What's The Indie Song Of The Summer? 2

On Friday we posted an Internet list of the last thirty years of Songs Of The Summer to shed some (sun)light on what makes a jam huge this time of year. Turns out many of you disagreed with that pop-leaning chronology, probably because this is an indie rock blog, so FAIR ENOUGH. Forget that. Let’s instead survey historical data more relevant in these parts and then pick an “Indie” SOTS.

As a lead up, here’s what I’ve come up with as a list of indie anthems from the past ten summers. It is based on release schedules, chart data, indieness, BBQ-appropriateness, and our memories of which tracks were ubiquitous at the time.

2001: The Strokes – “Last Nite”
2002: The White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl”
2003: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
2004: The Killers – “Somebody Told Me”
2005: LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”
2006: Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”
2007: Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”
2008: MGMT – “Electric Feel”
2009: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”
2010: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

That’s all science fact, but I’m also willing to accept Santigold’s “L.E.S. Artistes” for 2008.

Below are your five most nominated for 2011. Vote for your favorite by 6/29/11 and we’ll reveal the results before Independence Day.

Ices for everyone! (Better luck in the fall, Kreayshawn.)

Comments (151)
  1. Eleanor Friedberger – My Mistakes


  3. I don’t think I will be playing any of these songs all summer…

  4. Foster is the obvious choice here of the picks. Of course the ultimate prediction will turn out to be Kreayshawn’s Gucci Gucci

  5. All the previous summers had a good song surely we can find a better list of songs to chose from for this summer.

  6. I will go with Sevendys – Please Don’t Eat Me I Love You

  7. Hey! how about Cruel Summer 2011 ?

  8. How about The Weeknd’s “House of Balloons” or Arctic Monkey’s “Suck it and See” or even Bon Iver’s “Beth/Rest” (cheesy, I know, but great for a drunken summer night)… but really, something from The Weeknd should be on here. That being said, I’m jazzed for the Washed Out release.

  9. Oh, if we’re talking Indie Song of the Summer, easy–”Last Night At The Jetty.” Most likely song of the year as well.

    • Surfer’s Hymn, bro.

      • I love that one too, dude. The whole album is killer, really.

        But I just connect with the lyrics on this one in such a personal way, and love the 12/8 time signature,, gorgeous vocal harmonies throughout and really odd guitar tone (can you believe that’s actually a guitar?!? It’s *not* some sort of processed electric piano, organ or synth like I thought it was initially–I watched video of him playing it on Governor’s Island and was shocked!).

      • Also, it’s funny you mention that song in reference to “Last Night At The Jetty” on this thread, because this was a comment I made after discussing “Last Night At The Jetty” on the first Song of the Summer thread:

        ‘“Surfer’s Hymn” is another particularly great summer tune.’

  10. Up, Up, Up All the way. Can’t get it off repeat!

  11. I think Toro Y Moi’s “Still Sound” or Love Inks “Blackeye” should be considered.

  12. Dirty Beaches’ “True Blue” should be on here.

  13. I would have said CULTS hands down but then i heard Battles. These (Aside from pumped up kicks) are so good!

  14. Friendly Fires’ entire Pala album… Or just “Live Those Days Tonight.” Also Cut Copy’s Pharaohs & Pyramids

  15. the rapture – how deep is your love.

    • “How Deep Is Your Love” will no doubt be my summer jam.

      And Cults – “Go Outside” debuted and got everyone’s attention right before summer, it was on my summer playlist last year and definitely screamed summer. I could see why you’d put “Drunk Girls” — but didn’t it come out in like March or April? Before LCD’s Coachella performance? It was sort of old news by summer.

      Also “1901″ was ’09 summer jam, track 2 ;P

    • totally agree. that sound is pure summer sex.

  16. Battles. Ice Cream. #songofthesummer

    Also, how did LCD beat out Wavves’ King of the Beach for song of the summer ’10?

    • because not everyone liked blink 182 rehashed for hipsters?

      • Blink 182 rehashed for hipsters?? Ridiculous. It’s just pop rock. Good pop rock as well. That’s it.

      • You heard it here first, folks: if it’s vaguely in the same style as a similar genre to the genre that the band blink-182 also happened to dabble in, then it’s blink-182.


    • Absolutely. King of the Beach, song of Summer 2010. Battles for sure this year.

  17. “Date with the night” over “Maps”? huh.

  18. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that “Summertime Clothes” by Animal Collective wasn’t the summer song of its year

    • Yeah, I could see that. I think it was sort of old news by summer, but it had the single/video/Letterman around the right time

  19. it wasn’t pervasive like the rest of this list was. not even close.

  20. ideally, “Mindkilla”- by gang gang dance!!!!!

    but, i will be voting.

  21. None of the above.
    The Black Lips – New Direction is the ’11 summer song for my own ost.

  22. LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”? That was the big song of last summer? I think not. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it had no where near the widespread play and recognition of any of the other songs on that list. I would think it would be something like The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs, which was All over the place. That single came out in May of last year and took off.

