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One of the best things about summer is no doubt the music that comes with it. There’s nothing like lying on the beach with your best friends with good music pouring out of the Bluetooth speaker next to you as you sip on ice-cold water. Here are ten songs I will definitely be forcing my friends to listen to all summer:

"Kiss Me More" by Doja Cat with SZA 

This song took over TikTok almost as soon as it was released — and for good reason. Doja Cat’s flow is infectious and SZA’s smooth vocals make for a disco-inspired track that makes you want to get up and dance. When Doja sings “We’re so young, boy, we ain’t got nothing to lose,” who are we to disagree?

"The Spins" by Mac Miller

Although "The Spins" is a sample of “Half Mast” by Empire of the Sun, Mac Miller truly makes it his own with his ever-changing flow. "The Spins" has a sense of nostalgia and déjà vu that’s hard to find in a song; it feels like you’ve heard it a million times even if it's your first time listening to it. If you are looking for a song to blast in the car while sticking your head out of the sunroof, this is definitely it.

"Save Your Tears" by The Weeknd with Ariana Grande

Allow me to clarify, the original version of this song is just as amazing as this remix. Although the lyrical content is on the somber side, it’s just as worthy of being a summer favorite. Ariana Grande’s vocals are as dreamy as ever as she experiments with her lower register — a sound we don’t get to hear often. This 80s inspired track feels magical and is perfect for belting out whether you are alone or with friends.

"Levitating" by Dua Lipa with DaBaby

Another viral song thanks to TikTok that is completely worthy of the hype, this disco-heavy track was made for dancing. DaBaby even helps those who aren’t as musically inclined with his lyrics “Left foot, right foot, levitating”! The beat drop towards the end is unexpected, but adds just the right amount of soul to this song.

"It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)" by The 1975

This song was released about three years ago, so I’m not sure if it can count as a summer song, but it definitely is to me. Another song with dark, somber lyrics with an upbeat melody that juxtaposes the actual meaning of the song. Upon first listening, it sounds like a song that would play when the two love interests in a movie finally get back together, but with further analysis, you realize discusses a dangerous drug addiction. Nevertheless, this The 1975 song is worth obsessing over.

"Grace" by Surfaces

My least favorite part of this song is definitely its length — it clocks in at less than three minutes long. An adorable, retro-sounding love song about a girl named Grace, "Grace" immediately puts a smile on your face. It reminds me of eating an ice cream cone down on the beach with someone you love!

"Tipsy" by Chloe x Halle

A playful, experimental R&B track, "Tipsy" is a great song for when you are dancing with your friends as you get ready for a fun (socially-distanced!) night on the town. This track is infused with fun one-liners that are perfect for a confidence boost. The alliteration makes for a super catchy and addictive song. 

"LOVE" by Jhené Aiko

"LOVE" is the ultimate uplifting self-love song, and it was tailored to be that way. "LOVE" is in the key of F, which correlates with the heart chakra, which is all about unconditional love. This track is full of lyrics that could easily become daily affirmations when you need some uplifting — one of my favorites being “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.”

"Kyoto" by Phoebe Bridgers

An upbeat indie rock song, Phoebe Bridgers wrote "Kyoto" during time spent in Japan. The playful horns scattered in the song have a joyful connotation and sound as bright as the city of Kyoto itself. It's perfect for those main character moments when you want to feel like your life is a movie. 

"Goodie Bag" by Still Woozy

Another older song, "Goodie Bag" was released in 2017 — but I heard it for the first time a couple of months ago. Needless to say, I've been obsessed ever since. This song has a vintage, beachy feel to it and feels like a warm hug on an even warmer summer day. 

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In my opinion, music can make or break the vibes for any time of day and these songs are guaranteed to give you that summer feeling we love oh so much. These are just a few of the songs that are on my summer 2021 playlist — if you want to hear the rest, click here! Happy listening!

Naziah Roberts is a junior at UCF majoring in Clinical Psychology and minoring in Human Services and Social Inequality and Diversity. You can often find her trying out a new dessert recipe, making a new Spotify playlist, or reading about astrology when she isn't busy learning about the inner workings of the human mind! She is pursuing a career as a Clinical Psychologist for underprivileged youth.
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