Labor Day Weekend Playlist: 20 Bops, Bangers & Jams to Take You Through the Last Days Of Summer

Aurora, Bishop Briggs, Georgia and Vic Mensa
Getty; Design by Quinton McMillan

Aurora, Bishop Briggs, Georgia and Vic Mensa

A Labor Day Weekend playlist without a fair share of end-of-season bangers is a terrifying thought -- who wants to send off summer with predictable pop selections and nothing more?

Sure, you’ll spin the big hits like “Señorita,” “Bad Guy” and “Old Town Road” while you’re hanging with your friends, but you surely need some surprises within your respective playlist; namely, the songs that make everyone stop in their tracks, because they’re just that darn engrossing.

Fortunately, your Labor Day can be spiced up with a few of these underrated gems, which highlighted the Billboard summer soundtracks and have been gathered for your enjoyment. Check out this playlist of 20 tracks to put on while you’re celebrating LDW in style. (Scroll to the end for a Spotify playlist.)

Lauv and Anne-Marie, “Fuck, I’m Lonely”

Following songs titled “Sad Forever” and “I’m So Tired…,” Lauv continues his sadboy streak with this surprisingly peppy ode to the frustrations of solitude, with Anne-Marie providing a nimble assist as a duet partner.

Bishop Briggs, “Tattooed On My Heart”

Bishop Briggs’ voice is naturally soulful, but the way her pipes pierce through the R&B arrangement here, and deliver the killer line “I wish I didn’t get your name tattooed on my heart,” makes for an especially compelling moment in her catalog.

Poppy, “Concrete”

It’s about six songs in one, and all of them could melt your face: Poppy’s latest avant-garde melodic experiment is the type of song that refuses to remain background music. Get a little disruptive with your playlist! Swivel some heads!

Kult Kyss, “Rituals”

Hypnotic, slightly sinister electronica in the vein of the Knife: following a string of solid singles, this Melbourne duo just peaked with its latest.

Jorja Smith feat. Burna Boy, “Be Honest”

Debut album Lost & Found brought Jorja Smith to a wider audience last year and earned her a best new artist Grammy nod, but this new team-up with Burna Boy innovates on her sound and beguiles with a subtly effective hook.

Anna of the North, “Playing Games”

“Lovers,” from Anna of the North’s excellent 2017 album of the same name, blew up for this Norwegian star, and “Playing Games” operates on the same dreamy, restrained plane (with slightly heavier percussion).

Daya, “Keeping It In The Dark”

What an evolution Daya has experienced as a vocalist: her early singles like “Hide Away” and “Sit Still, Look Pretty” still hold up, but “Keeping It In The Dark” demonstrates a previously unheard depth and command that gets us excited for her upcoming tunes.

ITZY, “Icy”

About 13 seconds -- right into the first “beep beep!” -- is all you’ll need to fall in love with K-pop extravaganza, which effortlessly glides between sound effects, rap-chants and a big, gorgeous chorus.

Peter Thomas, “Look at What We’ve Done”

Veteran producer-songwriter Peter Thomas has been setting up a solo career recently, and the muted, beautiful “Look at What We’ve Done” is his first real moment of brilliance, all ghostly harmonies and slick lyrical passages (“When did home / start to look / like your face?” he prods).

Charlotte Lawrence, “Why Do You Love Me”

A stomping chorus buoys the latest from L.A. native Charlotte Lawrence, but the deconstructed bridge and the pained outro are the real highlights here. Bonus: the acoustic version also rules!

Olsson, Grant, “Some Summertime”

Singer/songwriter Grant connects with a fellow Swede for this shimmery track, which has been floating around since April, but there’s never been a better time to soak in it.

Aurora, Georgia, “Apple Tree -- Georgia Remix”

London-based Georgia has said that Aurora's "Apple Tree" is one of her favorite tunes, and her loving remix takes it to new heights. The Norwegian pop singer’s ethereal vocals pair nicely with Georgia’s euphoric, dance floor-ready beats.

Kitten, “Memphis”

This breezy new track from L.A.’s Kitten will ease you into September’s crisp days. Something about that dial-up internet tone on the chorus is so powerful, no?

Lola Marsh, “Echoes”

Don’t sleep on Tel Aviv's Lola Marsh. Frontwoman Yael Shoshana Cohen has one of the most stunning voices around: think Lana Del Rey, if Lana Del Rey sang faster.

Benee, “Afterlife”

One of New Zealand's most promising new pop exports, Benee has described this sultry jam as a “diss track to the bitch who killed me in [a] dream” that the 19-year-old had once.

Yonaka, “Rockstar”

British rock band Yonaka (pronounced “yawn-uh-kuh”) has received praise from Taylor Swift, and this cut from their debut album Don't Wait 'Till Tomorrow will have you hooked, too.

Vic Mensa, Jesse, “Let U Know”

The Neighbourhood's Jesse Rutherford, who also makes music mononymously as Jesse, released this collab with Vic Mensa was ahead of what was meant to be their co-headlining Heads & Tails Tour. Unfortunately, the tour has since been canceled, but the harmony lives on with this track.

Rence, “Darkside”

“Darkside” is the first song from new Epic signee (and recent NYU graduate) Rence’s upcoming EP, due this fall. Thanks to a somewhat spooky melody line on the verses, it is a certified bop.

Astrid S, “Trust Issues”

The Norwegian singer-songwriter's new EP of the same name is solid from start to finish, but the title track hits right where it hurts: “If you don't want me just be honest/ Say it to me and don't leave me/ All alone with all my trust issues.”

Alphabeat, “I Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore”

Denmark’s Alphabeat have announced their fourth album Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore is due Nov. 1, simultaneously unleashing this buoyant track of the (mostly) same name.


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