Let’s be honest — this Fourth of July season is probably a bust. Besides the fact that celebrating the day Americans “became free” during the nationwide protests for Black Lives Matter seems just the tiniest bit tone deaf, the coronavirus restrictions on large parties will probably put a cap on any backyard ragers for a while. (If that isn’t stopping you from partying, we have other things to worry about.)
But let’s look at the positives. Have you ever truly enjoyed a Fourth of July party? It’s usually four days after the end of Pride, you’re still washing glitter out of places that never should have seen the sun and you’ll probably end the night blacked out on an atrocious beer, sunburned and wondering when the hell you’re going to use an American flag jumpsuit again. Corona has taken a lot of things from us, but missing your Fourth of July party might not be the biggest sacrifice.
For those of us responsible enough to drink at home like adults rather than force an essential worker to serve you a ridiculous COVID cocktail at an outdoor bar, here’s a playlist of some of the best “American” songs that would ruin your party, but are perfect for day drinking alone at home.
“Your Best American Girl,” Mitski
If Mitski doesn’t scream, “I’ve spent four months alone and I wish I had a girlfriend,” then I don’t know what does. For all those girls in red out there, grab a mason jar of wine, lay on your floor like you’re caught in a storm and let the tears flow. For added fun, you can download TikTok to feel young again, strap your phone to your ceiling fan to snap a cool video and then delete it again when your video only gets 14 views.
“American Pie,” Don McLean
In terms of instant dopamine rushes, no song hits me harder and faster than “American Pie.” If you’re bummed about whatever barbeque you’re missing, grab a Natty Light, stand on a table and pretend you’re at a bar that just finished a rousing chorus of “Piano Man” that’s instantly segued into this. I promise it’ll make you feel better.
“New Americana,” Halsey
Okay, okay, some people might try to fight me on this, but I think Halsey gets a bad rap. In spite of that poor mall singing video that gets circulated every six months, we all have to admit there have been at least two summers held together by a group of drunk people screaming “Closer!” at the top of their lungs. If you’re alone on this super weird holiday, why not keep the theme going with a super specific American throwback. Cigarettes…
“I Like America and America Likes Me,” The 1975
The 1975 might not be the first choice for a rager, but it’s probably the ideal band for a day of drinking about the ridiculous circumstances America has once again put us in. Let’s be real — I’m scared of dying hits differently right now.
“America,” West Side Story
I’m gonna be honest, I was running out of songs with America in it. So, just add this to the middle of your playlist and use the time to clear the empty beer cans out of your kitchen.
“Mrs. All American,” 5 Seconds of Summer
Have you ever been laughed out of a party? I have, and I can neither confirm nor deny that it took place after I hopped on the aux with a 5SOS banger. Why, you ask? I’m a zoomer, leave me be. But the biggest joy of drinking alone isn’t the alcohol, it’s blasting the ridiculous song that only you love. So, turn it up and walk my way (so you can wave at me from my window)!
“Democracy,” The Lumineers
If your day drinking involves a lot less beer and a lot more carefully measured glasses of red wine, this might be the jam for you. B-sides are the perfect soundtrack for an introvert who’s having the time of their life in quarantine, or someone who just really loves the Lumineers.
“Fourth of July,” Fall Out Boy
I’m going to be honest, before this article, I forgot Fall Out Boy still made music. But apparently, they’re still here and so are their indiscernible bangers. I had to look up the lyrics to this song 14 times and I’m still not sure if it’s actually about the Fourth of July. But it was great to drink to. Do with that what you will.
“American Hero,” Rainbow Kitten Surprise
I promise you, this is a real band. I’m not lying to you. I’d never, ever, ever lie to you about something so important as drinking. “American Hero” is the perfect mix of indie beats, catchy lyrics and an extremely odd band name that would make your solo party epic. Even better, if you drink every time you hear the word “American,” you’ll black out before you can remember there’s a global pandemic.
“Red Solo Cup,” Toby Keith
If you’re at the point where you’re talking to inanimate objects, this is the bop for you. I have yet to go to a city party that went hard to this song, so staying at home is perfect for this one. All you have to do is follow the instructions: Grab a red Solo cup (or whatever looks like one once you’re drunk), and profess your love in song.
“Bored in the U.S.,” Father John Misty
All solo parties can’t be fun. This song is perfect for trading your wine for a very large martini, sitting on your couch and dreaming of better days. Finished your Netflix queue already? Just play the song again. Everything’s going to be okay, eventually.
“The Next Best American Record,” Lana Del Rey
Let’s take it back, way back, to Lana Del Rey’s extremely unhinged Instagram post, that may or may not have had anything to do with her breakup with her cop boyfriend. It’s been over a month since she decided the best way to survive corona was *checks notes* to lash out against black female artists. Besides the fact that there are more celebs to eat than ever before, a really fun way to celebrate the occasion is to play a torrented version of her song (so she doesn’t get the money) and pretend to be in the same state of mind that led to her outburst. If you live with roommates, make it a game to see who can hit that perfect level of breathiness reading her apology out loud.
“Surfin USA,” Beach Boys
Let’s play another drinking game. Take a shot every time you see an Instagram Story of an acquaintance at a party on Fourth of July, and add an additional shot every time you see someone not wearing a mask. Then, once you wake up from your alcoholic stupor, play this and drink a glass of water every time you hear the word surfin’. You’ll recover in just enough time to publicly shame those friends into staying home.
“Fourth of July,” Sufjan Stevens
As someone who doesn’t celebrate the Fourth of July, I consider the day an annual exercise in reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made in the past, and committing to making the same ones next year. This year, I’ll be drinking at least four gin and tonics, donating to Black Lives Matter organizations and listening to this song. Because if ya’ll don’t stay at home:
We’re all gonna die.
We’re all gonna die.
We’re all gonna die.
Whether you’re spending the Fourth with roommates you were forced to live with, reconnecting with your parents who totally aren’t ashamed of you or celebrating your decision to get your own apartment right before the world ended, there’s no reason to spend this holiday season spreading COVID to everyone you love. So here’s an idea: Instead of heading out to the bars, grab your mask, a drink and listen to some of these songs instead. I promise, someone’s grandparent will thank you.