Michael: Although my skin seems totally intolerant of what the sun does to it in the next few months, I still love the summer. Nothing makes me happier than sitting in the sun and doing absolutely fuck all for the day. Well not absolutely, the summer is only the summer if you have your summer songs to go with it.
Henry: Amen to that fair prayer. We’ve spun through 25 of the songs that get us pumped, and will be jamming to over the coming months. Come for the summery goodness, stay for the golden banter.
1) Spun – Grouplove
H: I cannot, and will not, underplay the merits of Grouplove. And Spun might be up there with my favourites and the video is spectacular. It reminds me of all the summers spent swimming, getting drunk and contemplatively looking out of a window on the return drive from a beach. IF you’re not moved in some way after this video, you’re … stupid.
M: Their unbelievably smart videos and knack for catchy pop which somehow still manages to feel incredibly original makes Grouplove easily one of the best bands around today. And Henry’s right, Spun has an aaahmazing video and should have got you feeling suitably summery for the rest of the 25!
2) We Come Together – Goldfish (Flasybeat Mix)
H: Michael, you picked up on this in your post about South Africa and it’s been on Spotify-repeat since.
M: Any song from South Africa really ought to feel summery and Goldfish are certainly not going to let you down when it comes to giving you that summertime feeling.
3) Hoop of Love – Dominant Legs
H: This is half Those Dancing Days (whom I saw yonks ago at a London festival and were brill), half Haim and completely sesaon-appropriate. The video is an advert for slouchy jumpers and a crisp white shirt, which are both important things.
4) Simple Song – The Shins
M: The Shins have always produced music that just begs to be played while you have a barbecue on the beach in those late summer evenings. Simple Song isn’t quite so simple (obviously) and touches on some interesting lyrical themes but still has enough summer vibes that you’ll find yourself not really caring about any of them when the sun is beating down on you.
H: Agreed, it’s very late night-beach-chic. Ugh, lame. Have you only just featured it because it was on HIMYM?
5) Parosol – Jonquil
M: How dare you? HIMYM, as great as it is, did not make me a Shins fan. That said, that video of London from the 1920s is definitely responsible for why I’m featuring Parosol. It’s in the name (and in the picture), these tunes belong in the sun.
6) Bigfoot – Cayucas
M: It’s very Vampire Weekend but I mean that in absolutely the best way. Pitchfork hated this album but they’re spot on when they say that Cayucas are going to “play a role in some really chill BBQs in the coming months.”
H: I told someone in a club that I ran a music website called Pitchfork. A low moment.
7) Don’t – Phoenix
H: Have you checked out Bankrupt yet, Michael? It’s gotten mixed reviews but I am loving it. Anyway, Don’t is one of the poppiest things Phoenix has ever produced and I’m sure we’ll see it in an advert for a smartphone soon. It’s outrageously sunny.
M: I bloody adored this album. I like it when bands are like, FUCK IT, let’s just make the music we like.
8) Sunny Daze – Viceroy
H: I mean, anything that Viceroy really sticks his name to could be on this list right? But this is literally called Sunny Daze so we’ll go with it. Also: until about last week, I pronounced Viceroy as ‘visseroy’ not as ‘vice-roy’ which was painfully embarrassing.
M: Been making the same mistake… unitl now.
9) Too Young – Ghost Beach
H: Am I missing a trick here? Why does this only have a couple of thousand views on YouTube? I genuinely don’t know if this is only a demo, or if it was later re-mastered, but I do know that I love Ghost Beach. I remember playing them a lot last year when we were inter-railing (miss you, Berlin) and them perfectly fitting into the summer landscape.
10) California – Delta Spirit
H: This is one of my favourite songs of the last few years (so much so that I really limit the play count so I never tired of it). The video is seriously slick, too.
11) Both of Us – B.o.B ft. Taylor Swift
H: The song is good but this is 100% being featured because the video fills me with indescribable summer joy. That angle behind the horse’s head? Brilliant. The shots of cowboy boots? Perfect (can you tell I’m going to Texas this summer?). Jumping into Motel swimming pools, full-clothed? Please! Everything is just so perfectly summery about this video, from the sunny days spent in slouchy jumpers to the warm evenings in denim shirts. I didn’t think a B.o.B video would ever make me feel this but it just does. And it’s perfect. And I have been left emotionally traumatised by my coursework, apparently. Michael, you like a good video. What’s your take on it?
