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Hammock Jams: Party In Your Backyard

There are many ways to measure a party's success, from the number of guests to the lateness of its conclusion, but nothing beats a small, good-natured backyard gathering. With a small cadre of smack-talking friends, a sizzling grill and a deck table buckling under the weight of empty beer bottles, a low-key backyard party combines the rush of socializing with the comfort of home.

These five songs provide the perfect accompaniment to that comfort; each exudes some form of contentment, whether in the form of a well-placed string section or words that set a happy scene. The next time you gather up some close friends — or, better yet, load yourself into a hammock with a loved one while keeping a pitcher of iced tea within arm's reach — let these songs set the tone.

For more entries in this summer's weekly It's Time to Party: Summer Songs series, click here.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)