cover600x600Mike Candys feat. U-Jean – “Paradise” – (2015)

Well this one has “paradise” as the title – how could it not be perfect for summer? I actually debated this songs merits for a while before deeming it okay for 1. purchase and 2. use here. It grew on me after a few listens. The one thing that still gets me is how repetitive the lyrics are.

artworks-000119476315-c2621x-t500x500Sugarstarr feat. Alexander – “Hey Sunshine (Antonio Giacca Radio Edit)” – (2015)

This song almost has a gospel/old R&B feel to it at the beginning. That’s because it samples Pusha T’s 2015 song “Sunshine” which actually features Jill Scott. It’s kind of weird that there is an artist featuring another artist and somebody who edited it down to a radio edit… and they all get credit. But whoever is doing the original, sampled vocals gets screwed. Such is the world of sampling.

artworks-000121712423-nykint-t500x500Felon feat. Kaleem Taylor – “Isla” – (2015)

Felon is actually a trio of London-based DJs/producers. They brought in guest vocalist Kaleem Taylor to add some singing to this otherwise summery tune. 

t265815329-i1015907465_s400Eklo feat. Jordinlane – “You And Me” – (2015)

Nice and relaxing, this tropical house song is. Here’s why I know it’s good: I had it playing in the house and a fan of indie rock and pop happened to be over and they heard it and said “What is this? I like this.” They’re not electronic music fans. But sometimes good music just wins out.

dukedumontblaseboysclubpt1_zpsgyj7vyabDuke Dumont – “Ocean Drive” – (2015)

Well this song talks about the ocean… or more specifically, Ocean Drive (presumably in Miami). The music is straight Miami Vice and the lyrics are by the uncredited Boy Matthews. This was a #1 in some European countries and is a very cool mix of the 80s and today.

fbbabaee-b52f-4bd0-993d-62255bc0b9a4.jpgEDX feat. Mingue – “Missing” – (2016)

Here’s another modern take on an older song. Yes, Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” is 20 years old. Italian DJ EDX has added soft vocals from Mingue and a chill cover of the original song. The result is very good and that’s coming from a huge fan of the original.

 

felix-jaehn-felix-jaehn-ep-56996827b1f98-500x500Felix Jaehn feat. Jasmine Thompson – “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” – (2015)

This is the one I’ve been waiting for. Jasmine Thompson’s vocal cover of Chaka Khan’s awesome 1983 song is incredible. This was a #1 all over Europe last year. It’s a song I’ve had on repeat essentially since last summer… everything about it is spot-on the way it should be. It’s fantastic.

artworks-000122804327-8lr0ro-t500x500Mike Mago – “Deeper Love” – (2015)

Mike Mago is the stage name of Michiel Thomassen, a Dutch producer. This song could have a much heavier beat, but thankfully he kept it light and layered it with really nice vocals. Quality house.

 

 

 

220px-Don_Omar_MTO2Don Omar – “Zumba” – (2012)

Hey YouTube, just because I’m listening to a Spanish language song, doesn’t mean I can understand Spanish language ads. I guess this is the theme for the Zumba fitness movement (or fad?). It’s definitely tropical, which it makes it perfect for summer.

artworks-000114484341-g041w0-t500x500Zwette feat. Molly – “Rush (Sam Feldt Remix)” – (2015)

This one might seem, once the bass kicks in, to be a bit heavy and all about the bounce, but Sam Feldt’s touch helps reign it in a bit. There is a little bit of brass which helps… I don’t know. By the end of the song I’m pretty into it. If your summer includes Miami or Ibiza, this should be right up your alley.

220px-Easy_Love_SigalaSigala – “Easy Love” – (2015)

Even though the opening lyrics sound like a young, annoying Michael Jackson (and it is supposed to), this very catchy song is otherwise very pleasant. It was a #1 in the U.K. last year 

ef17f20d2b75da50a3010d5739118998Parov Stelar feat. Graham Candy – “The Sun” – (2014)

Parov Stelar – purveyor of electro-swing – has been my favorite artist for years now. I heard this song in the car today and thought it was perfect for this list and summer. Released orginally in 2014 (and later on The Demon Diaries), this is his highest charting song in his native Austria, peaking at #31.

Sam-Feldt-The-Him-Drive-You-Home-2015-1500x1500.pngSam Feldt & The Him feat. The Donnies & The Amys – “Drive You Home” – (2015)

Finally, a little brass – a thing that has been really popular in deep house music over the past 18 months. You’ve probably also noticed a lot of album (single) covers from Spinnin’ Deep. Deep House is producing a lot of good stuff recently – and mainstream music is taking note… just look at Bieber’s recent big hits.

download2-445x445Boiler & Redondo feat. Bitter’s Kiss – “Lost & Found” – (2015)

Redondo with their second entry on this list already (and probably not the last). Boiler (a Dutch DJ) is making his first – and not last – appearance here too. This is a good deep house track, but the vocals are upbeat and happy. 

 

Are-You-With-Me-Lost-FrequenciesLost Frequencies – “Are You With Me” – (2014)

This song is actually based on a 2012 country song by Easton Corbin. It’s sped up and chopped a bit, but that’s still pretty interesting. This was a #1 all over Europe in 2014/15 (yes, I’m playing catch up here a little bit). 

