There's nothing like
a summer song to take you back to a certain point in your life. I only need to hear Twista's impossibly fast verse on "Slow Jamz" and I'm straight back to the summer after Year 10, full of doe-eyed crushes and thoroughly inappropriate house parties. Perhaps the best part of these summer songs is that you never realise at the time which song will become the one that's weaved into the fabric of some of your fondest — and at times, altogether not fondest — memories. As we sit on the cusp of this year's summer, Bustle UK's social media editor Charlie Mock asked some of our favourite music industry luminaries to recommend the songs they'll be jamming to this summer.
Scour through the following and you'll find a hefty dose of nostalgia — festival booker Ami Lord recalls a euphoric Glastonbury singing along to Kate Nash's "Foundations" — and a raft of the new and surprising. Keep scrolling to see what the likes of Maya Jama, Astrid S, and Nina Nesbitt will be listening to — we even curated them into a Spotify playlist at the end of this page to make it even easier for you. You're welcome. —
Ami Lord — 'Foundations' by Kate Nash
I remember seeing Kate Nash at the Park stage at Glastonbury all the way back in 2007. The sun was shining and the whole crowd joined in. The ultimate summer festival moment! It's just such an indie-pop classic! Kate's had a fantastic career since then, but it really has stood the test of time. I can't wait to hear the crowd at Standon singing along at the top of their voices in July.
Ami Lord is an event producer & talent booker at Standon Calling / @ami__lord
Maya Jama — 'Late Night Feelings' by Mark Ronson, Lykke Li
It’s a proper summer tune - good vibes and gets you in your feels.
Maya Jama is a TV and radio presenter / @mayajama
Nina Nesbitt — 'About Work The Dancefloor' by Georgia
It has a strong '80s feel and is so different than anything else out at the moment. It makes me want to go to a rave and do shots of vodka when in reality I would hate that. I’m definitely going to be sharing it with my friends and blasting it at parties this summer.
Nina Nesbitt is a Scottish singer-songwriter. Catch Nina at Kendal Calling this summer / @ninanesbitt
Astrid S — 'Fontena På Youngstorget' by Sondre Justad
It’s a perfect summer song about love and a guy you feel in love with.
Astrid S is a Norweigan singer-songwriter and model / @astridsofficial
Charlie Hedges — 'Them Hands' by Charlie Hedges x Selekio
My own track called "THEM HANDS" which is out now on Spinnin’ Deep records a collab with producer Selekio, it’s a bassy house track and I’ll be playing it in all my DJ sets this summer.
Charlie Hedges is a musician, DJ and radio presenter / @charliehedgesdj
Jayda G — 'Heartbreaker' by Crazy P
It's such a nostalgic song for me. I remember first hearing it when i was living in Maui, Hawaii doing biology research work on the endangered green sea turtle. I had such a great time driving to work in the hot weather jamming out to this song. I’m not sure if it's SO better than other summer jams but its got such a killer guitar loop that makes you feel like rocking out in happiness heheh.
Jayda G is a Canadian producer and DJ. Catch Jayda G at Lost Village this summer / @jaydagmusic
L Devine - 'Freak Like Me' by Sugababes
Apart from my new summer loner anthem, "Naked Alone"... I’m so obsessed with old Sugababes tunes. It's hard to pick just one but for summer, it's got to be "Freak Like Me." It takes me back to being a kid in my mum’s car, listening to the radio. I would have been 5 or 6 years old. That’s where I’d hear most of the music I still love today. It’s so nostalgic and is such a throwback, but revisiting their stuff now, it still feels really fresh and actually inspires me in the studio.
L Devine is a London-based singer-songwriter from Newcastle / @ldevinemusic
Charlotte Adigéry — 'Praise The Lord (Da Shine)' by A$AP Rocky ft. Skepta
A summer song to me is a song that’s catchy and light. A song you can listen to several times a day and you want to dance to. The message needs to be simple and joyful, and I don’t know why but to me it’s almost always a R&B or hip-hop song.
