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The Best Songs For Your ‘Summer of 22’ Nostalgic Playlist

We love you, Posty <3

Posty and Doja get down in "I Like You (A Happier Song)"

Summer 2022 is nearing its conclusion, and even though I’m part of the Cold Weather Lover’s Club, I can’t deny that summer is one of the best times of the year for the sheer freedom of it all. Whether you’re working or not, summer is the time for the beach, music festivals, new flings, good food, and warm, sticky nights. It’s a time to get down with your bad self—and one can’t do that without the best songs of the summer.

Now, I’m a bit of a stickler, and therefore I can’t say that the most “popular” songs are necessarily the best ones of a summer. We gotta consider the other things: the heart of the matter, the character of a song, how it shapes our memories and influences how we feel during the haziest golden season. So, with all that said—here are our eight picks of Best Songs of Summer 2022. Together, these make the perfect playlist to put on when winter comes and you’re missing all your summer exploits.

“About Damn Time” by Lizzo

Technically, this song came out right before summer, but it’s Lizzo, she’s got staying power. And if any artist is smart, they’ll do what she did and release a bomb ass song right before summer, so then we’re listening to it for the rest of the year.

And honestly, Lizzo is just such a brilliant musician, I just assumed this song had been with us for forever. It’s got that sort of magic to it. Do we deserve Lizzo? Probably not, but we may as well be happy we have her, all the same.

“Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy

I’ve been clued into Steve Lacy since “Dark Red” came out in 2017, the time when he was pretty much just for the art hoes. So it was pretty surprising when Instagram, of all places, took his new song “Bad Habits” and ran with it, straight into my earholes.

I just love the fact that Lacy’s trademark guitar sounds are still present in his newer work. And goddamn, his outfit kills in the music video (even though it’s a song about heartbreak—I mean, I get it babe, you gotta look your cutest at your lowest).

“We Cry Together” by Kendrick Lamar

I know everyone was losing their minds over the fact that Kendrick finally dropped his new album, and yeah, it’s always exciting to get hyped over a beloved artist coming out of their creative cave to bless us. But I’ll admit, I only thought a handful of the album’s songs were memorable.

THAT SAID, the ones that made the grade were absolutely perfect in every possible way, while the rest were still better than most of the corporate plants that perforate airwaves these days. In particular, I chose “We Cry Together” because, despite its subject matter, it’s just so utterly cool and well-executed. Arguments between couples are messy, intense, and difficult to accurately capture, yet Kendrick managed to pull off in 5 minutes—what Marriage Story fumbled around in over an hour. It’s a harsh song to listen to, but I still find myself thinking about it consistently every week.

“Betty (Get Money)” by Yung Gravy

I don’t know if the phrase “Quirked Up White Boy Goated With the Sauce Busting It Down Sexual Style” has ever applied to anyone more than Yung Gravy. I thought the guy was just a meme musician until I heard this song and realized, Ohhh, okay, he’s one of those Magic Fingers producers.

Yeah, the lyrics are foul and superfluous, but that’s part of what makes this song so damn good. I don’t know if “adorable” is what he was going for with the music video, either, but still, it works.

“I Like You (I Do)” by Post Malone ft. Doja Cat

Happy Posty!!! I love this man so much. Everything about this song conveys a sense of joy that’s infectious, and the music video translates that in spades. The sounds, the environment, his OUTFITS…oh my god, it’s just pure bliss.

And look, I know Doja Cat has become somewhat of a problematic figure in the past few years, and with good reason. But everyone has at least one problematic fave, and she’s gotta be one of mine. Adding her to any song is just like adding some extra umami to an already good dish. You don’t HAVE to, but you’re only doing yourself a favor by doing it.

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush

Is it kind of lame that it took Stranger Things to turn people onto Kate Bush? Eh, depends on how strongly you care about that sort of thing. I, for one, think it’s kind of cool, especially since Kate Bush is notoriously private.

Plus, the context of the scenes that it’s used in is really powerful. Season 4 of Stranger Things is a bit of a clusterf**k, but including Kate Bush was one of the things that made it work. It’s just such a captivating song, musically and thematically, and bringing it back to the forefronts of pop culture is far from the worst thing we could be doing.

“As It Was” by Harry Styles

I was never a Directioner, or even someone who got the “queer appeal” of Harry Styles, but I did always appreciate him for his sense of style and what he brought to the mainstream music table. This song proved to be just the sort of thing that separated him from other mainstream artists: a poppy, yet mellow collection of sounds that masked a more introspective lyricism.

Is it a little tedious, in the way that mainstream pop can be? Yeah, sure. But I do feel my mood lightening every time I hear it in public.

“Tek It” by Cafuné

This is yet another one of those songs that retroactively found popularity through social media, and hey, why the hell not! It’s a damn good song, one that caters to both the pop-rock crowd and those who are still waiting for the revival of emo-rock-pop.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good animated music video? This one slaps, like yeah, who ISN’T a little wide-eyed kitty-cat watching the moon, looking for their one true lo–er, I mean, bowl of milk?

(Featured Image: Republic/Mercury)

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Madeline (she/her) is a writer and dog mom, with a varied background in media production, including music EPs, podcasts, and radio programs. She aims to use her writing to positively represent mixed-race people like herself, and is currently working on a novel. However, when she isn't writing, she's either battling insomnia or taking too many naps.