Finding songs to add to your summer playlist every year comes with a lot of pressure. While you have to match the vibe of every pool party, road trip or beach bonfire, it’s hard to pick only a certain amount when so many hot hits get released every year. Sometimes you need to rely on the ones that never go out of style and make everyone happy.
For all of you that are looking for timeless tracks to add to your summer playlist every year, here’s a list of songs that won’t disappoint:
1. “Slide” by Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean
Even though this single first hit the radio in 2017, it never fails to liven up a party, car ride or a bedroom jam session. The collaboration between Frank Ocean, Migos and Calvin Harris seemed unexpected, but it undoubtedly created one of the most iconic songs of any summer. “Slide” perfectly encapsulates the freeing nature of summer and how many see it as a time to act upon things with no strings attached, hence the slang word “slide” being the main focus of the song itself. Nonetheless, this song never fails to get your head nodding.
2. “Circles” by Post Malone
Post Malone consistently proves that he’s expert at making songs with a joyful melody and not-so-joyful lyrics, yet you can’t help but sing along. “Circles” is no exception to that. Matter of fact, I would argue that “Circles” is the best song to play on a summer night drive, windows down, volume up and all the wind blowing in your hair. Though the song is about an indecisive relationship (which some of you may be able to relate to in the meantime), it’s still a mandatory addition to your summer playlist.
3. “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift
The title of this song couldn’t be any more summer-forward. Nonetheless, what better way to fully engulf “Cruel Summer” than during the summer? Especially for those who watched “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series, you will definitely find yourself familiar with the themes Ms. Swift portrays with this track. Love is not always pretty on all fronts. If you have that yearning feeling with someone who isn’t the best decision, cope by screaming this (with your friends or by yourself) in the car. Sometimes the summer is chaotic and cruel.
4. “Up Up & Away” by Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi’s discography holds several “song of the summer” contenders like “Pursuit of Happiness” or “Day N’ Night.” However, I will forever advocate for “Up Up & Away” as Kid Cudi’s best summer track. The song reminds you to not care about what others think of you, and to do what makes you feel happy at the end of the day. This repeats throughout with the lyric “I’ll be up up and away, up up and away / Cause they gon’ judge me anyway, so whatever.” He’s absolutely right! If you’re looking to add a track that is as catchy as it is liberating, this should definitely stand near the top of your list.
5. “Stay Next To Me” by Quinn XCII ft. Chelsea Cutler
Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler have a long history of collaborating to create absolute bangers, “Stay Next To Me” being one of them. The song’s danceable pop melody and easy to sing lyrics make this a must-add to your playlist. “Stay Next To Me” embodies the feeling of the song playing in the credits scene of a coming-of-age movie or a teenage romcom. It definitely fits the summertime feeling. It’s also a great tune to play at the beach or at a bonfire with your friends!
6. “Skyline” by Khalid
“Skyline,” the beginning of Khalid’s movement towards dance-pop and nu-disco sound, diverts from the mellow synth-pop beats of his first two albums. This funky track is perfect to get down to on the dancefloor or sing to for your epic bedroom concert. “Skyline” shows themes of love and happiness that are so overwhelming that Khalid wants to run away with it. If you feel the same way, I suggest listening to this song.
7. “buzz cut” by lovelytheband
Bands like lovelytheband truly carry the romanticization of summer. In their song “buzz cut” they tell a story of the protagonist falling in love again looking past their past mistakes (like a buzz cut). It carries the same carefree attitude as some of the other songs on this list, allowing the protagonist to love someone without doubts or being wary of any possible red flags. And sometimes it’s better not to take things so seriously! Live without worry (even if you don’t regret your buzz cut haircut).
8. “Rollercoaster” by Bleachers
Bleachers and their upbeat frontman, Jack Antonoff, captures the feeling of fun and spontaneity of summer with their song “Rollercoaster.” As some of you may have guessed, the track tells the story of the rollercoaster side of a relationship— encouraging the recklessness and impulsivity that some may experience. It pays homage to an idol of Antonoff’s, Bruce Springstein, with the instrumentals and vocal runs of the song. Nonetheless, it’s the ideal song to shake your hair out to and go crazy with.
9. “Me & You Together Song” by The 1975
The 1975 have several songs that offer the feel-good sound associated with summer, but none of them come close to “Me & You Together Song.” It’s about unrequited love for a female friend, which some may empathize with as well. The lyrics explore the different stages of this love and friendship, covering the different awkward feelings one may encounter during this process. However, it definitely serves as a dopamine-booster that’s super fun to sing in the car. Add it to your playlist for the good vibes and relatability.
10. “The Spins” by Mac Miller
Especially for those who have just graduated high school, this song is the epitome of fun and untroubled times— how every summer should be. The lyrics describe a growing adult that realizes that life beyond childhood is hard to control. Mac Miller emphasizes the choice of not worrying about material stuff and serious relationships like most, and ultimately enjoying a simple life. So let loose, boogie and vibe by adding “The Spins” to your summer playlist.