Summer songs – think about it for a second. Rising temperatures, flowing drinks, cranked aircon and exposed flesh are some of the things most associate with the summer months.
Music fans like you and I however, know it’s the time of the year that some of the best ass shaking, catchy and memorable songs are released. 2014 has been an absolute cracker for summer hits (for our Northern hemisphere cousins) I’m sure you’ll agree.
I’ve listed 20 of the hottest tracks summer 2014 has seen – selected on club banger potential, songs that stay with you and those tracks you can’t help but sing along to (even if you don’t like it!).
If you are looking for some new music to uplift you and get you in the fun summer spirit (even if you are in the midst of spring like me!) get downloading on iTunes and add these top tunes to your playlist.
1. “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“Fancy” has dominated the Billboard charts with the song becoming the longest running number one by a female rapper – an Aussie one at that. The moment I heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” I was sold, it was catchy and sassy plus it had my name in it. I have a full track review here.
Every time I hear it now I think of Jimmy Fallon’s lip syncing competition with Emma Stone where he lipsyncs this song, it’s absolutely hilarious!
I got my entire life from the music video! For any person who was a teen in the 90s they would remember how huge the film “Clueless” was. To see it recreated with Iggy Azalea as Cher, made me fan girl like crazy. I even considered attaching feathers to the end of my pens ala Cher – I was getting so freaking nostalgic.
Iggy’s rapping truly makes the track along with the infectious beat, and Charli XCX’s very cool vocal contribution to the chorus. How can you not feel fancy after belting out the lyrics to that song?
2. “It’s My Birthday” – Will.I.Am ft. Cody Wise
“It’s My Birthday” is one of those tracks that will live on well beyond the summer of 2014 – hit play on this track when anybody’s birthday is on.
Will.I.Am has written and produced some of the hottest tracks of all time with some of music’s biggest names and “It’s My Birthday” is no exception.
The song is an eclectic mix of Caribbean and Indian sounds being co-written by the Tamil composer of “Urvasi Urvasi” A.R. Rahman and sampling Jamaican songs “Pull Up To Mi Bumper,” “Fi Di Jockey” and “Big Ship Sailing.”
The music video is funny and light like the song, I wouldn’t expect anything different.
I can see this one being requested at the club for friends and played at full volume at house parties. I initially saw this track performed live by Will.I.Am and Cody Wise on The Voice Australia and from the first listen I just knew this song was going to be fiyah!
3. “Problem” – Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea
“Problem” made Ariana Grande a mainstream success and secured Iggy Azalea two spots in the Top Ten charts simultaneously, a rare achievement. I knew of Ariana from her 2013 hit “The Way” and I just knew from that moment that her Mariah-esque voice was going to make people stand to attention, and it has. Grande had previous success as an actress on Nickelodeon.
A saxophone, Grande’s sweet voice, Iggy Azalea’s rapping and Big Sean’s whispered tones combine to create an iconic summer song about relationship problems.
4. “Flawless (Remix)” – Beyoncé ft. Nicki Minaj
As if the original “Flawless” wasn’t enough – Beyoncé had to top it with the likes of Nicki Minaj for the remix.
This may be my favourite song on the entire list. Beyoncé highlights the infamous Solange elevator confrontation with the line ‘of course sh*t go down when there’s a billion dollars on the elevator!’ The explanation stops there though – father Matthew Knowles publicly stated that the incident occurred as a publicity stunt to promote their ‘On The Run’ tour.
The music video features captured live footage of the “On The Run Tour” where they perform the remix together. I remember leaping off the chair when I first watched this aired on the documentary the moment I saw Nicki take the stage to perform – I was NOT expecting it and Lord did she deliver!
Nicki Minaj’s verses towards the end is seriously beyond – it’s “Monster” all over again. Bey gave her free reign to spit whatever she wanted and what she came up with is witty, sassy and well, flawless. The erratic tempo mixed with the clever lyrics in the verses serve as yet another example of why Nicki Minaj is regarded so highly in the rap community.
Minaj received a gold necklace from Beyoncé after the performance which read ‘Flawless’ who was reportedly over the moon upon receipt of it.
“Flawless Remix” is one of those motivational songs that will pull you up out of the depths of the deepest pits of self-doubt. Chant it like a mantra next time you’re feeling inferior. Because girl, you woke up like this – flawless, tell em!
5. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj
“Anaconda” takes you back to the good ol’ days of the 1990’s when rap was the greatest – sampling the Sir-Mix-A-Lot classic “Baby Got Back.”
Who better to sing a song about big booties than none other than the woman who sports the biggest ass in the business? A musical match destined to be made I say.
