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This summer’s record temperatures are almost as hot as the incredible musicians of today. With so many catchy tracks coming out in such a short amount of time, it’s easy to accidentally miss a few incredible summer anthems. Here are our hottest songs of summer 2021.
The Kid LAROI (ft. Justin Bieber): “Stay”
This uptempo cut takes Bieber a step away from heartbreaking radio-pop ballads for teens to a hyperpop ballad about heartbreak for young adults. With a catchy hook, extra-gratuitous use of AutoTune, and beyond-cliche club techno style, the production almost feels tongue-in-cheek. It’s a perfect summer anthem if you’re looking to practice your synchronized dances. And at the end of the day, despite Justin Beiber being a musician and performer whom people love to hate, this collaboration between him and LAROI is just a fun listen.
Doja Cat (ft. SZA): “Kiss Me More”
Internet fave Doja Cat has set the summer ablaze with the first single from her new album, Planet Her. The track opens with an especially flavorful synthesizer sound and gets into a beautiful dissection of modern romance. A feature from heavy-hitter SZA truly takes the vibe to another level. It’s the perfect song for your summertime ladies’ night playlist.
BTS: “Butter (Hotter, Sweeter, Cooler)”
Decide which is bigger: BTS or the bass on this cut. Having evolved stylistically quite a bit over the past many years, BTS here sounds like a funky mix between Bruno Mars and Maroon 5. With one of the most loyal fanbases in the world right now, BTS rhythmically borrows from disco and 80’s hip hop to create a genuinely original style. With positive lyrics and messages, “Butter” could be your 2021 grindset anthem.
Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits”
A perfect track for a nighttime drive alone, Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” features icy synthesizers that are highly reminiscent of Eurhythmics’ classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” If you’re a fan of Ed Sheeran, then surely, you’re no stranger to drama-filled ballads, but “Bad Habits” is exceptionally smooth compared to other entries in his discography. It’s an honest and innocent depiction of toxic dynamics that many of us will be able to relate to and maybe even vogue along with.
Dua Lipa (ft. DaBaby): “Levitating (Remix)”
Taking a page right from the disco handbook, this track feels almost like “Get Lucky” in its mix of funk and hip-hop. Classic feel-good pop lyrics that are easy to miss make way for the seriously funky instrumental, plus a verse from the now-controversial rapper DaBaby. With or without his presence, Lipa’s creation remains a cute song about the experience of young love, making it topically appropriate for this sweltering summer.
Olivia Rodrigo: “Good 4 U”
This single from Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout debut album, SOUR, is immediately engaging and exciting. With a flow similar to Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” Paramore’s “Misery Business,” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent” mixed with a little P-funk strut, Rodrigo mercilessly tears into a careless and apathetic ex. Her delivery and lyrics boast a primal rage that shows you she couldn’t wait until the bell rang to start swinging. This one might sound better on the workout playlist, and summer is a great time for a run.
What’s been your favorite song of summer 2021? Sound off in the comments!