It's been said Memorial Day marks the start of summer, meaning that, no matter how you're celebrating the long weekend, it's time to start putting the finishing touches on your most uptempo, carefree playlist. For many of us, it's been awhile since we've had reason to listen to happy music — I, for one, spent the majority of the past year listening to the saddest songs from folklore. But with COVID-19 vaccination numbers on the rise and barbecues and beach trips on the horizon, now is the perfect time to turn the speakers up, dance in the park (or your apartment), and celebrate the first long weekend of a summer that will hopefully be a little less socially distant than last year.
We've compiled over 30 summery songs that will add a little extra sunshine to your Memorial Day Weekend playlist. You might already have some of these on repeat: Right now, no playlist would be complete without Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo, or Doja Cat and SZA's "Kiss Me More." But there are some under-the-radar deep cuts and remixes here, too, and even some gems you might recognize from TikTok.
What these songs have in common, though, is a feel-good tone or message, an uplifting melody or beat, and that summer anthem je ne sais quoi. Plus, they're all new... aside from a smattering of songs that technically came out last year, when it was a lot less safe to travel or scream-sing along with friends. But we deserve to enjoy Ungodly Hour in a post-vax world.
On this list, you'll find everything from rap to K-pop to indie rock to the new Travis Barker-studded WILLOW song that, really, belongs in a genre of its own. Drop all of these songs into a new Spotify playlist, just try to listen without dancing or singing along, and let shot girl summer commence.