It’s time to face facts: summer 2014 is almost at an end. But before we pack away our beach towels and sunscreen, we’re taking a moment to salute all the great tunes that have soundtracked our lives for the last 3 months.
In advance of naming Billboard’s official Song of the Summer next week, each Billboard.com staff member took time to shout out the song that reigned as our personal favorite of the season. Read each of our picks below, and then hit us on twitter at @billboard to tell us which tune rocked you the most this summer.
Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Collard Greens”
“The bouncy reggae bassline. That spacey drip-drop beat. Two of our finest spittin' an ode to that icky icky. Schoolboy and Kendrick created the perfect soundtrack to my hazy, humid summer nights.” – Mike Bruno, VP Digital Content & Programming
Röyksopp & Robyn “Do It Again”
“Robyn and Röyksopp are a match made in electro-pop heaven, and this track is the crowning achievement of their divine collaborative EP. I think I’ve literally played this song every day since it dropped back in late April, and it managed to add an extra pep to my step all summer long. It’s a crime that Robyn isn’t already the biggest pop diva on the planet.” -- M. Tye Comer, Editor
Chance the Rapper, “Wonderful Everyday: Arthur”
“I love its positive message and how layered it is musically and vocally. And how can you not love the fact that its inspiration is a PBS kids’ show theme song?” -- Serena Kappes, News & Features Director
Rita Ora, "I Will Never Let You Down"
“While pop smashes like Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' and Ariana Grande's 'Problem' offered cacophonous force this summer, Rita Ora's 'I Will Never Let You Down' blew through my playlists like a warm breeze. The British singer momentarily placed aside her party anthems and made a paean of romantic dedication with her boyfriend, producer Calvin Harris. Their relationship did not last, but this single will.” -- Jason Lipshutz, Associate Editor
Bleachers, “I Wanna Get Better"
“This song never fails to get my adrenaline pumping. The momentum that builds from the choppy, distorted verse to the anthemic, shout-along chorus reminds me a bit of The Killers’ 'Mr. Brightside.' Perfect for driving to the beach!” -- Reg Gonzales, Artist Relations Director
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
“It’s easy to remember the words, and fun to dance to at all the weddings I’ve attended this summer.” – Denise Warner, Editor
5 Seconds of Summer, "She Looks So Perfect"
“Pop-punk and boy band music have shared plenty of common ground over the last two decades, but it's been years since anything bridged the gap as effortlessly as 5 Seconds of Summer's 'She Looks So Perfect.' It's perfectly constructed ear candy that never gets too gooey, and the Australian quartet deliver it with the delirious energy of five-year-olds who just discovered pixie stix.” -- Joe Lynch, Senior Writer
Drake, "0 to 100/The Catch Up"
“Drake is one of the few artists that can own the enitre summer, and he does just that with his two-song mashup, '0 to 100/The Catch Up.' It only takes seconds of the Boi-1da and Noah '40' Shebib beat to hype one up, and then it's smooth sailing as soon as Drake comes in with boastful raps.” -- Erika Ramirez, Senior Editor
Grimes feat. Blood Diamond, “Go”
“I heard this song at Governors Ball in June the first time Grimes played it and it’s been my jam ever since. I’m super amped for Grimes’ new album and the way she straddles the underground and mainstream world. This song was originally intended for Rihanna and although she turned it down, it’s still got a more experimental vibe I wish more pop music would take on. Killer bass drops too!” -- Chris Payne, Editorial Assistant
Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang”
“From the first time I heard the opening lyrics, I knew ‘Bang Bang,’ featuring three different ladies who made a splash this summer, was going to quickly become the most-played track on my iPod. The catchy tune filled with powerhouse vocals is my backing track whether I’m walking to work, sitting at my desk, or getting ready for a summer night out.” -- Erin Strecker, Correspondent
“I blast this song -- on REPEAT -- while driving with the top down of my car. It’s the perfect song to listen to on Ocean Parkway when no one else is driving next to you and you can just sing out loud after a day lying in the sun on the beach.” -- Trish Halpin, Photo Editor
Mr. Little Jeans, "Good Mistake"
“Spare production split between synths and a mandolin flutter, compiling into a stepped, latticed crescendo and the breathy vocals of Swedish singer Mr. Little Jeans — all come together in a jam tailor-made for a summer evening.” -- Andrew Flanagan, Contributing Editor
Clean Bandit f/ Jess Glynne, “Rather Be”
“I couldn’t stop listening to this song all summer because it really takes me back to late-'90s/ early 2000s dance music. The lyrics and backing track are endearingly upbeat, and it always makes me think about Artful Dodger and Daniel Bedingfield and all my other summer jams of years past.” – Katie Atkinson, Senior Editor
La Roux, “Sexotheque”
“Sexotheque” is the best single that wasn’t a single off La Roux’s Trouble in Paradise. Everything about the track screams summer, from Elly’s pure pop vocals to the upbeat sound. It’s a staple for any outdoor dance party. – Tyler Bradley, Social Media Editor
Jenny Lewis, "Just One of the Guys"
"Jenny Lewis can do no wrong in my book. Couple that with the songstress killing it on the summer festival circuit and performing in the same Lisa-Frank-Meets-My-Little Pony ensemble she dons in the video for the single, and I couldn’t cast my vote for song of the summer towards anything else." -- Tracy Allison, Associate Photo Editor