40 best feel-good summer hits, from ‘Get Lucky’ to ‘Despacito’

Roisin O'Connor, Ed Power

Summer and pop music are made for one another. As evenings turn long and languid and temperatures soar (that’s the theory anyway), so the ability of a killer tune to grab your heart-strings is somehow amplified.

Weirdly that’s true regardless of the actual quality of your summer. The weather can be terrible (oh yes it can). Or perhaps you’ve just returned from the beach holiday of a lifetime and have yet to fully reconnect with your boring regular life.

Either way, the best summer anthems enhance the experience, whether stoking your euphoria or taking the edges off your melancholy. And what’s great is that everyone else feels that way too. Suddenly people are cranking up their car stereos or blaring their radios in the back garden, so that the most popular tunes of the season become pervasive – filling the air like buzzing sonic bees.

Not all summer smashes are created equally, of course. Many are novelties, destined to be forgotten as autumn sweeps in. A few, however, have achieved sun-dappled immortality.

Click through the gallery to see the 40 best feel-good summer hits, ranked