Summer is not complete without the perfect list of songs for it to go along with. You may just be relaxing at a park with a book, speeding down a road windows down with your friends or even the motivation you need to get you to the end of a workday, there's always a song to accompany this summer. RADmag has compiled a list from our team to share with you our summer favourites.
Amine Feat. Kehlani - Heebiejeebies
A feel-good song that makes you want to have a good time! When it plays I'm instantly put in a good mood, perfect for those summer mornings.
Ella Mai – Lay Up
Ella Mai is a fairly new artist emerging onto to the scene, but has such a beautiful voice. Her music reflects an effortlessly cool R&B feel and this song is a great listen if you’re looking for something chill to vibe out to.
Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)
My mother showed this song to me recently after it came out, over a decade now. This early 2000’s Nelly Furtado hit is the epitome of positivity to me. This song will always bring me back down to earth and is a perfect start to your day this summer with its upbeat rhythm.
Chris Isaac – Wicked Game
Chris Isaac will enchant you with his vocals, and melt you away as the summer comes to an end. I've been listening to this song for a few years and it always seems to be the most emotional in mid to late August.
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Gus Dapperton - Just Snacking
This song is the perfect mellow tune about a sappy long-distance relationship on the rocks. It’s an easy tune to get lost to while strolling in the warm weather to work. The well-produced retro vibes, NY artist Gus Dapperton will have you longing for those summer memories.
Drew Howard & Birthday Boy - Benny & Lil' Ze
These Toronto based guys are definitely ones to check out. In a collaboration that originally was only meant for one song, rapper Drew Howard and producer Birthday Boy created an entire EP to party your summer nights away to their slow and deep R&B beats.
Cocteau Twins - Cherry Coloured Funk
This is probably one of my favourite songs of all time due to the sheer dreaminess of it. One of my most-listened to bands is Beach House, and you can clearly see that they've been influenced and inspired by Cocteau Twins. The vocal harmonies and ethereal guitars get me every time.
Toro Y Moi - New Beat
I remember originally hearing this song in my first year of high school, and it still manages to have the same effect on me now as it did then (which is making me want to get out of my seat and dance). The way the bass takes prominence on this track and moves the whole thing forward is great to me, as well as the quirky synths. Toro Y Moi has tons of other good summer tracks as well, but this one has got to be my personal favourite.
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David Bowie - Sound and Vision
It is no secret that I absolutely adore David Bowie. He is not only the anthem to my summer playlist, but my fall, winter and spring. No matter the mood, setting or phase I seem to be in at the time, Bowie is always a suitable option. My obsession not only lies with his musical talent, but his influence on revolutionizing the concept of gender roles. Unfortunately, majority of my friends do not share the same infatuation with the Brit. So instead of blasting this tune over your speaker for the pre-bar, I suggest taking a shower and singing for all your neighbours to hear, or putting in your headphones and dancing down the street (as I do very embarrassingly on the daily)
DEAN ft. Syd – love
This is my newest go-to upbeat song and is best for summers morning commutes. The beat is super catchy and the voices of both artists go perfectly with each other.
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ – Sick Love
This is one song you want to have in the middle of your roadtrip playlist to chill out to during those long car rides. And the song being by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers', means it'll have the perfect California rock sound you want to set the summer mood.
Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean and Migos – Slide
The once recluse artist who wrote for Beyoncé before himself finally returned to music with a chain of songs perfect for the summertime. On this collaborative Calvin Harris track, his voice hangs coolly over an upbeat melody, competing with its compelling beats. This is one of those perfect summer songs that can be played in any occasion, from lounging on a beach to laying in bed on a hot Sunday morning. Oh, and Billboard just named it the best song of 2017 so far. And is a summer song really complete without the Migos?
Rihanna - Take a Bow
As old as it is, the piano in this song just DOES something to you. Released as a single from her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2008), is a perfect amalgamation of both dance-pop and R&B. It was one of Rih's first bad-girl-I-don't-need-anyone vibes, and it's resonated with me even up until now. Take a Bow is a timeless song that everyone knows, one that you could play around anyone and they'd shiver with nostalgia at the perfection of this throwback track. It may be almost a decade old, but you know what they say about oldies.
A$AP MOB – RAF
I love this song because it sets me into my summer vibe. I see myself listening to it with my friends while going for a swim and enjoying the summer sun.
SZA ft. Travis Scott - Love Galore
This track relaxes me and reminds me to make the most out of summer before school starts up again.
The Zombies - This Will Be Our Year
I've always loved this song - I play it all year long, but to me it really reminds me summer! It's one of those songs that instantly puts a smile on your face and makes you want to play it very, very loudly! Just try and picture yourself in a car with the windows down and This Will Be Our Year at full volume - I can promise that you'll be smiling.
The The - This Is The Day
For me and many others I'm sure, certain songs give you instant flashbacks to moments in your life - this is one of those songs for me. Whenever this song comes on I instantly think of a night out with my sister, filled with dancing and lots and lots of wine. This is also the song that plays during the credits of Empire Records, which I happen to watch pretty much every summer! How could you not want to listen to this song while dancing on a rooftop!?
HAIM - Want You Back
Whenever I think of summer, I always think of HAIM because of their feel-good, make-you-wanna-dance vibes. One of their most recent singles "Want You Back" has easily become the song I will blast in my car all summer long (along with the rest of HAIM's new album when it comes out in July).
Keep You - Wild Belle
"Keep You" is subtly psychedelic and always reminds me of summer nights. More specifically, hanging out with friends and watching the sunset after a long, hot day.
Jahkoy - No Regrets
This song only came out last year but I think the strum of the electric guitar and the constant theme of young love in the lyrics make it the ultimate summer jam. Jahkoy's vocals are as cool as he is, and although it's short, It really is the perfect song for a mid-July, hot summer morning. The best way to kick off your summer days.
Frank Ocean - Strawberry Swing
This Frank Ocean classic is the ultimate: end of summer, driving around with the windows down, sunset, nostalgic, rooftop, watching the sun go down jam. I know that's a lot of things. But this is one of those songs where depending on the mood you're in, you're either smiling ear to ear of balling your eyes out by the end.
M83 - Midnight City
Such a cool song with a really interesting beat to it too! I could picture listening to this on drives down long, country-like roads with the windows rolled down and a hand stretched out of it riding the wind like a wave. Esentially, this is a great road-tripping-with-friends-to-destinations-unknown sort of tune.
Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life
A little more on the nostalgic and slower side, FDOML would be best played on the beach at nighttime; when the sun is just about to set and you're warming up by a campfire with the ones closest to you. Whether your bud's whipped this out on guitar for a group singalong or simply got it whistling through portable speakers, this song always manages to crack open my heart and truly appreciate what's (or who's) around me.
We hope you found a new summer favorite or at least a few more tracks to add to your summer playlist!
Written By: Iain Ailles