The Rundown: Summer Soundtrack Starter Kit

We all have them – those songs that make us think of summer or have to be cranked up when you’re cruising around with the windows down; favourites that provide the soundtrack to the time when days are long, the sun is shining and nights are all about killer patios, even better people and making memories.

With summer officially underway and another weekend on the horizon, here are some of our favourites to get your summer soundtrack started.

Thinking About Your Love – Skipworth and Turner

Have you seen Begin Again? You know that scene where James Corden’s character cuts the music and puts on a song that he guarantees will make people want to dance? This is that song. Even if you haven’t seen Begin Again (which you should see BTW), there is no way that you don’t want to groove to this “digging in the crates” discovery of a track.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

This ode to summer is still one of the most perfect tracks for this time of year around. It’s mellow and laid back, fun and soulful, and touches on all the things that makes summertime so dope like cookouts, scoping out hotties and just cruising around with your friends.

Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind

Listen, we’re not here to advocate for Third Eye Blind’s entire catalogue, but you can’t deny the infectiousness of this track. The proof is in the fact that as soon as you read the title, you started hearing the song in your head and bopping around to it a little bit. It’s an upbeat, energetic rock tune and every summer soundtrack needs one or two of those for flavour.

I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) – Pitbull

As a card carrying member of the “What is it with this guy?” Club when it comes to Pitbull, it’s hard for me to say this, but I’ll bve damned this isn’t a near-perfect summer jam. Easy to vibe to, lyrics you remember and can sing along with and a fresh beat that just demands to be cranked to 11 so that everyone in the surrounding three blocks knows what you’re rocking.

Summer Girls – LFO

This one doesn’t need explaining. Just add it to your playlist and enjoy. RIP Rich Cronin.

Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes

Go ahead – turn it on and try not to sing along and wild out. I dare you. It’s impossible. This is a classic summer track and one of those songs that everyone knows, so there is only a minimal chance that someone will screw up their face when it comes over the speakers.

Let Me Blow Your Mind – Eve feat. Gwen Stefani

Want a smoothed out cruising track that still has some bump to it? Here you go. Eve is crisp with her flow throughout, Gwen is perfect on the hook because she’s just guest starring and not trying to do too much and the Dr. Dre/Scott Storch beat is undeniably dope.

Cruel Summer – Bananarama

Every so often, you’ve gotta throw it back to something from the glorious ’80s that isn’t as bubble gum as most summer songs, but still makes for an outstanding soundtrack addition. “Cruel Summer” gets bonus points for being included in The Karate Kid and you’ll lose points if you dare choose the Ace of Base version over the original.

Hot in Herre – Nelly

One of the biggest “Summer Songs” in the last 15 years, this is a guaranteed people-mover and one of those songs that is completely ridiculous when you listen back to it sitting around compiling a list of summer songs, but absolutely perfect when you’re out at a party or hanging out on a crowded patio over the next three months.

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and The Waves

Another “G’head – try not to love it” tracks that kills in the summer regardless of what everyone would normally listen to. You can’t hear that initial “Oww!” and the simple, but brilliant beat and not get into it. Why do you think Barry kicked off his special Monday Morning Mixtape that he made especially for Rob with this little number? Because it’s perfection, that’s why.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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