It's summertime once again, and that means pool parties, beach days, and road trips are back and taking over for the next few months.
Of course, no summer would be complete without the soundtrack that makes us remember it all when we hear the first few notes to a song twenty years from now and say, "this reminds me of that one summer..."
So, in order to aid in your search for the perfect summer soundtrack, here are fifteen of my favorite jams that have been on repeat lately, and will probably continue to be well into this season.
Read, listen, and enjoy; I know I will be.
1. "Find U Again" by Mark Ronson ft. Camila Cabello
Mark Ronson may be best known for his ever popular collab with Bruno Mars, better known as "Uptown Funk," but don't let that be the only song of his you ever hear. On this new, bouncy collab with pop sensation Camila Cabello, Ronson is able to display his beats and pair them up with Cabello's own lyrics (some of which she had written since she was much, much younger!)
The result of these two factors put together is a song which Cabello describes as "emo" because it shows her emotions in the way only Camila Cabello can do.
But, unlike what you may initially think of when the word emo comes to mind, this song isn't necessarily one to listen to when you wanna have a good cry.
Instead, I'd play this song when you wanna jam out while driving in the middle of the day, or even poolside with some friends.
The perfect summer hit.
2. "Mother's Daughter" by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus took the world by storm in 2013 with her hit album, "Bangerz" which topped charts and spawned well-known and beloved hits such as "We Can't Stop" and "Adore You." While her next couple of bodies of work didn't seem to measure up to the success and popularity of what is known as "2013ley" among the fanbase, it seems the Miley we all know and love is now back.
Her newest EP, titled "She Is Coming" carries songs with such a Bangerz-esque feel to them it's almost hard to believe they weren't a part of the now six-year-old record.
The lead off of the EP, "Mother's Daughter," showcases Cyrus singing some raunchy lyrics over a catchy trap beat (if that's even what it is, I'm no expert) and, dare I say, has the potential to take over pop radio if pushed properly by her PR team.
Regardless, you should add this to your summer playlist because it's definitely a bop, as the kids say.
3. "You Need To Calm Down" by Taylor Swift
This song is everything I have ever wanted, and I'm saying that as a very loyal fan.
Taylor Swift returned after her smashing 2017 album, "reputation," as well as her 2018 tour, The reputation Stadium Tour, with a complete 180. Everything hits such as "Look What You Made Me Do," "End Game," and "...Ready For It?" weren't, this new era (dubbed the Lover era, after the name of her upcoming seventh studio album) is.
With the amazing vocals of Swift paired with the coy, shady lyrics addressing bullying, homophobia, and unnecessary criticism over a groovy synth-pop beat, it was a no brainer that this song would get stuck in all of our heads after a few listens.
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the lyric, "'cause shade never made anybody less gay" because it truly is a masterpiece on its own.
Whether you love Swift to death, or even if you don't consider yourself much of a "stan," there's no way you can deny the power this song has to make you feel good about yourself.
So just give in to it—I promise it's worth it.
4. "Facetime" by Tana Mongeau
As I detailed in a previous article, Tana Mongeau is a very polarizing youtuber, but nonetheless, she's one of my all-time favorites. And for this reason, I'm going to fight for this song's rights because I know if I don't, it will continue to go unnoticed and unloved.
"Facetime" is the fourth single Mongeau has released in her career (preceded by "Hefner," "W," and "F***-Up") and definitely has potential to be beloved by a niche community--much like other artists such as Billie Eilish, Nina Nesbitt, and Halsey before her recent radio success.
if you're looking for amazing vocals and powerful belts, this song isn't it. But if you're looking for something chill to listen to while you're relaxing at home or getting ready to go out, I'd say give this a go and see how it feels.
I personally love to listen to it during my morning skincare routine because it helps get me in a good mood for the day, but that's just me.
5. "Church" by Aly and AJ
If it seems too good to be true that this duo of sisters from our childhood Disney Channel days are still making music together over a decade later, you aren't the only one.
When I found out Aly and AJ were making a huge comeback, I was taken aback. And when I first listened to their single, "Take Me" I wasn't sure what to think because I felt so many emotions, and all of them were good.
"Church" is very much new-age and the synth pop one would expect from artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, and I think that's what makes it work so well. While we all have a soft spot for the classics such as "Rush" and "Potential Breakup Song," it's only natural that those girls grew up and changed their sound a bit to fit the women they became.
But don't let the idea of change scare you away into thinking the new songs aren't good, because trust me, they are.
Especially if you want the perfect song to play while driving to the beach for the perfect summer day.
6. "In My Bed" by Sabrina Carpenter
Among the "ex-acts" (that is, pop music stars that were once on kid's networks such as Nickelodeon and Disney Channel) Sabrina Carpenter is one of the more recent. Her rise to fame on the show, "Girl Meets World" earned her a loyal fanbase that stuck by her through her first two albums, "Eyes Open" and "EVOLution."
Her vocals are incomparable to any other act on the market at the moment, and her charisma shines through in every song, music video, and interview she does.
This new single, which is leading up to her next EP, is personally one of my favorite songs she's ever released and it shows the growth in her, both as an artist and a human being.
She truly deserves more recognition and admiration, so give this song a good few listens and let yourself fall in love with it the same way I did.
7. "Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time" by Thomas Rhett ft. Little Big Town
To all of the country music lovers such as myself, this one is for you.
On his newest record, "Center Point Road" which was just released at the end of May (and the start of most our summers) Rhett graced us fans with the perfect country collab we didn't even expect: A song with fellow country superstars, Little Big Town.
"Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time" has that classic Thomas Rhett feel—fun, easy going, and definitely made to be played at a barbecue or a cookout in the middle of the summer. So it's basically perfect.
If you're not a country music fan, I still say this song might be worth a listen or two. You never know, it might just grow on you.
8. "Butterflies" by Gabbie Hanna
Contrary to popular belief, not all youtubers who choose to delve into the music world are flops, and Gabbie Hanna is a good example of that.
While she may have had a rocky start entering the music world (let's all pretend the "Monster" meme doesn't exist) it's clear with her newest EP, "2WAYMIRROR" that she has found her sound, and her home.
The lead single, "Butterflies," is the perfect alt-pop song I didn't know I needed until I heard it, and now I cannot imagine my life without it.
Hanna's soft, low vocals pair so nicely with the melody and the lyrics are just the cherry on top, especially when it comes to the chorus.
This isn't the kind of song you would play at a summer party, but it is the kind of song you would (and should!) play when you're trying to wind down from a busy day, or week. Trust me.
9. "Nightmare" by Halsey
Halsey is, arguably, one of the most popular artists out in the market today, and whether you love that or hate it, you can't deny the fact that you're probably going to hear a song of hers at least once in your day (multiple times if you're a radio listener.)
Out of all of her songs, there are many different ones I would consider to be bops, and "Nightmare" is definitely one of them.
It takes a different route than others she's released, and it has a different feel than most (if not all) of the songs on this list of summer songs, but I think that's what makes it a good choice.
Halsey is typically known as an alt artist, despite her commercial fame, and this single showcases her roots and where she came from.
For a Halsey fan, it's an instant love. But even if you're not really into her, this is a must have for this summer.
10. "Don't Throw Out My Legos" by AJR
Despite some fame for their hit single, 'Weak" off their 2017 album, "The Click" and some recent attention for the lead single off of their 2019 album, "Neotheater," titled "100 Bad Days" thanks to it being added to Taylor Swift's playlist, AJR is mostly an unknown band that makes music for their loyal and niche fanbase.
As a fan that's been with these boys for a few years now, it's hard to decide between wanting them to get bigger because they deserve it, and wanting to keep them my own little secret. However, "Don't Throw Out My Legos" is way too good to keep to myself, so I've decided to share the wealth.
Nostalgia is hard and heavy in 2019, and this song touches on it in a unique way that I think a lot of us can relate to even if we didn't necessarily play with legos as a kid (I was more of a Bratz doll kid myself.)
Bottom line is, we've all felt doubtful and unsure of our futures at some point and wanted to have the reassurance of being able to crawl back into what we knew so well once upon a time, and for that reason, I believe this song is essential for this summer,.
How else will we deal with our love of nostalgia?
11. "Joy" by Bastille
However, you are sadly completely missing out on some good music.
Bastille, to me, is one of those bands that cannot make a bad song. Everything they release is even better than the one before it and I often wonder how four men could be so impeccably talented, all while being grateful I was able to discover them when I did so I could have the music in my life for as long as I have.
"Joy" is the lead single off of their third album, "Doom Days" and it's exactly what the name suggests: Joy.
The melody, the lyrics, Dan Smith's vocals, all of it brings nothing but joy to my ears when it plays and makes me feel like everything is great even when it's not.
This, to me, is the perfect example of a song meant to be a summer smash, and if you don't add it to your playlist, I feel extremely sorry for you because you'll be missing some good jam sessions.
12. "If I Can't Have You" by Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes is a name that holds a lot of power in the year of 2019. And for good reason, if you ask me.
While a lot of his songs are slow and acoustic, there are quite a bit that requires some head bopping and screaming at the top of your lungs when you're home alone.
This is one of them.
If you've never been into Mendes because of his stigma as being for little girls, give this song a try and I promise you'll change your mind. And if you're already part of the Mendes Army, this is 100% the song that's been stuck in your head for days, I'm sure.
Either way, it's a must have for summer. Mendes knew what he was doing.
13. "you should see me in a crown" by Billie Eilish
While this song isn't technically new, I've had it on repeat for the last few weeks because it's just that good.
Admittedly, I wasn't much of a Billie Eilish fan when she first appeared on the scene. I thought she was weird, and I often expressed how she creeped me out a lot of the time.
But after giving her album a fair shot, I fell in love with a few of the songs and now I finally understand the hype I judged for so long.
This is a song that makes you feel like a badass, point blank. There's no way you'll listen to this and not "feel yourself" and think you're the absolute s***, and that's why I love it so much.
It's definitely an acquired taste if you've never been one for alt-pop, but I think it's a grower, so even if you don't like it at first, you might after a few tries.
And if it doesn't make its way onto your summer playlist, I will never understand you.
14. "Only Human" by the Jonas Brothers
Yes, the world's infamous boy band has returned and we are all living in a better world because of it.
The Jonas Brothers made a big splash in 2019 by announcing a comeback, two chart-topping singles, their first album in ten years, and nationwide and overseas tour for this summer, fall, and next spring.
It's been a wild time, and we're only in June!
Seeing as we've reached peak summertime, where all the kids are out of school and spending their days doing whatever kids do, it's time for a new single to take the charts and continue their takeover full force.
My contender for this is none other than the song titled, "Only Human" off of their fifth studio album (I still can't believe they have five albums now!) "Happiness Begins," which is covered in dance-inducing perfection.
I imagine a world where this song is played at every summer party, at the beach with friends, at the bars and clubs on the weekends, during road trips, and even just while at home doing nothing special but listening to the music that makes you happy.
What more could one ask for?