The candidates for your summer song

Twoscore and several hours ago, you were looking at the calendar wistfully eyeing the future to come. Chief among them was the warm weather, the beach and pool, and the summer smash hits that were waiting just around the riverbend.

As any self-respecting adult knows, every summer has to have an accompanying song. But what if you don’t have one yet, or you’re not all that much into pop music? Well, here are some candidates for the official Song of Summer™ that are bound to get your toes a-tappin, and your lips a-flappin.

(Translation: they’re f_cking great songs). Many songs are new; from either 2014 or 2015. But don’t be shocked to find some oldies here. There’s no rule that summer 2015 needs a modern song, after all.

1) Verité – Colors

Newcomer Verite has only really been around since 2014. But in that time she’s produced a solid catalogue of catchy music that is different, but familiar enough to become an instant hit.

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Pop

Best for: Playing poolside with the coldest drink humanly possible in your hand.

2) Andy Wu – Love Me Like A Thousand Miles

Mashup artist Andy Wu has been making mashups for a good long while. But something magical happened when he created this mashup of Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” and Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.”

Genre: Mashup

Best for: Jamming out to in the car on the way to work

3) Architecture in Helsinki – Escapee

Sure, this song is a couple of years old. But with an infectious, happy beat that evokes the feeling of freedom, this song is unstoppably so the next song of your summer.

Nationality: Australian

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Morning walks surrounded by golden sunshine

4) Bang la Decks – Utopia ft. Dominique Young Unique

With high energy and a global sound, this song is sure to pump you up for whatever this summer throws at you!

Genre: Jungle

Perfect for: Getting hype for a KILLER weekend!

5) Chasing Pedestrians – Summer Song

A cheery, refreshing song that just feels like flowers slowly blowing in the meadow as you watch the clouds roll by in gentle splendor. And sure, the song is quite a few years old. But with a name that literally means “song of summer,” what else can better fit the bill?

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Walking home after lying in a meadow watching the flowers slowly blow and the clouds roll by in gentle splendor.

6) Chloe Howl – Rumour

This is the ultimate empowerment song, regardless of who you are–or aren’t. After listening to this masterpiece, you’ll feel like there’s nothing you can’t do! Which–within reason–is exactly what you want in a summer.

Nationality: British

Genre: Pop

Perfect for: Mentally preparing for being flawless.

7) Fitz & the Tantrums – Fool’s Gold

Summer is known for its flings–for giving oneself up with reckless abandon and chasing anything that glitters as if it were gold. What better way to remind yourself of that than this?

Nationality: American

Genre: Neo-soul/Funk

Perfect for: Summer evenings full of reminiscing.

8) Fuadadeimuada – Koa Strand

Think of them as a more dynamic and more German “Beach Boys.” Fuadadeimuada’s energy and peppery, summery sound puts you in a beach kind of mood. As we all know, that’s half the work already done.

Nationality: German

Genre: Rock

Perfect for: Trips to the beach with your best buds.

9) Glass Animals – Hazey

This mesmerizing tune perfectly captures the emotion of 4pm on a blistering summer day when you decide to go to the pool and just veg out.

Nationality: British

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Chillin poolside on a blistering summer day

10) Glass Towers – Halcyon

That’s right, two bands whose name start with “Glass” and have songs that start with “H.” It’s the world’s largest Illuminati conspiracy. But all seriousness aside, the nostalgia that these lyrics instill in you take you back to your childhood; a much simpler time. After a listen, you’ll be smiling warmly at those old memories, too. Go ahead, shoot a text to that old friend you haven’t talked to in a while. We’ll wait here.

Nationality: Australian

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Reminiscing and nostalgic memories of the halcyon days of your childhood.

11) Jonathan Boulet – 10 Billion Years

Every time I listen to this song, I begin warmly thinking back to the first time I told someone I loved them–and meant it. This song is calming, straightforward, and creates an intimately peaceful atmosphere. Maybe it’s personal bias. But it’s my blog, damnit!

