As the leaves start to fall and the weather cools down, the popular debate of “what is the song of the summer” abruptly comes to an end. This year gave us some unbelievably great tracks to jam to while in the sunshine with your best friends and family, and I’m here to recap them all! While doing so, I have ranked them all to determine what is the definitive song of Summer 2021. So, with all of that being said, let’s count down these ten tracks!
10. Solar Power – Lorde
Can you reach me? No, you can’t. Lorde loudly returned this summer with the most lowkey music of her career, and nothing encapsulates the summer more than her song Solar Power. Designed to make listeners want to be outside with their friends while enjoying nature and the beauty of our planet, Solar Power easily is one of the most definitive tracks of this summer.
9. Take My Breath – The Weeknd
While this song came out later on in the summer, it undeniably has completely taken over playlists and radio stations worldwide. Abel takes yet another step forward with this track, and continues to be the best example of a modern artist excelling at making 80’s production popular again. If this track had come out earlier in the summer, I’m sure it would be much higher on this list.
8. Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
Has self-empowerment ever felt and sounded so cathartic as it does here? Happier Than Ever is easily the biggest stand-out track on her album of the same name, and has one of the best tempo changes of the year. The second half of this track sounds like it could’ve been on The Black Parade – is there any bigger compliment? Has Billie ever sounded this good?
7. Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran
Released alongside one of the most cringe-inducing videos in recent years, Bad Habits marks the return of Ed Sheeran after his lengthy break from music. While the song was met with a lukewarm response, it has since become completely inescapable. It’s hard to deny Sheeran’s ability to write a catchy hook, and Bad Habits is a perfect example of it. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be hearing this song in every Uber ride and grocery store for the foreseeable future.
6. Stay – The Kid LAROI feat. Justin Bieber
The trend of artists trying to recreate the sounds of the ’80s continues with Stay by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber. This song completely took over the summer when it came out in July, and has remained atop of the charts ever since. With an earwormy chorus and great performances by both singers, Stay is a track that won’t be losing steam any time soon. Like The Weeknd’s Take My Breath, this track would’ve definitely been higher on the list had it come out earlier in the season. Charlie Puth also has a writing credit here! Spoiler alert: this may not be the last time you see the Biebs on this list!
5. Peaches – Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon
Perhaps the song with the most summery-sound of the year. With an endlessly catchy hook, a perfectly paced bassline, jazzy guitars and piano, and amazing features by Caesar and Giveon, Peaches is arguably the most definitive song of Summer 2021. While the song was released in March, it has remained extremely popular throughout the year and became an anthem for the summer. While the song came out too early in the year to be a true song of the summer, it definitely defines Summer 2021 and for that, it deserves a top-five position.
4. Leave the Door Open – Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
The liveliest collaboration of the year, and the most fun song of the year thus far. Silk Sonic seemed to come out of nowhere but is maybe the best thing to happen to popular music this year. This song is such a great tribute to 70’s Soul Train music, and both performances are truly amazing. This was the perfect song to listen to while watching the sunset this summer and will continue to be for years to come. Since this song came out in March, the same thing can be said for this that was said for Peaches.
3. Kiss Me More – Doja Cat feat. SZA
The best pop beat of the year paired with the perfect combination of vocal performances from SZA and Doja Cat. There is nothing more “summer” than a song about finding love and making out, and this is the perfect duo to have made it. Vividly written and brilliantly produced, Kiss Me More is one of the best songs of the year. “Need To Know” probably belongs on this list as well, but I felt that this song encapsulates the feeling of summer the best. Can SZA please drop her new music already?!
2. MONTERO – Lil Nas X
To be honest…this song has definitely been stuck in your head for the entire summer. Rap’s biggest new star returned this year with a handful of singles leading up to his debut album, and MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name) stole the spotlight with its superb music video and concept. The ridiculous backlash that this song faced only fueled its popularity, and propelled it to be one of the biggest anthems of the year.
1. Good 4 U – Olivia Rodrigo
Was this really a question? Good 4 U won the song of the summer race the second it was released. This is the catchiest, most singable, and most fun song of the entire year thus far. While it’s absolutely derivative of pop-punk artists like Paramore, it goes harder than anything else released this year. Olivia Rodrigo is here to stay and has undeniably dropped the song of the summer for 2021. Good 4 U Olivia! I’m sure we’ll see you again on next year’s edition of this list.
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