The Best Summer Songs Of 2021 You Need To Add To Your Playlist

·6-min read
Photo credit: Isaac Brekken - Getty Images
Photo credit: Isaac Brekken - Getty Images

We've rounded up the best summer songs to see you through the next few months. From the sun filled anthems, sizzling BBQ playlists and soundtracks to park life - this is what ELLE’s editors and friends are listening to (and grooving to). Watch the videos, listen to the tracks, then download these summer songs.

George Driver, ELLE's acting beauty director

The Big Return: 'After the absolute banger that was 'Green Light', Lorde is back with the ultimate hot girl summer song. Somewhere between Primal Scream's post-lockdown appropriate 'Loaded' and an imaginary Haim acoustic set on the beach in Hawaii, 'Solar Power' is all mellow vibes and optimistic feels. We've already added Lorde's sunshine yellow Collina Strada co-ord to our 'need in our life' lists.'

Katie O'Malley, ELLE's senior editor



The Empowerment Anthem: 'I’ve been obsessed with Sigrid since she released ‘Strangers’ in 2017 and her performance at Glastonbury in 2019, but her latest single is by far her best musical offering yet. With Daft Punk synth-pop vibes, Sigrid’s 2021 single ‘Mirror’ is sure to have you dancing in a park or at a party with friends. With lyrics like ‘I love who I see looking at me in the mirror’, this is sure to be the body confidence anthem of the summer. Just try not swaying your hips to this banger or copying the 24-year-old’s dance moves from the video, we dare you.'

Zeze Mills, radio presenter

The One To Move To: 'Essence' by WizKid just touches my soul. You can’t listen to this song without closing your eyes and just vibes(ing).'

Lena Decasparis, ELLE's culture director

The Visual Masterpiece: 'She’s made her own genre of music - she calls it Ragu Wavy - a blend of R&B, soul and pop combined with the sounds of her Sri Lankan heritage. And I am obsessed. Last year it was banger 'Good Love 2.0' and celebratory 'Chicken Lemon Rice' playing on loop and now new smooth 'Forgot About' will be on repeat all summer long until I can see her live on tour in November.'

Mae Muller, musician

The Party Popper: 'No Rome - Spinning (ft. Charli XCX & The 1975) is asummery bop that makes me want to dance and make bad decisions… but in the best way!'

Ms Banks, rapper

The Booty Shaker: 'I just love feel good music, anything that can get me going and turning up, Pop It" by Bankroll Freddie and Megan Thee Stallion - is definitely my twerk anthem for the summer!'

Olivia Blair, ELLE's news editor

The Move Maker: 'It's only natural that 2021 BRITs Rising Star Award winner, Griff, is going to have songs that we'll be jamming to all summer. For us, that's got to be 'Black Hole' - which she also sang during a mesmerising performance at this year's socially distanced ceremony - and 'One Foot In Front Of The Other', both of which, we can just see blaring out of our cars, windows down on road trips to our staycation.'

The Temperature Riser: 'Always essential for the summer is Burna Boy too. The Nigerian artist's latest drop is ultimate summer song 'Kilometre' which has us dreaming of beachside parties and holidays.'

The Album On The Repeat: ' In the collaboration of the summer, Doja Cat, who has dominated 2021, joins forces with the equally dominating SZA for 'Kiss Me More' – the ultimate song for sunbathing (and TikTok dances?) My ears are peeled for Doja Cat's new album, Planet HER, this summer.'

Josie Man, musician

The Wind Down: 'Arlo's voice soothes me every time, and her poetic lyrics blow me away. I’m convinced she’s a real life angel.'

Chloe Medley, fashion bookings director

The Sound Of London: 'I’m a self proclaimed Enny fangirl. I love that she continues to stay true to her South East London roots in her track 'Same Old' and it's laid-back, happy beat is a big summer mood.'

Birdy, musician

The Throwback: 'Solange's 'Cranes In The Sky' reminds me of long summer afternoons, laying on the grass by the lake where I grew up, looking up at the sky and forgetting about everything. I love Solange in the video, there are all these huge open spaces that she performs in… it’s so powerful and beautiful.'

Becky Burgum, ELLE's features assistant

The Sunshine Saviour: 'As the UK embraces freedom after its year of isolation, Delilah embraces hers and fantasises over the thing we’ve been starved of most – touch. This song, produced by BRIT-winning Fred Again, puts sexual desires front and centre with killer guitar riffs played by TikTok sensation Towa Bird. Be warned, you may find it hard to keep your clothes on...'

Anu, DJ

'I’ve been obsessed with Joviale’s music since their debut EP, Crisis, and I’ll be clapping my way through summer to Blow. Taken from their second project, Hurricane Belle, Joviale’s voice, the visuals, it’s all beautifully stunning!'

Victoria Jane, radio presenter and musician

The Good Time Anthem: 'I listen to 'SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY' by Amaarae ft Moliy. every time I get ready to go out and it puts me in the best mood – it's total summer vibes and a girl power anthem.'

Olivia McCrea-Hedley, ELLE's deputy chief sub-editor

The Riding Solo Anthem: 'From the second I heard the opening bars of 'Single AF', I knew it’d be part of my summer soundtrack. Foushée’s vocals are unreal – powerful yet soft, soulful yet fresh – and her confidence is contagious. It’s the understated, unapologetic celebration of singledom we all need and I’m counting down the days 'til her new EP this summer.'

Lola Young, musician

The Summer Classic: '"Slide" is very special to me. It has an uplifting nature, I love listening to it when I am partying because it makes me feel good about myself, my life and the (mostly) crap weather.'

Sigrid, musician

The Retro Feels: 'Flyte's most recent album is so beautiful, rooted in nostalgia and dreams of California in 1969. The songwriting is remarkable and "There's A Woman" always leaves me in a state of reverie. We've all been told this summer will be the Summer of Love, and this song should be played in fields and parks where new love might be born.'

Georgia Medley, ELLE's fashion editor

The Much-Anticipated Debut: 'I love this track from Greentea Peng's newly released debut album, there’s definitely a R&B/Nu Soul movement coming out of the UK right now. It’s easy listening and fits so well into my 2021 Chill playlist on Spotify. '

Bishop, musician

The Modern Classic: 'How can we have our Hot Girl Summer without our Hot Girl Summer Queen, Megan Thee Stallion! A summer playlist is not complete without playing 'Body' by Megan Thee Stallion.'

JGrrey, musician

The Afterparty Anthem: 'Veda Black is a genius, I think she’s what a lot of people strive to sounds like. 'Let it Shine' should be played at every afters this summer.'

Jayda G, DJ

The Floor Filler: 'I love "You're A Melody" by Aged In Harmony so much, which is why I included it on my DJ-Kicks mix. Especially how it starts with the guitar lick, it immediately makes you want to groove.'

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