M: On principle, I hate B.o.B. Why? Because I’m incredibly superficial and I hate that name sooooo much. But I have to confess, a good video can make a good song and this is a good video. Plus Taylor Swift, and this is a jam!
H: The name is such a Cougar Town, or The Vampire Diaries in the sense that it’s never going to be cool no matter how good the content is. But yeah, this is my Top 40 jam because I totally missed it last summer.
12) The Sea – Swim Deep
M: The optimistic chorus and the supremely feel good video makes The Sea just such a joyful song that just gets me stoked for a long holiday full of possibilities. I own a Swim Deep t-shirt so I’d be interested to know whether I have Henry’s approval on my commitment to Swim Deep to go big?
H: Well now they have your personal investment, I think they’ll probably sweep the Grammys next year. No, this is great. Swim Deep always feel like they just avoid unbearable mannerisms (I’ve never seen more middle partings than this video) and that’s something to applaud. Weird February release date, though. Do their record company not like them or something? I think the song is good but they just need to carve their own niche a little more.
13) All I Wanna Do – Splashh
M: It’s the surfer rock that has become so stereotypical of summer playlists but that’s for a good reason – Splashh really rock my ass off.
14) So Good To Me – Chris Malinchak
M: I wrote about this one already (sadly predicting a number one it was just pipped to by some French DJs… don’t know if you’ve heard of them?) so I’ll let Henry take this one.
H: Love, love, love.
15) Skirts – The Other Tribe
M: Where was this in every single one of my summers to date?! And why have I never been invited to one of these hipster-forest parties?
H: … I thought you did Duke of Edinburgh?
16) The City – The 1975
M: Depressingly Henry, we’ve been here before. Like last summer we were here. But The 1975 decided to take down their Facedown EP from 2012 so they can re-release literally their only not-super-depressing song in time for this summer. Also, I’m sick of this Black and White bullshit.
H: The 1975 are really, really your jam and I think they’re good. Per a YouTube comment though: ‘He sounds like the lead singer of bloc party.’ And now I can’t unhear it.
17) In My Arms – Karma Kid
M: I’m going to do a Nines on House music before all the stuff I’m listening to at the moment is all over the radio. Why? Because I want some credit before Karma Kid (who is younger than me!) gets all of it. This just has summer etched all over it.
H: I’m looking forward to that Nines a lot. Anything to remind me of Chicago, after Happy Endings got cancelled.
18) Back Down South – Kings of Leon
H: Just watch the video on this one.
19) You + Me + The Radio – Abandon Kansas
H: This is a little tropical pop-rock (see Ghost Beach), and has a hook-inducing chorus which plays up to all my tastes. It’s got a roadtrippy sound that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Grouplove record and is full of summer nuance (‘let’s watch the East Coast disappear’ is great). Rest assured, I’m going to be playing the fuck out of this come June. Also, the video is adorable.
21) I Didn’t Believe – Flight Facilities
M: With some awesome eighties dance moves and a classic beat, I Didn’t Believe is a complete departure from Flight Facilities’ previous single (the stunning Clair de Lune) but manages to capture the same magic, if in a completely different way. How can this not make you happy!?
22) I Love It – Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX
H: This song is so old but it’s been featured in a few shows recently and I’ve always been a fan and I’ll give it a few months before I tired of ‘but I’m a 90s bitch.’
M: I love Charli XCX more than anything on this planet. So yeah.. this song may be old but it is so rad.
23) A Little Party Never Killed Nobody – Fergie … and a ton of other people
H: I haven’t seen Gatsby yet but I have listened to the soundtrack a couple of hundred times. This song is kinda awkward (that bit where Fergie ays: ‘what do you think, Goon Rock. Are you ready?’) but its beat is pulsing in all the right ways. It’s a good way to start a party is what I’m saying.
24) Woozy Anthem – DVBBS
M: Forget my Woozy Anthem, DVBBS have released my summer anthem. I’m honestly so proud of how they’ve blown up in the last six months and Woozy Anthem is their crowning achievement – the biggest dance tune of the summer.
25) We Do It Big – Reuben Keeney & Rafii
H: Can you even begin to imagine how good this is going to sound when you’re drunk? But seriously, this is pretty darn great. It may not go further than a refrain of ‘We do it big’ but I don’t think it really needs to.