kendji-by-kendji-giracKendji Girac – “Andalouse” – (2014)

I think anything with 213 million views on YouTube qualifies as a “hit.” This was the second single from Kendji Girac and it’s sung in French with Spanish thrown in here and there. It was a top five hit in France, Greece, and Belgium. Even if you don’t know what he’s saying, you know it’s catchy as hell.

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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.

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.

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.

 

Habibi-I_-Need-Your-Love-Shaggy-Mohombi-Faydee-CostiShaggy, Mohombi, Faydee & Costi – “Habibi (I Need Your Love)” – (2014)

What’s this? A U.S. radio hit on our summer countdown? Yes. And by the recently re-appeared Shaggy at that. Of course, to cater to the U.S. market the song is retitled “I Need Your Love” in English-speaking markets as apparently we can’t handle a song titled in Arabic. The song is sung in English, Spanish and Arabic. It has a great international feel and while we’re used to Latin-tinged songs being great for summer, the Middle Eastern flair is a nice touch. The other annoying part about the U.S. version is that it is Shaggy featuring the other artists whereas on the original single (which came out the last week of 2014) they are all credited equally. Anyway, this wraps it up. Hope you’re having a great summer.

shiftShift K3Y – “Touch” – (2014)

The plan was to move back to the ’70s this week, but the weather is so nice as I write this that I decided to do one more week of summer songs. This electronic tune hit #3 in the U.K. and went unheard in the U.S. Shift K3Y sounds like the name of a musical group, but it’s actually one person (Lewis Jankel) of London.

Wicked-Wonderland-by-Martin-TungevaagMartin Tungevaag – “Wicked Wonderland” – (2014)

It might have a slightly-Christmas-y title, but “Wicked Wonderland” is an awesome song with a pulsating beat and rocking sax. The infectious chorus (which sounds like “wicke-wicke-wonderland” without the “D” in wicked pronounced) has caused anti-EDM friends to really latch on to this song. It’s catchy and it was a #1 hit in Austria and a top five hit in a few other European countries.

9163239EDX – “Cool You Off” – (2014)

It’s July and it’s hot (check local listings). What better way to cool down than with “Cool You Off,” a nice deep house track. EDX is the stage name of Maurizio Colella of Zurich. Enjoy.

51NYvaUgUtL._SS280Mystique – “Brand New” – (2014)

I like that you can almost get a feel for how this song is going to sound just by looking at the cover art. This has slightly more lyrics to it than the last song we featured but it’s mostly the same thing over and over. It does get cut up and synthesized quite nicely, if you like that electronic vocal tampering. Actually, from here on I’m referring to the “singing” done by modern radio stars like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj as “electronic vocal tampering.”

417OHqQgXXL._SS280Tez Cadey – “Seve” – (2014)

Here’s a very nice, very chill song. I really don’t want to use the word “chillest” but this is, perhaps, the chillest song I’m featuring in this list. It’s also one of the newest. Tez Cadey is from Paris and is the stage name of Malo Brisout. He’s based in Lille and is a lot younger than I am. Which is depressing.

Sex_and_Love_(Enrique_Iglesias_album_-_cover_art)Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona – “Bailando” – (2014)

Here’s an artist you’ve actually probably heard of. This is the Spanish version (there is also an English version, but translating songs always causes them to loose that thing that makes them exotic and catchy in the first place). Actually you’ve probably heard of Sean Paul, too. Descemer Bueno is a Cuban singer and Gente de Zona is a Cuban reggaeton group. This was a big hit all over the world, even in the U.S. where it reached #12 (with the English version). 

88ae89cbe592cb5691e16c7dac74a8bfSam Feldt & Kav Verhouzer – “Hot Skin” – (2014)

This song is more of a deep house cut than the previous. Isn’t it amazing how many EDM artists are certified scuba divers? Actually, I kind of doubt any EDM artists actually appear in their own videos… which all appear to be shot on the cheap, other than the airfare to whatever sunny locale they’ve picked.

dasco-ft-justina-maria-what-i-need-300x298DASCO feat. Justina Maria – “What I Need (Right Here Right Now)” – (2014)

The “official video” linked to above has a stupid almost 30 second YouTube channel tag at the beginning. So fast forward because this is a super nice, chill song with very nice lyrics. Sigh. I don’t know why I do this to myself… videos for songs of this sort are full of people having fun in beautiful, exotic locations. I want to be there. So bad.

