Ultimate summer bangers, as chosen by Shaun Ryder, Alewya, Obongjayar and more

·8-min read
Let the music play: (clockwise from top left) Sam Fender, Parris, The Strokes, Alewya  (Getty Images/Daniel Naylor/Joseph Echenique)
Let the music play: (clockwise from top left) Sam Fender, Parris, The Strokes, Alewya (Getty Images/Daniel Naylor/Joseph Echenique)

Has your go-to hot weather playlist seen one too many barbecues? Is that classic disco track not quite doing the job any more? The same Britpop singalong sounding a bit stale?

To freshen up the hot-weather song selection, we asked artists playing at some of the best festivals in London and beyond over the next couple of months to pick their ultimate anthems. And they came back with some crackers: exultant piano house, sun-soaked reggae, hands-in-the-air indie rock, pure poolside pop pleasure, and plenty more.

Read on to find out why they’ve chosen these particular tracks, and for details of where you can catch them playing live this summer.

The Clash - The Magnificent Seven

Chosen by Jimmy Smith of Foals

“I always imagine this playing in a sweltering city, like New York or London — I think the band mentioned the song really connecting with New York one roasting summer. Also, it’s got one of my favourite lyrics: ‘Italian mobster shoots a lobster, seafood restaurant gets outta hand.’ I love that so much.”

July 23, Latitude, NR34, latitudefestival.com

MGMT — Electric Feel

Chosen by Jamie MacColl of Bombay Bicycle Club

“This isn’t my favourite summer song, but it reminds me of a significant summer. When we left school in 2008, we went to Benicassim festival in Spain and this song was playing at every group of tents in the campsite, so I have very strong memories of it.”

August 5, South Facing, SE19, southfacingfestival.com

Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Chosen by Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays

“Amsterdam ‘91, this was blasting out everywhere you went, in all the bars and coffee shops. I hadn’t heard the Kool & the Gang track then but this sounded brand new and a great soundtrack to a great time being had in the ‘dam in the early Nineties. I hate saying this but it sounded fresh, man.”

July 23, Kaleidoscope, N22, kaleidoscope-festival.com

Congress - 40 Miles

Chosen by Nia Archives

“This is my summer anthem, I absolutely love this tune. It was the soundtrack to my Glastonbury 2022 experience, walking back to Bronze Gate at 8am, watching the sun rise, seeing a double rainbow, waiting for a taxi.”

August 19, All Points East, E3, allpointseastfestival.com

Calvin Harris - Slide feat. Frank Ocean and Migos

Chosen by Lola Young

“This song always gives me that free summer feeling, and because I usually don’t like the sun, it makes me feel better about sweating.”

August 27, All Points East, E3, allpointseastfestival.com

Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Israelites

Chosen by Paul Hartnoll of Orbital

“I was brought up listening to Trojan reggae courtesy of my mum’s cousins Mick and Ray. They always played it at family parties. It’s not just the sound of summer, it stretches back through my whole life. For me, it’s the sound of endless carefree summers as a kid, going right through my angst-filled teenage years and beyond. This track has never failed to send shivers down my spine, it’s a lifelong companion.”

July 23, Kaleidoscope, N22, kaleidoscope-festival.com

Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

Chosen by Chase & Status

“Sam’s probably the artist we would most like to collaborate with in the future: a class writer and performer who absolutely owned Glasto this year.”

August 21, Electric City, W3, electriccityfestival.co.uk

Octave One feat. Ann Saunderson - Blackwater (Vocal Mix)

Chosen by Dennis Cruz

“One of house music’s most iconic tracks, I’m sure this record will represent summer for many other artists for different reasons. This was the closing track during mine and PAWSA’s recent back-to-back set as GOLFOS at Il Muretto’s opening party in Italy. After around 10 minutes of no music at the end of our set, no one had left the club, and everyone stayed waiting for one last track. So when we played this as the closing track of the night, it created such a magical moment to soundtrack the sunrise. It’s a really special record.”

August 7, We Are FSTVL, RM14, wearefstvl.com

Jules-Henry Malaki - Makiyaj

Chosen by Alewya

“It feels so real and good. It transports you to a locals-only spot in Guadeloupe; real time travelling.”

