The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

No adventure in your van or car is complete without an epic soundtrack to accompany it. We asked Eve Dalton, an avid road tripper and seventies fiend, for her ultimate road trip playlist. She DID NOT disappoint. 

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  1. Ventura Highway – America

Road trips must feature a healthy quota of seventies music in order to be fun and that is a fact. Some might argue that Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers or Dragon’s April Sun in Cuba are the ultimate seventies road trip songs, but Ventura Highway trumps them both with nostalgic lyrics and a wistful harmony.

  1. Fader – The Temper Trap

It was in Tomorrow When The War Began for a reason, people – it slaps. This modern Aussie belter captures that feeling of jumping in the car with some mates and fanging it for the nearest beach.

  1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton

Here’s a fun game to play on the road: put this iconic Dolly Parton song on, and see which of your friends can sing along to every word – I bet it’s the person you least expect.

  1. Twilight Driving – Methyl Ethel

Methyl Ethel are here with a very important reminder for your road trip – watch out for the roos! Sing along if you know it, groove along if you don’t.

  1. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

Look, the plan for your road trip probably isn’t to jump on a motorbike with your lover and thunder out of your hometown in a blaze of glory, never to return. But that doesn’t mean you can’t blast this classic hit from The Boss (off what's undoubtedly his best album) and feel the joy of rebellion and escapism for a few minutes.

  1. Sit Next To Me – Foster the People

This is a cruisey bop that’ll get you grooving and help you loosen up those tense shoulder muscles while you’re driving. Turn up the bass for this one!

  1. Limo Song – Jack River

This banger has a glamorous, effortless coolness about it. Can’t you see yourself cruising through the outback a la Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Jack River blasting? No? That’s probably a good thing, but let me dream for you.

  1. Deeper Water – Paul Kelly

Who doesn’t want to weep along quietly to the Gravy Man in the middle of a long car ride?

  1. Chateau – Angus & Julia Stone

There’s going to be slow, quiet, reflective moments on the road, even if you’ve packed your friend who’s deathly uncomfortable with silence, and Chateau is the perfect tune to enjoy while you lean your head against the window, feel the sun on your face and watch the landscape rush by.

  1. Perfect Places – Lorde

Road trips are for the young, for the carefree. Perfect Places is an ode to youth, and is the perfect opportunity to put the windows down and sing at the top of your lungs with your best mates.

  1. Lido – Boz Scaggs

Everyone knows this song, even if they don’t. This is not a song for the light hearted, either – ONE MORE FOR THE RO-O-O-O-OAAAAD needs to be belted with as much soul as you can muster, so if you know your passengers aren’t up to the task, you might need to save it for a drunken campfire singalong (or find new companions).

  1. Trippin’ the Light Fantastic – Ball Park Music

I had to think long and hard about which BPM song is the best inclusion for this list – they are all balls-to-the-wall bangers – but eventually settled on Trippin’ because of the progression of the song: it starts out slow, it builds, it swells, and then, it drops, perfect for some headbanging action. Special mention also to Exactly How You Are, It’s Nice To Be Alive and their newest, Spark Up.

  1. Slow Mover – Angie McMahon

Slow Mover is upbeat, easy to sing along to, and made up of a simple, solid guitar riff that’s impossible to resist nodding your head along with. Let Angie’s deep, velvety voice be another passenger on your trip – you’ll get along swell.  

  1. Wish You Well – Bernard Fanning

The key to a good road trip song is a feeling of nostalgia. Singing I just want to you wish you well is a refreshing way to take a trip down memory lane and think of anyone who exists in your past – old friends, ex-lovers, people no longer here – without being bummed out by heavy piano chords and melancholy lyrics.

  1. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

Your friends might laugh – mine certainly did – but no road trip is complete without Johnny Cash, and you can take that to the bank.

Words by Eve Dalton.

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