Ah, it’s that time of the year. Full of long days, warm nights, salty swims, and wining & dining outdoors – Summer has well and truly arrived.

What makes these days even sweeter to reminisce on once the cool weather inevitably sets in are the songs we loved and had on repeat. And luckily for us, our favourite Kiwi musos are exceptionally talented at creating the soundtrack to our Summers that make the swims, road trips, days spent at the bach, festivals, BBQ’s, and parties that much more memorable.

A lot has happened since the carefree days of last Summer, so if you’re looking for somewhere to spark some inspiration for this year’s Kiwi Summer playlist, look no further.

Our new ‘Kiwi Summer BBQ’ has all your local classics both old and new, plus a few surprises to keep you on your toes. Here we take a look at our top playlist picks to play under the Summer sun that’ll set the vibes just right.


Sundown – Six60 

What Kiwi Summer playlist is complete without a bit of Six60? ‘Sundown’ sounds like Summer and is the perfect precursor to sunsets at long lunches, BBQ’s, and drinks at the bach.

Glitter – BENEE

2020 was certainly BENEE’s year, and there’s no doubt 2021 will follow suit. ‘Glitter’ is a fan favourite, another one of her fun and playful hits that’ll give you a hit of feel-good serotonin, especially while played in the Summer sun. Turn it up and sing/dance your heart out.


Sophie – Goodshirt

Don’t recognise the title? Listen to the hook and you’ll be transported to late nineties/early 2000’s pop-rock goodness. Bound to get some brownie points from your older cousin at the family BBQ, ‘Sophie’ is a New Zealand classic through and through.


Always On My Mind – Tiki Taane 

This classic hit driven by guitar and Tiki Taane’s smooth vocals took over the New Zealand charts in 2008, and for good reason. With a simple chord progression that’ll be stuck in your head for days, this laid back love song captures the essence of the Kiwi Summer and is perfect for those lazy mornings with the sun streaming through the windows.


Woke Up Late – Drax Project (feat. Hailey Steinfeld) 

New Zealand’s sweethearts Drax Project teamed up the talented US singer & actress Hailee Steinfeld for this special version of their breakthrough single ‘Woke Up Late’. The track gained a lot of traction through their live performances, touring with the likes of Six60 and opening for Ed Sheeran, Camilla Cabello, and Lorde. ‘Woke Up Late’ is a romantic pop number that’ll lift your spirits this Summer.


Supalonely – BENEE, Gus Dapperton

Already breaking records throughout the country and the world thanks to Tik Tok in 2020, ‘Supalonely’ is still as insanely catchy as it was the first time we heard it. Guaranteed to create a group singalong, this addictive tune will have everyone harmonising on your next road trip.


In Colour – Shapeshifter 

A euphoric electronic number from one the countries favourite festival headliners, ‘In Colour’ is a song made for Summer nights. Perfect for parties, festivals, and road trips alike, it’s sure to get your blood pumping and keep the energy high at your next shindig.


In The Air – L.A.B

If there’s a song for Summer 20/21 established already, it’s probably this one. L.A.B are kings of reggae-infused, laid back kiwi pop, and ‘In The Air’ is the kind of feel-good hit that epitomises the Kiwi Summer. Perfect any time, any place, this one is a staple in your playlist this Summer.


Wandering Eye – Fat Freddy’s Drop

Another early 2000’s classic, this reggae-infused single is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that’ll have everyone from your mum to your cousin moving & grooving.  Thanks to the funky saxophone on this timeless track, it’s bound to keep the good times going.


Don’t Forget Your Roots – Six60

A Kiwi anthem, ‘Don’t Forget Your Roots’ is one of the classics that put Six60 on the map. Always a crowd-pleaser, it’ll tug on your heart strings and give you a strong sense of Aotearoa pride while simultaneously providing the perfect backdrop to your next Summer evening.


Light Me Up – Muroki

Up and comer Muroki was one of the first picks for BENEE’s new label, and the Raglan raised artist brings some amazing surf-inspired tracks to the table. ‘Light Me Up’ is an eclectic and hazy Summery number that is sure to have your friends Shazaming away. 



SEE ALSO: 8 Songs That Will Get Your Entire Roady Crew Singing Along