R3hab-NERVO-Ready-for-the-Weekend-2014-1500x1500R3hab & NERVO feat. Ayah Marar – “Ready for the Weekend” – (2014)

R3hab is the stage name of Dutch-born DJ Fadil El Ghoul, who, I’m pretty sure, is a Batman villain. This song is much more of a house tune than most of what will be on our annual list of “Songs for Summer” – but it is about the weekend and summer weekends are the best kind.

Chris-Malinchak-Stranger-2014-1200x1200Chris Malinchak feat. Mikky Ekko – “Stranger” – (2014)

First off, I’ll go out on a limb and say that the vocal here by Mikky Ekko is downright Michael Jackson/Bruno Mars-esque. This top 50 hit in the U.K. is more than a song for summer – it’s good year round. It really could’ve been released off of one of those posthumous Michael Jackson remix albums. That’s a pretty big compliment.

artworks-000082609826-0sruan-t500x500Ferreck Dawn & Redondo – “Love Too Deep” – (2014)

This deep house track sort of borders on trance. While that might not be spot on, genre-speaking, the beat of this song definitely has a trance feel to it. This song is two years old but it doesn’t feel like it (nor does it seem like it’s been around that long). It’s kind of generic, but it’s not bad.

10847904_682028041896586_3736378840921393812_nLuvBug feat. Mark Asari – “Revive (Say Something)” – (2015)

LuvBug is a trio from the U.K. and their second single is this one, which features vocals from singer Mark Asari. It was a top 20 hit in the U.K. It’s a solid dance hit that would be best listened to soon, as I’m not sure how this one will age.

Lany-Ilysb-300x300LANY – “ILYSB (Ferdinand Weber Remix)” – (2014)

“ILYSB” is the abbreviation for “I Love You So Bad” and LANY is a band from L.A. Their song was remixed by Ferdinand Weber to create a really smooth, faster version of the already smooth song. I guess it’s the tempo of the remix that really sets it apart.

 

Years_&_Years_-_Communion_(cover)Years & Years – “King” – (2015)

We’re back with songs for the summer – which usually means a spattering of songs from the past few years that are either summery in their feel or sound. This house blurs the line between house and dance-pop… it was a #1 in the U.K. and other European countries last year. A good way to start off the next few weeks.

All_Things_Must_Pass_1970_cover#1– George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord” – (1970)

Paul McCartney may have been the most talented, but George Harrison was my favorite Beatle. And stuff like this is the reason why. “My Sweet Lord” was a #1 hit in the U.S. The song is actually written in praise of the Hindu god Krishna and the Hare Krishna chant is featured prominently. The people who are thought to have played on the studio recording of this song include Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, and Eric Clapton. It’s like the original Wilbury song. It’s one of the most beautiful popular songs of all time, and thus why it tops our list of songs from 1970.

LaylaCover#2– Derek & The Dominos – “Layla” – (1970)

I can’t stress it enough: Just remember, no matter how good you are at what you do, you’ll never be as good as Eric Clapton at what he does. Here are the major bands Clapton has been a part of: The Yardbirds, Cream, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Derek & The Dominos, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Not to mention his illustrious solo career.

This band was short-lived, they were only around in 1970 and 1971 and kind of seemed like a vehicle to release this epic track. They only release one album and were made up of a lot of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. This was a top ten hit upon release and Clapton would take it to #12 in 1992/1993 after doing it on MTV’s Unplugged.

220px-Instantk#3– John Lennon – “Instant Karma!” – (1970)

Pretentious alert! This is John Lennon’s best solo work, but it’s still reeks of that whole “artistry” thing that irritates me about him so much. Here’s why: in the U.K. the song was titled “Instant Karma” and was credited to Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band. In the U.S., the song was called “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” (because U.S. audiences apparently need their titles dumbed down, and it was credited to John Ono Lennon. I can see why people hate Yoko so much. Despite all of this, this remains an incredible song.

Crosby,_Stills,_Nash_&_Young_-_Deja_Vu#4– Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Woodstock” – (1970)

Okay, there’s a lot to say about this one. First off, choosing a song from any CSN or CSNY album is a toughie – even if it is a cover. And this one is: it was originally done by Joni Mitchell but because Joni Mitchell’s voice is ear-grating at best and CSNY perfected vocal harmony better than just about anyone this side of the Beach Boys, we are going with their version.

Then you have what this song means – what it represents. Graham Nash was dating Joni Mitchell and CSNY had just performed at the Woodstock festival (which is an incredible story for another day, but hint: it was their second ever performance as a quartet, which is incredible, even if Neil Young was a complete douche about the whole thing). So Mitchell wrote the song and CSNY took it to #11 in the U.S. The song was used in the credits for the film Woodstock (which, fun fact, Martin Scorsese actually worked on).

So what does it mean? This song is the sum of the 1960s. If you look at Woodstock as the culmination of everything that had been building in a decade, this sums it up. But it does so solemnly: the 1960s were over. This was the 70s. It’s the perfect transition song between two times – even if the spirit of the 60s was alive well into the 70s, the 60s themselves were complete. Not to oversell it, but t’s a huge song. 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers