By Josh Schonfeld
What used to be a mere coincidence has now become a highly competitive game within the music industry: Who will win Song of the Summer? If you’re here to read my opinion on each of the lucky hopefuls, you can stop right now because this is not the article for you. While there are plenty of candidates already lined up, such as Justin Timberlake, Drake, and Rihanna, I’m here to show you the underrated gems that this season has to offer. Everyone knows they’ll be subjected to “CAN’T STOP THIS FEELING!” at every single wedding they go to this summer, as well as “One Dance” at every outdoor bar, but what about those songs that are just sizzling in the background, perfect for a beach day or a warm stroll through the park? Here, you’ll find the lesser-known summer songs that will round out your seasonal playlist without causing over-saturation from the top hits.
“Bury It” – CHVRCHES feat. Hayley Williams)
A hi-NRG bop that dares you to try and keep still as it pulses through your system. The staccato electropop beat pummels your ears as CHVRCHES and Hayley Williams take turns shouting out ultra-catchy lyrics about struggling to take the high road. Perfect for a morning run, “Bury It” gives you that burst of energy needed to get over both literal and proverbial humps.
“What’s It Gonna Be?” – Shura
Looking for a more contemplative track as you’re lounging poolside thinking about your summer love? Straight out of a John Hughes film, Shura whispers out that timeless question over a peppy beat, “what’s it gonna be?” Although it borders on being mindlessly repetitive, it serves as ideal background music for any day at the beach.
“Sex” – Cheat Codes x Kriss Kross Amsterdam
Already a bonafide hit in Australia and Europe, “Sex” samples Salt n Pepa’s hit, “Let’s Talk About Sex,” sprucing it up with a fresh dance beat behind the iconic lyrics. While some may find it vulgar and unoriginal, I’m a sucker for a corkscrew beat and any mention of “pussy power.” Perfect for a long car ride to the lake, this song will get the juices flowing all the way to the cabin.
“In My Blood” – The Veronicas
The Australian twins are back with their latest track, “In My Blood.” The simple melody and generic bass line describe the typical summer love, with the post-chorus sound effects reflecting the insanity one feels in a relationship. Just listening to this will make you pine for that perfect mate to get down with all summer long.
“WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS” – LANY
Have all your friends left you this summer? Have no one to hang out with? LANY belts out a low-key Cali pop midtempo that’ll have you reflecting on any past decision that’s been haunting you. The FOMO is real as the lead singer croons, “Where the hell are my friends? Out without me again.” The incessant note on the piano takes the place of time ticking away as you waste away in the hot sun all alone.
Are five songs not enough for you? Do you not have the time or patience to curate your own playlist? Why not follow my best summer songs playlist on Spotify! Filled with all the hits and underrated gems, this Songs of the Summer playlist changes weekly to give you the freshest beats pop music has to offer.