Pop songs and summertime seem to go together pretty well, like peanut butter and apples (or jam if you're into that classic combination). You can pretty much listen to them anytime, in any situation, and they totally fit the time and place and mood. You can roll down your windows and go on a road trip with your boyfriend and best friend and turn on the radio, knowing that you're guaranteed to hear some killer jams. You can perk yourself up on your morning commute to work, getting ready for the long day ahead when you really want to be on the beach or lying poolside. Even if you don't consider yourself a pop music kind of person, you can't argue that when the weather gets super hot and everyone is in a good mood, you want these types of tunes, not something super sad, tragic or thoughtful. Here are 15 songs that will totally be your summer of 2016 soundtrack.
15 "Cake By The Ocean" By DNCE
Yup, that's Joe Jonas and his new band. Technically this isn't a crazy new song, but it's been getting a ton of radio airplay lately and you've probably heard it in recent months, so that makes it a definite Song Of Summer 2016 contender. It's fun, it's fresh and it doesn't sound like anything that you've ever heard before, so it's pretty original... at least in the world of pop songs. It's also pretty great that there's a song about cake. We're not sure if this is supposed to mean something else, or we just have super dirty minds. But we're just going to say that we like the song and we love working out to it. It's always welcome, unlike a ton of other pop songs that truly get stuck in your head... and not in a good way.
14 "Me Too" By Meghan Trainor
You loved "All About That Bass" and you loved this song too from the moment you heard it, right? Right. It's got a super fun melody and would even be amazing if there were zero lyrics. But thankfully there are because we just love Meghan's lyrics. She's super body positive, optimistic and inspiring, and she always wants her fans to love themselves and make sure they're respected and treated properly. As she sings, "I thank God every day that I woke up feeling this way/I can't help loving myself and I don't need anyone else/If I was you, I'd want to be me too." Honestly, who hasn't thought that? It's awesome that it's considered cool to want to be joyful every day and love yourself and think that you're the best (while still being humble, of course). Self-confidence is such a big topic, and it's great that a fun pop song deals with such an important subject.
13 "What Do You Mean?" By Justin Bieber
Okay, okay, so Justin's latest album Purpose came out a while ago, but his songs are still going super strong and we're still listening to them and loving them. This single is still doing pretty well so let's just say it deserves to be on your summer soundtrack, 100 percent. It's pretty much the most relatable song on the planet since he's singing about a girl who is super confusing and never says what she means or feels and just drives him absolutely crazy. Yeah, you can relate to that, because guess what, Justin? Guys totally do that too. You may not think it goes both ways but it totally does. So turn this one on when you need to be in an instant good mood and we promise it will deliver. It's pretty much like instant happiness.
12 "Hands To Myself" Selena Gomez
Of course Justin and Selena both need to be on this list. Because we still want them to be in love and will ship them forever and ever. Selena's song is really awesome -- it's got a grown-up, gorgeous vibe and now it's getting a second wind since there's a remix of it that is much more dancey than the original version. So go ahead and put it on when you're throwing your next summer party -- your friends will love it and it will absolutely start a fun dance party. Which is really what you want at a summer party. How boring is it if no one dances? Seriously. We're really glad that Selena is putting out such awesome pop music because she just seems like such a good person. But she also seems like she's pretty much over The Biebs and we just don't know how you could ever get over him.
11 "Pillowtalk" By Zayn
Every summer soundtrack needs something a bit slower and more chill and mellow, and this tune is definitely it. The former One Direction star has proved that he's got the musical chops to stand on his own, and that leaving was the best decision he could possibly make (sorry if you're still torn up over it, but it's time to move on, right?). This song makes you think for sure, but it's not too serious, so it's perfect for summertime. You probably heard this one for a while before realizing who was singing, which is probably exactly how Zayn wants it. It's funny how everyone freaks out when a former boy bander grows up and starts talking about being in love and being intimate with someone else, but that's just the crazy world that we live in.
10 "Hotline Bling" By Drake
If you love Drake, you pretty much love anything that he does, whether it's putting out another amazing album or starring on Degrassi back in the day. Even if you're not a fan, though, it's pretty much impossible not to hear this totally addictive song and not fall in love. It's just a fun song and pretty hilarious, too, so it's going to cheer you up for sure. Play this one when you're heading home and dreading your long commute or when you're stuck inside on what should be a beautiful summer day because it's raining and pouring cats and dogs outside. It's impossible to listen to this song without picturing the video and his weird dance moves -- they've even become a gif. So this one is a double whammy: an awesome song and an awesome video, too. Pure summer entertainment right there.
9 "Cheap Thrills" By Sia
The singer Sia is pretty mysterious, and there are all kinds of rumors about who she is and what her creative process is like. That's pretty much what makes her story so compelling, because not only is her music really unique, but she seems like a real character. But what's not a mystery? Her crazy talent and how amazing this particular song is. You want to move your body as soon as you hear the opening beat, and it's just as original and gorgeous as the rest of her musical catalog. It's good to have a song in the mix that is a bit calmer than the rest, and that's what makes this tune so great. It's clearly a pop song but seems to have a mix of other genres too, and is the kind of song you want to blast when you're a bit too tired to handle a crazy loud pop song but still want something to keep your mood as up as possible.
