Plenty of songs that came out in 2020 would’ve qualified as contenders for “song of the summer,” had there been anything remotely resembling a normal “summer” last year. But the house parties, barbecues, and crowded late-night dance floors all got taken away from us, thanks to a right bastard of a virus. But who says we just have to let them go? Sure, there are plenty of great songs that have already come out this year—and we’ll get to them soon, promise—but we’re not ready to say goodbye to some of the killer tracks from last year that never got their chance to soundtrack our usual seasonal activities. So here’s the opportunity to right that wrong: We’ve selected some of the best pop jams from last year (and yes, the emphasis here is on big, glossy, mainstream pop) to create a playlist of “songs of the belated summer”—tunes that will pair perfectly with your sweaty summer antics, making up for lost time. (We’ve even thrown in a couple mellow grooves, so you can take a breath and hydrate.)
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