With “Despacito” ruling the summer and “Wild Thoughts” right behind it, this summer was full of eclectic hits. Now that summer is officially over, it is to count down the 15 best singles released this summer. Some are underrated, and some were big hits, but they were all fantastic. Here we go!
#15. Selena Gomez featuring Gucci Mane, “Fetish”
A departure from the minimalistic “Bad Liar,” the gorgeously produced “Fetish” is smooth and slinky, an earworm that you will find yourself singing absentmindedly. Gucci Mane was the perfect addition to this track; his laid-back Atlanta drawl works in perfect harmony with the melody and makes for an overall great track.
#14. Aminé featuring Offset, “Wedding Crashers”
With his trademark quirky lyrics and snappy production, Aminé’s “Wedding Crashers” is a fun and cheeky breakup song. The single is a great representation of the artist and the album and everything about it just works.
#13. Demi Lovato, “Sorry Not Sorry”
The bombastic lead single from Demi’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, is an expert twist on soul and pure pop. The combination of an electric vocal performance and an extremely catchy pre-chorus and bridge make for one of the best pop songs in recent memory. It’s a glowing effort after the uneven nature of 2015’s Confident.
#12. Linkin Park, “Talking With Myself”
This single was already great, but after the tragic suicide of lead vocalist, Chester Bennington, it gained a new depth. The poignant vocal performance makes for a haunting and touching record. Rest In Peace, Chester.
#11. Khalid, “Young Dumb & Broke”
The follow up to to the slow-burning smash, “Location,” “Young Dumb & Broke” speaks to every person in their late teens and early 20s. We’re young, make dumb decisions, and we’re broke (thanks to the older generations). The remix is delightful and Rae Sremmurd makes up for Lil Yachty’s lackluster verse. Where “Location” was more of a vibe song, “Young Dumb & Broke’s” uptempo nature makes it more traditionally appropriate for the summer.
#10. Kesha, “Praying”
The emotional comeback single from Kesha, who’s been through hell for the past three years, is as far away as you can get from a “summer song.” The jaw-dropping belts and ad-libs coupled with the dramatic production make it more suited for winter but it works year round. Kesha released a near masterpiece and one of the best singles of the summer, and 2017, at large.
#9. Charlie Puth, “Attention”
After the vile, bland mess that was his debut album, Charlie Puth returned this summer with the funky “Attention.” His trademark falsetto melts perfectly with the danceable baseline for an extremely solid pop song. It’s a cold shoulder kiss-off song that fits with the vibe of summer. If you want to flex on and ignore your exes, this is what “Attention” is all about.
#8. Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
The rise of Cardi B has been heartwarming and inspiring and seeing it culminate in a smash hit single was the cherry on top. The sing-songy, shouty verses and a hook that you just have to chant creates one of the most instantly mood-changing songs of the year. Cardi’s electric personality shines through on this track and it’s a perfect (in)formal introduction to Cardi B, the rapper.
#7. Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean – “Feels”
Falling in line with the modern dance funk sound of “Slide” and “Heatstroke,” “Feels” captures the moment where a summer fling turns into something deeper. With Katy Perry’s interesting tone on the hook and Pharrell’s flawless verses, Calvin perfects his new sound. The production isn’t overwhelming and it works to bring out each artist’s strengths including Big Sean’s fun guest verse.
#6. Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj, “Rake It Up”
Rap music has had a stellar year so far, and Nicki Minaj specifically has had a year of very strong guest verses. The infectious Mike WiLL Made-It beat and catchy cadences of Gotti and Nicki make for the catchiest rap song this year. The hook is an instant earworm and Nicki’s verse, where she rhymes China with China four times, is hype-inducing.
#5. Lorde, “Perfect Places”
Quite possibly the strongest pop song of Lorde’s career, “Perfect Places” is the kind of deceitfully depressing uptempo song that deserves all the success in the world. The catharsis of the final chorus makes for a gut-punching vocal performance on a beautifully produced track.
#4. Jessie Ware, “Midnight”
The criminally underrated Jessie Ware delivers a beautiful vocal on the delicate and instantly addictive “Midnight.” Released towards the tail end of the summer, “Midnight” is a bluesy track that progresses her artistry while staying to true to who she is. Please listen to this track, thank me later.
#3. JAY-Z, “4:44”
The crux of its parent album and one of the best songs of his illustrious career, “4:44” is one of the absolute best singles released this summer. The expert production and emotional delivery create an atmosphere of regret and remorse that truly makes you pay attention. It’s a masterpiece on an album full of them.
#2. Chris Stapleton, “Broken Halos”
The most organically produced and possibly the least known song on this list, “Broken Halos” killed it this summer. Stapleton’s soulfully gritty vocal and the gorgeous lyrics create a simple and beautiful song.
#1. Miguel featuring Travis Scott, “Sky Walker”
The cheeky and wavy end-of-summer single from Miguel is the best single released this summer. The playful vocal delivery and the catchy lyrics create a vibe that you just want to rock with. 2017 was all about vibe music and Miguel and Travis Scott captured it perfectly.
*To be considered eligible all songs must have been released as a single between June 1 and August 31.