Ahh, summer. The time of year when you scheme to get a half-day Friday, try to discreetly pass gas during family road trips, and fill your Instagram timeline with fake pictures of you living “your best life.” Of course, no summer is complete without a breezy, festive playlist, complete with steel drums (check), “summer” dropped in a title (check) and no mention whatsoever of “Despacito” (check).
Childish Gambino – “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer”
Although Childish Gambino has had success as a musician, Donald Glover’s side hustle became a main gig when his music video for “This Is America” went viral, sparking think pieces and barbershop debates. No one has ever questioned the Atlanta star’s acting chops (he stole the show as Young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story), which have also served him well as a rapper/singer, as he has a sly, wry uncanny ability to slip into “musical” characterizations, channelling everyone from Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Prince, and Sly and the Family Stone. Gambino recently dropped not one, but two summer-themed songs, which tap into Drake and Toro Y Moi, for some hip hop yacht rock, complete with Caribbean steel drums and breezy Pina Colada melodies.
Rhye – “Summer Days (Roosevelt Remix)”
Rhye’s sounds of seduction are usually reserved for late night, but this stellar remix by Roosevelt is clearly ready for prime time. The German musician slaps a funky disco bassline on the already infectious groove of the original, giving it new life as a unbutton your shirt dance party jam.
Chance the Rapper – “Work Out”
If you want that summer bod, you’ve got to work out. Chance the Rapper is looking out for you, dropping four new songs for your gym playlist. The most playful of them is “Work Out”, a sing along lullaby about parenthood that doesn’t take itself too seriously, kinda, sorta like the musical equivalent of a dad bod.
Maribou State – “Feel Good (feat. Khruangbin)”
Maribou State is the perfect band name for a summer road trip song made for long drives on lonely highways. The English dance music duo enlist vintage surf riffs from Khruangbin to create a “Feel Good” cross country cruiser that can play on a loop.
Yuno – “No Going Back”
Don’t bother Googling “Tame Impala new album”. Yuno is a former skater skid signed to indie label Sub Pop, who sounds a lot like Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker, at least on this made for summer single. It’s a refreshing Spritzer-sipper that will whet your appetite for the up-and-coming Jacksonville singer/songwriter’s debut EP, Moodie.
MØ and Diplo – Sun In Our Eyes
Summer is about catching up with old friends. When MØ and Diplo get together, good music happens, remember “Lean On” (with DJ Snake) and “Cold Water” (with Justin Bieber)? Now, the dynamic duo are back with “Sun In Our Eyes”, a nostalgic look at summer’s past, where the Danish singer harps about leaving “footprints in the sand, stealing liquor, making plans.” Sounds like our type of girl.