As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, it’s time to start thinking about your Independence Day playlists.
Whether you’re relaxing by a body of water of some sort, at a backyard barbecue with friends, or picnicking ahead of the fireworks, we’ve compiled a playlist that’ll pair nicely with the sizzle of whatever you’ve got on the grill.
Check out this playlist of 20 pop tracks to put on while you’re grillin’ and chillin’ over the holiday. (Scroll to the end for a Spotify playlist.)
Ingrid Michaelson, “Jealous”
Ingrid Michaelson just put out a Stranger Things-inspired record full of smart, melodic pop creations, ones that are thoroughly enjoyable even if you’ve never seen the show. Don’t sleep on this track.
Mabel, “Mad Love”
All eyes have been on Mabel to see how she would follow up the banger that is “Don’t Call Me Up,” and the English singer-songwriter didn’t disappoint. Impossibly, “Mad Love” is almost even catchier.
Oliver Tree, “Miracle Man”
Alt-pop’s merry prankster delivers another infectious track. The strummy guitar bits beneath the pre-chorus are just too good.
Xylø, “Ride or Die”
This one’s a pure pop snack. Xylø (aka Paige Duddy) brings Lana Del Rey vibes on the breathy verses.
Doja Cat, “Juicy”
You’ll want to keep these raunchy lyrics away from the kiddies, but your friendos will approve. Best served with a slice of delicious watermelon.
Two Door Cinema Club, “Dirty Air”
Everyone’s favorite Irish indie-pop rockers are back, and if you haven’t yet heard their 2019 album False Alarm, this single is a great way to dip in your toe. Did someone say disco?!
Matoma, Mnek, Kiana Ledé, “Bruised Not Broken”
Matoma recruited a few pals for this empowering single, which embodies summertime. Ledé’s vocals are particularly flawless on this one.
Ashley O, “Right Where I Belong”
Sick of “On A Roll?” Try the B-side, which was famously recorded by Ashley’s shitty aunt while the popstar was in a coma. (In all seriousness, the drop is awesome.)
Alma, “Lonely Night”
Finnish singer Alma, who runs in the circles of Charli XCX and Tove Lo, showcases her smoky vocals on this slow-burning jam. “Oh, what a lonely night, oh, what a lonely night/ She said, “I love you, but not the way you do,” the DayGlo-haired singer croons.
White Reaper, “Might Be Right”
Kentucky group White Reaper has returned after a few years, kickstarting a new era with the polished “Might Be Right.” Throwing this out there: how about a joint tour with Wallows and The Regrettes?
Muna, “Number One Fan”
Consider this the Pro-Self-Esteem Bop Of the Summer: indie-pop trio Muna returns with an elastic anthem about being your own biggest supporter.
Stefflon Don, Lil Baby, “Phone Down”
It’s never been easier to ignore your IRL partner in favor of your smartphone. Stefflon Don and Lil Baby know this, which is why they are commanding you to pocket your device and dance to this sweaty burner.
Clean, amiable Norwegian pop from a rising talent who simply wants to make a grin creep across your face (don’t miss out on Jens’ “Any Other Way,” another great track).
Navvy, “100 Thousand”
Fed up with your partner, or still wounded from your last breakup? New Zealand singer Navvy is quick to point out on this slick ditty that there are literally hundreds of thousands of better options out there for you!
Kim Petras, “Icy”
Perpetual pop favorite Kim Petras glides over an arrangement that sounds like The Weeknd’s “Starboy,” and your summer will thank you for its existence.
Unperfect, “I’m a Dreamer”
Four-piece British girl group Unperfect received an assist from production house Xenomania on their breakout track “Gots to Give the Girl,” and their new single is fizzier and more euphoric — perfect for beach weather.
Red Hearse, “Red Hearse”
Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew and Sounwave have joined forces for a new project, and the first taste pairs the craftsmanship of Antonoff’s biggest hits with Dew’s sumptuous vocals. That beat change!
Chlöe Howl, “In The Middle (Sad Banger)”
The British singer-songwriter has been a critical darling for years — and that was BEFORE she put the words “sad banger” in parentheses on a stylish pop track.
Yuna feat. Little Simz, “Pink Youth”
Yuna’s languid delivery gets paired with Little Simz’s quick-witted rhymes for one of the most seamless singer-rapper collaborations in recent memory.
Alesso feat. Tini, “Sad Song”
Every so often, Swedish dance king Alesso tosses out a gorgeous pop single for the blog heads; the melancholy “Sad Song,” featuring Argentine triple thread Tini, is another winner.