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The 11 Best Songs for Summer ’22

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What’s a defining characteristic of summer 2022? Is it rooftop parties, lemonades and strolls sweltering in the sun? Or is it night time drives with the roof down? I would argue it’s neither. Rather, when we look back on this summer we’ll think of only one thing: the music.

While the economy and political ideals collapse around us, and new Covid strains continue to pop up here and there, we seem to be dancing our way through the chaos. House music has made a big, almost aggressive comeback this year; Afrobeats continues to top the charts and take the US music scene by storm; and of course, like every summer, Pop is front and center. The energy and vibes are right. All of us are ready to dance to an a seemingly endless amount of incredible music. After all, our bum beach days and drinks on friends’ rooftops need a soundtrack right? Here are some of the best summer songs of 2022 so far.

1

Beyoncé, “Break My Soul”

Do I even need to say anything? Anytime Beyoncé releases music it becomes a cultural moment and “Break My Soul” is no different. The House-heavy dance track is the only thing keeping us sane this summer. It carries a very important message: Get the hell out there. Let down your hair, quit your job (or don’t) and most importantly get to the dance floor. After all, “We back outside.”

2

Harry Styles, “As It Was”

Okay, so this song technically came out in the Spring, but we’re claiming it for summer ’22. With “As It Was,” the first single off his absolutely incredible new album Harry’s House (which we wish we could fit in its entirety on this list), Harry Styles is making his mark to the full revival of the beauty that is 80s synth pop. Along with that, he’s bringing us back to life. Though the lyrics in the song carry a rather heavy meaning, we’re choosing to not focus on that and instead focus on singing the catchy “You know it’s not the same as it was/As it was, as it was” over and over and over again.

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Somehow, one of the best songs of the summer is a heartbreak song. And we’re not mad about it. With “Last Last,” the latest single from the African Giant himself Burna Boy, we’re simultaneously bopping and crying in the club all summer long. The song deals with the forlorn subject of losing the love of your life and reeling from that heartbreak, but this isn’t done over a soppy beat. Rather, the Afropop beat, entwined with an iconic Toni Braxton sample is, enough to get you off your couch and into a club.

Without paying attention to the lyrics, you won’t even realize this is a song about heartbreak. Speaking of the lyrics, is there any first line in a song that hits as hard as “You go bow for the result oh/Nothing to discuss oh/’Cause I dey win by default.” It’s hard not to turn it “Last Last” into the ultimate summer song when even Burna himself is totally vibing to it – I mean, have you seen the music video?

4

Bad Bunny, “Tití Me Preguntó”

We have a very special someone to thank, Bad Bunny’s Tití. Because of her summer 2022 has been blessed with a total bop of a song. In response to his aunt’s questions about settling down, the Puerto Rican rapper sings about his lack of commitment and taking all his girls back to the VIP, over a lively reggaeton dance beat. So sorry auntie, but you’ll have to wait for Bad Bunny to settle down. There are just too many women and he is only a rapper after all. Meanwhile, enjoy the fruit of your labor and dance to this perfect summer track.

Keeping up with the theme of summer bops you don’t realize are heartbreak songs on first listen we have “Save Me” by Honduran singer Empress Of. In this whimsical, energetic track, Empress asks for someone to come and save her, perhaps from lost lovers who’ve done her wrong, or maybe even from herself. Whatever the interpretation is, one thing is for certain: this song will successfully take you on a sonically playful journey through the highs and lows of summer.

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As far as rap songs go, this one is perfect. Flo Milli takes us through a journey with creative and ever changing flows, some pretty hard bars and of course, the pillar of any truly incredible rap song, a swaggering boastful message. It’s what we all need for the summer, a song to remind us that we’re conceited, confident and very much the main attraction in any room. Flo Milli reminds us “Milli got Millis ’cause Milli got hits (I got hits),” and to that we say, so true.

7

MK, Paul Woolford, “Teardrops” (featuring Majid Jordan)

This song encapsulates two things this article is trying to get across: 1. House music is back. 2. The best summer songs can be just sad songs over a dance beat. For this track, famed ’90s DJ MK and British Dance music producer Paul Woolford make the excellent decision of enlisting Majid Jordan for this sad-bop anthem. Majid Jordan’s crooning vocals effortlessly melt like honey into the funky, dance pop beat, creating an unforgettable soundtrack to your parties this summer.

Though our review of Drake’s Honestly, Nevermind was less than kind (we still stand by much of it), “Massive” is easily one of the biggest shining stars from the album. We’ve gotta give it to Drake. No one makes a summer hit quite like him. The song, which has already taken over TikTok sees Drake sing about emotions, issues and his funeral over a groovy, gooey House beat. The song is a perfect fit for getting entranced on the dance floor under glimmering purple and blue disco lights.

9

Charlie Puth – “Left and Right” (featuring Jungkook of BTS)

When BTS announced a hiatus, we knew what was coming – seven times the regular content as the boys pursue solo endeavors. Well it’s in full force now as Charlie Puth taps the youngest BTS member for this bouncy pop track. It’s not the first time the two have taken on a collaboration together, Jungkook famously joined Charlie on the TK stage in TK to perform TK. But, it is the first time the two have released an official song together and we couldn’t be more thankful for it.

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10

Kendrick Lamar, “Die Hard” featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer

For this neck-jerking tune off his latest album, Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar teams up with Blxst and Amanda Reifer to create sound worth grooving to. The song’s vibe is chill and soulful, pairing perfectly with Blxst’s sweet sounding vocals and Lamar’s mellowed out rap. Even Reifer’s high-pitched airy vocals create a contrast that blends effortlessly instead of creating tension. The song is perfect for a nice chill drive or watching the sun set. It’s sure to keep your head bopping all summer long.

11

Tiësto and Charli XCX, “Hot In It”

Okay, who does dance pop better than Tiesto and Charli XCX? Not many people. Separately the two hold their own in dominating summer playlists, but together they are damn near unstoppable. With this catchy, vibrant tune, the tides are turning. We’re no longer crying in the club, we’re not wallowing in sadness or wiping tears on the dance floor, instead tonight we’ll be “Rockin’ it, droppin’ it/Shake my ass, no stoppin’ it.”

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