Kendji-by-Kendji-GiracKendji Girac – “Color Gitano” – (2014)

Strangely, you can’t buy this song on Amazon. Kendji Girac is French, but is of Spanish descent, and you can really hear it in the Flemenco guitar-ish-ness of this Spanish/French bilingual song. It’s downright gypsy like in feel with a bit of a pop/house beat. There’s something about songs with a Latin background (even if it’s not Latin music in the traditional sense) that just screams summertime.

61T2xFzDt7L._SS280MYNGA feat. Cosmo Klein – “Back Home” – (2014)

I think you could definitely call this song “chill.” If you find yourself laying on the grass looking up at the sun through shades on a hot day, I’m not sure there’s much of a better song to have playing. There’s even sax, which is the new fad in music like this. I hope it’s a fad that continues.

51nxGURhA0L._SS280Secondcity – “I Wanna Feel” – (2014)

This was actually a #1 in the U.K. in 2014. The lyrics are actually by the same woman who sang on last Monday’s featured track, Kelli-Leigh sampling Toni Braxton’s “You’re Making Me High.” It’s interesting how some songs will top the charts in the U.K. and not even pop up on the Hot 100 in the U.S. Hooray cultural differences!

612VK-jlLRL._SS280Victoria Kern & Menno – “Weekend” – (2014)

This isn’t the best song on this list, far from it, actually, but I thought I’d include it for a few reasons: 1. the music is actually pretty nice, even if it’s more traditional house than the deep house stuff the rest of this list consists of and 2. it’s about a weekend, which, during the summer, are the best days of the week because you can spend the entire day outside.

510RQe7BefL._SS280Bondax – “All I See” – (2014)

Bondax was on our list of Summer Songs last year and they return this year with another great song that is, perhaps, even better. The lyrics here really shine, which is what sort of sells this whole song. The music is great too, but the words actually make it something.

ep1-400x400Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – “I Got U” – (2014)

We’re taking a break for our year-by-year 1970s countdown to spend the next few weeks running down our summer playlist for 2015. Most of these songs are smooth, summery jams from the past year or so. Starting it off is British producer Duke Dumont’s “I Got You” which, like many of the songs to follow, are perfect tracks to play on a tropical beach somewhere. This song samples Kelli-Leigh’s version of Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love.”

Mr Probz feat. Robin Schulz – “Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)” – (2014)

Mr Probz is a Dutch singer/rapper and his song “Waves,” which was originally released in the Netherlands in November 2013, was remixed by German DJ Robin Schulz – catapulting this version of the song up the charts in more than a few countries. It was a #1 in more than 10 European countries and a top ten in nearly all of them. It never charted in the U.S. on the Hot 100 (or even the dance chart). That said, it was one of the biggest European hits in the early part of 2014. It’s good for summer because it’s laid back and about waves (and the beach is a very summer thing).

Nora En Pure – “You Are My Pride” – (2014)

Nora En Pure is musician/band (as according to the official Facebook page. I’m not sure how you can be a singular musician and a band at the same time. Facebook had dozens of options for gender and they can’t separate these two?)… from Zurich, Switzerland. Folktronica is a strange new combination of folk music and electronica. This isn’t the best example and only hints at it with a little bit of harmonica. The song is nice and relaxing, though.

Calvin Harris – “Summer” – (2014)

The general rule around here is “no featuring songs within the past five years.” That goes out the window when we do our “Songs for Summer.” And what’s a better way to kick off a multi-week list of songs that are perfect for the poolside and beach during this all-too-short summer, than with a song called, well, “Summer.” Calvin Harris is known primarily as a DJ, but he performs the vocals on this track as well. It was a #1 in a few European countries (debuting there in the U.K.) and peaked at #9 in the U.S.