Here are 10 summer-ready songs to get us through July!
It’s July! The streets are sticky, the subways are sweaty, and, well, it’s kind of just really gross and humid out unless you’re hanging out poolside. Luckily, there’s a slew of summertime jams, both new and old, to keep us moving, grooving, heating up, and cooling off through the month. Gather up all your BFFs, make the trek out to the beach (or your rich aunt’s mansion in the Hamptons, NBD), and bump this solid collection of summer jams. (Or, you know, imagine doing that while you spray Hawaiian Breeze air freshener into your desk fan and listen along like us.)
1.) Lady Gaga, Summerboy
Before Born This Way, before “Bad Romance,” and even before the meat dress, there was a disco stick-wielding, up-and-coming pop princess named Lady Gaga, who crash-landed onto Earth with a bag full of sequins, studs, and her fabulous disco-pop debut, The Fame. “Summerboy” is one of the album’s most joyous moments, as Miss Gaga strips off her bikini top and gets into a summertime fling with a summer boy atop rocky guitar riffs and handclaps. We all know this little love affair won’t last forever, but right now, the mood is right. YOLO, Gagaloo!
2.) Janelle Monáe, “Dance Apocalyptic”
Intergalactic, funkadelic andriod/superwoman Janelle Monáe is constantly tripping up the airwaves with her fresh, genre-bending rhythms. Of course, the Electric Lady’s latest single — “Dance Apocalyptic” — is no exception! With all the gleeful sing-along spirit of Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” Monae’s serving up a seriously killer slice of summertime space-pop. Zombies, TVs and rock ’n’ roll — it’s the kitchen sink, but it totally works. Freak out!
3.) Lana Del Rey, “Summertime Sadness”
Life’s not always a beach for Lana Del Rey: On “Summertime Sadness,” one of the many brilliant tracks from her masterful debut Born To Die, the Queen of Coney Island finds herself waxing nostalgic across lonesome plucks of surf guitar and a slow-stuttering beat. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a pensive late night drive down the coast with your bad baby by your heavenly side. Or, you know, alone works too. Is that sweat dripping down your face, or…?
4.) Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
Whether you can’t stand it or simply can’t stand to turn it off, Miss Mileybird’s divisive comeback track is easily one of the biggest pop songs of 2013. The dizzying Mike WiLL Made It-produced tune (remember: If Mike WiLL didn’t make it, it ain’t worth your time) sees the Artist Formerly Known as Hannah Montana throwing her hands up, getting turnt up like CiCi, flipping a bird to the haters, dancing with Moll — err, Miley — and refusing to stop above a slow-staggering beat and hazy electronica. It’s Miley’s house, her rules…and very much her summer anthem. Get on her level!
5.) Sevyn Streeter, “It Won’t Stop”
As the songwriter behind smashes for the likes of Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, and Kelly Rowland, talented singer-songstress Sevyn Streeter knows her way around a mean hook — and “It Won’t Stop” is certainly no exception. Gliding across a lazy summer strum, Sevyn melodically croons her lovey-dovey heart away, even referencing Aaliyah’s “Rock The Boat” at one point. The hypnotic track is easily one of this summer’s smoothest offerings.
Check out more songs to get us through July after the jump.
6.) The Dolls, “Summer of ’93”
Like Lana, The Dolls are feeling a little bittersweet this summer. Individually known as DJ Mia Moretti and electro-violinist Caitlin Moe, the two travel back and forth in time to 1993 and 2013, weaving a bittersweet tale about lost love. Filled with haunting vocals and weird, Massive Attack-like production, it’s not exactly a song that screams summer fun. But for those pensive few hours post-partying or a night of reflection down by the beach, it’s the perfect amount of sun-soaked nostalgia.
7.) Aaliyah, “Rock The Boat”
It’s hard to think of a song born in the early ’00’s more synonymous with summer than fallen R&B angel Aaliyah’s iconic 2002 groove, “Rock The Boat.” Drifting across a hypnotic electro-R&B groove, the songstress gently coos and purrs her sultry commands across the track. It’s one of the most immense, immediately feel-good grooves ever, and one of the many songs that solidifies Aaliyah’s longstanding legacy. Rock the boat, rock the boat…
8.) Britney Spears, “Ooh La La”
There’s another reason to feel blue this summer, and it’s got nothing to do with darling Lana’s summertime woes: It’s “Smurfs 2” season! And who better to celebrate the legacy of the magical little blue gnomes than the pop princess turned Queen of Pop herself, the Legendary Miss Britney Spears? “Ooh La La” is just the right combination of Dr. Luke power pop and cheesy lyricism to keep the kids singing along and the parents toe-tapping in the movie theater. Plus, have you seen that adorable video with Brit’s bbs Sean Preston and JJ? It’s hard not to at least crack a smile. Keep on smurfin’ till the world ends, kids!
9.) Selena Gomez, “Summer’s Not Hot”
Before she was busy making the Stars Dance, former Disney pop starlet and lover of love songs Selena Gomez was burning up the thermostat with her A Year Without Rain summer jam, “Summer’s Not Hot Without You.” Selena — err, rather Selegend — brings the heat and teases in not one, but two languages on the anthemic uptempo (“Come on over Romeo and vamos a la playa!”), full of catchy hooks and bouncy beats. School’s out, the air conditioner’s blasting. Dive in!
10.) Paris Hilton, “Stars Are Blind”
There are summer songs, and then there are stone-cold classics: When Hotel heiress, “My New BFF” starlet, and reigning Queen of Handbags & Accessories Paris Hilton launched her music career back in June 2006, most rolled a dubious eye — and, of course, they were dead wrong. Hilton’s Fernando Garibay-produced debut single “Stars Are Blind” is a refreshingly chill go-to for rolling around in the sand, full of breathy come-ons and breezy reggae-pop melodies. The stars may be blind, but they’re certainly not deaf.
Bradley Stern is a writer from New York. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: Getty Images/RCA/Hollywood Records