Summer has finally peeked its way over the rainclouds of April, which means it is officially time for road trips, swimming, Texas BBQ and new summer music. Whether you’re two-stepping at Cowboys or dancing the night away at a dive bar, here are a few songs to inspire the brief fun that summer always brings.

Best Coast “The Only Place”

Best Coast fully established themselves as a bona fide surfer and summer lover’s dream band when they emerged in 2009. They have not released an album in over a year, but any of their songs from “Boyfriend,” to “Do You Love Me Like You Used To,” will surely quench the thirst of any pop-rock lover.

Lead singer Bethany Cosantino joyfully sings about summer loves and their home state of California as “the only place” to ever live. Luckily for her, she has the emotional brevity and upbeat rhymes to cement her place on the list of essential summer soundtracks.

“The Only Place” is a song to blast while laying on a towel by the pool or on a road trip to a sweeter, new location.

Daft Punk “Get Lucky”

Daft Punk has finally returned and with vengeance for a summer hit. They have succeeded in wrangling in a new batch of listeners and going, as they say, mainstream.

“Get Lucky” is the first of several collaborations on their new album and features the smooth voice of Pharrell, who croons his way into a sexual conquest, but is really looking for the rare opportunity of real chemistry.

Pharrell gleefully sings “So let’s raise the bar/And our cups to the stars/She’s up all night ‘til the sun/I’m up all night to get some/She’s up all night for good fun/I’m up all night to get lucky.”

The song is packed with easy going lyrics and a laid back summer vibe with just a hint of disco. It is sure to set the radio waves on fire for the next few weeks.

Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”

Although some may argue that the lyrics of this catchy love tune are a bit self-indulgent there is a sweet soulfulness within the lyrics that only a megastar like Justin Timberlake can provide. The 32-year-old singer recently released “The 20/20 Experience” to mixed reviews, but there is no doubt that his fans are right there with him through every bit of his journey to superstar status.

“Mirrors” features Timberlake serenading his “other half” (a more than willing Jessica Biel) with the following lyrics: “Cause I don’t want to lose you now/I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me/The vacancy that sat in my heart/is a space that now you hold.” It’s hard to argue the sweetness of that sentiment and surely, most fans of Timberlake would not mind being compared to a reflection of the current King of Pop, sketch comedy and charm.

Taylor Swift “22”

After making a successful crossover from country to pop, Taylor Swift takes a break from never, ever getting back together with mystery heartbreakers and gives her fans a positive anthem they can really sing along to. “22” is on Swift’s fourth album “Red,” one of the highest selling albums this year. Swift belts out joyously and triumphantly, “It seems like one of those nights/This place is too crowded too many cool kids/It seems like one of those nights/We ditch the whole scene and end of dreaming instead of sleeping.”

Swift has die-hard fans, but she also has a strong following of naysayers. Swift has the appeal of being effortlessly catchy and fun-loving in many of her songs. “22” successfully highlights the freedom and joy of being young and maybe venturing out on a hot summer night with the girls.

Ellie Goulding “Anything Can Happen”

Ever since English singer songwriter Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” made a huge splash on the American air waves back in 2011, the singer has slowly ascended to popularity. She sits in the same ranks as Adele and Florence Welch in her vocal ability, but she has yet to reach the massive multi-hit dimensions that her predecessors have accomplished. This summer, with “Anything Could Happen,” she may finally rise. Goulding has already planned on a U.S. tour with a schedule that includes Texas.

“Anything Could Happen” is on Goulding’s sophomore album “Halcyon,” which has already received critical acclaim overseas and has peaked to the Billboard Top 10 in the United States. “Anything Can Happen” is a definite pick for a summer soundtrack; Goulding’s lyrics and classical vocals bring an edge to a seemingly romantic song. The singer has a gift for blending electronic music with her classical vocal range. Hopefully, there will be more of Goulding to come in the States and “Anything Can Happen” will have similar success to “Lights.”

Toro y Moi “So Many Details”

While chillwave is a genre most have move passed since 2011, Toro y Moi kept the genre going for the last year or so until his new album, “Anything in Return,” transcended genres of 90s dance music and house. The single “So Many Details” is reminiscent of a past love affair and is perfect for low-key kickbacks or contemplation on back porches. Toro y Moi, also known as Chazwick Bundick, has made a career off of his toned-down pop tunes. Other songs on the new album, such as “Rose Quartz” and “Say That,” blend electronica and pop so beautifully that it’s more relaxing than overwhelming, as many pop songs tend to be.