Nationality: Australian

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Cuddling up with that special someone under a light blanket and watching the heavens turn.

12) Kasabian – Stevie

Starting out, you feel like a spy on a secret mission. Then you get caught and you have to incapacitate the enemy before they shoot you. As the powerful bass line builds, you begin to feel the power flowing through you. By the time the chorus hits, nothing stands in your way.

Nationality: British

Genre: Rock

Perfect for: The first day of that summer internship you’ve worked so hard to get

13) Katzenjammer – Shine Like Neon Rays

Effusive and bubbly, there’s no way you won’t be a positive person after a single listen of this song. So go ahead, stranger, go on that hike. Explore that part of town you’ve been meaning to check out. Start your own blog. Summer is a time for play and experimentation.

Nationality: Norwegian

Genre: Baroque Pop

Perfect for: All the things that you do

14) Marina and the Diamonds – Froot

It’s hard to describe why this song feels summery. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it does feel summery and that you should enjoy the heck out of this song now.

Nationality: British

Genre: Pop

Perfect for: Nighttime driving downtown

15) Matt and Kim – Hey Now

Look at those dance moves! Now it’s your turn. I’m officially declaring this Official Song of Dancing Like No One’s Watching.

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Pop

Perfect for: Spontaneous dance parties

16) Melody Club – Fever Fever

WHAT!? An 8-year-old song on a list of summer songs in 2015!!?! Yes. Funk has been coming back in recent months, which makes this song ahead of its time. Now that society has finally caught up with it. It’s time to bring it back.

Nationality: Swedish

Genre: New Wave

Perfect for: A night out on the town

 17) Mes Aieux – Belle, Embarquez

Adventure is what we’re made for. Listen to this song and tell me you don’t envision a stream-side hike full of unexplored paths.

Nationality: Canadian

Genre: Folk

Perfect for: Going on that 10-mile hike you’ve always been planning

18) Mika – Boum Boum Boum

There’s one language that everyone can understand. Don’t think about it too hard. Remember, it’s the summer.

Nationality: Lebanese-British

Genre: Pop

Perfect for: A night of excitement

19) Movits! – Nitroglycerin

When a song is good, it doesn’t matter whether or not you can actually understand what’s being said. So when I tell you about a Swedish jazz-rap band, don’t be so quick to dismiss it.

Nationality: Swedish

Genre: Jazz-rap

Perfect for: Night driving, feeling the hearty roar of the engine. Unless you drive a Prius. Sorry.

20) Prides – Out of the Blue

Fresh faces bringing some fresh sounds are always welcome. And with a crisp and refreshing feel, this will out-rank any crappy beer that rhymes with “mud blight slime” on the summer scale 100% of the time.

Nationality: British (Scotland)

Genre: Synthpop

Perfect for: The start of an adventure

21) Saint Motel – My Type

I still remember when nobody heard of this band. Then, all of a sudden, it started to glow in popularity–being used in car commercials and sporting events. There’s no denying this song is energetic. And that funk influence is hard to ignore.

Nationality: American

Genre: Funk Rock

Perfect for: that cookout you’ve been planning to have for a while

22) Stromae – Carmen

International pop star Stromae is beginning to get a solid foothold in the American market. This song should serve as a reminder that you should be outside this summer. Drop your phone. Leave your laptop. Get out there!

Nationality: Belgian

Genre: Electronic Hip Hop

Perfect for: That moment when you’ve been on Twitter for so long that you forget what it’s like to be outside.

23) Sugar Glyder – Campfire

Bonfires. They’re some of the greatest outdoor experiences anyone can have with friends. It’s during those moments that you really get to learn things about those you’re around.  What could be more perfect than that?

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Building a campfire with a warm summer’s eve breeze rustling the leaves in the trees.

 24) Sylvan Esso – Hey Mami

Sometimes you want a break from the adventuring and just want a chill evening at home. On those nights, this is the song you’d play.

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Pop

Perfect for: that occasional quiet night in

25) T Bird and the Breaks – The Clap Hands Song

What could be better during the summer than  your car, your friends, and the open road? Exploring is central to human nature–as is having the right soundtrack to that exploring. C’mon. We’re not savages.

