5 Summer Anthems from Around the World
Summer is here, so it’s time to lock in with some kickass songs to get yourself to and from the beach. We put together a few songs from around the globe that may not be getting airplay on your home radio station but they are huge in other parts of the world.
Once you lay your earballs on these tracks you’ll know exactly why. Expand your mind, be the cool friend and play these 5 tracks LOUD with the windows down.
Mali: Amadou & Mariam – “Bofou Safou”
Why you’ll like it: Afropop heaven. Blusey guitar, warm vocals with hints of disco. This track WILL get you out of your seat and onto the nearest dance floor.
If you don’t know Mali couple and musical duo Amadou & Mariam, you need to get them on your radar stat. Artists like Santigold (among others) have cited them as hugely influential, and you’ll know why once you hear their infectious combination of traditional Malian guitar, West African rhythms and funky synth sounds. After meeting at the Institute for the Young Blind, the two married, began playing music together and went on to perform all over the world including – US fests like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Their latest single, “Bofou Safou”, starts off with what sounds like a steel drum/synth melody you’d likely hear at happy hour in Thai Town – but then quickly transitions to a downright groovy track straight from the ’80s. It’s a must for those hot summer nights, when the only relief is a cold cocktail and good music.
Canada/Denmark: Rhye – “Summer Days”
Why you’ll like it: Insanely smooth vocals. Basically a male Sade. Breezy, infectious, a touch funky and a touch psychedelic. Think driving home after a day at the beach followed by a happy hour rose and a dozen oysters.
So it’s right in the title of the track, but Rhye really does capture that feeling of budding summer love. Almost everything this duo does sounds sensual, but there’s an added layer of minimalist funk that makes it perfect for the summer months. This highly anticipated follow up to their 2013 debut album, Woman, has got everyone excited for what’s to come. Keep your ears perked and enjoy the track as you take that much needed road trip.
Colombia: Bomba Estereo – “Duele”
Why you’ll like it: Melding sounds of the world in one song, “Duele” highlights hypnotic rhythms wound with stylish vocals. Vibrant and playful. Play this drinking a refajo by the pool when you’re tucking in for a long, leisurely Sunday afternoon. Press play and watch all the hips start moving.
If you’re looking for that perfect sweaty dancehall track, then Bomba Estereo’s “Duele” is the one for you. Taking traditional Colombian rhythms like Cumbia and combining them with modern pop, electro and hip hop, the group has created their own distinct strand of Latin dance music. Their latest track is no exception. Starting relatively chill (and oddly reminiscent of “Red Barchetta” by Rush), the verse soon drops into a melody that would make even the shyest get down on the dance floor. It’s played with a flauta de millo, a traditional Cumbia woodwind instrument, but sounds like Major Lazer got their hands on it. The single is off their upcoming album and was released along with the band’s announcement of a world tour.
Puerto Rico/US: Buscabulla – “Tártaro”
Why you’ll like it: Sexy, slinky, nighttime in Miami vibes. Get dressed up and get ready for a night on the town with this tune.
Buscabulla (which translates to “troublemaker”) is the project of Puerto Rican-born/Brooklyn-based duo Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle. After winning a contest sponsored by Guitar Center and Converse, Buscabulla were given some much-coveted studio time with Dev Hynes (AKA Blood Orange), which resulted in their debut self-titled EP. Issued by Kitsuné Music, the release was followed by this year’s EP II. With Latin roots, the two combine chill wave with a tropical breed of R&B to create tracks that perfectly set the mood. The duo is currently on tour throughout the US.
Botswana/Australia: Sampa the Great – “Everybody’s Hero”
Why you’ll like it: Smooth beats, cool rhythm and vocals with a sexy vibe. This is perfect for naps in the sun and cruising the coast.
Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and now based in Sydney, Sampa the Great is quickly becoming the face of Australia’s hip hop scene. From opening for Kendrick Lamar to the release of her debut album, Sampa’s rise has been swift but seriously impactful. Her latest EP HERoes Act 2, features Estelle and Rahki in the producer’s chair. “Everybody’s Hero” is a standout track that beautifully captures Sampa’s lyrical mastery, Estelle’s sensual guest vocals and Rahki’s chilled out production. It’s the kind of song you drive home to, late at night, windows down, hoping summer will never end.