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The Honey POP’s Summer Soundtrack 2023

We’re over halfway into the summer season, and we have to admit: the music this year has been pretty fire. Practically every genre has been truly bursting at the seams in musical deliveries, truly making for an eclectic playlist. From pop to R&B, K-POP to rap, here’s what made it to our summer soundtrack in 2023.

‘Don’t Say Love’ – Leigh-Anne

Making her solo debut, Leigh-Anne of Little Mix has truly brought the party with her this summer season! Giving us our first taste of what’s to come from her future debut album, ‘Don’t Say Love’ is a blend of UK garage and dance-pop with elements of afro-beats that are sure to take over your body at the club. Saturated with self-confidence and “feeling yourself” vibes, this song has you feeling yourself and is a must-have for your 2023 summer soundtrack. – Jazmin Williams

‘Take Two’ – BTS

BTS gave ARMY a beautiful surprise in honor of their 10th anniversary. While the group takes some time out to fulfill their mandatory military service, a song by all seven members was unexpected. However, we should have known the Bangtan boys would plan in advance! ‘Take Two‘ is a nostalgic and emotional ballad that cherishes the past decade together and with their devoted fandom. Sweet, simple, and emotional, this single truly showcases BTS’s euphonious voices and offers peace and reassurance to both ARMY and each other about their futures together. This song is perfect on your summer soundtrack for those chilled-out days in the sun (or shade) when you want to take things at a bit of a slower pace. – Jazmin Williams

‘Meltdown’ – Niall Horan

Everything about Niall Horan’s The Show has been absolutely breathtaking, in our opinion. But one of the singles that we haven’t been able to stop listening to since it dropped is by far ‘Meltdown.’ We don’t know what Niall put in this track, but it’s infectious! Once you hear the synths and feel the flow of these melodies, you won’t want to listen to anything else. How could that be anything but summer soundtrack material? – Keaton Mae

‘Options’ – Kamille ft Tamera & Bella

Options is a glimmering single from Kamille that features rising star Tamera and the princess of UK R&B, Bellah. Giving us that funky nostalgic R&B vibe, ‘Options’ is an empowering anthem that sings about the feeling of being treated as an ‘option’ when dating someone, only for you to take the reins of the situation and give them a taste of their own medicine. Shimmery and sunny, this song feels like it was made for hot weather and fits perfectly into a summer soundtrack playlist made for cruising in the car or vibing at a pool party. – Jazmin Williams

‘Do It Like That’ – Tomorrow X Together, Jonas Brothers

Oh, my God! TXT and the Jonas Brothers keep blowin’ our minds like that. Some say it’s the best collaboration of the year, and there’s no doubt it unites in the melody of the summer two generations that have always loved boy bands. Likewise, with a chorus as catchy as honey, the guys managed to create a young tune full of the feeling of losing track of time, beauty, and the thrill of losing your mind for love. And as one of its verses says, this song “Got people dancin’ up on top of their cars” and, well, also some bees dancing. – Stephania Santoyo 

‘Cruel Summer’ – Taylor Swift

It turns out that Taylor Swift can control the weather after all, transporting us back to summer’s past—2019, to be more specific—when we attached the word “cruel” to it with ‘Cruel Summer.’ She deemed the song single-worthy even back then, aiming for it to be the fifth one on Lover; however, the pandemic got in the way, and it is thus only now making its single rounds. What exactly does a ‘Cruel Summer’ look like, though? Well, it’s the dispersing of violent pink clouds that one’s eyes would travel over during a sunset, matching the pop-synth crackles heard in the song’s intro. The night is near, and they’ll find out if they’ll ever be exclusive, but for now, “summer’s a knife.”Rachel Viviann

‘Love Like This’ – ZAYN

After two years away from dropping music, Zayn has returned to make our summer all the more brighter. Stepping away from his more typical R&B sound, he’s taken on the recent trend of UK Garage and honestly, it’s everything. Throughout the very summer-esque song, Zayn sings about finding a new love that you can’t get enough of. It’s energizing, and fun, and has us urging to find a summer love that turns into something more. – Jazmin Williams

‘Hard’ – SHINee

SHINee‘s officially done with their mandatory military service and have reclaimed their throne as the kings of summer K-POP songs. We mean it, it would be ‘Hard‘ not to have a list of songs of the summer and not include SHINee. For a group that recently celebrated their 15th anniversary, they’re always the ones starting the trends, and ‘Hard’ is no exception. Pulling a beat from retro hip-hop of the 90s, this song is one you can’t help but enjoy, especially when the quartet is saying they go “hard like a criminal, hard like the beat”. One thing is for sure when it comes to this song: when SHINee said “we go hard,” they absolutely meant it. – Christa

