33870237_350_350Manuel Riva & Eneli – “Mhm Mhm” – (2016)

“Mhm Mhm” starts off kind of slow and with more lyrical creativity than its title. But then it sort of descends into what I can only describe as glorified humming. The video was shot in Venice. Where I was last summer. And I want to be back.

layers_kungsKungs feat. Jamie N Commons – “Don’t You Know” – (2016)

This was the second single from Kungs’ 2016 album Layers, with the first one having been “This Girl” which we are saving for our Top 100 Songs of the 2010s count down in, um, four years. This song is also catchy and very well done and is about one banjo strum from being classified as “folktronica.”

spdeep-lucas-steve-make-it-rightLucas & Steve – “Make It Right” – (2016)

Sampling older songs has been around a while now and it’s also becoming popular to just take an older song and do an electronic cover. This song samples Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – lyrically anyway. The beat doesn’t seem to rip off any of Jackson’s stuff.

artworks-000180309371-u9w4q2-t500x500Pretty Sister & Dragonette feat. Tobtok – “Galactic Appeal” – (2015)

Sort of light on the roof-bumping bass and hard electro bits, this song angles itself as a sort of house pop song. Unlike many songs featured this summer, this one is pretty much North American, with Pretty Sister being from L.A. and Dragonette being a Canadian band.

cs2914045-02a-bigFerreck Dawn vs. Franky Rizardo feat. Torica – “Baby Slow Down” – (2015)

This is sort of classic techno with a deep house vibe. The deep house part is what brings out that summery feel you get from it. And the video of people surfing, which is just torture because, again, I’m writing this in February.

artworks-000156562569-bi8upi-t500x500Don Diablo feat. Dave Thomas Jr. – “Silence” – (2016)

Don Diablo is another Dutch DJ and “Silence” was a single released in 2016. It’s got an upbeat feel with brooding lyrics, which is a strange combo that pulls the track in different directions.

artworks-000201924178-rskkid-t500x500Mike Williams – “Bambini” – (2017)

This song feels like the Kidz Bop version of instrumental electronica. It’s a relatively simple, but catchy, track that lacks lyrics but does have some weird child-like shouting or something in it. Anyway, this is one of the newest songs we are going to feature – it came out in 2017 and I’m writing these in February.

artworks-000143244006-1d95gu-t500x500Fedde Le Grand – “Keep on Believing” – (2016)

Summer! We’ll go through a month or two of good stuff for poolside/seaside (which sounds like rival gangs). Fedde Le Grand (of the Netherlands) seems to put out a lot of music, most of which I skip over. This one caught my ear because it’s more than just a pumping beat – there are also well-delivered lyrics… and a pumping beat.

nora-en-pure-i-got-to-doNora En Pure & Redondo – “I Got To Do” – (2016)

Last “song for summer” for 2016. And it’s one that certainly fits the category… it makes me wish I was on a beach somewhere like Barcelona… even though I’m not a fan of that city at all. I’ve already got songs lined up for next year, which should include a few classic tracks from way back in the day.

cantget.jpgCleavage – “Can’t Get Enough” – (2015)

What I like here is the slightly throwback sound of this track. It sounds like it could’ve come out 10 years ago. The vocals are nice and the music is mostly pretty chill. The single cover is unnecessary, but what do you want from a Dutch duo called “Cleavage?”

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.

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.

51xiYmPqi4L._SS280Serge Devant & Danny Inzerillo feat. Polina – “When You Came Along” – (2012)

Really reaching back for this one – to 2012. It’s weird how quickly electronic music can feel dated. It’s a constantly evolving genre and while this might not sound like something that came out this year, it’s close. And it’s not too terrible either. But it does sound like something that would’ve been playing in every club in Europe in the summer of 2012.

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.

CommunionYears&YearsYears & Years – “Desire” – (2015)

Okay, so this came out as a single in 2014. But the album was only released a week ago. Years & Years is an electronica trio based in London and their followup hit to this was actually much bigger (check this Songs of Summer list next summer). But this only peaked at #22 in the U.K. (it was unfortunately ignored in the U.S. except for the dance chart). It’s good stuff. 

Shy_FX_Cloud_9Ms. Dynamite & Shy Fx – “Cloud 9” – (2013)

Drums and bass. Meet reggae. What a genre mix. Ms. Dynamite is an English hip-hop artist and Shy Fx is an English DJ specializing in drums and bass. When they come together, you get this uniquely modern take on classic reggae. It’s at the same time extremely relaxing and upbeat. It’s wonderful.