The Ultimate Summer Playlist: FLARE Editors Weigh In

Our picks for the best summer songs, ever, from hip hop jams to sultry indie songbirds

Summer Playlist

When it comes to setting the scene, nothing beats a perfectly crafted playlist. Whether you’re driving with the windows down, chilling on the beach or patio-drinking with friends, we’ve got you covered with tunes hand-picked by the FLARE team.


Duke Dumont “I Got U”
I heard this song last summer and I can’t stop listening to it. It honestly puts me in the best mood. Who doesn’t love steel drums? Summer vibes always! —Natalie McLeod, designer

Lana Del Rey “Summertime Sadness”
It’s pretty mellow, but I love the romance and melancholy of the lyrics. —Truc Nguyen, senior style and market editor

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “Summertime”
Confession: I’m old enough to remember when you had to record your favourite songs off the radio. During the summer of ’91, I created a whole tape with just “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince on repeat. Both sides. That took some serious dedication, but it was worth it because it’s the BEST SUMMER SONG EVER. The chill groove, soulful hook and Will’s smooth rhymes will forever transport me back to lazy teenage summers when nothing mattered but bikinis, boys and baking by the pool. —Alicia Cox Thomson, digital managing editor

Len “Steal My Sunshine”
It’ll always remind me of being a kid in the early 2000s with nothing but summer break ahead. —Jillian Vieira, associate fashion editor

Rihanna “Bitch Better Have My Money”
When I pop my earphones in and walk through the city to this massive song, my world becomes infinitely more badass and I essentially become Rihanna. (Shhh. Let this be my summer fantasy. Okay, I actually want one other summer fantasy, and that’s to have “Sausage” by Lil Mama on Rdio so I can add it to this playlist of summer jams). Michael Li Preti, designer

Bon Iver “Holocene”
This song just sounds like magic hour and the smell of summer grass. —Lindsay Murrell, photo editor

Aaliyah “Back & Forth”
The summer should be about ease, so the two-step instructions of “Back & Forth” are a welcome relief for the dance-challenged. —Brian Wong, associate art director

Lumidee “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)”
Harlem block parties, open fire hydrants, double-dutch, plus appearances by Busta Rhymes AND Fabolous (whutt?!). Also hand claps, because literally no one can resist hand claps. —Nancy Won, senior fashion features editor

Years & Years “King”
I just heard this last weekend, and I’ll probably listen to it another 800 times before the summer wraps. Also, the video is a must-watch because frontman Olly Alexander is stupid cute. —Tara MacInnis, assistant fashion and beauty editor

Katy Perry “California Gurls”
This brings back fun memories because my friends and I listened to it a bunch while camping one summer. We managed to get Snoop’s rap down pat by the end of the trip. —Caitlin Kenny, associate beauty editor

A$AP Rocky “L$D”
I’ve been obsessed with A$AP Rocky’s new album since it dropped, and his smooth, sexy “L$D” has successfully claimed its place as the most addictive R&B/hip hop track of the summer. —Gillian Berner, editorial coordinator

Don Henley “The Boys Of Summer”
I definitely came of age in the wrong decade and wrong climate (Montreal couldn’t really be farther from the beach, and my version of a tan is a subtle burn) but 1984’s “The Boys of Summer” is the consummate summer jam in my books. It even references Wayfarers! —Jennifer Berry, entertainment intern

Bahamas “All The Time”
“All The Time” is the perfect lyrical blend of love and having all the time in the world, set to a sleepy tempo that reminds me of hot summers by the lake. —Claudia Steven, digital assistant, FLARE beauty vlogger

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