We all hear the big hits of the summer everywhere–at the beach, on the radio and in every YouTube ad. But what about those songs you catch on alternative radio every few weeks or that you’ve heard in that one popular commercial? Maybe you have no idea who sings it, or you can’t really make out the lyrics to Google it, but you know you want more. Here are the top 10 songs that you’ve been discovering this summer.
1. “Give Me a Try” by The Wombats
This British rock export caught the attention of alternative radio listeners everywhere with their distinct “this is who we are” sound. “The Wombats are so obviously British when you listen to them, so that’s never something to complain about. You can tell they care a lot about giving the fans a good time and staying true to themselves,” Northwestern junior Abbey Boyd said. They even hail from Liverpool just like the Beatles, so how can you go wrong?
2. “Cheap Thrills” by Sia ft. Sean Paul
Sure, these two made a name for themselves in the music industry, but we never, I mean literally never, thought Sean Paul would join Sia for a hot collab. In typical Sia fashion, her raw and passionate voice adds some emotional depth to a song about getting ready to go out. From workout classes to YouTube covers, you cannot avoid “Cheap Thrills” (not that you’d even want to try), but it’s very likely that you might have missed the title of the song, with the children’s choir yelling “I love cheap thrills!” behind Sia’s powerful voice. And check out Boyce Avenue’s cover on YouTube if you’d like to hear a more stripped down version of the fun song.
3. “La Bicicleta” by Carlos Vives ft. Shakira
Okay, you don’t really need to know Spanish to enjoy the collab, but it would probably help. Shakira joined fellow Colombian artist Carlos Vives to make waves in the States. “It’s catchy and I love songs in foreign languages,” University of Wisconsin at Green Bay junior Taylor Ponczoch said. “I like using songs to learn foreign languages. I’m currently learning Disney songs in German.” This song brings together the old and the new even better than your cousin’s wedding.
4. “Drifting” by G Eazy ft. Chris Brown, Tory Lanez
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard rapper G-Eazy’s hit song “Me, Myself & I” featuring Bebe Rexha, but his newest hit off his 2015 album When It’s Dark Out shows the same superstar potential. Climbing up the Shazam charts as we speak, the track features heavyweight Chris Brown and newcomer Tory Lanez with a catchy hook that captures the struggles of figuring out who is truly loyal to you. That ain’t just a problem for the celebs, I can tell you that.
5. “Lost Boy” by Ruth B
Ruth B’s heartfelt song proves that emotion does belong on the radio, even in summer. So who is the mysterious Ruth without a last name? Ruth Berhe just had her 21st birthday and attended MacEwan University in Canada before taking time off to focus on her music. Her airy, singer-songwriter style might remind you of high-profile artists like Sara Bareilles or Rihanna, but she definitely carves her own identity with her heartfelt hit.
6. “Wild” by Troye Sivan
You’ve probably already heard his debut hit song “Youth,” but if you haven’t been obsessing over Troye Sivan for years (like some of us hipsters), then you might not recognize Sivan’s voice on his new single “Wild,” featuring resident cool girl Alessia Cara, known for singing “Here” about how lame college parties can be. “Two things many of us wish for during the summer are fun and romance, and the song reflects both,” Ponczoch said. At age 21, Sivan captures the carefree and earnest side of becoming an adult. #relatable
7. “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors
Whether you heard it in theaters during Me Before You or just like to turn up the radio when it comes on, you’ll probably recognize the most emotional power ballad of the summer. Perhaps you were so busy singing along you didn’t realize “Unsteady” was by the same band responsible for the hits “Jungle” and “Renegades.” Sometimes we all like to belt out a nice power ballad in the car between our pop hits and club jams.
8. “Colors” by Halsey
The 21-year-old singer made waves with her ethereal sound for years now, but Halsey’s latest hit merges the styles of Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding in a catchy but intelligent way. She compares the overwhelming attractiveness of her love interest to different colors of the rainbow, particularly blue (obviously the best color out there). Join 40 million other people in checking out the hot music video co-starring Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey for a major plot twist on the meaning of the song.
9. “I’m Good” by The Mowgli’s
Sure, the Mowgli’s may not have released their hit this summer, but it definitely plays on the airwaves more in the hot summer months with its feel-good, can’t-get-me-down vibes. “The song is from their newer album and perfectly combines positive lyrics with their classic California beach aesthetic to make a great song everyone can enjoy,” Northwestern junior Jayden Zvonar said. Next time your friend shows up thirty minutes late or that guy looks the other way, just brush it off and say “I’m good.”
10. “Mean What I Mean” by AlunaGeorge ft. Dreezy and Leikeili 47
”Mean What I Mean” is pretty much brand new, but if it’s anything like her hit jam “You Know You Like It,” Aluna’s got this in the bag. “I first heard it on an iHeartRadio playlist in my friend’s apartment. It’s upbeat and it’s got this electronic sound that just makes you want to dance,” Marquette junior Nica Assana said. Because she’s a British artist, it’s yet to be seen how long it will take for the track to make waves in the states, but isn’t that what Spotify is for?