The Songs of the Summer Have Officially Arrived

chris and rich robinson of the black crpowes at the aragon ballroom in chicago, ilinois
The Songs of the Summer Have Officially ArrivedPaul Natkin - Getty Images

Things are looking up, people. The world of music kicked off 2024 with a trough of sad songs—but we just turned a corner. It's June. We're at the pool. And everyone wants to groove. Thankfully, quite a few artists have answered the call.

Below, we’ve gathered a list of new songs that should absolutely be a fixture on your summer playlist. There are fresh releases from rock legends like The Black Crowes and Green Day, along with the return of Brittany Howard and an infectious love song from Billie Eilish. If you’re hoping to discover some new artists, look no further. We have those, too. Check out Dominic Fike’s latest song for your next drive around town. And if you’re looking for a new rapper to follow, listen to Buddy—the West Coast lyricist bringing an old-school flair to the genre.

If these songs are any indication, we're going to have a damn good summer.

"Wanting and Waiting," The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes have long reigned supreme as rock dynamos. If you’ve forgotten why, then listen to “Wanting and Waiting” from their latest album, Happiness Bastards. The track is infectious and celebratory, with a foot-tapping beat and gospel-inspired melodies. Lead singer Christopher Mark Robinson's voice is transcendent as he croons about a lost love.

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"A Bar Song (Tipsy)," Shaboozey

If a co-sign from Beyoncé wasn’t enough to turn you into a Shaboozey fan, then his latest track certainly will. “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” samples J Kwon’s 2004 hit, blending early-aughts hip-hop with Shaboozey’s country twang. The result? An irresistible summer anthem. Shaboozey’s voice is piercing as he sings about letting loose with a double shot of whiskey. By the time you hit the chorus, you’ll want to pour a glass and join him.

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"Birds of a Feather," Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas’ artistry is on full display in “Birds of a Feather.” The light track explores the heft of love. From the opening line (“I want you to stay”) to the pre-chorus (“and I don’t know what I’m crying for / I don’t think I could love you more”) the song weaves together a story about eternal devotion. It’s addictive, sweet, and the perfect companion on a warm summer day.

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"Not Like Us," Kendrick Lamar

“Not Like Us” is the best thing to come out of Kendrick Lamar and Drake’s viral spat. The biting track dives deeper into their beef, but honestly? That’s the least interesting thing about it. “Not Like Us” pays tribute to west-coast rap with a high-energy beat inspired by the Bay Area legend, E40. Kendrick's flow is precise and, at times, comical. It’s easy to understand why “Not Like Us” broke Spotify’s record for the most streamed rap song in one day. Kendrick is just that good.

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"Spite," Omar Apollo

Omar Apollo always brings a refreshing level of honesty to his music, but “Spite” may be his most skillful work to date. The uncensored track boasts a bouncy and laissez-faire attitude—but if you listen closely, you’ll find some brutally honest reflections, too. Somehow, he’s managed to make heartbreak sound fun.

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"What Now," Brittany Howard

Brittany Howard is back and, dare I say, better than ever. “What Now” is the title track of her first album in five years—and it rocks. Howard lends her smoky vocals to a funky melody as she reflects on a complex relationship. “I don’t wanna confuse you for fulfillment,” she sings. “I don’t want to wonder what our love is.” Raise your hand if you can relate! Good. Now go ahead and groove to this beat.

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“Bobby Sox,” Green Day

Leave it to Green Day to transport us back to our youth—you know, when a summer fling was the best thing that could happen to you. “Bobby Sox” opens with a timeless question: “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” From there, lead singer Billie Jo Armstrong explains why you should. He’ll take you to the movies, kiss you at the cemetery, and bore you to death—though that seems unlikely. Press play and imagine yourself starring in a sweet summer romance.

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"Misses," Dominic Fike

“Misses” hails from Dominic Fike’s brief, but bountiful album, "14 Minutes." This sunny track feels fit for a day at the beach, but I’d advise playing it on a loop. (It’s just a minute and fourteen seconds long.) Though the track is quick, Fike makes the best of each moment—blending a groovy guitar with pulsating drums and his Floridian drawl.

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"Million Dollar Baby," Tommy Richman

OK, fine—my TikTok For You Page may have inspired this choice, but at least the algorithm led me to a genuinely talented artist. I'll keep it short: Tommy Richman's “Millon Dollar Baby” is a synthesized delicacy. Press play and let his plucky beat and '90s-inspired vocals lead you to the dance floor.

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"Like This," Buddy

Buddy is climbing the ranks as a rap wunderkind. His single, “Like This,” is unlike (pun absolutely intended) anything I’ve heard this year. Instead of leaning into overproduced and auto-tuned arrangements, Buddy strips things back with a simple track and crystal-clear lyrics. It's refreshing, inspired, and a true delight to listen to.

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