Charlotte Adigéry is a Belgian-Caribbean musician / @adigerwww
LION — 'Nobody' by Mac DeMarco
This song definitely stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it. It’s got such a beautiful laid back summer vibe. It’s my go to “driving round in the sunshine with the windows down” song. It’s wonderful and effortless.
LION is a British singer-songwriter / @iamlionofficial
Dream Wife – 'Titanium' (ft. Sia) by David Guetta
This song has definitely gone hand in hand with some euphoric dance party moments over the last few years. Last weekend we had two shows in two different cities on the same day, 'Titanium' was on our Tour Manager's ‘Bangers’ playlist and it kept us pumped up in transit to our second rock show of the day. It oozes summer good times and sunshine, get your stomp on!
Dream Wife are a London-based punk rock trio. Catch Dream Wife at Citadel and Kendal Calling this summer / @DreamWifeMusic
Twinnie — 'The King of Wishful Thinking' by Go West
It always makes me think of my old flatmate when he broke up with his girlfriend. We used to play it in the house all the time, every morning. It was like a positive break up anthem so we used to dance around the living room. It actually always set us up for a good day. I think it’s just an uplifting classic!! I’m not sure anyone else would agree with me apart from my Mum, but I love it!
Twinnie is a British country singer and songwriter / @twinnieofficial
Kitty Arabella Austen (Saint Agnes) — 'Don’t Fear the Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult
This is a tune we often play in the van when the sun is out and we’re about to start an adventure. I first heard it when I was a kid, my dad played it to me. It’s only recently that I looked up the lyrics and they’re really beautiful actually.
Kitty Arabella Austen is the lead singer of Saint Agnes. Catch Saint Agnes at Standon Calling this summer / @wearesaintagnes
El Hunt — 'Love Sensation' by Loleatta Holloway
Actual real life DJing legends Masters At Work closed with this complete banger at the last Glastonbury festival - they were playing NYC Downlow during the LGBT+ disco utopia’s tenth birthday party. Y’know when you start to get that late night festival flag, where your wellies start to rub and the legs get a bit achy? I dare you not to dance to this song. To my great regret, I was born in the wrong decade (and city) for dancing ‘til 9am at New York’s Paradise Garage — that night is probably the nearest I’ll ever get.
El Hunt is a freelance writer based in London / @El_Hunt_
Charlie Mock — 'Island In the Sun' by Weezer
"Island In The Sun" will forever be emblazoned in my memory as the iconic tune to soundtrack Mary-Kate & Ashley's wild summer antics with Griffen and Jordan in 'Holiday In The Sun.' Coupled with the twins' unflappable ability to locate the cute guy in whatever location they found themselves, this song made me believe a successful summer fling wasn't just something you saw in the movies. Turns out it was, but we'll leave that story for another time.
Charlie Mock is the social editor of Bustle UK / @charlielouisemock
Charlotte Owen — 'Doo Wop (That Thing)' by Lauryn Hill
The album that thing song comes from,
The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, is probably my favourite of all time, and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" was the song that made me first listen to it in full. The beauty of this track is that you discover new depths every time you listen, and whenever I hear that intro, it's like a jet burst of sunlight into my day. Charlotte Owen is the executive editor of Bustle UK / @char.owen
Aimée Grant Cumberbatch — 'Steal My Sunshine' by Len
I have vidid memories of sweating on the bus on the way to school playing this on my acid green iPod Nano on repeat. Those opening bars are the sound of summer. You hear them and cans of chilled M&S beverages open, grass stains appear on your jeans, barbecue smoke drifts across the sky, your sunglasses arrive on your head out of nowhere, and it IS summer. That’s it, I don’t make the rules.
Aimée Grant Cumberbatch is contributing editor of Bustle UK / @aimeevgc
Rowena Henley — 'My Church' by Maren Morris
My summer anthem is "My Church" by Maren Morris. It’s a country song, which is a genre I grew up listening to as it’s my dad’s favourite. Last summer, my family and I stayed in a remote villa in Portugal and every evening we’d cook dinner together and have this song blasting on repeat in the kitchen. It’s one you can seriously belt out and we’d all be singing together at the top of our lungs. It reminds me of such a happy time.
Rowena Henley is the associate editor of Bustle UK / @rowenahenley