Unlike with other years (ahem, 2017’s “Despacito”), 2018’s song of the summer isn’t yet as clear cut. Though there are a lot of contenders—from bubblegum pop to funk-laced hip-hop—there isn’t yet a clear front-runner for this year’s summer banger. Ahead, we’re looking at 10 tunes from this year that have a decent shot at becoming the can’t-get-out-of-my-head tune that you’ll be blasting all summer long.
But as many music lovers know, the song of the summer isn’t chosen. It simply enters your head one day and before you know it, every radio station is playing it 10 times an hour. And while there’s a good chance that 2018’s song of the summer isn’t on this list (or isn’t even released yet), we think that these tunes are appropriate for any summer playlist regardless.
“Nice for What,” Drake
Currently at the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100, Drake’s “Nice for What” is a shoo-in for song of the summer. With a sample from Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” a groove-worthy melody, and a killer music video featuring dozens of famous black women, including Yara Shahidi, Issa Rae, and Tracee Ellis Ross, “Nice for What” is an easy-to-love song that we can definitely see on the radio all summer long.
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin
From “Finesse” with Bruno Mars to her second single, “Bartier Cardi,” Cardi B has a handful of songs from her new album, Invasion of Privacy, that could become the song of the summer. But the tune that we believe has the most luck is “I Like It,” featuring reggaeton singers Bad Bunny and J Balvin. The song blends sounds from trap and salsa and a sample from Boogaloo’s “I Like It Like That” for an addicting melody that you can’t help but dance to.
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey
Marking country singer Maren Morris’s transition to pop, “The Middle, mixed by Zedd and electronic music duo Grey, is quickly climbing the music charts. The song, originally offered to big-name singers including Demi Lovato and Camila Mendes, is a classic unrequited-love song with an addicting beat.
“One Kiss,” Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa
Released as the second single from Calvin Harris’s sixth album, “One Kiss” screams Song of the Summer. Along with its easy disco-like beat, the song’s music video, which features its singer, Dua Lipa, playing around in the sand in floppy hats and beach cover-ups, perfectly captures the mood we want to be in from June to August.
“High Horse,” Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves might not be a household name, but the song of the summer could come from anyone and anywhere. (Remember Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” in 2012?) Departing from Musgrave’s country roots, “High Horse” is a dancey, disco-reminiscent diss track that you’ll be belting at your haters.
“Familiar,” Liam Payne and J Balvin
Since leaving One Direction in 2016, Liam Payne has had mixed success as a solo artist, but his newest tune, “Familiar,” is being called his best song yet. Featuring Colombian singer J Balvin, “Familiar” mixes R&B and Latin sounds for a club-worthy song that includes both Spanish and English and has been compared to last year’s song of the summer, “Despacito.”
“Lost in Japan,” Shawn Mendes
In this tune, released as a promotional single for his upcoming self-titled album, Shawn Mendes lets loose from his usual heartstrings-tugging ballads and tries his hand at punk. The song, about a foreign fling, mixes sounds from punk and pop to leave you grooving. Though it hasn’t been commercially successful, the track has solid makings for the song of the summer.
“No Tears Left to Cry,” Ariana Grande
The debut single from her fourth album, Sweetener, Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry” combines her trademark vocals and dance-worthy pop for a song that can be both belted in a car and bopped to at the club. The song, which nods to the 2017 bombing after a Grande concert in Manchester, mixes disco and pop for a tune that celebrates life.
“Girls,” Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha, and Cardi B
Featuring some of the music industry’s freshest voices, Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha, and Cardi B, “Girls” is a soft pop song that celebrates women. The song allows each singer’s individual and unique voice to shine, with Cardi B providing the much-needed edge in the form of a sing-along-worthy rap.
“PYNK,” Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae’s “PYNK” made a lot of headlines in April when the singer released the song’s women-powered music video featuring vagina symbolism and a squad of all-female backup dancers. The song isn’t half bad either and has a safe shot at becoming 2018’s song of the summer for Monae’s velvety vocals and catchy melody.
“Curious,” Hayley Kiyoko
Since the song’s release in January, song of the summer buzz has circled Hayley Kiyoko’s “Curious,” a breathy pop song about longing for someone who might be taken. Kiyoko, who has been nicknamed “Lesbian Jesus,” pulls from her own experience for a sweet, lovesick pop song relevant to the LGBTQ community.