Songs About California By Artists Who Aren’t From There


There is currently, and always has been, a huge amount of great music that comes out of California, from the folk and psychedelic rock out of The Bay in the '60s and the birth of gangsta rap in L.A. in the late '80s all the way up to the current multitude of genres and styles that bubble up from the region today. The musical influence of the Golden State, however, reaches far beyond just the people who live there, and has provided inspiration for musicians from rainy Britain to chilly Canada to bustling New York.

All these songs attempt to capture something of the spirit of California, whether that's the warm weather, beautiful scenery, or great weed. So, if you're stuck in icy New York, or somewhere equally lacking in sun and good vibes, here are ten of the best songs about California by artists who aren't from there, along with GIFs of how they'll make you feel. Because really, who can express emotions without GIFs these days?


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  • Devon Bristol Shaw

    What, no ‘California Sun’ by The Dictators or later the Ramones?!

  • Kris Michael

    Awesome article. But Joanna Newsom is from California. She grew up in Nevada City, about an hour outside of Sacramento. I know this because that’s where I met her in high school.

  • Constant Gardner

    Well damn, I saw that she was from Nevada City and (as a poor, confused Englishman) thought that was in Nevada not California. Thanks for pointing out!

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