Every summer, the music gods look down upon us and bless us with booty-shaking bops to make it through the sweltering heat, or, perhaps, add a little body heat to your dance club or workout.
Check out our recommendations for this year’s songs of the summer.
Don’t miss the accompanying Spotify playlist at the end of this article for the perfect poolside soundtrack.
1. “Juice” by Lizzo
Our latest musical obsession channels Prince for this upbeat, fucks-free anthem that’s sure to be stuck in our heads through September and beyond. Try not to sing along as she brags that, “the juice ain’t worth the squeeze if the juice don’t look like this.”
2. “Sweet Spot” by Kim Petras
After weeks of one-off singles, Paris Hilton’s Mini-Mi has graced us with Clarity, a 12-song collection of pop confections. While you’d be hard-pressed to find a dud, “Sweet Spot” lives up to its title: it’s the perfect soundtrack for a breezy late night car ride.
3. “Mess Your Hair Up” by Stewart Taylor
Fans of Bruno Mars and Betty Who would be remiss not to check out this funky, flirty single from indie LA-based singer-songwriter Stewart Taylor. “Gonna mess your hair up so you can’t go to work,” he teases.
4. “Number One Fan” by MUNA
The sapphic synth-pop band returns with this throbbing pick-me-up jam. If you’re not your own number one fan, how can expect others to stan?
Madonna continues to prove how she’d earned the title of Queen of Pop with her excellent new Madame X. While we’re sure to hear several cuts blasting through Boystown all summer, it’s her team-up with Brazilian superstar Anitta that’s going to keep us sweating on the dancefloor.
6. “Trust” by Boy Radio
The independent Brooklyn-based artist’s entire new album Pop That is full of left-of-center pop gems, but its ice-cold, House-infused “Trust” is a sure bet for cooling off during the hottest of heatwaves.
7. “On A Roll” by Ashley O
Miley Cyrus may have released a six-song EP earlier this summer, but her lavender-wigged Black Mirror alter ego’s eclipsed it entirely with this skittering pop gem.
8. “Keeping Secrets” by Kandy (feat. Madison Rose)
The out-and-proud DJ just notched his first entry on the Billboard charts with this high-energy, feel-good bop. Between the nostalgic ’90s-lean and it’s entrancing chopped vocals, this banger is sure to get any WeHo party started.
9. “You Need To Calm Down” by Taylor Swift
While the record is by no means Taylor’s best work, she took a powerful stance with the song’s rollout. Not only did the music video feature cameos from RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Billy Porter and just about every other relevant LGBTQ star, but she used the moment to call attention to the Equality Act. She encouraged her fans to sign a petition to urge the Senate to support the legislation, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools and other public accommodations.
The most inescapable track this summer is certainly Lil Nas X’s breakout hit. The newly out rapper has maintained a stronghold at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record-breaking seventeen weeks now, clocking the record for the longest reign for a hip-hop track ever. And with the revelation that he’s fam, his lyric “I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more” takes on a second meaning. Power bottoms, rejoice!