TOP TEN: Songs for the heatwave


There’s a climate emergency, the world is burning and we’re all going to die a fiery death. Yes it’s hot and sunny again, but it’s all doom and gloom. What we can enjoy though, is a good soundtrack while everything melts around us. The cynics might argue that I’m simply trying to piggyback on current events in order to tell you about my favourite summer songs. They would be correct.

Here’s our top ten songs for hot weather.

Sergio Mendes – Magalenha

There is a tried and tested formula that hot places make hot music. There is possibly no better example than Brazil and samba. The unmistakable rhythm drives throughout and the unison vocals sound like a party you just have to be a part of.

Amy Winehouse – Addicted

Not an everyday situation, but Amy’s moan about her friend’s boyfriend who comes over and smokes all her weed is somehow totally relatable. Plus flutes.

Laura Mvula – Green Garden

‘Take me outside / sit in the green garden’ is such a simple but inviting image. Laura’s vocals and creativity are on full display on this tune from her first album.

Bonobo – Bambro Koyo Ganda

Effortlessly mixes some unison chanting in an ancient north African language with relaxed yet euphoric beats. Perfect in the sun.

Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band – PIMP

50 Cent goes to the caribbean. Stick some rum in some Lilt and dance along.

Sister Nancy – Bam Bam

Jamaica is a another hotbed of hot music. From dub to reggae to dancehall to ska and everything in between. Sister Nancy’s melodies are timeless.

Quantic and Alice Russell – Look Around the Corner

I could have picked about 40 Quantic tunes for this list. The sunshine pours out of the 60s strings and backing vocals layered beneath minimal acoustic guitar and Alice’s impossible voice.

Chemical Brothers – Marvo Ging

The summeriest anthem that Fatboy Slim never made. The backmasked tracks have sounded summery ever since the Beatles did it on Revolver. Add them to some big beats and you’ve struck gold.

Mr Vegas – Heads High

Had to throw a not very serious one in here. If you can’t have fun in the sun then when can you? ALl toghether now: ‘na nana na nana na nana na nana no’.

Jay-Z – Big Pimpin

The video hasn’t aged well, but the best examples of sample-driven hip hop like this make so much more sense in the sun.

Words by James Spearing

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