Summertime is upon us, and that means three things:
1) You're broke from all the fucking festivals you're going to.
2) You're constantly on the comedown from all the fucking festivals you're going to.
3) Every record label and media outlet is desperately trying to convince you of what the so-called "song of the summer" is.
We doth protest! The "summer anthem" is as made-up and hopeless a concept as DJ Mag's Top 100 or good tropical house. The thirst of charts companies and mainstream radio to get you to listen to a pre-selected playlist of hype tracks is real and we're not feeding it—don't you think we can try a little harder than having "the song of the summer" be titled "Summer"?
Consider this list of tunes we think will have you feelin' all kinds of alright this summer (or winter if you live below the equator), picked on the basis of being rad, regardless of season.
Ambassadeurs: "My Way"
Brighton is probably the least bleak place in the UK, which isn't saying much, but they have a beach with actual sand and actual water and occasionally it gets warm enough for you to remove the sweater you're wearing over your sweater. Fittingly, Ambassadeurs' "My Way" is as upbeat as you can expect an underground UK house tune to get. It's moody, propulsive and manages to be catchy, despite the ethereal and intangible vocals.
BIGBANG: "Bang Bang Bang"
Hey, how come there are no EDM boy bands yet? Mull that over while the five hottest Koreans assault you with a multi-genre banger that features G-Dragon's vocal pistol whipping of "bang bang bang." Fuck your crossover talk, this shit is fire in any language, in any country.
Boys Noize & Pilo: "Cerebral"
Oh, you like bangers? Alex Ridha's barnburner of a tune with LA upstart Pilo is so fire that the duo should be on arson watch everywhere they go this summer. It doesn't matter what scene you're into––house, trap, hardstyle––this one manages to reference them all while being totally unique and deceptively simple.
Charli XCX: "Famous" (RIVRS Remix)
We have been waiting for a goddamn year for more tunes from London dream-synth trio RIVRS, so if it has to be on the fourth single from Charli's Sucker album, we'll take it. The bassline is the secret weapon on this mix. That and the affirmation that Ms. XCX's voice is probably a fuckton of fun to distort in Ableton.
Nocturnal Sunshine featuring Chelou: "Believe"
Hey, remember dubstep? Not like this, you don't. This one's for the upper latitudes where the sun shines all night. Maya Jane Coles' broken-beat alter-ego has put out an formidable album of minimal tunes that take on UK bass formats with deep house tones and this collab with Chelou has a quiet glory to it.
Elizabeth Rose: "Division"
In Australia, singer/producer Elizabeth Rose's "Division" has political overtones. You are more than welcome to make this your #CallMeCaitlyn anthem—really—but this is also a slick little late night shoulder-bouncer even without the lyrics.
Housemeister: "Work This"
The way Housemeister's battering ram of a bassline trips over itself on "Work This" is almost overwhelming. That shit is so raw it makes sushi look burnt. And people won't shut up about how lovely Berlin is in the summertime, but this tune will have you in heads down mode even on the sunniest of days.
Jamie xx featuring Young Thug & Popcaan: "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"
Jamie xx's In Colour is the album that white boy rock critics have jizzed themselves to tell you how much they love it this summer. Yay! You go, white boy rock critics, go! While they clean up their messes, you can snap and leanback to this easy little dancehall-on-quaaludes tune that is the energetic opposite of Jamie's "All Under One Roof Raving" from last summer. It doesn't matter if you like this tune or not, you at least need to know about it.
Major Lazer featuring Elliphant and Jovi Rockwell: "Too Original"
Jovi Rockwell kinda sounds like Gwen Stefani when she sounds like a dancehall singer here. Good! The bass reminds us of Ten Walls' "Walking with Elephants." Also good! Maybe this is a little hardstyle? Good too!
Róisín Murphy: "Exploitation"
Upon her looooong-awaited return to music, Róisín Murphy is kind of like a Meryl Streep figure in the dance world. She's been around for a while, her cheekbones can cut a bitch, and she's FUCKING AWESOME. This tune is soft and emulsive and has a set of muscley remixes to make dudebro DJs feel ok about playing it in their sets too.
For more summertime sass, follow THUMP on Twitter.