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24 Songs To Help You Hold Onto Summer As Long As Humanly Possible

It's August. Hold onto it as long you can.

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1. St. Beauty – "Holographic Lover"

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St. Beauty is made up of Alexe Belle and Isis Valentino, and they make dreamy, atmospheric R&B of the Magical Black Girl variety. This song, a super-chill ode to a heaven-sent lover who makes you feel ten feet tall, is a lazy, heavy tune, reminiscent of something Solange might cook up on her new album... Pair it with a burger and a cold drink on a rooftop sometime over the summer.

2. Craig David – "One More Time"

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If you don't love Craig David, do you even love yourself? David's comeback has been a highlight for those of us of a certain age and this track is a callback to his glory UK garage days (complete with references to "your mum's house", the "mandem on your case", and "raves in the days when he was selling mixtapes instead of getting grades"). How does this sound so 2000 and so 2016 at the same damn time? Who cares? Get dancing.

3. Lion Babe - "Sun Joint"

Is there a more summery title than "Sun Joint"? Lion Babe draws out flirty calls over a beat perfect for both sharp shoulder snaps and subtle shimmies: "Wanna dance / but only if you want to," singer Jillian Hervey coos. With the addition of Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy, the entire mixtape sounds like dancing through an outdoor bar with a rum punch in hand.

4. Anderson .Paak – "Come Down"

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"You might/never/ever come down/it took too long to get this/high off/ the ground/don't run, just stay awhile!"

If this song doesn't make you abandon all your cool guy schtick and dance like a happy baby, you might have a problem. Anderson .Paak's Malibu is one of the albums of 2016, and on this track, he sounds joyful, boastful and deliriously happy. "But don't I make it look easy/ don't I make it look good!" he asks 45 seconds in. Oh, you do, .Paak. You really do.

5. Maleek Berry – "Kontrol"

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Maleek Berry, one of the artists signed to Afrobeat label StarBoy Entertainment, is a stellar producer and singer in his own right. "Kontrol" is, quite simply, a bop. If you want to shimmy on the dance floor while embodying every moment of Beyoncé and Nicki's "Feeling Myself," then "Kontrol" is your jam. The line "She give me African waist like Tiwa [Savage, the famous Nigerian singer] / she wan give me that work like Rihanna" is as catchy as it is delightfully eye-roll worthy.

6. Dornik – "Mountain"

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It's almost lazy to make the comparison but Dornik's voice does have that classic MJ sound to it; this sounds like it almost made it to the final cut of Off The Wall. On "Mountain" Dornik's softly nuanced and guttural voice judders over the beat, guitars wail mournfully, you are suddenly in the mood for summer dusk, spent in comfortable mutual silence with friends.

7. KING – "Hey"

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KING's effortlessly groovy sound steps up several notches on this rich, harmony-heavy track that will make you think of your crush, ruby red wine, verdant meadows, shea butter-moisturised skin, and perfect mac-and-cheese. Get into it.

8. Debo Band – "Ele"

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Picture the scene – night time, in a dark room, dancing till your back is drenched in sweat. This jubilant, joyous, funky song from Ethiopian-American Debo Band deserves to the be the soundtrack to your summer abandon. You don't have to speak a word of Amharic to get down.

9. L.A.X. – "Gimme Dat"

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Are your hips feeling loose? No? Enter L.A.X.'s "Gimme Dat" AKA the perfect tonic for your troubles. Bless that Afrobeats drum and bass; this gentle exhortation to a lover – "I no go lie for you/ I no go kiss and tell" – is what your summer playlist is crying out for.

10. Liss – "Miles Apart"

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Did you ever think a bunch of Danish lads might be the ones to get you bopping to mid-tempo R&B this summer? Isn't life full of surprises? Lead vocalist Søren Holm's voice is reminiscent of Frank Ocean's (just a tad more nasal) and eminently danceable. Their EP, Try, is also worth checking out for that sweet Aarhus sound.

11. Rihanna – "Sex With Me"

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God bless Rihanna. This bonus track on her incredible last album, Anti, manages to leapfrog so many other legitimate tracks on the record to Top 5 status. When she sing-growls "you know I got the sauce!" that's the cue to throw your hands in the air and start bouncing – insta-summer vibes.

12. DJ Henry X feat. Wizkid – "Like This"

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Skittery afrobeats plus Wizkid's basic-adjacent lyrics (sample: "baby girl/come cool me down") make this an obvious summer choice. Get some small chops, grab a Malta Guinness and wine it all the way to the ground before bringing it back up again.

13. De La Soul feat. Dave West – "Beautiful Night"

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Kings of the D.A.I.S.Y. age, De La Soul have a new LP out later this month, and this is them at their chilled best. Take a cue from the song title and play this on those beautiful balmy evenings while you're munching on a chicken wing, braids swinging in the occasional breeze.

