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Banging sounds of the summer: as chosen by Arlo Parks, Romy, Róisín Murphy and more

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

Do not be fooled by the persistent drizzle, summer is on its way! But which quintessential banger will become the unofficial song of the season?

From Daft Punk’s now-immortal 2013 funk hit Get Lucky - arguably a staple of the genre - to the Lionesses’ glorious revival of Gala Rizzatto’s Freed From Desire at last year’s Euros, every year has a flagship song. As 2023 hots up — we hope — we’ve quizzed some of music’s finest on the tracks they’ll be rinsing this summer.

Arlo Parks

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

Boygenius - True Blue

‘For me, summer is bursting with colour. It’s picnics and open-water swimming, and feeling free. This song is so tender, and there’s so much loving detail in there, but also this distinct sense of melancholy. I remember playing it while I was driving, and heading towards my favourite beach in the world, with my best friends. My dog was hanging her head out of the window, safely! We were going at 70mph, and feeling like the world was completely new.’

Arlo Parks’ new single Pegasus ft. Phoebe Bridgers is out now

The Blessed Madonna

 (Redferns for Brunch In The Park)
(Redferns for Brunch In The Park)

HAAi - Always Ascending

‘My song of the summer is Always Ascending by HAAi. It’s got production from Jon Hopkins and vocals from Kam Bu, who I have had the pleasure of being in a session with. It’s a really exciting record, which isn’t technically out yet; it’s the follow up to the lead single from her very exceptionally good 2022 album called Baby, We’re Ascending, and I can’t wait to play this one on tour this summer! Teneil Throssell remains endlessly impressive and brilliant.’

The Blessed Madonna plays Parklife festival June 11

Romy

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

yuné pinku - Night Light

‘A summer anthem needs to have a euphoria in it: for me, it needs to have momentum, and a driving rhythm. Night Light, by yuné pinku, has just got this lightness and warmth. I can imagine having it on when I’ve got friends around, in the garden, in the summer – the weather is still not very nice right now, but it transported me to the place that I hope I’ll be in soon. It’s a great track I found on one of my Spotify deep-dives, and I’m excited to hear more from them, to be honest.’

Romy’s new single Enjoy Your Life is out now

Hot Chip, Joe Goddard

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

KAYTRAMINÉ - 4EVA (feat. Pharrell Williams)

‘This song is super funky, infectious, and bouncy. Amine sounds a little like Q-Tip, and his verses have some killer hooks. Kaytranada’s drums sound almost Brazilian and have a great swing to them – it will be a summer anthem. It has the perfect tempo and a simple chorus from Pharrell to top it off.’

Hot Chip are DJing All Night Long at Koko on 9 June and headlining London’s Kaleidoscope festival on 15 July

Róisín Murphy

 (AP)
(AP)

Eli Escobar - Do It Now

‘If you’re looking for a nice warm summer vibe, this really isn’t that. It’s dark and sexual and intense, with a threatening edge. Still, I think it might fit this coming summer quite well, as I have a feeling it might get quite heated and fractious!  Eli Escobar is perfectly capable of  beautifully warm and dreamy, summer vibes – as evidenced elsewhere in his excellent catalogue – although it’s always rooted in his New York heritage. Here it’s a kind of edgy, funky-electro, downtown-scene he’s tapping. Real summer anthems need to be able to go big or go small. This will work at a rave, or at a barbeque, in the car, or on a run… anywhere! But it’s not escapism. You’ll have to go to Thomas Cook for that!’

Roisin Murphy plays the Mighty Hoopla on June 4

Dagny

 (METRO Published Images/Sandri​ne and Michael)
(METRO Published Images/Sandri​ne and Michael)

Mimi Webb - Red Flags

‘My summer banger of 2023 is Red Flags by Mimi Webb. What can I say; I’m a pop addict and this one’s super-hooky, with a big uptempo chorus. Lyrically, it’s a song that myself and many others can definitely connect with – there’s something inevitable about the heartbreak that follows when you ignore all the warning signs.’