My boxing instructor actually prefers this version to the original and I’m sure Sir-Mix-A-Lot are more than happy to have their signature song introduced to a new generation of people.
The music video for “Anaconda” (which I did review and somehow the post was deleted it upon conversion to Genesis – boooo!) is sexy, fun and features a lot of clever product placement – get your money girl!
“Anaconda” celebrates girls with a big butt and to that end (pun intended) I offer a round of applause – and a celebratory booty pop.
6. “Turn Down For What” – DJ Snake and Lil Jon
“Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon has been hanging on in the charts for a long time – people love this track and understandably so. Who doesn’t love the often completely incomprehensible shouts and exclamations from this crunk ATLien musician?
I’ve only just discovered the opening line on the verse is ‘fire up loud, another round of shots’ not ‘bartender, another round of shots’ incorrectly sung by Mr. Fancye. I stand by my man on this one, it sounds better with a drawn out ‘barrr-tenderrrrr.’
The music video is hilarious featuring a number of unlikely residents in an apartment complex getting turnt up to the max.
“Turn Down For What” is a club and party anthem enjoyed in it’s most pure form – while getting turnt up.
7. “Bang Bang” – Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
“Bang Bang” is an infectious tune from it’s first play – it’s that damn back beat. It inspires a shoulder shimmy and a sassy strut.
The track features a perfect combination of female voices, Jessie J, Ariana and Nicki all trying to woo a man away from a sexy love interest. It reminds me of the successful remake of “Lady Marmalade” featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Pink and Maya released a decade ago.
I can see people getting down to “Bang Bang” for a long time – even Al Roker begged for the trio to come onto The Today Show so he could dance to his favourite song of the summer.
The music video for “Bang Bang” is fun, light and sassy featuring the three ladies looking more gorgeous than ever – not to be confused with the more serious Cher original later covered by Nancy Sinatra “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down.”)
8. “Come Get It Bae” – Pharrell ft. Miley Cyrus
“Come Get It Bae” written and produced by Pharrell is a funk song which gets under your skin – it forces you to groove to it’s irresistible rhythm dotted by Miley’s ‘hey!’ shouts.
It was a great choice by Pharrell to feature Miley Cyrus and Tori Kelly on this track, it just wouldn’t be the same without their vocals.
The song features lines of innuendo between the throbbing bass and handclaps.
The music video could have been better I think, it features women of all races, shapes and sizes shimmying in front of the camera with a cameo of Miley semingly cut and pasted into it.
9. “Booty Remix” – Jennifer Lopez feat. Iggy Azalea
“Booty Remix” is the twerktastic twin sister of “Anaconda” this summer – headlining another two iconic booties in the music industry – that of Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea.
The original track features Pitbull but it doesn’t quite have the same feel as when the two ladies collaborate on the remix bringing much more credibility and authenticity to the ‘big, big booty’ line. Azalea’s contribution makes the track more gritty.
Now let’s get to the good stuff – the music video, O M G. Jennifer Lopez flaunts THE best body and booty I have ever seen, she is so fit! Iggy Azalea isn’t far behind though with her kickin curves twerking all over the clip. JLo reigns queen in this video at 4o years old she is the embodiment of fitspo.
10. “This Is How We Do” – Katy Perry
“This Is How We Do” is a laid back braggadocio anthem made for summer airplay. Katy killed it on this one – it’s perfect for blasting on the way to the beach, windows down, car packed with friends. It’s also a fantastic warm up or warm down track for the gym with a consistent mid paced tempo beat throughout.
The song in short is a bragfest detailing how Katy chills with her crew, singing bad karaoke to Mariah Carey, drinking to all hours and playing ping pong in designer threads.
“This Is How We Do” has a very catchy hook and the music video is what I would expect – light, colourful and showcases Perry’s great sense of humour.
11. “Wiggle” – Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg
“Wiggle” has been playing on the airwaves what seems now for years. Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg really hit a home run collaborating on this song – with yet another homage to, you guessed it – the booty (noticing a summer theme here?)
The bass in this track kicks when played in the car and you’ll find yourself singing along to Derulo’s ‘oooh!’s’ throughout. The beats sound very signature Snoop.
The music video for “Wiggle” is shot at a pool party where there is much ass to be clapped. Hit play at the pool, beach or club and let the twerking begin.
12. “Loyal” – Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga
The lyrics to “Loyal” aren’t exactly too female friendly which wouldn’t surprise too many Chris Brown haters.
The song details the antics of their female sexual conquests suggesting they are gold diggers who aren’t loyal to them. Despite the lyrical content – I can’t help but sing along to the ridiculously infectious beat. I would have played this song over a hundred times over the last couple of months.