September 10, Naked City, BR3, nakedcityfestival.com

DJ Marky & XRS - LK feat. Stamina MC

Chosen by both High Contrast and Fabio & Grooverider

High Contrast: “It's such a feel good tune with a Brazilian flavour that can't help but make you think of summer. It's one I've often dug out for summer festivals and sounds as fresh as it did when it came out 20 years ago.”

Fabio & Grooverider: “Made in Brazil by Brazilian artists: LK is a vibe. With its melodic guitar sample and its infectious Latin rhythm, it’s perfect for summer festivals.”

September 17, Hospitality in the Woods, BR3, hospitalityinthewoods.com

The Strokes - Someday

Chosen by Sam Halliday of Two Door Cinema Club

“Summer festivals for me have historically been about seeing massive guitar bands with loads of tunes playing in a big field, singing along to every word with your mates. I can’t think of a better example than The Strokes. They have to be the band of my generation. Their debut album Is This It came out when I was a teenager, and I didn’t get a chance to experience that scenario until we both played Splendour in the Grass Festival in 2010. We got another chance to share the stage with them more recently at Lollapalooza in South America. We were already on a high after an amazing show (and spotting the Brazilian footballer Ronaldo in the crowd from the stage), and then we got to watch The Strokes play the hits in front of about 100,000 people. For a fanboy all round it was very cool.”

Played on July 16, Community, N4, communityfestival.london

Darondo - Didn’t I

Chosen by Obongjayar

“This is the ultimate summer tune because it’s one of the coldest songs ever written. The guitar riffs, his vocal texture and delivery sound and feel like how I want every great summer to feel.”

August 19, All Points East, E3, allpointseastfestival.com

Pulp - Babies

Chosen by Daisy Brain

“Every time I hear this song I’m instantly transported to my first festival in 2013: it’s 5am, unusually warm and the sun has already started rising. Festivals will always be the highlight of my summer but this particular year at that particular festival is the most saturated memory of them all.”

Played on July 16, Community, N4, communityfestival.london

Leon Vynehall - Endless (I)

Chosen by Parris

“This is my tune — it does everything a club tune needs to do: sick drums, a hypnotic vocal, heavy bassline and just full of vibes. Anything Leon Vynehall puts his hand to is always magic. And this is no exception.”

September 10, Naked City, BR3, nakedcityfestival.com

Shaun Escoffery - Days Like This

Chosen by SYREETA

“This track holds special meaning to my friends and I. Whenever it comes on it’s a group hug moment, singing at the top of our voices — a real feel good track that can be put on repeat and will always put a smile on your face when you hear it.”

August 6, We Are FSTVL, RM14, wearefstvl.com

DJ Apache - Sun God (Apache’s Hiani River Break Mix)

Chosen by Baby T

"This is my ultimate summer track… a classic from ‘98! It’s a must in my DJ sets at festivals and in the sunshine. At about five minutes in, the track changes and makes the crowd go mad."

September 10, Naked City, BR3, nakedcityfestival.com

Bicep - Opal (Four Tet Remix)

Chosen by Just Wondering

“Ultimate summer tune has to go to the Four Tet remix of Bicep’s Opal. It doesn’t get any buzzier. That synth line just has so much life and meaning in it, has soundtracked so many days. Even the little sample of people just having a big vibe in the background constantly; timeless.”

Played on July 16, Community, N4, communityfestival.london

Sonny Fodera - Better

Chosen by Sonny Fodera

“The song of the summer for me is my new track, Better. It’s been the biggest track of my sets throughout the summer so far and it really goes off during my residency at Amnesia Ibiza every Monday. It’s probably my most favourite track that I have ever made.”

August 7, We Are FSTVL, RM14, wearefstvl.com

Digital & Spirit - Remote Control (Killjoy Remix)

Chosen by DJ Storm

[Unreleased track - head to a DJ Storm set to hear it...]

“My summer track for this year is Remote Control by Digital & Spirit (Killjoy Remix) on Function Records. Killjoy has just brought this tune properly up to date with this remix of a Digital & Spirit classic. It’s straight in with powerful beats, so commanding you are dancing from the off, then as you are transported, with all the original’s atmospheric backdrop, to the first drop,  you just jump for joy. It has properly gone off on all the festivals and clubs I have played it in and for me is one of the best remixes I have heard in a while. Big up, Killjoy!”

September 17, Hospitality in the Woods, BR3, hospitalityinthewoods.com

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