Timeless Summer Anthems

Some summer anthems come and go (see: LFO’s “Summer Girls”), while others possess the enduring spirit of the season for the remainder of pop culture history. Below are some of the most prime examples of a timelessness that makes them sound new and resonant each and every summer. And while a few of these tracks may have come out during a month nowhere near the appropriate part of the year, they still belong to the carefree feel of summer.

Relishing summer
Relishing summer
Geri Halliwell, Mi Chico Latino: Being that Geri Halliwell in general is an underrated solo artist (though probably the least underrated of all the Spice Girls, musically speaking), this song rarely seems to come up in conversation when talking about summer anthems. However, its sultry, Latin vibe is quintessential to the season.
One of the more melancholy side of summer anthems
On the more melancholy side of summer anthems
Lana Del Rey, Summertime Sadness (Reich & Bleich Remix): A recent classic in the annals of summer anthems, LDR’s languid, misery-laden track seems more summer-appropriate when listening to the Reich & Bleich remix.
Enduring the distinct hell of an NYC summer
Enduring the distinct hell of an NYC summer
Bananarama, Cruel Summer: No list about summer songs is real without talking about Bananarama. With a video that captures the sweltering hell hole of New York City during this particular time of year–for there is no city crueler in the summer–this is a jam you should listen to at least once on the subway.
How could you not enjoy the rhythm of the night in that outfit?
How could you not enjoy the rhythm of the night in that outfit?
Corona, The Rhythm of the Night: Like another Italian-helmed song on this list, Corona is a band that knows just how to get you excited about the distinct energy that can only exist from June through August. They may have never had a song as successful after this, but “The Rhythm of the Night” is all they really needed to make their point.
Edge of Seventeen-era Nicks
Edge of Seventeen-era Nicks
Stevie Nicks, Edge of Seventeen: Something about that opening just screams summer. The whimsical urgency of the guitar paired with Stevie’s rich vocals makes this a sleeper anthem for your warm weather playlist.
Single cover for Girls
Single cover for Girls
Beastie Boys, Girls: This is the mantra internally chanted on most beaches throughout the summer.
Miranda's decidedly 90s album artwork
Miranda’s decidedly 90s album artwork
Miranda, Vamos a la Playa: One of the lesser known songs on this list, Miranda’s redolent vocals graced the European charts briefly in 1999. Once again, only Italy seems to understand quality in that it was especially popular there.
Sabrina not giving a fuck about her bathing suit top
Sabrina not giving a fuck about her bathing suit top
Sabrina Salerno a.k.a. Sabrina, Boys (Summertime Love): I clearly have a soft spot for Italians and Italian taste. Sabrina’s 1987 single, “Boys (Summertime Love)” is the personification of summer, especially the video, in which Sabrina is all too happy to oblige you with some titty.
Madonna in her summertime señorita garb
Madonna in her summertime señorita garb
Madonna, La Isla Bonita: Evocative of the sprawling beaches of Belize (or maybe just the 110 Harbor Freeway in L.A. that takes you to San Pedro), this is by far Madonna’s most summer-oriented track.
Everything But The Girl preps for summer
Everything But The Girl preps for summer
Everything, But The Girl, Missing: Another song that, like “Cruel Summer,” personifies mugginess and the general oppressiveness of summer, “Missing” is not to be underestimated as a seminal listen during the stifling heat.

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