Summer Jams—International Edition
May 12, 2015 11:25 AM   Subscribe

It’s getting to be summer, when a young man’s thoughts turn inevitably to aw yiss summer jams. But I’ve been hearing awesome US summer jams for nigh 40 summers now, and I would like exposure to non-US summer jams. I’ve applied my sun block, packed my beach towel, and I want you to take me on a summer jam journey around the world.

I’m up for any country and any language. The songs don’t have to be big summer bangers, they could be perennial classics or this year’s jam apparent, and it’s certainly fine if they’re a guilty pleasure or a song you wouldn’t ever really want to hear unless you’re slightly boozed up at a picnic. As examples, I’m thinking of Tommy Nilsson’s Dina Färger Var Blå (and similar Swedish midsommar staples), or Resto a Roma, the novelty hit from Italy a few years back, or Gypsy Kings’ Bamboléo (who I’ve discovered are actually French?), which has been a summer jam in every European country I’ve ever been to. The only criterion is that the songs have to be quintessentially something you’d hear at a summer party (US example: DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s Summertime will always get played at summer parties; a Tribe Called Quest’s Can I Kick It?, from the same year, is really not a summer jam (but is a great song)).

In addition to specific songs/playlists, I’d be really excited to hear if there’s a convenient way to pull up an aggregate listing of the top 40 charts in multiple countries for, say, May-September (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) year by year (i.e., different country charts side by side on one page, so all I have to do is change date ranges).
posted by Admiral Haddock to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Well, it'll help if you read Spanish, but here is a list of top summer jams for each year of the 21st century from Los 40 Principales, the biggest Top 40 radio station in Spain. Note that they are almost all imported from the US, with some from France and Latin America. Spain itself makes a very poor showing.

The people I run with wouldn't be caught dead listening to Los 40, so I will ask around for alternative summer jams and get back to you.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:41 PM on May 12, 2015

And here is Esquire's take on Spanish summer jams from the late 20th century.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:20 PM on May 12, 2015

In Canadian cottage country that'd be Tragically Hip songs... any of them pretty much.
posted by Poldo at 2:31 PM on May 12, 2015

More of an anecdote than a pinnacle of truth: Top 5 French summer songs from 2012, according to one blogger.

If you're up for a bit of slogging, has a "France Songs" top 10 by week, and you can modify the URL to jump to a particular week. For example, that link is to June 7, 2014. makes it easier with a drop-down list going back years, and covers the top 40 instead of just the top 10.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:52 PM on May 12, 2015

Couple of years old but Khona by Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru is SUCH a jam, and how dope is that video? I still hear it wafting out of car radios and shops in London all the time.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:23 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

This list might be of interest. Songs from Denmark to Trinidad to Columbia...
posted by three_red_balloons at 5:36 PM on May 12, 2015

I can really only think of one song, and that is the lovely South Korean girl group SISTAR and their song Loving U. So much summer. They're pretty much known for their summer songs, the other one I like is I Swear.
posted by yueliang at 7:35 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

From kpop, there's f(x)'s Hot Summer. Perennial summer classic is Cool's Woman of Beach.

YouTube search with search term 여름 노래 모음 will get you several kpop summer song playlists, e.g. this one.
posted by needled at 8:12 PM on May 12, 2015

In Dutch: Gers Pardoel's "Ik neem je mee".

The Dutch Top 40 site has lists going back to 1965, but of course, that's only for the Netherlands. And you'll see a lot of English-language songs in there.
posted by neushoorn at 2:43 AM on May 13, 2015

Here's a playlist of J-pop songs on Youtube (just excerpts) "Summer Song Ranking". I don't know that they're really the kind of summer jam you're thinking of, though....

Here's one called "Summer Songs", which includes a live version of Garden by May J, maybe a little closer?
posted by chocotaco at 6:46 AM on May 13, 2015

Not my type of music, and I haven't listened to it yet (and if I happen to like it, it will be a guilty pleasure), but this showed up on my newsfeed a couple minutes after I read your post. It's labeled as a 'serious contender for the anthem of the summer', according to Daily Beast.
posted by Everydayville at 1:16 PM on May 13, 2015

Ok, I kinda wish I'd listened to it before linking. IMHO, it is AWFUL.
posted by Everydayville at 1:20 PM on May 13, 2015

From Southeast Asia, I'd recommend:

- This mixtape of summer tunes.

- This collection of indiepop from Indonesia

Both very sparkling and summerjammy.
posted by beijingbrown at 11:21 PM on May 13, 2015

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