Awesome Soundtrack for Summer 2012!

Songs are as much a part of summer as seashells and shaved ice. The music that marks your sunny season’s main events will evoke sentimental memories for summers yet to come. … so let’s get down to it:

John Mayer, Born and Raised

This album is packed with breezy tracks, each like a breath of fresh air. And it’s something everyone in the fam can agree on while crammed into a tiny hotel room together, so toss it in your suitcase when packing for the summer vacation.

Best time to play: Road trip …

Our fave song: Turn off the car’s A/C, roll down the windows and crank up “Queen of California.”

Beach House, Bloom

Tough to resist including a band called Beach House in a summer roundup, right? Maybe you’ve heard the dreamy “Myth” or “Lazuli,” which get righteous radio rotation. The Baltimore-based band’s Frightened Eyes Tour hits Europe and the U.K. through August before making rounds in the U.S.

Best time to play: Skipping barefoot in the clover

Our fave song: We love “The Hours.”… because time is just an illusion anyway.

Kylie Minogue, The Best of Kylie Minogue

Talk about a CD release pah-tay -- the pop goddess kicked off her greatest hits release a few months back at London’s Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Who doesn’t love “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” a throwback to summer 2001? But really go retro by time-tripping to old-school hits like “The Loco-Motion.”

Best time to play: Pool party!

Our fave song: “Kids” has a beat that’s funky and spunky. …so shake it, monkey!

Justin Bieber, Believe

OK, we know you can’t get “Boyfriend” out of your head. But what we love most about The Bieb’s newest CD are his hookups with Ludacris, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj and Drake. (Just Drake -- not to be confused with former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell, who’s been blasting Bieber with disses on Twitter.)

Best time to play: On roller skates and wearing ear buds

Our fave song: “Catching Feelings” is a softly sweet detour from the fast-paced dance tracks.

The Smashing Pumpkins, Oceania

The Pumpkins have gone through the blender when it comes to band mates, but they’re still going strong. Oceania is high energy that dips into pockets of moodiness. And, heck, a girl can get moody …

Best time to play: It’s 100 degrees outside so you’re staying in your room today.

Our fave song: “I was dead set on making an album where every song was just as valuable as any other, ignoring the claptrap you hear about needing a single,” says Pumpkin-head Billy Corgan. Cool. We still like “Pinwheels” best. (But, um, could do without the annoying intro.)

Cody Simpson, Preview to Paradise

We’ve tried and tried to score an interview with Cody, but no go. Still, he’s cute and gives good pop (and he’s got a cool rainbow-color beach towel on his site’s store). Preview is just a toe-dip into full-on Paradise, out this fall.

Best time to play: On the beach

Our fave song: We love the acoustic-guitar vibe of “Gentleman.”

Eden’s Edge, Eden’s Edge

If you’re a country music fan, you know this plucky trio’s glad-that-other-girl-is-gone-so-I-can-have-him-now anthem, “Amen,” released last year. The band’s full-length summer CD rounds out at 10 songs -- or you can get the extended 13-song special-edition version … only at Cracker Barrel. Now that’s country!

Best time to play: While catching fireflies

Our fave song: Beat the heat with “Skinny Dippin’.”

Photo: Corbis