Summer jams playlist: Fresh tunes to help beat the heat

In need of new tunes for summer? These artists have got you covered.
Photo: Andrea Domanick

Whether you’re at a barbecue, a house party or just spending some quality time with your AC, check out some of our favorite new tunes to soundtrack your summer -- take a listen on our Spotify player below or follow Las Vegas Weekly on Spotify for an extended version to keep the party going.

1. Palma Violets, “Last of the Summer Wine”

Named for a British sitcom, this early single from one of this year’s best albums (180) builds up like the anticipation of summer itself before culminating in a jaunty pop climax that falls apart in a fit of howling and feedback -- like the best parts of the buzz after polishing off the bottle.

2. Solange, “Losing You”

When this track bowed late last year as a single from Solange’s upcoming album, its warm synths, Afro-pop percussion and languid vocals had us immediately longing for summer; it’s the sonic equivalent of a warm breeze washing over you on the beach.

3. Robert DeLong, “Global Concepts”

In the chorus of this rattlecan lead single from DeLong’s debut Just Movement, the electro innovator demands to know “Did I make you f*cking dance?” If this doesn’t, nothing will.

4. Sky Ferreira, “Lost In My Bedroom”

At this point, you probably know Sky Ferreira as much for modeling campaigns for Saint Laurent and Forever 21 as for her music, but the 20-year-old Angeleno is more than a pretty face. Following last year’s breakout “Everything is Embarrassing,” “Lost in My Bedroom” is a sparkling piece of pop perfection that manages to be equal parts Kate Bush, Goldfrapp and Mazzy Star.

5. Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority should probably make this the theme song for its next marketing campaign to tourists, but until then, embrace it as the soundtrack to your summer nights.

6. Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”

If Prince and George Clinton transformed into two badass divas and recorded a song, the result might sound like this shoulder-dusting funky soul anthem. “Am I a freak for getting down?” Monae asks; nah, girl, not to jams like this.

7. Gin Wigmore, “Black Sheep”

Wigmore hails from the Amy Winehouse school of British female vocalists, with an unmistakable raspy, Motown-infused yelp that makes this thumping ode to bad-news babes all but impossible not to move your hips to.

8. Jake Bugg, “Lightning Bolt”

It’s getting hard not to hear this single from the 19-year-old British wunderkind everywhere you go, and with good reason: Equal parts Bob Dylan and Ty Segall, Bugg commands you to get up and shake to this howling celebration of recklessness.

9. Guards, “Coming True”

This delicious slice of garage pop from New York newcomers Guards sounds kind of like how a summer crush feels, chock full of earnest vocals and soaring, exuberant choruses.

10. Charli XCX, “Nuclear Seasons”

This massive, synth-laden single from the British goth-pop songstress has been floating around under the radar (and all over her teen fans’ Tumblrs) for a couple years now before reemerging as the lead track on April’s True Romance, and it’s about time. As she sings about “summer lovin’ in the backseat, goin,’” the smokey purr of her voice over crackling keyboards is enough to make you sweat.

11. FIDLAR, “Cheap Beer”

Summer shandies and microbrews are good and well, but everyone knows the best summer parties are the ones with endless cans of crappy lager and songs like this on the stereo.

Follow Andrea Domanick on Twitter at @AndreaDomanick and fan her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AndreaDomanick.

Photo of Andrea Domanick

Andrea Domanick

Get more Andrea Domanick

Previous Discussion:

  • The Las Vegas debut of the Ohio-bred indie band was filled with dynamic arrangements, entertaining anecdotes—and, surprisingly, lots of attendees.

  • At this point, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition.

  • The bravery of the real soldiers is buried under a mountain of hokey sentiment and rah-rah bluster.

  • Get More A&E Stories
Top of Story