It’s summer, so it must be time for bangers, and we’ve compiled our best picks into a special seasonal playlist. We selected a mix of all-time favorite anthems and some new tunes sprinkled in (the ones that’ll be heard blasting from every car stereo and playing at every pool party for the next three months), but it’s up to you to choose the jam that will be crowned the Song of Summer 2021. Oh yeah…besides tunes that pay tribute to the season, we’re also recommending our top swimsuit suggestions that we think fit the mood of each song. Read on and get ready to rock out!
Let’s Start With The Latest Hits
These are the tunes that have just been released, but we’ve got a good feeling we’ll be hearing them A LOT throughout the summer.
Kiss Me More, Doja Cat & SZA
The cheery chords of Kiss Me More evoke that buoyant, anything-is-possible feeling you get when we you’re leaving the office early on a summer Friday, even though most of the lyrics are about making out. No matter, we’ll go with it! We think the Charlee Blue Paisley Knotted Bikini matches the up with the vibe of the lilting pop melody, thanks to the charming knotted ties at the front of the bralette top. A low-rise bikini bottom in a swirling paisley print completes this happy, harmonious look.
Good 4 You, Olivia Rodrigo
This is a teenager going places (yes, that is an indirect reference to her hit, Driver’s License, thank you very much), and her latest chart-topper is one that you’ll hear approximately one zillion more times before the season’s over. We hope that you don’t run into an ex in the way that Olivia Rodrigo sings about in good 4 you. But if you do, you’ll be glad you wore a revenge-worthy swimsuit like the Bright Floral Print Bikini. With its corset-style lacing in the back and vivid colors that flatter all skin tones, this two-piece shows your ex what they’re missing.
Solar Power, Lorde
Released in June, this new number from New Zealander Lorde (remember her song “Royals” from 2013? It still feels epic today) is surprisingly sunshine-friendly for an artist known for baring the full depths of her emotions. The song actually calls out beach hangouts and dancing on the sand, so we suggest getting into the shoreline spirit by donning the Hailee Knotted Front And Strappy Bikini. It’s all summery goodness, with a solid green knotted bralette bikini top and perfectly mismatched cheeky floral-print bikini brief bottom. Braided side straps add more texture and pull it all together.
The first all-English single released by the K-pop supergroup BTS, Butter could be the song that finally makes you fall in love with Jimin, V, J-Hope, RM, Jin, Suga, and Jungkook...just like literally everyone else with eyes and ears. Its upbeat hook conjures up the plentiful sunshine of a summer’s day, so we’d copy those feels with a cheerful (okay, and butter-y) yellow bathing suit. The Skyla One Piece Swimsuit fits the bill, with a happy hue and cool details like miniature buttons that make it stand out.
Montero (Call Me By Your Name), Lil Nas X
Between his killer Twitter feed (he claps back at haters and playfully goofs on fans) and lap dancing for the devil in his music vid, Lil Nas X is the official king of Taking It There. We’d literally physically bow down to this artist for being so fierce...if we weren’t already occupied with cranking up the volume when Montero comes on. This song is sexy and fearless, much like the Heaven Leopard O-Ring Low Waisted Bikini. We can all agree that takes no small amount of courage––or confidence––to rock a leopard-print thong bikini, right?
Lil Bit, Nelly & Florida Georgia Line
Alright, you got us. This song technically dropped last fall. But hear us out: if this isn’t a hit ready-made for summer, we don’t know what is. The mix of country and hip-hop genres really works here, just like it did in Lil Nas X’s (see above) Old Town Road, and the beat will have everyone shaking around in their beach loungers doing a chair dance. We’d argue that the Mariam Gingham Triangle Reversible Low Waisted Bikini is a type of crossover, too. The sweet, checked print conveys downhome charm, while the pared-back cut is chic as can be. Plus, the bikini bottom is reversible, so you’ve got options here.
Come Through with Classic Summer Jams
Don’t sleep on the old-school tracks that you hear every year around this time. They’re called “classic” for a reason, you know!
Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
We’d venture that no other group is more synonymous with summer, sand, surf, and good times than the Beach Boys. It’s hard to narrow it down to one song from their prodigious output, and really, there’s no need to––who doesn’t love prime 1960s Beach Boys music? Put a bunch of it on the playlist if you feel like it. But if we had to pick, we’d go with Good Vibrations, since it’s an all-around people-pleaser that also has sonically interesting things going on. Another easy win: the Kylee Polka Dot Front Lace Up Bikini, which has a simple silhouette and a playful polka dot print. The lace-up ties in the front add a welcome touch of spice to the mix, too.
Cruel Summer, Bananarama...or Esqapades (Bossa Nova cover)
You hear the plinky opening notes and instantly you know it’s gonna be a Cruel Summer, at least for the “replay” feature on your streaming service––once is never enough with this hit. Though the best-known iteration of this tune was recorded by the New Wave-adjacent all-female pop group Bananarama in the 1980s, we’d make a case for adding the mellower Bossa Nova cover version by Esqapades to your playlist, too. The sultry (and reversible!) Sarah Coral Print Halter Reversible Bikini is another feel-good move you can make this season. The pretty reef print is like wearing a tropical sunset, so perhaps this summer won’t be as cruel as you originally thought.
Summer in the City, The Lovin’ Spoonful
Everything about this memorable ditty conjures up what it’s like to live in an urban environment during a heat wave; it’s a very visceral song in all the right ways. We like to think that the Natalie Plunging Tie Front One Piece Swimsuit would do right by all of the sophisticated, if sometimes overheated, city-dwellers we know and love. The dramatic neckline and sleek all-black design allow it to double as a bodysuit with a pair of shorts or a skirt when you’ve finished tanning and snuck back down from your apartment building’s supposedly “inaccessible” rooftop.
Under the Boardwalk, The Drifters
An oldie but goodie from The Drifters, Under the Boardwalk is the musical equivalent of a summer carnival. It’s thrilling, scenic, a little risqué (the Drifters weren’t singing about a chaperoned stroll, ya know), and tons of fun. While there’s nothing old-fashioned about the Luz Ribbed Zipper Bikini, its clean, crisp lines are timeless and look good whether you’re checking out the Ferris wheel and Cyclone rollercoaster at Coney Island or simply hanging out at a backyard swimming pool.
Stir It Up, Bob Marley & The Wailers
We believe that reggae should be on every summer beach playlist, and no one represents this music genre like the legendary Bob Marley & The Wailers. They have a lot of hits to choose from (to put it mildly), but we’re particularly fond of Stir It Up since it’s thought to be a romantic ode to vocalist Rita Marley, Bob’s wife. Channel the beaches of Jamaica in another way with the Azalea Leafy One Shoulder Bikini. The ruched details and lush tropical leaf print will put you in an island frame of mind even if you’re nowhere near the shore.
Now that you’ve got your playlist settled and your swimsuits nailed down, it’s time to hit the beach, go to the pool, and enjoy all this sunshine while it lasts!