The Songs of Our Summer

As we head into August, it’s time to soak up those last rays of summer sun. Over at Literally, Darling, we know that you’re jonesing for the perfect soundtrack to the end of summer, and we’re here for you. If you’re tired of jamming “We Can’t Stop” on repeat, check out these summer staples, (almost) all released in the last few months and curated just for you by the Literally, Darling team. They’re as eclectic as we are, and we know there’s something for everyone. These are the songs of our summer, and we think you’ll just love them.

“Drunk Last Night” by Eli Young Band

Sometimes a song’s lyrics are just SPOT ON. Eli Young Band’s new single, “Drunk Last Night,” will have you nodding your head in agreement (and to the catchy beat) within the first thirty seconds. It might not be the most upbeat song, but it’s nice to acknowledge that you aren’t the only one getting too drunk, “talking way too loud,” and spilling your heart. Plus, who doesn’t like to jam out to a good country song as your drive down the highway, hand out the window, wishing the summer would never end?

“One Fine Thing” by Harry Connick Jr.

Sundays are made for smooth and sultry songs paired with a slow morning, and no one answers that call like New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. His latest album, Every Man Should Know, may not hold a candle to his traditional NOLA jazz, but the track “One Fine Thing” stands perfectly on its own. With its subtle burlesque beat, repetitive simple minor chords, and Connick’s raspy, Southern-boy drawling of “You’re the reason why God rested on day seven,” this track begs for a suggestive brunch preparation cheek-to-cheek with your honey.

“90210” by The Courtneys

Summer is the season of relaxing. Even if your schedule is completely packed, you’re supposed to be relaxing. You should be lounging on the beach, whipping up a perfect summer mojito, and working your way through the stack of books by your bedside. Maybe your summer has been stress-free, or maybe not, but either way, the summer’s coming to an end. It’s time to get back to the real world, and that can definitely be a little stressful. From their eponymous debut, The Courtneys are here to remind you, “Slow down, chill out. Breathe in, breathe out. Kick back and have a rest. Don’t forget to take a breath.”

“Best Song Ever” by One Direction

I know, I hate me too. But, nothing makes me feel like I’m 10 and jammin’ out to Backstreet Boys like jammin’ out to some 1D with a cocktail by the pool. (Also, does the beginning of this sound like “Baba O’Riley” to anyone else? No? OK.) I like to think I have cool, hipster-y taste in music and most stuff on my Spotify is akin to what 25-year-old shaggy-haired, bearded men listen to when going through a breakup. But, when I listen to this song in the summer sun, preferably on the beach, I truly feel like dreams come true, unicorns are real, and everyone is a little perfect angel.

“Barbie Jeep” by Kitty Pryde (prod. Hot Sugar)

You know how when you’re on your way to a party or a club, you need something to blast through your headphones as you approach the door? Well, the search is over. Kitty Pryde brings together an eclectic collection of references over a seductively thumping beat to soundtrack your badass life. What’s not to love about a track that includes this line: “You gonna pop my bubble, you muggle. Pretend to stumble any closer, I’ll send you up and near, Wingardium Leviosa.”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, ft. Pharrell and T.I.

Whether you love the video or find boobs distasteful, I dare you to keep your hips from shaking at the first come-hither “Hey, Hey, Hey.” From the straight up funky and kinda dirty melody to Robin Thicke’s sex-in-aviators voice, this song is designed to get you going. Crank this song right after the sun has set, the slight chill of the evening is arriving, and the coming night seems infinite and clothes might soon be optional.

“Bubble Butt” by Major Lazer ft. Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga, and Mystic

Trust us, we know that “Blurred Lines” is one addictive summer jam. But if you’re looking to add a little variety to your summer night soundtrack, try throwing “Bubble Butt” into the mix. It’s infectious, absurd, and the video is pretty terrifying, in a (mostly) good way. It’s the perfect fuel for your summertime fire, and we guarantee it’ll have you up and dancing.

“Bound 2” by Kanye West

You can’t talk about the songs of the summer without talking about Kanye West and Yeezus. There’s a lot to say about Yeezus and the issues it raises, both through its thought-provoking (and provocative) lyrics and its production ethics. Also, there’s the whole “Hurry up with my damn croissants!” absurdity of “I Am A God.” But if you take anything from Yeezus, take its final track: “Bound 2.” You just can’t help but sing along, “I know you’re tired, of loving, of loving, with nobody to love.” It’s exactly what you need to serenade the love of your life or to get you through that break-up, and it’s got this indescribable summer anthem feel. While you’re at it, make sure to check out the original “Bound,” released in 1971 by the Ponderosa Twins, which Kanye sampled from for “Bound 2.”

“House of Leaves” by Salvia Plath

First, can we just agree that Salvia Plath is the best band name ever? Damn. This dreamy tune seems straight out of the 1960s, and it’s surprisingly catchy. Commandeer a hammock, pop in your headphones, and press play. Look up at the sky and admire the light through the trees, then just drift off.

“Other Boys” by Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger’s sophomore release, Personal Record, does not disappoint. Every track is perfection, but I guarantee that you’ll have “Other Boys” on repeat as your summer romance winds down. It’s a quiet, heartbreakingly earnest lament that, at just the right moment, gears up for the catharsis, forestalling bitterness. Hop in the car, crank up the volume, and sing along.

“Love Me Again” by John Newman

New artist John Newman dominated the UK charts this summer, and with a video full of tragically awkward dancers while a ghostly pale, bouffant-laden British man does his best Elvis impersonation, it’s of little surprise he’s done so well. Grey day or blue skies, the song’s upbeat and catchy hook instantly transports you to a car full of your best pals off on one last grand summer misadventure singing, “Is this what devils do?”

And one track from a couple summers ago that was just too good to not share:

“Just a Friend” by Booker T. Jones, ft. Biz Markie, Matt Berninger, and Sharon Jones

Being a product of two parents who are stuck in the 80s has taught me that the best way to have a good time is to reminisce on an era when music was at its prime (or at least, according to them). This song is a remix of the original 1989 rap “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie. To sum it up, it is the ultimate anthem for all our friend-zoned darlings. And yet the beat to this remix is so catchy that you may just find yourself wishing you were being friend-zoned… except you probably won’t. But friend-zoned, in denial about it, or not friend-zoned (yet), this is one of those songs you’ll be screaming at the top of your lungs.

What’s on your summer barbecue playlist? Did we miss the anthem of your summer? Tweet us at @LitDarling, or let us know in the comments!

Photo by Nico Nordstrom

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