I absolutely detest hot weather, but I love the ambiance that can only be created in those sweltering days of summer, speakers in the open window, fanning yourself with yesterday’s mail in the late afternoon sun. The songs of those middle months – “summer anthems” of all sorts – provide the perfect soundtrack to the seemingly interminable hours before the sun sets and the air is a bit more breathable.
With hazy heat just around the corner, below are 10 of my favourite tracks (in no particular order) that are getting me pumped for summer – or maybe they’re just making me dread it slightly less.
1. Disclosure featuring AlunaGeorge – ‘White Noise’
Disclosure have had several amazing singles out in the past year – from the incredible ‘Latch’ with Sam Smith to their new track, ‘You and Me’ with Eliza Doolittle – and ‘White Noise’ is another. This has been getting a lot of play on Radio 1 over the last few months, and for good reason: it’s brilliant!
2. Wretch 32 featuring Shakka – ‘Blackout’
I’ve always liked Wretch 32’s approach to hip hop/dance music and think he has a really unique aesthetic. Paired with Shakka, he managed to make ‘Blackout’ a definite contender for song of the summer.
3. Jakwob featuring Maiday – ‘Fade’
Jakwob came into our consciences last year after he released some pretty great remixes of Ellie Goulding tracks, and now he’s doing his own thing. The vocals on ‘Fade’ are heaven, and that breakbeat after the first verse is what summer songs are made of.
4. Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith – ‘La La La’
This is a summer of collaborations, apparently, but if they were all like this, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Sam Smith is killing it again, this time with Naughty Boy on ‘La La La’, which is another Radio 1Xtra gem that is way too good. Listen to it. Repeatedly.
5. Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding – ‘I Need Your Love’
This song’s been floating around for a bit, having appeared on both Calvin’s release and Ellie’s sophomore record, Halcyon, but it’s just been released as a single, and boy, was that a great idea. Ellie can pretty much do no wrong, and Calvin perfectly accompanies her trademark wavering vocals with a great beat.
6. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – ‘Can’t Hold Us’
I know everyone was crazy for ‘Thrift Shop’, and that’s a great song, but ‘Can’t Hold Us’ – their second single from their incredibly popular debut – is almost even better, capturing Macklemore’s frantic energy and giving off a cool vibe that will make you want to dance the night away.
7. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell – ‘Get Lucky’
Does this even need a description? Daft Punk = too good all the time, so it goes without saying that ‘Get Lucky’ deserves its spot on this list.
8. Jessie Ware – ‘Imagine It Was Us’
I’ve been down with Jessie for what feels like ages now, and it’s so great to see how widespread her success is becoming. The US release of her debut, Devotion, came complete with two extra tracks on the original UK version, and ‘Imagine It Was Us’ is one of those. So ’80s, so soulful, so so good.
9. Fuse ODG featuring Wyclef Jean – ‘Antenna’
This might be one of my favourite songs of this year, period. Pretty much the most popular song across Africa now, ‘Antenna’ will make you feel so happy, you’ll find yourself smiling uncontrollably and probably dancing in a way that’d be really embarrassing to watch but feels really good to do, you know? There was even a worldwide dance competition for the song! Just try to resist this song – I bet you can’t.
10. Solange – ‘Losing You’
Yes, this song again. Always. Solange is amazing and ‘Losing You’, the first (and so far only) single off her True EP just never gets old. It’s humid and cool and lots of other things that are just really, really good.