Spotify released its official “Song of the Summer” list this week, and and it’s filled with tracks you’ve probably had stuck in your head over the past three sweltering months — whether you wanted them there or not.
Top of the pops was “In My Feelings” by Drake. In fact, Drake took up FIVE spots in the Top 20 Global Songs of Summer 2018, joined by Maroon 5‘s “Girls Like You,” “Better Now” by Post Malone, Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” and Cardi B‘s “I Like It,” which was also named 2018 Song of the Summer at MTV’s 2018 Video Music Awards last week.
Those are the most streamed songs of the past few months, but what about all the other tracks filling the summer airwaves? With Labor Day fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of the hits we think deserve to be crowned Song of Summer 2018.
1. Ella Mai, “Boo’d Up”
This 23-year-old Londoner became the first U.K. artist this summer to top the U.S. R&B chart since Lisa Stansfield‘s “All Woman” way back in 1992. It easy to see why: the swoony, retro R&B beat of this track adds up to four minutes of feelgood vibes, making it a perfect summer song.
2. Confidence Man, “Fascination”
Nothing gives us a confidence boost like the sun’s rays, so album Confident Music for Confident People dropped just in time in April. This track manages to combine Madchester swagger with the electro-punk abandon of early LCD Soundsystem and the genre-bending weirdness of Beck.
3. Kacey Musgraves, “High Horse”
The country elements are all there in this song from Texan native Kacey: background acoustic strings, the light glide guitar solo and even a banjo and a reference to John Wayne. Add a funky, Nile Rodgers-esque guitar and popping bass, and you’ve got a no-nonsense, disco crossover banger before you can even say the words “Taylor Swift.”
4. Childish Gambino, “Summertime Magic”
The Artist Also Known as Donald Glover — a.k.a. the genius behind Atlanta and the young Lando Calrissian in Solo — raised eyebrows when his “This is America” video launched in May. Brutal, angry and unforgiving, it addressed mass shootings and the reality of being African-American in 2018. This track, surprise released in July on the Summer Pack EP, is a little more laidback.
5. Cher, “Fernando”
If you weren’t humming ABBA at some point, can you even be sure you lived through summer 2018? Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again stormed theaters in July, reviving the Swedish supergroup’s back catalogue for millions of movie goers. To be fair, if our Spotify is anything to go by, then this entire top 10 would be ABBA songs — but we’ve managed to contain ourselves. Besides, it’s less than a month before Cher releases a whole album of covers.
6. Chaka Khan, “Like Sugar”
Cher wasn’t the only diva making a comeback in 2018. Queen of Funk Chaka Khan returned with this track, her first single in a decade, as she gears up to release her first studio album since 2007’s Funk This. It’s all there: a funky bassline, classic dance beat and infectious chorus. A simple reminder that a great summer song makes you want to get up on your feet.
7. Robyn, “Missing U”
Nobody mixes heartbreak with synth sounds like Robyn does, as anyone who’s heard her sublime 2005 hit “With Every Heartbeat” knows. Her first single in eight years was well worth the wait: the bittersweet beat hits just the right note until her long-awaited new album drops later this year.
8. Christine and the Queens, “Girlfriend”
New album CHRIS is due out in September, and if this track and “Doesn’t Matter” are anything to go by, it’s going to be every bit as good as Héloïse Letissier‘s 2015 debut.
9. Janelle Monae, “Make Me Feel”
Is there anything Janelle Monae can’t do? She can act in a Best Picture Oscar-winning film (Moonlight). She can be the Afrofuturist funk pop star we didn’t even know we needed. And she can make elastic electro ’80s R&B like “Make Me Feel”— a track that manages to out-Prince Prince.
10. MGMT, “Me and Michael”
This shimmering ode to friendship has all the ingredients of a dusky summer jam: nostalgia, an airy but catchy melody, and a hint of sadness. Originally titled “Me and My Girl,” the band changed the name of the track last minute to make it less “boring.”
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