It’s hard to say what makes a perfect summer anthem. Usually it contains something that immediately inspires a little shoulder shakin’ or hip swayin’. Something that engages the ears without taxing the brain, a song whose power is its ability to make a summer seem longer and further disentangled from the monotony of daily life. Oh, and whistling.
10. Iron & Wine “Tree By The River”
Not particularly upbeat,“Tree By The River,” isn’t your typical ‘get up and dance’ summer jam, but its ethereal nature swings along like a breezy summer day. The strum of the feel-good melody makes it perfect for a quiet sunny afternoon.
9. Battles “Ice Cream”
The experimental trio gives us an infectious and up-tempo dance number with “Ice Cream.”
8. Givers “Up Up Up”
An easygoing tap of the xylophone, a hint of reggae-beat and the sultry sound of singer Tiffany Lamson’s voice make for an optimistic party song. Not technically new, but new to many.
7. Morning Teleportation “Expanding Away”
I can just see the maniacal dance-pit breaking out now. This rapid-fire, synth heavy psych-jam is sunny in its own way.
Hidden between the powerful chants of Merrill Garbus’ one-of-a-kind voice, is a funky afro-beat that courses through you long into the song.
5. The Decembersists “Down By The Water”
“Down By The Water,” demands attention as soon as it kicks off with the burst of harmonica. Then blend in the accordion and Gillian Welch’s sweet harmonies, it becomes not only a catchy (albeit un-danceable) summer jam, but one of the best tracks of the year.
4. The Belle Brigade – “Where Not To Look For Freedom”
The perfect music for that road trip to a summer music festival.
3. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
The Beastie Boys continue to fight for their right to party with “Make Some Noise”. The goofballs came up with a song almost as fun as its predecessor with an equally awesome video.
2. Cults – “Go Outside”
“Go Outside” is a playful ditty full of anticipation and life. There’s an innocence attached to the giddy melodies and jovial vocals. But wrapped in this brightly tied package is a darker message. The combination makes for a fun summer ballad with some depth.
1. Foster The People “Pumped Up Kicks”
“Pumpked Up Kicks,” is contagious. Everywhere you turn it’s playing. And for good reason. As the song progresses, you can’t help but feel yourself dancing along the bass line, and singing amidst the sinister hook.