It’s the time that we’ve all been waiting for: sunscreen, cold beers and good times with friends. While we don’t all mark our calendars, those of us that lie north of the equator should be very familiar with the date June 21st; after all, it’s the official start of summer! Like most seasons, summertime calls for a playlist. But, as some of you may have already discovered, finding those perfect tunes can seem like an endless, almost impossible at times. To save you the time, we’ve put together a list of our own.
1. Panama Wedding - "Uma"
Panama Wedding made a big splash last summer with their debut single, "All of the People." Having ridden on the success of its release for almost a year, the group returned earlier this month with their major label debut, Parallel Play. The EP, which spans four songs in length, is appropriately summery, full of playful and endearing tracks that beg you to get up and throw on some swim trunks. The EP's most notable track, "Uma," has a unique and incredibly refreshing vibe, coasting on a spunky bassline and an irresistibly catchy vocal refrain.
2. Saint Raymond - "Brighter Days"
Callum Burrows, aka Saint Raymond, is easily one of the youngest faces on this list, but despite his youthful complexion, the 19-year-old is arguably one of the most talented. Though his musical catalogue is full of summery contenders, the opening track from his newest EP takes the cake. If there was ever a recipe for summer, "Brighter Days" has got all the necessary ingredients: whimsical guitar licks, carefree lyrics and a hint of the tropics make it an essential track for any summer playlist.
3. Coasts - "A Rush of Blood"
Given their name, it's not the least bit surprising that Coasts have made their way onto this list. Time after time, we've been continually impressed by the Bristol-based rockers, and "A Rush of Blood" is only one out of handful of impressive offerings. "Oceans," the band's exhilarating debut single, would be a likely addition to this list, if we weren't already focusing on songs from 2014. That being said, we have got ourselves a winner in "A Rush of Blood."
Thanks to producer-extraordinaire, Eliot James (Two Door Cinema Club, Noah and the Whale), the song feels both polished and tight. Wasting no time to beat around the bush, the band hit the floor running with a surge of electrifying guitar riffs and a lively chorus; you can almost feel the sweat dripping down your face with every red-blooded lyric.
4. Mausi - "My Friend Has A Swimming Pool"
Mausi, Mausi, Mausi... If I didn't know any better, I would think the band was on a permanent vacation. If you're itching to leave the office and catch some 'rays by the pool, boy, have the trio got an anthem for you! If you're not fortunate enough to own a pool, but happen to know someone with one, I suggest you turn up the volume right away! For those of you that fancy summer drinks, sun-kissed skin, and above all else, skinny-dipping, you will find a friend in Mausi.
5. RAC - "Cheap Sunglasses (feat. Matthew Koma)"
Having raked up nearly 1.5 million plays in only two months, it would be a gross injustice to leave RAC's latest single out of the mix; after all, it was the inspiration for this list. Like me, if you have even an speck of happiness in your body, "Cheap Sunglasses" will bring it out with polarizing effect. Not only does it fill out the colour spectrum, but this bouncy little number will have you skipping down the street until the sun goes down. Rather than hiding behind a veil, "Cheap Sunglasses" shamelessly flaunts its pop sensibilities, reminding all of us just how much fun summer can be! So grab that frilly, pastel-coloured dress of yours and take to the streets already!
6. COMPNY - "Begging Me To Come Back"
When we showcased COMPNY's debut single, "Begging Me To Come Back," earlier this year, we didn't think that it would have such a lasting effect. Having stuck with us for over two months, though, the song has proven to be quite the little earworm. From the syncopated guitar riffs to the frolicking beat, "Begging Me To Come Back" oozes of adventure. Whether you're lounging by the pool or embarking on country-wide road-trip, this song will accompany you wherever the road takes you.
7. Fickle Friends - "SWIM"
Six days earlier and Fickle Friends' "Swim" wouldn't be eligible for this list. Thankfully, however, it narrowly slipped by. From the time it dropped until now, "SWIM" has been by my side, braving the cold winter months and separating the clouds during spring. Although I've been senselessly teased for the greater half of a year, this song will finally accompany me and my bathing suit when I take that long-awaited first dive.
8. Skogsrå - "Now You See Me"
Swedish indie-pop outfit, Skogsrå, has remained relatively quite since releasing his debut single back in January. Without any promotion or celebrity-endorsement, "Now You See Me" has crept its way into our library, where it has done a number of rounds. As a result, we've fell head-over-heels for the delightful little single, incorporating it into our daily rotation. The first half of the song is characteristically sweet, coated in bubbly dance beats, whereas the second half finds the producer leaping for the heavens with a glorious crescendo. If you're not grooving along to this song by the time the climax rolls around, you might want to get your hips checked.
9. ASTR - "Blue Hawaii"
When the words "Blue Hawaii" are tossed around, many things spring to mind—namely, Elvis' flop of a movie and Montréal's dynamic electronic duo. However, when the word "ASTR" is thrown into the mix, those two words take on an entirely new meaning. For ASTR, "Blue Hawaii" means palm trees, drinks in El Dorado, and amongst other things, a misled libido(?). Ultimately, this translates into glowing synths, airy vocals and heart-pumping beats; in other words, a magnificent electronic production.
10. Vacationer - "In the Grass"
When listening to "In the Grass," the debut single from Vacationer's forthcoming album, Relief, you can almost feel the sand sifting through your toes. Of course, this is nothing new for the Philadelphia-based band (hell, their name speaks for itself), but the straight-forward approach of their latest single particularly lends itself to the beach. And if the accompanying artwork hadn't already made that obvious enough, the jangly guitars, slapping bongos and breezy vocals certainly will.