Celebrate the clocks springing forward into longer days and (hopefully) golden weather, with Concert Promotions Intern Becky Davies’ summer playlist…
After what seems like the longest winter ever, the clocks have finally rolled forward, which can mean only one thing – summer is coming! The last year has been incredibly difficult for many of us as we have had to spend most of it at home, isolating from our friends and family. However, it seems that there is finally an end in sight, and this playlist is a selection of a few of my favourite songs to get you in the mood for better times ahead.
It’s hard to believe this song is 15 years old this year – it still sounds as fresh as it always has, with it’s distinctive whistle that makes this instantly recognisable. The Swedish trio were joined by Victoria Bergsman on guest vocals, and in an interview with the guardian they described how they wanted to achieve a conversational duet akin to Fairytale of New York. It worked perfectly, becoming a platinum-selling hit across the world, and I was recently reminded of how great it is when it appeared on Spotify’s nostalgic ‘Throwback Thursday’ playlist.
It wouldn’t be summer without this 80s classic. This was Luther Vandross’ debut solo single, with a post-disco groove and soulful vocals that make everyone who listens want to get up and sing and dance along. An unparalleled love song that leaves you feeling like you can take on the world.
I discovered this song during Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home live stream at the beginning of the first lockdown, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I forced this one upon my friends during many an online games night or socially-distanced garden hangout last summer and it was met with mixed feedback, but I love it. This American duo are great at combining an electronic club sound with catchy guitar riffs, and as a result you’ll recognise several of their songs from TV adverts – this one is used by Peloton.
The Last Shadow Puppets are a supergroup fronted by Miles Kane and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. Inspired by Scott Walker and David Bowie, the band combine indie and orchestra with fantastic results – this feels like an intensely creative passion-project for Turner, and each time a Shadow Puppets album has been released it is been followed by a change in direction for Arctic Monkeys. Used To Be My Girl is one of my favourites, and I’d definitely recommend exploring them further if you like it.
Continuing on the orchestral theme – and co-written by The Last Shadow Puppets member James Ford – is this gorgeous track which closes Jessie Ware’s disco-inspired fourth album What’s Your Pleasure?. This song symbolises togetherness and celebrates the light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was even selected by Barack Obama as one of his top tracks of 2020.
It simply would not be one of my playlists without Hozier, who was crowned the most-played artist of the last decade on my Spotify account. This song celebrates music in all its forms, the lyrics cleverly incorporating some of his favourite songs and artists. It’s a pleasure to listen to, especially live, which I was lucky enough to witness when he and his band visited Southampton in September 2019.
The legend that is Whitney Houston needs no introduction. Fine was recorded as a new single to promote her 2000 Greatest Hits album, and it definitely holds its own among her classic songs.
This is a cover of one of Tame Impala’s biggest hits. Although the original is undoubtedly great, there’s something about this cover that is just magic, especially given that it was recorded at home during lockdown.
Mika is best known for his 2007 debut Life in Cartoon Motion and its hit lead single Grace Kelly, which saw him winning BRIT Awards and becoming one of the biggest-selling artists of the year. However, his career didn’t stop there and he continues to go from strength to strength. Sanremo features on his fifth album, and encapsulates all the vibes of a hot summer holiday.
George Michael is one of my mum’s all-time favourite artists (something that I’ve definitely inherited), and it isn’t difficult to see why. There are so many of his songs that would fit perfectly in this playlist – As, Flawless (Go To The City), and Fastlove Part 2 to name just a few – but this 2004 single just pips them to the post. Dedicated to his then-partner, this song encapsulates love and joy, and is perfect for the summer.
Queen Bey was recently crowned the most awarded singer at the Grammy Awards, and for good reason. Love on Top is one of her best vocal performances to date, with its many key changes and 80s-inspired beat.
Of all the bad things to come out of 2020, there was plenty of good too – including not one, but two Taylor Swift albums. Folklore and Evermore were certainly two of my highlights of last year, but this year so far I’ve been listening to her other albums on repeat. My current favourite song of hers is Cruel Summer, a dreamy synth-pop tune that should have been a single.
My earliest memories are soundtracked by Coldplay songs, and Life in Technicolor II is one of my absolute favourites. The instrumental of this track opens their 2008 album Viva La Vida, but this vocal version, which features on their Prospekt’s March EP, is pure genius.
There was really nothing else I could end this playlist with. This is Elbow’s biggest hit and tells us emphatically to ‘throw those curtains wide’, setting the mood perfectly for a bright summer’s day.