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Top 20 Songs to Add to Your Summer Playlist

Music & Podcasts

July 27, 2021

Although the summer is half-over, it is never too late to update your summer playlists with some fresh songs to keep you in the summer state of mind.

These songs range from popular classics to relatively unknown gems that deserve more recognition across many decades and genres.

1. Kyrie - Mr. Mister

Kyrie was first released in 1985 on Mr. Mister's second album, Welcome to the Real World. This song is about the journey through life and the guidance we need as we embark on it.

In Latin, Kyrie Elesion means "God give me peace or Lord have mercy." I think that is a very appropriate phrase after the crazy last year we've had.

2. Feels Like Today - Rascal Flatts

Feels Like Today is a song that has always stood out to me, not only for its beautiful melody, but the theme of finding what's missing in your life, making it complete.

This song is a great introduction to country for anyone just starting to explore the genre.

3. Put Your Records On - Corrinne Bailey Rae

This is a sweet summer song that almost makes it possible to smell the summer flowers blooming. While it's more subtle than some of the other songs on this list, Put Your Records On is a wonderful reminder to let yourself relax and have fun, because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Anna Shvets Via Pexels

4. We Could Run Away - Needtobreathe

Some days, the thought of running away and forgetting everything sounds absolutely wonderful. This song brings to life those fantasies and allows you to take a mental road trip to anywhere you can imagine.

5. The Whole of The Moon - Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore's cover of this Waterboys classic stretches to the stars and doesn't disappoint.

The Whole of the Moon is a sweet song about having the same view, but different perspectives. Sometimes, it takes a look at things from a different point of view to understand yourself and the world around you.

6. Shine On - Needtobreathe

Just like many of the other songs on this list, Shine On is about learning and growing through new opportunities. This song embodies summer with not only the title of the song, but the message that this is a time to reset and find what you love.

7. Perfect Day - Hoku

Every once in a while, we need to just relax, and Hoku's bright, sunshine-splashed song is the perfect soundtrack for doing so. Perfect Day is an upbeat song about letting all your cares and responsibilities go for the day and just having fun with your friends.

Perfect Day also serves as the theme for Reese Witherspoon's classic Legally Blonde.

8. Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

During the early years of his career, Will Smith made a name for himself not only as an actor but also as a rapper.

This song emerged in the 90's while Will Smith starred in the classic sit-com, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where he was known for rapping in several episodes. Summertime is an upbeat rap song about all the simple things that make summer such a magical time.

Yente Van Eynde Via Pexels

9. Dare You To Move - Switchfoot

Life is never easy and the fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Dare You Move gives you a push to let go of that fear because there is no better way to get over your fears than to do what scares you.

10. Everyday - Toby Lightman

Sometimes it seems easier to just say everything or say nothing. Everyday is about the struggle of finding the right words to say. Toby Lightman's tender and honest voice confronts this struggle head-on with grace.

11. Heartbeat - Carrie Underwood

The essence of Heartbeat is simple: being so in love with someone that you just want to be with them; no distractions, no other people. Both of you out in the middle of nowhere on a summer night, dancing to the rhythm of each other's heartbeats.

12. Cruel Summer - Bananarama

If you want a moodier summer song, Cruel Summer is perfect for you. This song talks about the downsides of summer, like the constant heat and knowing your friends are off having adventures without you. Despite the moody lyrics, the song has a really great beat that will make you want to dance.

Felipe Silveira Via Pexels

13. Walkin' On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves

This upbeat song about being madly in love is one you will probably recognize due to its unwavering (no pun intended) popularity over the past 35 years.

Walkin' On Sunshine is truly a song to dance to with upbeat lyrics and a lively tune that will put a smile on your face.

14. Wild Frontier - Stephanie Quayle

Stephanie Quayle's Wild Frontier is about trusting someone with your heart and facing life together through all the hard times and the good ones too.

This song is a wonderful reminder of what it means to have people in your corner.

15. Vacation - The Go-Gos

Who doesn't dream of a big summer trip to make this summer one to remember? Even if you're not going anywhere this summer, this song transports you to a warm, sunny beach that you will never want to leave.

16. Breathe - Michelle Branch

In the early 2000's, Michelle Branch was known as one to watch, not only because of her sweet but powerful voice, but because of her astounding songwriting skills. Breathe is a great song about letting things go, something that's not easy to do.

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17. One Original Thing - Cheyenne Kimball

Originality and individuality is something we strive for. Cheyenne Kimball's pop-rock tune from the early 2000's reminds us to always try to be ourselves instead of trying to be like everyone else, which makes this a great song for anyone who constantly finds themselves trying to be like someone else.

18. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

Arguably, Journey's most famous song, Don't Stop Believin', is a power song in the best sense. The song was written around the simple concept of never giving up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. The power extends even further through the band's beautiful instrumentation and the soaring vocals of lead singer, Steve Perry.

19. Lovely Day- Bill Withers

Bill Withers' classic song made a comeback thanks to its inclusion in the movie The Secret Life of Pets, introducing a whole new generation to his musical genius.

Lovely day is a spectacularly written song about how the right person can make any day a lovely one.

20. Wind Of Change - Scorpions

Wind of Change is a beautiful ballad about watching the world change. A lot of inspiration for the song was taken from the removal of the Berlin Wall between 1989 and 1990, but the meaning of the song still rings true today as a reminder that good wins and dark times will end.

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Summer may not last forever, but the memories and the music will last a lifetime.

Cassandra Stinger
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Writer since Jun, 2020 · 31 published articles

Cassandra Stinger is a journalist, aspiring author, and preschool teacher from central Kansas. When she's not writing or working, she can be found reading, cooking, or pursuing photography.