Dagny plays the Mighty Hoopla on June 4

Overmono

 (PR Handout/Elliot Morgan)
(PR Handout/Elliot Morgan)

Blawan - Toast

‘For us, Blawan’s latest single Toast is undoubtedly the sound of the summer. Jamie Roberts (aka Blawan) is a really talented producer, who we were lucky enough to have feature on our 2021 fabric presents compilation. He has this incredible way of making music that melts over you. Toast – off new EP Dismantled Into Juice – is a perfect example of this. It has these crisp synths that got us hooked from the first listen. They float in like a cool breeze, which is just what everyone needs in the warmer months.’

Overmono’s debut album Good Lies is out now - they play Gala Festival on May 27

Nova Twins

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

SZA - Kill Bill Ft. Doja Cat (Remix)

‘SZA is such an amazing vocalist with a very unique tone and we love how she contrasts the sweet melodies in Kill Bill against the concept of the song itself. It’s an undeniable ear-worm, and we always find ourselves singing the chorus over and over. Doja Cat being involved in this new version was the cherry on top. We’re huge fans of her style and approach, and have always wanted to tour or work with her in some way.’

Nova Twins play Download festival, 8-11 June

Tom Rasmussen

 (Redferns)
(Redferns)

Róisín Murphy - CooCool

‘The sound of the summer is obviously CooCool by the mother of music with actual taste Róisín Murphy. With whom I’ll be playing two (yes two!) festivals this year (she doesn’t know who I am). But I know who she is – and no matter what sound she brings, it seems to usher in a new way to experience the summer. If her 2020 album Róisín Machine was a dark and sexy dance party, perfect for the crowds of gays at Glastonbury’s flawless NYC Downlow club, comeback CooCool is a chic, cliff-side relaxation, in white dresses with a marabou trim. I can’t wait to dance to it at Mighty Hoopla.’

Tom Rasmussen plays the Mighty Hoopla on June 4

Nell Mescal

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

The Japanese House - Boyhood

‘This song is 1000 per cent a summer banger. The melodies are so insane, the build-up is so great, and the chorus makes me want to run around a field in the sun. Except I’m also feeling existential, because the lyric: “and if I grow, I’m gonna get so old” makes me want to scream. That’s what makes it a perfect summer song, though I’d also give an honourable mention to Caroline Polachek’s Welcome To My Island. The Charli XCX remix, because obviously.’

Nell Mescal plays BST Hyde Park on June 25

Lambrini Girls, Phoebe Lunny

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

Comfort - Billionaire Potential

‘I really wanted to pick Crazy Frog by Axel F – Crazy Frog is a gay icon, and a sign of the times. He’s a bit of all of us. In terms of stuff I’ve heard this year, though, I love Billionaire Potential by Glaswegian band Comfort. They’re so unapologetically queer, and fantastic – we played a couple of shows with them and they just blew me away. I’d say Billionaire Potential is about capitalism, and about how awful society is, and the way that we all navigate that. It resonates with me a lot. It’s flawless!’

Lambrini Girls play Brighton’s The Great Escape this weekend

Black Honey, Izzy Bee Phillips

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

Lambrini Girls - Lads Lads Lads

‘We played the same festival as [Lambrini Girls] last week, Are You Listening in Reading, and I felt like I needed their music in my life. I love punk, and I love bands like Amyl and the Sniffers... but their sound is more vintage and looking at things through an Australian lens. This is so applicable to British girl culture. It’s really refreshing. Lads Lads Lads in particular is a hilarious song because it’s got this cock-rock style riff, and is also this very accurate critique of lad culture.’

Black Honey play 2000trees festival, 5-8 July

Rose Gray

 (PR Handout/Freddie Stisted)
(PR Handout/Freddie Stisted)

Shygirl - Heaven ft. Tinashe

The radio is so powerful, especially in summer, and there’s a big power in hearing songs on repeat. My summer anthem has to be Shygirl’s Heaven, featuring Tinashe. It’s from her remix album, Nymph_o, which I’ve been listening to a lot. I rate her so much - she’s very impressive, and I supported her at her Printworks show. I fell in love with that song when I heard her play it live. For me, it’s got this perfect balance between being electronic and almost classical, with these beautiful string arrangements.

Rose Gray plays The Great Escape this weekend

Confidence Man

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

Robert Doherty & Foley - Let the Bass

This is cheeky, fun and has a breakdown worthy of a big ol’ baseball stadium. We’ve been putting it in our DJ sets the last few weeks, and it always pops off without us even trying. It’s a sure fire way to achieve party success and look cool while doing it. Big and trashy is back!