s list of books offered an equally diverse range.
“I’ve read a couple of great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far. What have you been reading this summer?” I tweeted.
His picks this year include novels like “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel; “Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks” by Chris Herring (a title Obama picked specifically for “hoops fans”); and “Why We’re Polarized,” a nonfiction selection by New York Times journalist Ezra Klein.
Take a look at what Obama has come up with for this summer:
- “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel
- “Why We’re Polarized” by Ezra Klein
- “The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan
- “A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance” by Hanif Abdurraqib
- “To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara
- “Silverview” by John le Carré
- “Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson
- “The Family Chao” by Lan Samantha Chang
- “Velvet Was the Night” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- “Mouth to Mouth” by Antoine Wilson
- “The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure” by Yascha Mounk
- “The School for Good Mothers” by Jessamine Chan
- “Razorblade Tears” by SA Cosby
- “Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks” by Chris Herring
- “BREAK MY SOUL” by Beyonce
- “Vibe Out” by Tems
- “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” by Harry Styles
- “Mighty Love” by The Spinners
- “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker
- “Energy” by Sampa the Great (ft. Nadeem Din-Gabisi)
- “SAOKO” by Rosalia
- “Split/Whole Time” by Lil Yachty
- “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince
- “That’s Where I Am” by Maggie Rogers
- “I Can’t Get Next to You” by Al Green
- “More Than You Know” by Dr. John
- “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis
- “Last Last” by Burna Boy
- “Persuasive” by Doechii
- “Cherries” by Hope Tala (ft. Aminé)
- “Save Me” by Aretha Franklin
- “Nobody Knows Me” by Lyle Lovett
- “Ojitos Lindos” by Bad Bunny & Bomba Estéreo
- “Pull Up” by Koffee
- “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen
- “Angelica” by Wet Leg
- “When IB on Tha Mic” by Rakim
- “Too Good” by Drake (ft. Rihanna)
- “Spanish Joint” by D’Angelo
- “Do I Move You? — Version II” by Nina Simone
- “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck
- “Finesse” by Pheelz and BNXN fka Buju
- “Bliss” by Amber Mark
- “Found” by Jacob Banks
- “Apple Tree Blues” by Caamp
- “I’ve Been Loving You” by Otis Redding
- “Guantanamera” by Wyclef Jean (ft. Ms. Lauryn Hill, Celia Cruz, and Jeni Fujita)
- “I’m Shakin’” by Jack White
- “I Just Want to Thank You” by Big John Hamilton
- “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim
- “Many Times” by Dijon
- “Better” by The Foreign Exchange (ft. Shana Tucker and Eric Roberson)
- “Tamagotchi” by Omar Apollo
- “The Furthest Thing” by Maren Morris
- “Under Control” by The Internet
- “Die Hard” Kendrick Lamar (ft. Blxst and Amanda Reifer)
- “MAGIC” by Vince Staples and Mustard
- “keep lookin’ up” by Kacey Musgraves
Every year, I get excited to share my summer playlist because I learn about so many new artists from your replies—it’s an example of how music really can bring us all together.
Here’s what I’ve been listening to this summer. What songs would you add? pic.twitter.com/9OgPq0SRy4
—Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 26, 2022
Shannon Larson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.