Songs to Accompany a Dreamy Summer Dinner Party

John Cale, Sharon Van Etten, Donavon Smallwood and other creative types make suggestions for an eclectic playlist sure to help set a festive mood.

By Daniel Wagner

When creating a playlist for a dinner party, it can be useful to think ahead and imagine the end of the night — should things conclude with whiskey and delayed goodbyes on the couch or with dancing into the wee hours? Because music, after all, can not only set the tone but also help determine the entire trajectory of an evening. Where to begin, though? Curating the perfect lineup can feel like a daunting task, and even music obsessives can fall into ruts and benefit from others offering up song suggestions. Recently, we asked a range of artists, musicians and other creative types to do just that, and to share a few tips on putting your selections together.

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