When there's not a cloud in the sky and the temperature's a sultry 85 degrees, it's hard not to long for a convertible, some great tunes and a long stretch of road winding to the beach.

The kind of day when rolling the windows down and turning the volume up seems absolutely mandatory. Ah, sweet summer. The season of The Beach Boys, The Boss and Tom Petty.

As much as we love the summer classics, the minute our Savannah Stopover Music Festival is over in March, we dive head-first into all the new spring releases, searching for the next great band/album/song to sit side by side with some of our faves.

LISTEN: Click here to listen to a playlist of The MusicFile's top picks for the best of the summer 2013 music scene in Savannah and beyond.

We're partial to the ones that are still under the radar (or not even on the radar) and we keep a heartfelt ear open for new material from our Stopover alumni bands.

The past few months have seen a wealth of great new tunes wafting through our offices, including standout albums from Athens' Phosphorescent, (whose album "Muchacho" is lead contender for our album of the year), Devendra Banhart, Telekinesis, New Orleans' Generationals and Kurt Vile.

Vile's track "KV Crimes" has him channeling some serious Tom Petty, himself. We can't get enough of it.

We've also fallen hard for new tracks from Stopover alums Haerts, Alex Bleeker and The Freaks and Chapel Hill's The Love Language, the latter of which is releasing its first new album in three years this July.

But perhaps the most exciting part of putting together our summer playlist is unearthing those new bands that are just starting to get some much-deserved attention. A few of our favorites are Mikal Cronin, Cayucas, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Max Frost, Wampire and The Delphines.

Last, but certainly not least, is the title track off the forthcoming Stax release "Sound The Alarm" from R&B legend Booker T Jones.

On this cut, Jones teamed up with Mayer Hawthorne, who brought his neo-soul vibe to Forsyth Park on May 31 for the SCAD New Alumni Concert. The show left us wishing Hawthorne would stick to the old school side of soul, so we're mighty grateful for this pairing!

Fire up the grill, inflate the baby pool and let summer begin.

The MusicFile is the Savannah-based blog of MusicFile Productions LLC, the parent company of the Savannah Stopover Music Festival. MusicFile columnists Kayne Lanahan, Peter Robaudo and Selah Delacos contributed to this article.