Nationality: American

Genre: Funk Rock

Perfect for: Driving down that scenic route with your buddies in tow

24) Waters – Over It

Eventually, summer will end and daily responsibilities and biting cold will return with a vengeance. While it lasts, then, enjoy the crap out of. Deal with not wanting to get over it later on. Like, August or September (or when September ends).

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: The End of Summer™

25) We Were Evergreen – Leeway

Let me answer your first question: yes, it is possible to get more hipster than that. But at its core lies a pleasing melody reminiscent of a summer’s day in the 1950. And that, barring many unspoken social conventions and mentalities of the era, isn’t that bad a thing.

Nationality: French

Genre: Indie Electro Pop

Perfect for: Going to the drive in and the Tastee-Freeze

 26) Zaz – Gamine

What happens as a kid? Adults don’t always take you seriously. Almost anything you do can be found amusing in the right light. But you also have fun. By bringing kazoos back into the mix on a peppy, happy song. Get ready to break into your happy dance.

Nationality: French

Genre: Jazz Pop/Variety

Perfect for: Any happy moment of your life

27) Wet – Deadwater

Adulthood tends to put a damper on summer–turning it into a time of nostalgia and reliving past joys and pleasures. This song is for those moments when you find yourself staring out the window at playing children, thinking about when you would do the same.

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Warm memories bubbling up

28) Reuben and the Dark – Bow and Arrow

Another chiller number, perfect for those quiet evenings with those who matter.

Nationality: Canadian

Genre: Alt rock

Perfect for: Chillaxin, relaxin all cool

29) Dawes – When My Time Comes

This song is perfect for sharing with friends in a hammock next to the tent you pitch yourself as you roast trout you caught yourself under the stars.

Nationality: American

Genre: Folk Rock

Perfect for: Do I need to repeat myself?

30) Indila – Tourner Dans le Vide

Romance. That dizzying feeling that starts in the stomach and moves throughout the entire body. The feeling of emptiness that comes from that person’s absence. This is about that absence. Just remember, to feel the absence of something, you have to have it first.

Nationality: French

Genre: Pop

Perfect for: Either that empty feeling in your heart coupled with overflowing emotions. Or a “EFF-IT” attitude. Your call.

31) Christina Aguilera – Genie in a Bottle

Contention one: I make the rules. Contention two: Old songs are still good today. Contention three: Although I have no idea why I chose this song in particular, I have no regrets at all about it.

Nationality: American

Genre: Classic pop (cause that might start being a thing now). Don’t you feel old? FEEL IT!

Perfect for: #TBT

32) MØ ft. Diplo – XXX 88

Why yes, that voice does sound familiar. You’ll recognize it from “Lean On.” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake. MØ (the “Ø” is pronounced like the eu in the French word bleu) exploded out of Denmark and grew and grew and grew. But if you’re looking for more of her stuff. Look here.

Nationality: Danish

Genre: Pop

Perfect for: Jammin out at a party

33) Borns – Electric Love

At the end of the day, summer’s a season for falling in love. Not necessarily with people, but with the times, the place, and the general feeling of just…being. This song is an ode to that. It’s about a person, but you can just as easily put any thing in its stead and have it work.

Nationality: American

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Loving everything

34) John Williams – Jurassic Park Theme

If I have to explain the reasoning behind this song, I will keelhaul you.

Nationality: Reptilian

Genre: Soundtrack

Perfect for: Driving to the movie theatre

35) Supersubmarina – Arena y Mar

Y’know, originally, this wasn’t going to be included in this list. But yesterday, one of my best friends passed me an artist recommendation from a music festival she attended in Sevilla. There’s that moment you have in life when you hear the opening bars of a song, and it just clicks. That happened here. Listen, y disfruta de la arena y mar.

Nationality: Spanish

Genre: Indie Rock

Perfect for: Anything in life. This song is utter perfection.

Cover image by Joshua Earle

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