    And then this year, your song choices all seem wrong. I don’t know anyone who is kind of out of the musical loop talking about these songs, much like people did with Lisztomania, Electric Feel, Crazy or D.A.N.C.E… I think the song of the summer would probably be either “Tune-yards – Bizness”, which is taking off huge now and has the makings of a big fun summer song, “The Vaccines – All In White”, or Maybe even “Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand”. I know Duck Sauce has been huge with that song for like 6+ months now, but it is still going strong and has that perfect summer vibe, much like D.A.N.C.E

    • Thumbs up-ed the first five sentences of the first paragraph and first two sentences of the second paragraph.

      I don’t think “The Suburbs” was the song of last summer. It’s a little boring to me; I can’t picture wiling out, cruising in a car or blasting it at a cookout. I would consider “Ready to Start” a much better choice from the Arcade Fire, and it seemed to take off much more like the other songs you mentioned.

      But really, I would personally go with either “Swim” by Surfer Blood or “Diplomat’s Son” by Vampire Weekend for the song of summer 2010.

  23. Friendly Ghosts-Harlem, even though it was 2010.
    anywho, the washed out track is clearly superior to the rest on the poll

  24. No complaints about MGMT for 2008 but I heard ‘Kids’ played in clubs about four times as much as I did ‘Electric Feel’ over that summer.

  25. wow i really love every song

  26. I do believe that the song of the Summer in 2009 was ‘Surprise Hotel’ by Fool’s Gold.

  27. The Fresh & Onlys – Peacock & Wing!

  28. What about “Young Blood” by the Naked and Famous? I know it came out last year, but it seems like the song and the band are still slowly gaining traction here in the States. It definitely has a summer-time vibe to it, moreso than some of the other songs mentioned above I think.

  29. For me it’s “I follow Rivers” by Lykke Li. But it REALLY is “Far Nearer,” by Jamie XX.

  30. The strokes-under the cover of darkness

  31. Because no one asked:
    1980: Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
    1981: R.E.M. – “Radio Free Europe”
    1982: New Order – “Temptation”
    1983: The Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
    1984: The Replacements – “I Will Dare”
    1985: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey”
    1986: The Smiths – “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”
    1987: The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”
    1988: Sonic Youth – “Teen Age Riot”
    1989: Pixies – “Monkey Gone to Heaven”
    1990: My Bloody Valentine – “Soon”
    1991: Primal Scream – “Higher Than the Sun”
    1992: Pavement – “Summer Babe”
    1993: The Breeders – “Cannonball”
    1994: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
    1995: Pulp – “Common People”
    1996: Beck – “Where It’s At”
    1997: Radiohead – “Paranoid Android”
    1998: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland, 1945″
    1999: Aphex Twin – “Windowlicker”

  32. Toro y Moi – “New Beat”

  33. Sorry guys, Gabe Hascall (formerly of the Impossibles / Slowreader ) has the indie summer jam covered:

  34. a really good collection, though my vote has to go with Cults. it may be old news but its sounds like summer distilled

  35. I realize this was a couple of months ago, but I still vote for Machu Picchu!

  36. woozefa  |   Posted on Jun 16th, 2011 0

    i luv you guys!

  37. If you’ve ever seen GIVERS live, I think this is an easy choice. At least for me (everyone has their own taste of course). Newly signed to Glassnote, home of Phoenix, Temper Trap and Mumford, they’re going to be the breakout indie hit.

  38. My song of the summer is 100% Anna Sun by Walk the Moon – the song is pure happiness!



  39. great american novel – i believe in love! or maybe vaccines – wreckin’ bar

  40. I gave all of these songs a fair shake. Can we give it to “Lisztomania” again?

  41. Since I had “Go Outside” as one of my summer songs last year, it’s DQ’ed for this year — so I’ll have to go with either “If You Wanna” by the Vaccines or Lonely Island’s “Jack Sparrow” .

  42. Wowwww pick better songs.

  43. Can’t You Tell – Vetiver!!! Listen to it!

  44. Go Outside was more fall 2010, am I right? Still incredible, though. I would say You Know What I Mean for Cults.

  45. this is hard, considering foster, cults, and givers are all amazing and so absolutely summer. however, pumped up kicks was my anthem LAST summer [that's when it got the most airplay, yes?], so I have to give it to Givers. their performance on jimmy fallon was so deliciously summer.

    also, I have to agree that walk the moon’s anna sun is like summer in a bottle. definitely going in my summer playlist.

    • I’m glad that some else feels like “Pumped Up Kicks” was last summer. I know they finally just released their album but that songs been overplayed by now.

  46. How about shangri-la by Yacht, it’s breezy, uptempo and infectious?

  47. w h o k i l l is still kinda ringing in my ears….

  48. I have to say how much I am enjoying this thread full of people just talking about music they like: what a crazy idea! Already found some great new music from all the replies. I am not sure there is one song so far this summer that is defining the moment, I can’t think of one that is owning the summer, but there is still plenty of good music out there. The Highly Rec’d mixtape is a great resource if anyone is not receiving it, check it out:


  49. Call me biased because they’re from my hometown and friends of mine but I absolutely without a doubt love the GIVERS!

  50. These are all good songs, but none of these five songs qualify as best summer song. Best summer song of 2011 is “California Sunrise” by Dirty Gold.

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