There’s something about summertime in New Zealand that makes us feel like a child waking up on Christmas morning. From the classic Kiwi BBQ, to the smell of sunblock, to the piles of sand finding its way into your shoes. We can’t help but think that all of our best memories are usually created during summer, and even more so during the classic summer roady.
The best thing about a summer roady (aside from the snacks, of course) is the sick playlist you’ve been working on since November that your friends have finally given you the chance to play, living out your ultimate DJ fantasies. The pressure is well and truly on as the AUX (or Bluetooth) works its way around your friend group and lands on you. It can be daunting trying to find a perfect mix of summer vibe and catchy hits to sing along to, so let us help you with 8 songs that will get your entire roady crew singing along.
1. Nicki Minaj – ‘Starships’
This throwback hit from OG rap queen Nicki Minaj is the perfect jam to chuck on when hitting the beach this summer. From the raps that never miss a beat to the insanely catchy tunes, there’s no surprise Nicki has been thriving in the rap game for many years. The popular track comes from her album Pink Friday and will most definitely make you want to bust out some moves. Although to avoid any dance move casualties in the car it’s probably best to stick with the vocals, it’s near impossible to get past the first verse without belting out a few lyrics let alone the entire song. We haven’t heard a lot from the rapper lately as she takes some time out to focus on her family, so make sure you play this one loud for the Minaj fans in the back.
Best sing-along lyrics: “Uh, let’s go to the beach, each/Let’s go get a wave”
2. Empire Of The Sun – ‘Walking On A Dream’
Empire Of The Sun remind us of those days as a child when you and your cousins would dress up and perform shows for your parents (if you know, you know). They bring a fun and quirky vibe with their music ultimately making their hits perfect for those spontaneous group performances in the car. The duo formed in 2007 and is a collaboration between Luke Steele, of alternative rock band The Sleepy Jackson, and Nick Littlemore, of electric dance band Pnau. Both members reside in Australia and have previously made the trip across the ditch to headline popular music festival Rhythm and Vines during 2013, making them a fitting act to amp you up before your annual summer festivals.
Best sing-along lyrics: “We are always running for the thrill of it, thrill of it”
3. Katy Perry – ‘Teenage Dream’
There’s nothing quite like a Katy Perry hit to get the carpool karaoke going. Katy’s array of pop anthems are the type of tracks that will bring out the old school SingStar fans of your squad. Released in 2010, ‘Teenage Dream’ has major summer vibes, with even the music video replicating the fun filled roadys that many of us look forward to as we wrap up the year. The track talks of a relationship that Katy is so smitten about she feels like a teenager again, a fitting narrative to sing along to with your S/O or just your classic group of friends wanting to have a blast this summer. No doubt this hit will get you in your nostalgic feels as you reminisce on your teenage years, perfect for the sunset drives.
Best sing-along lyrics: “You make me/Feel like I’m living a/Teenage Dream/The way you turn me on/I can’t sleep/Lets run away and don’t ever look back/Don’t ever look back”
4. Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
We feel this song could sit on this list without any commentary and everyone would just get it. Possibly one of the most popular sing-along songs to exist, the track needs no explanation as to why it should be on your roady playlist. It’s simply not enough to just sing the lyrics, if you aren’t singing the opera voices and guitar as well then you aren’t doing it right. The 1975 anthem goes down in history as being one of the best-selling singles of all time, with over six million copies sold worldwide. It’s a perfect song for any road trip crew with a part to sing for everyone, just channel your inner Glee star and hit the road. Make sure to watch out for those hidden Freddie Mercury’s among your group – it’s always the quiet ones.
Best sing-along lyrics: “Mama, ooo/Didn’t mean to make you cry/If I’m not back again this time tomorrow/Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters”
5. Mike Posner – ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’
You may not be headed to a beach in Ibiza this year but a beach in New Zealand is just as good (if not better) we like to think. Despite the lack of overseas travel, you can still vibe like you’re having a European adventure with this well-known hit from Mike Posner. Originally the track was meant to portray how Posner was feeling empty and unfulfilled in his career, however the remix by Norwegian duo Seeb brought an upbeat spin to it that Posner describes as both “ironic” and “beautiful”: “I wrote this sad thing, and it was me processing some dark and heavy emotion, and now people seem to be having their own joyous memories out of my sadness. That’s a very beautiful thing as an artist.” The popular beat will have you and your crew singing all the way to your favourite summer festy.
Best sing-along lyrics: “I took a pill in Ibiza/To show Avicii I was cool/And when I finally got sober, felt 10 years older/But f*ck it, it was something to do”
6. The Killers – ‘Mr. Brightside’
The Killers are no strangers to creating the hits, and ‘Mr. Brightside’ has to take the cake for being their absolute best. The classic track will have everyone belting out the chorus, no matter the situation. The song hits different post-quarantine with the lyrics “Coming out of my cage” ringing partly true for New Zealander’s who have (hopefully) come out of their last quarantine this year. The track was also the subject of many meme’s throughout the quarantine period with many fans referencing their excitement to hit the clubs post-quarantine and listening to ‘Mr. Brightside’ for the eighth time in a row. As the world around us tumbles into chaos, the lyrics and timely memes almost feel more relatable than ever. In other words, a perfect addition to your roady music line up.
Best sing-along lyrics: “But it’s just the price I pay/Destiny is calling me/Open up my eager eyes/’Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”
7. DNCE – ‘Cake By The Ocean’
They may no longer be together but there’s no doubt this popular group made waves with their signature hit ‘Cake By The Ocean’. Lead by the extremely talented (and gorgeous) Joe Jonas, the band released the single back in 2015 where it managed to reach the top 10 across several charts. Don’t get us wrong, we love the Jonas Brothers until the end, but when the three brothers broke off into their own musical projects we were pleasantly surprised by the outcome. When first hearing the track it seems to be talking about two things that most people are a big fan of – cake and the ocean. However for those of you that don’t know the true meaning of the song… well we’ll leave that up to your imagination.
Best sing-along lyrics: “Talk to me, baby/I’m going blind from this sweet-sweet craving/Whoa-oh/Let’s lose our minds and go f*cking crazy/Ah ya ya ya ya/I keep on hoping we’ll eat cake by the ocean”
8. Niall Horan – ‘Slow Hands’
By now it’s possible you are slightly losing your voice after singing to all of these summer hits, but before you lose it completely (or the driver shuts the karaoke party down) make sure to include this upbeat tune from former One Direction member Niall Horan. The sound of his smooth vocals and catchy notes are a perfect way to end the long ride to your destination, ready to do it all over again on your way home. The lyrics have a hidden racy theme that will get even Louis Tomlinson re-thinking his “church boy” comment that he famously made about Horan back in a 2014 interview. A singer so talented he should collaborate with the likes of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik – I mean we can dream right?
Best sing-along lyrics: “Slow, slow hands/Like sweat dripping down our dirty laundry/No, no chance/That I’m leaving here without you on me”
Listen to the rest of our favourite sing-alongs here: