Here are 10 summery songs to get us through August!
Happy August! Wait, can we say "happy" when this month technically marks the hottest, sweatiest, grossest, need-to-take-10-showers part of summer? Well, even though we're deep into the dog days, that doesn't mean we can't cool off with a well-curated collection of breezy summer jams! That's right, we're talking about a playlist that includes every feel-good track from VMA pre-show performer Ariana Grande's "Right There" to industry vet Katy Perry's explosive "Roar." So, set your A/C to turbo, mix up some organic piña coladas, and bump these songs loud enough for your neighbor to either think you've got the BEST music taste or are the worst person ever for interrupting her transcendental meditation sesh. Also, who cares about the latter -- LISTEN UP!
1.) Pink Featuring Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me A Reason"
Aside from Gwen Stefani, Pink may be the only mama on the block who's down to get covered in body paint and hate dance with a hot bro! (We're referring to her "Try" video, keep up!) But just because she's not doing any AGGRO dance moves in her "Just Give Me A Reason" video doesn't mean we haven't spent the entire summer spinning this song on repeat. In fact, the vulnerable power ballad, featuring fun. frontman Nate Ruess, has ruined our afternoon mascara so many times that we've literally had to switch to that cakey waterproof kind. Also, don't think we forgot about that random scene in the video where Pink's floating on a raft and snuggled up to a scary teddy bear with glowing eyes! That's one-third of the reason why this song made our list in the first place!
2.) Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu, "Q.U.E.E.N."
You and I both know that the intergalactic, black-and-white-wearing Janelle Monáe's upcoming disc, The Electric Lady (dropping Sept. 10), is bound to be one of the year's best releases. And here's why: On top of the trippy "Dance Apocalyptic," the album will showcase a bevy of star-studded collaborations (Prince, Solange, Miguel, Cee Lo Green, Big Boi, and Esperanza Spalding). And that's not even including our favorite track, "Q.U.E.E.N.," which features a fierce cameo by urban-soul goddess Erykah Badu. (Er, excuse me, I mean "Badula Oblongata.") Laden with fierce bass lines and lush harmonies, "Q.U.E.E.N."'s video has the Bust Covergirl nailing a chair dance so well that we personally believe it's the slightly cooler cousin to Britney Spears' epic chair routine in "Stronger."
3.) Ariana Grande, "Right There"
If Mariah Carey had a younger sister who could sing and just so happened to have access to Justin Bieber's lips, it'd be Ariana Grande. The costar of Nickelodeon's "Victorious," Ariana has hit the ground running this year with instantly addicting singles like "The Way" featuring Mac Miller, "Baby I," "Almost Is Never Enough" featuring The Wanted's Nathan Sykes, and our personal favorite, "Right There" featuring Big Sean. (BTW, all of those tracks will appear on Ariana's debut disc, Yours Truly, dropping Sept. 3!) Fun fact: Ariana has said that her latest breezy, pop-R&B jam is kinda like "the sequel" to "The Way." Only with less FULL-ON FLIRTATIONS with Mac Miller, because don't think we forgot about that sexual tension, you two!
4.) Lissie "Further Away (Romance Police)"
Honestly, don't even fret if you didn't score tickets to Fleetwood Mac's recent tour (OK, fine, fret a little). We've got the next best thing to ease your Stevie Nicks cravings, and it comes in the form of California songstress Lissie's brand-new jam, "Further Away (Romance Police). Our immense obsession with Lissie developed during her organic "When I'm Alone"-era (off Lissie's 2010 disc, Catching A Tiger) and continued with her Covered Up With Flowers EP, which dropped in 2011. That said, "Further Away," a track off her Back To Forever disc (dropping Sept. 10), sees the singer on her '80s synth vibe, which pairs perfectly with her gritty vocals. Or, in other words, our Lissie obsession has been kicked up a notch.
5.) Katy Perry, "Roar"
After teasing us until we had actual pain coursing through our bodies (OK, maybe that's a tad dramatic), Katy Perry has finally released "Roar," the lead track off of her upcoming album, Prism (due Oct. 22). Now, we know everyone's more or less in a state of panic over the fact that "Roar" dropped around the same time as Lady Gaga's "Applause," but we're not here to play favorites! We love Katy's bold and bouncy song about carpe-ing-that-effing-diem just as much as Gaga's drag-themed anthem. And while we're forced to wait patiently for the official "Roar" video to drop, we'll just let the emoji-heavy "Roar" lyric video keep us company. Besides, it won't be long before we see Katy straight demolish the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with the debut live performance of "Roar"! Oh, one last thought: WHY hasn't anyone done an "Eye Of The Tiger" + "Roar" remix?!
Check out more songs to get us through August after the jump.
6.) NONONO, "Pumpin Blood"
First, how obsessed are you with the band name NONONO? It's like, already they're telling you to step the eff back if you don't like what you see. But luckily we do like everything going on with Sweden's NONONO. Fronted by Stina Wappling, NONONO's lead single, "Pumpin Blood," is heady mix of Icona Pop's sugary sweet sensibilities, a dash of brooding emo à la the xx with a smidge of "overseas mystery." Set in a magical land of hand claps, whistles, and swirling sounds, "Pumpin' Blood" is so radio-friendly, we can hardly stand it. That, and we're preparing to hear this track in 10 upcoming Target and/or Gap commercials. Unfortunately, we have to wait until September for the band's EP to drop, but in the meantime, we suggest you learn the words to "Pumpin Blood" and try to master some of Stina's DGAF-themed dance moves.
7.) Elli Ingram, "Mad Love"
Elli Ingram is kind of a "thing" right now in London, and we're doing our part to make her a "thing" in the U.S., too. Elli initially earned attention with her buttery vocals and fierce interpretation of Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" (that ish got more than 400,000 hits), and now, all her hard work's paid off with a brand-new major label deal on Island Records. Pay close attention to the British songstress' chilled out, soul-dripped, sax-laden track "Mad Love," which you should definitely listen to while either in the midst of a make-out sesh or trying to stage a makeout sesh.
8.) Bonnie McKee, "American Girl"
Bonnie McKee spent years crafting hit songs for artists like Taio Cruz, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha, but now, the flame-haired pop music genius is busting down the doors and inching toward a solo career, pioneered by the breezy, sugary sweet, perfectly polished pop creation "American Girl." Of course, Bonnie did call on a few famous friends to appear in the song's unofficial video (three words: Adam Lambert's FACE), but once the official video hit, we got to see Bonnie's "7-Eleven love story" come to life. And we think it's about time that the queen of No. 1 records charts one for herself! Rooting for you, bb girl.
9.) Little Daylight, "Restart"
Electro-pop trio and remix pros Little Daylight should probably just be called "the kings and queens of synth," or something like that. Following in the footsteps of sparkling songs like "Name in Lights," the New York-based trio's latest jam, "Restart," is "Name In Lights"'s slightly angstier cousin. Featuring an '80s vibe (shocked this isn't a B-side from The Breakfast Club soundtrack), "Restart" is on the trio's debut EP, Tunnel Vision, which just dropped this week. Why don't you grab that disc and maybe throw an '80s prom-themed party JUST so you have another excuse to play it from start to finish?
10.) Britney Spears featuring Pharrell, "Boys (Co-Ed Remix)"
If this entry isn't self-explanatory, then you're probably on the wrong blog. When Britney Spears released "Boys" in 2002, we instantly put this on our "PARTY/GYM/GETTING READY" mix CD (because it was 2002, duh), right next to "I'm A Slave 4 U," because #SWEAT. Then, The Neptunes unleashed the "Boys (Co Ed Remix)," taking the already perfect "Boys" to a perfection stratosphere we never even thought possible. I mean, the hypnotic intro bass line! The weird video where Pharrell and Britney throw a green-tinted pool party at a mansion! Not to mention the fact that this song taught us probably THE most important lesson we've ever learned about men: "Can't live with 'em, can't live without em." SAGE advice.
Photo credit: Andrew Macpherson/RCA/Capitol/Warner Bros/Bad Boy