Solange ”Losing You”

Solange’s new single “Losing You” is cause enough for all of us to stop referring to her as Beyonce’s little sister. With a strong blend of R&B and soul, Solange sets herself apart from her big sister’s shadow on her new album “True.” “Losing You” starts strong with a rousing backbeat. Solange’s soft spoken vocals and heart-wrenching lyrics show that she has her own voice in the R&B world and she is finally getting radio time and a place to shine. Solange sings, “Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good/We used to kiss all night but now there’s just no use.” “True” is Solange’s third studio album that solidified her break out into the mainstream. With “Losing You,” she blends pop and electronic to create a new kind of sound for the R&B world.

Robin Thicke ”Blurred Lines”

Robin Thicke has been off the radar for a few years and has been unable to match the success he had with “The Evolution of Robin Thicke.” While “Blurred Lines” will be his sixth studio album, he has not had as huge of a hit since “Lost Without U” from his first album. “Blurred Lines” features Pharrell and T.I. and still has the soulful sound many Thicke fans are used to. However, it is clear that Thicke wanted to have more fun with his new album. “Blurred Lines” is a fantastic summer song to go out dancing to or to just blast with the windows down. The song benefits from Pharrell and T.I. because it shows the abilities of Thicke to blend hip-hop and pop. The singer has possibly reached new fans with “So Many Details.” The fun side of Thicke is definitely boding well for his success this year.

Selena Gomez “Come and Get It”

Selena Gomez has had quite the transformative year. She successfully broke away from her Disney image with the film “Spring Breakers” and had a tumultuous relationship with Justin Bieber. However, Gomez has still managed to portray a good girl image ­– we haven’t seen her falling out of bars or doing illegal drugs – but she has definitely decided to go a more mature route as an artist. The single “Come and Get It,” on her fourth studio album, is a sexier tune for the young singer. There is an obvious Rihanna influence as well as a tribal dance beat to it. The “na-na-na-na” hook of the song is sure to get stuck in the listener’s head. Selena has the talent to sing as well as she does; she belts out the verses with no trouble. Gomez is on her way to becoming a serious threat with her new look; and newfound sense of maturity.

A$AP Rocky “F**kin’ Problems”

Whatever your opinion on the direction rap has taken in the past few months without the influence of Kanye West, there is no denying the popularity of artists like 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky. A$AP’s new album “LONG.LIVE.A$AP.” has brought back many of the elements – drugs, degradation of women, sex – that so many people hate about rap. “F**kin’ Problem” is no exception; however, it features collaborations with Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, making this song one of the hottest party songs for the summer. It was also featured in this summer’s “The Hangover 3,” which will more than likely bring even more light to A$AP. Artists like A$AP have brought in a huge following and the influences of Three 6 Mafia, Wu-Tang Clan, Run DMC and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are prevalent throughout. A$AP captures many of the hardships he’s faced throughout his youth, including living in a shelter, in many of his songs. Many of A$AP’s songs are extremely explicit, he is very much an influence and is one to watch in the years to come. The old-school throwbacks are important in the rap world and should not be ignored despite the explicates.

Florida Georgia Line “Cruise”

For die-hard country fans, there are many topics that can induce pure love for a song or an artist. Singers like Luke Bryan have their looks and female fan base. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” has been out for a while, but the song has all the makings of a summer anthem: it’s loud, fast-paced, contains a strong country voice and the lyrics are about the briefest and sweetest kind of attraction. The duo relies heavily on their lyrics; it’s a feel-good song that shows the band likes to have a good time. It may not be the most memorable song for years to come, but it is an anthem many country lovers will probably replay over and over again this summer.

R. Kelly “Ignition (Remix)” (throwback pick)

Although the early 2000s have come and gone, there will always be those songs that will still be turned all the way up when they miraculously make their way to the airwaves. R. Kelly’s classic “Ignition (Remix)” is one of those songs that will always hold a special place in the heart of R&B lovers. Every time it plays, it still seems timeless and the lyrics “It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun” are perfect for those summer partiers who find themselves stuck at a nine to five job more days out of the week than they would like.

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