Summer is almost here. Whether you're planning to go and hang out with friends, work on your fitness goals, or simply bathe in the tropical midday sun, we all know that there is one thing that can make or break the occasion: your choice of music. Choose wisely, and your playlist can boost your mood to new heights. Suddenly, you feel like you are on top of the world.
A blockbuster year for music has gifted us rising stars, hidden gems, everlasting hits, and some soon-to-be summer anthems. Now is the time for you to create your ultimate summer playlist. Here are my top picks:
No other song encapsulates the tropical summer vibes quite like Watermelon Sugar. Even if you are in your backyard, this song could easily transport you to the white-sand beaches of Bora Bora, with the sea lapping at your feet.
Also, it has already scooped up some major awards, too: a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance and a Brit award for Song of the Year.
After the huge success of her second album, Future Nostalgia, last year, Dua Lipa triumphed once again with the release of this single in February.
I think this is a welcome break from the recurrent pop songs about breakups. Its quirky, Caribbean-inspired melody is what makes this song so unique and endearing.
Breakthrough artist Olivia Rodrigo — another ex-Disney star aspiring to follow in the footsteps of Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande onto the global music stage — has been dominating the charts this year. Her debut single, Drivers License, is a cathartic ballad with powerful lyrics and emotive vocals.
The story embedded in the lyricism is beautifully crafted. It is empowering — the perfect song for the days when you need some positive affirmation.
Griff is an up-and-coming artist that has yet to have success outside the UK music charts. Nevertheless, her latest single, Black Hole, has received critical acclaim.
This song has all the components of a must-have summer hit: captivating lyrics and an irresistible melody. The end product is reminiscent of other smash hits by the likes of Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish. You just can't help falling in love with this song.
Head & Heart
Joel Corry & MNEK
Joel Corry's Head & Heart is an infinite beacon of positive energy. If you're looking to hold a (COVID-safe) party this summer, there would be no better way to set the mood than with this feel-good song — it is guaranteed to make you smile.
From the recent rock-inspired album of the same name, Plastic Hearts captures Miley Cyrus' magnificent reinvention. It showcases a different side to the singer that we haven't seen before — her voice is deeper and coarser — yet the songs she has produced are just as legendary.
Plastic Hearts features the perfect combination of great lyrics and an unabating beat to take your summer playlist to new heights.
Coldplay is renowned for producing chart-topping tunes, and their latest release is no exception. Like its predecessors, Higher Power is an instant dancefloor-filler that is guaranteed to catch the attention of everyone in the room.
As you are captured by the beat, you really begin to believe that you have got the higher power. Coldplay's inaugural performance of this song was to an astronaut onboard the International Space Station, with lead singer Chris Martin saying: “The song is about trying to find the astronaut in all of us, the person that can do amazing things.”
Stop This Flame
This upbeat, piano-driven song by British soul singer Celeste is essential for your summer playlist. It may begin modestly, but when the jazz meets Celeste's distinctive vocals, it is an irresistible hit for all.
Stop This Flame carries inspirational lyrics throughout; it is a song about perseverance and self-belief. Need some motivation to crush your goals this summer? Then this song is for you.
Save Your Tears
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande
Following the success of 'Blinding Lights' last year, The Weeknd has produced yet another classic. Initially released last year, his more recent collaboration on the song with pop superstar Ariana Grande spent two weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
And it is easy to see why: their versatile vocal range makes this song subtle and unbelievably catchy. Who knew that this unlikely pairing would make such a perfect duo?