Despite the lyrical content, the “Loyal” music video though is surprisingly tame though and showcases Brown’s out of this world dance skills.
13. “Am I Wrong” – Nico and Vinz
“Am I Wrong” would be the first time most people would have ever heard of Nico and Vinz (formerly known as ‘Envy’) the Norwegian duo.
This song dominated charts globally and it will be interesting to see whether future releases from them perform so well. The genre of song is a hybrid of pop and afrobeat.
Nico described “Am I Wrong” as holding the following meaning:
“Inspiration is coming from a small country, but having huge dreams and people telling you, man, that’s not realistic, come on, you can’t be on the top of America or the top of the world or whatever we dream of.”
The music video takes place in Africa–namely Maun in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe–where the duo walks an around with a TV each trying to find a signal to find each other. According to the band, it was put together in an effort to present a positive side of Africa, with the continent too often mired in negative news stories.
14. “Rude” – Magic!
“Rude” is one of those songs that you had to hear whether you wanted or not this summer. It’s a reggae pop song which in sum takes shots at a douchebag Dad who basically hates him and won’t let him marry his daughter.
I don’t think it’s the lyrics that necessarily made this song chart, it’s the cool and effortless reggae beat. This is another band I’d like to watch in the future to see whether they achieve the same success with future singles.
The video for “Rude” visually depicts the story of the song – disapproval of his father-in-law.
15. “Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
If you haven’t heard “Stay With Me” you must have been living under a rock. Sam Smith is the hottest artist in R&B/soul right now on a global scale. His LP “In The Lonely Hour” has sold all over the world in ridiculously high numbers.
“Stay With Me” laments the sadness of a lonely man who seems to only hold onto a partner for the night. It’s heartfelt, deep and raw with soaring vocals it is no surprise it’s performed so well on the charts.
It is not a song you would associate with summer per say, but it was all anyone could ever talk about during summer 2014 so it rightly belongs on this list.
The music video for “Stay With Me” depicts Sam walking down his street on his own singing the lyrics to the song between cut scenes of him seated in his bedroom.
16. “Chandelier” – Sia
“Chandelier” sung by our very own Sia is an iconic summer pop song best identified by it’s sonically high sung verse.
The unique thing about this song is it’s clever combination of high notes and quite monotone low parts.
The music video for “Chandelier” is a bizarre one depicting what looks like a young Sia in a flesh toned leotard who dances (brilliantly mind you) in a deserted apartment.
17. “Summer” – Calvin Harris
How could I not feature a song called “Summer” on the 20 Hottest Summer Songs of 2014 list?
Although I’m not a huge fan of electro house or dance pop this song definitely belongs here – from it’s catchy beats to explicit mention of meeting a girl in the summer. The Scottish Calvin Harris did a swell job of creating this song.
The music video for “Summer” isn’t particularly special and for some reason is region blocked to North America. It shows some drag racing, swimming, gratuitous crotch shots and a dance party.
18. “Maps” – Maroon 5
“Maps” from Maroon 5 has been on repeat on my iTouch for weeks – Adam Levine was onto a sure thing when he recorded this song.
It sounds very much to me like a pop song Sting would have sung back in the day. I love the guitar lick and overall funky feel. The song is about searching for a lost love.
I can see myself listening to this summer song in the car and at home.
The music video almost made me cry – it’s shot in reverse and I won’t say anything more to avoid spoilers, watch it above and see for yourself!
19. “No Mediocre” – T.I. ft. Iggy Azalea
“Mediocre” is another rap song that I could see some turning their noses up at during the summer – along with a whole lot of people blasting this from their cars or dancing to in the club.
The track basically laments T.I’s desire for ‘bad bitches’ (ridiculously good looking women) none of them mediocre. He tries to tell us he has 7 bad bitches – somehow I don’t think his wife Tiny would be having any of that mess.
The reggae beat is hard not to love despite it’s less than kind words to well the rest of the female population who aren’t in the ‘bad as in good’ category.
The music video to “No Mediocre” is atypical of what you would normally see in a rap clip, booties and money.
20. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora
“Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora was a real favourite of mine this year.
After hearing this song and seeing “Gone Girl” at the movies I couldn’t think of a better song to be on the soundtrack. “Black Widow” pretty much word for word sums up the toxic relationship in that film.
The music video for “Black Widow” was inspired directly by Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films and Iggy and Rita play the roles so well! Play this one when your man is starting to act up and give him a subtle hint – then play “Gone Girl.” I guarantee he’ll get the hint.
What were your favourite summer songs in 2014? I’d love to hear them – list them below in the comments!