Summer is fast approaching, and it’s only fitting to listen to music as equally bright and sunny as the season. So we’ve made a playlist of 10 songs that are perfect for summertime fun.
1. “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles
“Watermelon Sugar” may have been one of last summer’s biggest hits, but there’s no reason we can’t keep listening to it this year. In the energetic track, Harry Styles compares being in love to how you feel during the summer. This is a song you want to blast on a summer road trip or pool party.
2. “August” by Taylor Swift
In “August,” Taylor Swift spins a tale of a girl wistfully looking back on a summer romance over a shimmery, dreamlike soundscape of folksy guitars and strings. Despite the undercurrent of sorrow in the song because of its fictional storyline, “August” provides a pleasant sense of escapism and it is musically gorgeous to listen to.
3. “Deja Vu” by Olivia Rodrigo
In this psychedelic alt-pop song, Olivia Rodrigo paints a vivid picture of some of the things she and her ex used to do together before questioning why he now does the exact same things with his new girlfriend. With the detailed storytelling that lets us picture a beachside car ride with strawberry ice cream, Rodrigo’s airy vocals and the gradual build from dreamy and delicate into jarring and upbeat, “Deja Vu” is a song you don’t want to skip this summer.
4. “Saturday” by Twenty One Pilots
In “Saturday,” Twenty One Pilots explore a loved one’s ability to bring you out of your negative headspace but manage to do so while delivering a total bop of a song. Musically, the song is unapologetically joyous, with a melody that gets stuck in your head and instrumentals chock full of sheer energy. “Saturday” is all but guaranteed to put you in a better mood.
5. “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
Who says a 2021 summer playlist needs to stick to contemporary songs? With an instantly memorable bassline and melody, the 70s classic “Come and Get Your Love” definitely delivers on enthusiasm and catchiness and is just as fresh today as when it was released. By the time the song’s over, you’ll probably be singing along.
6. “Yellow” by Coldplay
No one is completely positive on what “Yellow” is about, but that doesn’t stop it from being an ideal song for relaxing, long summer days. With lead singer Chris Martin’s passionate vocals and flawless instrumentation by the rest of the band, particularly in the crashing instrumental interludes after the chorus, “Yellow” is a song you want to put on while at an evening beach bonfire.
7. “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles
Despite being over half a century old, this classic song still succeeds at conveying instant joy through its bright lyrics, melody, harmonies and instrumentals. As we leave behind the darkness and stress of the past year, hearing the Beatles sing “Here comes the sun, and I say / It’s all right” might be just what we need to cheer us up.
8. “Summertime” by Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson may be best known as an actress, but she has also recorded some songs, including her take on the jazz standard “Summertime.” Johansson’s husky voice gives dimension to the song, perfectly matching the track’s slow, soulful instrumentation.
9. “Summer Girl” by HAIM
When HAIM lead singer Danielle Haim’s boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer, she wanted to write something about her desire to be there for him. The result is “Summer Girl,” a sunny, positive song. With laidback vocals, a snappy drum beat, a simple yet catchy bassline and a smooth saxophone riff, “Summer Girl” gives off peaceful summer vibes.
10. “Stop Making This Hurt” by Bleachers
With a lively drum solo in the beginning of the track, a glorious trumpet countermelody throughout the song and an instantly infectious chorus, this song grabs you and doesn’t let go. Blending an oldies sound with a unique, modern quality, the serotonin-boosting “Stop Making This Hurt” is sure to get you pumped for summer.
Anneliese Esparza is a freelance writer from Southern California with a passion for playing and listening to music.
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