It's that time of year again, when temperatures rise for an all-too-brief, but no less glorious season. So glorious, in fact, that it deserves its own soundtrack. Below, we present 15 songs that are in the running for this year's official song of summer. What's yours?
Metric, 'The Shade'
Metric may have set guitars aside in favour of heavy synths and electronic bleeps and bloops, but they have not lost their ability to write a great hook. This one, which evokes the summer with images of sun, shade and blades of grass, is sure to be stuck in your head until at least fall.
Icona Pop, 'Emergency'
"So you wanna party, so you wanna dance," begins the latest song from 2012 song-of-summer champions Icona Pop. The Swedish synth-pop duo seems to make music for the sole purpose of sweaty, outdoor festivals, and "Emergency" is no different. Expect to hear its unmistakable, and slightly grating, horn and whistle at every wedding you go to this summer.
Jamie xx feat. Young Thug and Popcaan, 'I Know There's Gonna be (Good Times)'
Jamie xx takes the Persuasions' 1972 single "Good Times" and flips it into one of the best songs of the year — and a definite contender for the official summer jam of 2015. Take steel drums, reverb and an undeniable energy, then add the sing-rapping of Young Thug, who delivers his best verse in a while, and you get a song you’ll want to listen to all day.
Serena Ryder, 'Together We Are One'
Just wait until this song is blasted out ad infinitum once the Pan Am Games begin in July. The offical Pan Am anthem has a lot going for it: it’s inspiring, it’s upbeat, it’s got a chorus that’s easy to remember ("oh oh oh oh oh") and, above all that, Serena Ryder knows a thing or two about making a hit.
Yukon Blonde, 'I Wanna be Your Man'
Every song from the Vancouver rockers' latest album,On Blonde, is a total summer jam, but if I had to pick just one to hear playing out of every car that drives by on a hot Saturday afternoon, it would have to be this. A driving, psychedelic groove and lyrics about summer love. I mean, what more could you ask for?
Tame Impala, 'Cause I’m a Man'
Speaking of love song with a driving psychedelic groove, Australia’s Tame Impala is definitely going to give Yukon Blonde a run for its money with this one.
The Fast Romantics, 'Julia'
If you don’t sing along to the chorus of this song at the top of your lungs while dancing at a backyard/rooftop barbecue at least once this summer, you are doing summer all wrong.
Carly Rae Jepsen, 'Emotion'
If you really really really didn’t like "I Really Like You," this song should change your mind about Jepsen. Get ready for the summer of Carly Rae Jepsen 2.0, beginning with the title track from her upcoming album.
Fetty Wap, 'Trap Queen'
The rise of New Jersey rapper Fetty Wap and his unlikely hit song, "Trap Queen," was so unexpected that even he didn’t see it coming. When Music Choice 100 gave him an award for "most played track of the year so far" (we've never heard of it either), hebroke down in tears. Even if the content is a bit questionable — as in, maybe don’t blast this at the family reunion — you can’t deny the man knows how to sing a hook.
Ty Dolla $ign feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe, 'Drop That Kitty'
The key to this song’s success rests with one person, Charli XCX. The U.K. singer-songwriter does not know how to make a song that is not a smash hit, whether it’s with Iggy Azalea, Icona Pop or on her own. We’re pretty sure Ty Dolla $ign raps and Tinashe does her thing on this, but all we can hear is that inescapable hook, which is what summer songs are all about, right?
Jack Ü (Skrillex and Diplo), with Justin Bieber, 'Where Are Ü Now'
Remember Justin Bieber?! Well, he’s back, and not messing around on this soulful dance hit, which is more on par with Justin Timberlake than anything Justin Bieber has done. And with Skrillex and Diplo on production, you can be sure this song will be played at every single club everywhere.
Maroon V, 'This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherf--ker'
Since when does Maroon 5 swear, and in the title no less? And since when does the band make music I actually like? This is the best song Maroon 5 has released since "Moves Like Jagger," which means they have two really good songs. I mean, I’m just always surprised when Maroon 5 can make a song so catchy you have no choice but to admit that it’s good. And that chorus? It’s the motto for every epic summer ever.
Florence and the Machine, 'Delilah'
Florence Welch is a force. Her voice is made for mind-shattering pop anthems. This one is a no-brainer. Bow down.
Leon Bridges, 'Smooth Sailin''
Because sometimes the song of summer needs to sound like it arrived via time machine direct from 1965 Memphis.
The Weeknd, 'I Can't Feel My Face'
The last Canadian to have the official song of summer was Carly Rae Jepsen. This year, the country's best bet to take the throne is the Weekend, who's dropped the mysterious demeanour in place of an earnest pledge for pop stardom. Will his MJ-evoking vocals do the trick?
What's your song of summer? Let me know on Twitter:@JesseKG