14. Chance The Rapper feat. Young Thug & Lil Yachty – "Mixtape"

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Chance The Rapper embraces and excels in the art of collaboration. Coloring Book is an objectively outstanding mixtape, but Young Thug shines on this track ("Rub me down with that lotion, babe oil me" – a reminder the importance of moisture in one's summer beauty regimen, of course) and Lil Yachty's signature ad libs elevate an otherwise lowkey track/mixtape into a club-ready banger.

15. Aminé - "Caroline"

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Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through Tumblr for hours and wondering why your life can't just be full of perfect(ly unruly) natural hair, sunshine, and endless supplies of fruit? If you have, the "Caroline" video is your oasis. Newcomer Aminé and his friends serve #CarefreeBlackBoy realness in this bop, a sweet and devastatingly catchy ode to a crush.

16. Nidia Minaj – "Nidia Thanks"

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Nidia Minaj (an homage to, rather than a relative of, the rapper) is a production powerhouse – the Cape Verdean teen has been making sparse, slinky Afro-Portuguese music for years. "Nidia Thanks" is minimalist and functional, and most importantly, a helluva lot of fun to dance to.

17. Berhana - "Janet"

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The gorgeously minimalist, 90's-inspired video for "Janet" follows Berhana as he bikes through a suburban neighborhood not unlike a slightly less ritzy Bel Air. The song's title pays homage to the first and real(est) Aunt Viv, who was played by Janet Hubert. "Wonder if you'll just dismiss me / Maybe light-skin Aunt Viv me," Berhana practically pleads–and Janet herself is a fan.

18. Beyoncé – "Sorry"

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Unapologetic Bey might be the Greatest Bey, and this from her masterpiece, Lemonade, is the perfect song to soundtrack all your fucks-deficient shenanigans this summer (and beyond). Make like Serena and rock a leotard and serious neck furniture while you look back at it. Middle fingers up!

19. Laura Mvula - "Phenomenal Woman"

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Laura Mvula is excelling in "astral pop," an intergalactic, deeply fun lane at once derivative and entirely her own. "Phenomenal Woman" is perfect for dancing around your room when no one's looking on a night in–or when you need a little extra pep in your step for a night out: "Oh my my, oh my, she flies", Mvula sings, and you can't help but feel like she's putting a little extra wind beneath your wings.

20. Popcaan – "Ova Dweet"

"Ova Dweet" is an ode to having no chill whatsoever. Popcaan, the dancehall sensation sampled on Drake's VIEWS (and unceremoniously axed from the album version of "Controlla"), is characteristically cocky and celebratory. "Woman haffi love mi style, love mi style / Them smell mi cologne from a mile," he sings, and you can practically hear the smirk crawling its way to the corners of his lips. If you liked his 2014 "Everything Nice" or really anything Drake has put out in the past 6 years, give "Ova Dweet" a spin.

21. Snoh Aalegra – "Home"

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For many, Snoh Aalegra was introduced via an iPhone advertisement, and you can see why her song was selected. The Swedish singer-songwriter's EP, Don't Explain, is chock full of woozy, jazzy and laid back vocals and tight beats. On a stellar record, this ballad is an obvious standout, made expressly for driving along long roads, sunglasses on, heart full of overwhelming love.

22. Kaytranada feat. Vic Mensa - "Drive Me Crazy"

This sleepy, almost psychedelic track marries the genius of two artists for whom 2016 has been a landmark year. Kaytranada's gorgeous debut 99.9% fuses immaculately layered production with vocals so lush they sound almost like lullabies. "Drive Me Crazy" is a late-night anthem of self-reflection and youthful doubt even on the upward swing to success: "If you had everything you'd ever wanted / right in front of me, what's it gonna be? / the lights and the drugs and the girls finally drives me crazy."

23. Nao – "Girlfriend"

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"If I was your girlfriend/could you love for two?" asks Nao, plaintively, on this stunning standout track from a debut album of standouts, For All We Know. This track is essentially Black Girl Magic spun into aural gold. Big production from Grades and Stint makes it sound bombastic and intimate at the same damn time, and Nao's thoughtful pauses and phrasing have never been better placed. A song made precisely for the low-level yearning summer always inspires.

24. King Bubba - "Calling in Sick"

One of 2016's Crop Over songs, "Calling In Sick" is the soundtrack Ferris Bueller's Day Off needed. The soca track extols the virtues of just, yaknow, taking a day off here and there ("I calling in sick / This is too much vibe to miss"). Life is short, and Carnival (and summer) are even shorter. Enjoy it all while you can.

UPDATE: Not all these songs are available on Spotify, but here's a playlist for ya anyway:

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