8 "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" By Adele
Okay, so this is pretty much a downer, like any of Adele's songs. But it's Adele. So obviously it's amazing, and obviously, it needs to make your summer soundtrack. No buts about it. You deserve one good cry this season, anyway, so let this be it. Put this on when you're mad at your boyfriend, your ex-boyfriend, your recent Tinder date -- whoever. You're probably always going to find a reason to put this tune on and cry it out. You can pretty much pick any one of Adele's songs, but since this is her most recent hit single, and since the video is so awesome, you can pick this one. Just make sure to combine it with another, happier pop song from this list, so you don't turn into too much of a Debbie Downer. Too much Adele can definitely make that a reality.
7 "Don't Let Me Down" By The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
Talk about a gorgeous song. The music video is not bad either -- well, that's an understatement. It's crazy beautiful and pretty tough, too. This is the kind of pop song that you want in the mix at a party that you're throwing -- in case your guests don't exactly want a constant Taylor Swift/Justin Bieber playlist, which is pretty much what your dream party soundtrack would be. No apologies here. This has a really awesome beat, and is unlike anything you've heard before, so your friends are going to be talking about this song for ages. Don't be surprised if everyone thinks you are pretty much the musical queen of your friend group and wants you to play the D.J. at all your parties and get-togethers. This song is that good, it's really going to inspire that kind of reaction.
6 "My House" By Flo Rida
Flo Rida is pretty much your go-to when you want a fun summertime pop song. There's a new song every single year, it seems like, and "My House" doesn't disappoint at all. It's got all that you want: fun lyrics, a fun beat, and a danceable kind of spirit. It's pretty much about throwing a house party, and what's more summertime than that? Nothing. Nothing is. This definitely needs to be on your summer 2016 playlist, no question about it. One listen and you're going to be pretty obsessed, so don't be surprised if you can't stop playing it on repeat. The music video also has a guy eating fire and a ton of crazy partying going on, so there's that. It's also kind of charming and hilarious when he sings "Welcome to my house" at the end of the chorus since, well, that's pretty random.
5 "No" By Meghan Trainor
Yup, she's so awesome she's got two fun pop songs on the list. We really dig this one. It's super inspiring to us because she proves that you can't be a "yes" person 24/7. You're going to annoy yourself, you're just going to make other people happy instead of yourself, and you just won't be living your best life. It's such a simple concept but it's the kind of thing that sounds so much easier in theory than it is in reality. We love how she sings, "My name is no, my number is no, my sign is no." It's pretty funny and pretty adorable and charming, too. This song has a great melody and it will really win you over with each time that you listen to it.
4 "Sorry" By Justin Bieber
Yup, we're still listening to this song. And still absolutely addicted to it. We really don't see that changing in the near or far future, so it's totally okay to admit if you feel the exact same way. It can totally fit seamlessly into your summer soundtrack because it's got a dancey beat, repetitive lyrics and, well, The Biebs. So you honestly can't go wrong with those things happening. Blast this one when you're stuck in traffic and need a distraction, when the subway is seriously pissing you off, or when you just need a break from work. Even if your boss tells you to please, please, please stop blasting Justin Bieber in the office, they're eventually going to come around and agree that it's a piece of pop culture heaven. That's the power of Justin Bieber.
3 "Work From Home" By Fifth Harmony
If you haven't heard this song, seriously, what world do you live in? If you don't love this song so much, we don't know what to say. This awesome girl group is making some serious waves in the music industry and for good reason: they're really talented. They're like a modern Spice Girls, so you should totally follow along on their journey because they're definitely going to have an amazing career, and will probably be around much longer than that ill-fated group. "Work From Home" is an incredibly fun song and it has kind of a retro vibe to it, which is always really fun for a summer pop song. It's going to make you want to work, but probably not at your day job -- more like work up a sweat by dancing. It's just got an amazing beat and we're super impressed.
2 "This Is What You Came For" By Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Okay, can you think of a more gorgeous song? Because we can't. Granted, there aren't a ton of lyrics in this song and the same words are pretty much repeated over and over again... but that's true of a lot of pop songs, right? So that just goes with the fun pop song territory. We really love this song and it's pretty addictive, so don't be surprised if you can't stop listening to it over and over again. Yeah, your coworkers might get super annoyed. But just play it for them again and soon they'll be just as in love with it as you are, and you won't have any problems anymore. Pretty much anything that Rihanna lends her voice to is going to be amazing because she's so talented and so great, but we especially love this tune. There's just something so magical, sweet, charming and whimsical about it.
1 "Can't Stop The Feeling" By Justin Timberlake
This is definitely our number one pick for our summer 2016 soundtrack because, well, just listen to it. It's so much fun, right? You 100 percent heard it a few times before realizing, OMG, it's Justin Timberlake. It doesn't sound like him at all which is exactly why we love it and think it's such an incredibly fantastic song. It's an instant party, pretty much, and puts you in an insanely good mood. You really do want to dance, like the chorus says. This would be great to put on during a long road trip when you feel yourself going crazy and thinking you can't possibly stay in the car any longer, or when you're throwing a pool party and want to really get the party started. There won't be a single butt in a chair and all your friends will be dancing and that's a promise.