Songs for summer

By Paula Yeoman

Paula Yeoman’s picks of the best songs for the festive season.

Aaradhna. Photo / NZ Herald
Aaradhna. Photo / NZ Herald

New Year's Eve party tunes

Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke, featuring Pharrell and T.I
A coalition of women's groups in the UK has just named Robin Thicke "Sexist of the Year" but if you can forgive that, Blurred Lines is a guaranteed winner on the dance floor. Everybody get up!

Get Lucky - Daft Punk, featuring Pharrell
This revival disco tune is a must on any party list. For those born post-1980, it's like taking a tardis back to the heady heights of the 70s funk revolution.

Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
An energy-charged New Year's Eve anthem that calls for hands in the air, en masse. This will bring down the house, or have noise control knocking at the door.

We Found Love - Rihanna, featuring Calvin Harris
This pumping track will turn even the dullest of house parties into a frenzied, sweaty pseudo night club. Make sure you've got first aid on hand.

Holdin On - Flume
A steamy, sexy number best left for later in the night.

Dancing to it should probably only be attempted by those with genuine rhythm and soul.

Driving tunes

The Wire - Haim
Sunshine. Irresistible Fleetwood Mac-esque hooks. No further explanation needed.

Diamonds - Ladi6
Ideally, you'd want to ride down the winding roads of Coromandel in a sports car with the warm wind in your hair while this Ladi6 tune is playing. If that's not possible, any car stereo will do. Just crank it up.

Runnin' - David Dallas
You need attitude when you're behind the wheel and this David Dallas track has that in spades. You might be driving - not Runnin' - but the beat of this tune will help you keep rhythm with the road.

Do I Wanna Know - Arctic Monkeys
Flick your sunnies on, put the pedal to the metal and hit the open road with Do I Wanna Know blasting full-bore. This is bluesy rock music made for driving.

Inhaler - Foals
A sexy, soaring groove that'll have you jiving in your seat and head-banging along the motorway as you head out of town.

Barbecue songs

Hold On - Alabama Shakes
This is gritty and soulful blues-rock. But there's nothing wrong with tapping your toes while you've a beer in one hand and burger in the other.

Forever (iTunes Session) - Six60
The term Barbecue Reggae was coined just for bands like Six60. Some may see that as derogatory, but let's face it no summer Kiwi get-together would be complete without a rousing anthem like Forever.

Wake Up - Aaradhna
Granted, this Motown-inspired ditty would work just as well on the New Year's Eve party mix or the driving tracklist. But play at any summer feast and it'll go down as easily as the pav.

Lost - Frank Ocean
A subtle, slow burner that gets under your skin. Even if your mind is on backyard cricket, you'll find yourself humming along and wondering, "Who is this, again?"

Let Me Be - Tomorrow People
An upbeat, feel-good sunshine reggae track from local band Tomorrow People guaranteed to lift spirits and even encourage a good old sing-a-long.

- Herald on Sunday

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