‘Speed Drive’ – Charli XCX

Leave it to Charli XCX to give us an absolute banger on the last day of Pride month! This is one we’re gonna blast all summer long. A short and sweet track coming in right under 3 minutes, ‘Speed Drive’ is a hyper-pop bop. Released during the height of the current Barbiemania, this is the kind of song we can so see Barbie speeding down the freeway too. We can see ourselves doing the same thing, and you can trust that we will! Are we that surprised it made it to our summer soundtrack? – Keaton Mae

‘Spicy’ – Aespa

aespa is always going to blow our minds with their amazing raps, vocals, and catchy electronic vibe, and ‘Spicy’ does exactly that! aespa is always on our daily K-pop rotation in this hive! Their music gets better after every release, and we have been enjoying MY WORLD since its release date. Can we also talk about ‘Spicy’s’ music video? The visuals and the choreography are definitely on point! These girls are going to continue to slay the music industry, and we’re so here to see it! – María Solano

‘Vampire’ – Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo does not disappoint with the first single, ‘Vampire,’ from her second studio album, GUTS, due to be released on September 8, 2023. The song starts off as a piano ballad that slowly builds up before giving us the best release when the beat kicks in. It is the perfect post-breakup song dedicated to an ex who was “a real big mistake.” The song is perfect to scream along to as you speed down the highway with your windows open, wind blowing through your hair. The pop-rock beat is ideal to dance along to. This duality makes Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Vampire’ a must-have for your 2023 summer playlist.

‘Unforgiven’ – Le Sserafim ft Nile Rodgers

With its Western-inspired vibes, ‘Unforgiven’ is a song that brings decades of cultures and genres together. The song features Nile Rodgers, co-founder of the legendary disco & funk group Chic. This is his first dive into K-POP and it is not a bad place to start, with his role being production and the electric guitar that we hear accompanying Le Sserafim’s vocals. His riff is catchy, and rounding it all off is cute and fun choreography, a Le Sserafim staple. – Marissa Rodriguez 

‘American Jesus’ – Nessa Barrett

Nessa Barrett, how we love you! ‘American Jesus’ is award-winning in our eyes. If you’re looking for a slower summer song that’s perfect for sunset drives, Nessa Barrett has the song for you. If you haven’t heard ‘American Jesus,’ you haven’t lived. (Go listen!!) Perfect for your summer soundtrack. – Sage Marie Grace


Clocking in at just under 3 minutes in length, KARD’s ‘Icky’ is a song that is sure to get stuck in our heads this summer. When talking about the track, member B.M says it is influenced by the reggaeton and moombahton genres. This song is fun and at some times, a little tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless has a very signature KARD sound. After a listen or two, we guarantee that you will be singing “Icky, icky, icky, ay, ay, ay” and you can thank us later. – Marissa Rodriguez

‘GENTO’ – SB19

The kings of P-POP have been serving us sizzling hot bangers this year but the one song that has pipped the others to the post in making it to our summer soundtrack is ‘GENTO.’ Proving that they will always find a way to outdo their previous release, SB19 serves golden vocals and strong lyricism with this single, this blend of pop and hip-hop is a blessing to our ears and has our hips swaying autonomously. – Jazmin Williams

‘SEVEN’ – Jungkook ft Latto

BTS‘s Maknae made his official solo debut this summer (aside from the promotional single ‘Dreamers’ for the FIFA World Cup last year) and brought Latto along for the ride. Jungkook went down the route of UK garage style for ‘Seven’ and honestly, it’s so compelling we can’t get enough. Wanting to show us a new and more mature side of himself, he definitely achieved that through this debut. And Latto’s feature really ties together this invigorating R&B-infused single. It’s undeniably a summer banger that we’ve been listening to every day of the week. – Jazmin Williams

Noah Kahan – ‘Dial Drunk’

Noah Kahan is actually killing the ​music game with his new deluxe album, Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever!) Of the entire painstakingly beautiful album, we could only choose one song for our summer soundtrack and it just had to be ‘Dial Drunk.’ The song is fun while still giving us that Noah Kahan sadness. Get ready to play it with the windows down and cry! – Sage Marie Grace


What could be a hotter summer song than one that literally has the word ‘hot’ in the title? ATEEZ have cooked up a storm with ‘BOUNCY,’ and some of the most fire choreo we’ve seen this year. Fused with ATEEZ’s legendary spiciness, the song is taking them to another level following 2022’s successes ‘GUERRILLA’ and ‘HALAZIA.’ The 8-member team might be telling us to “slow it down,” but this summer just got taken up a notch! – Anna Marie

‘DISPARA ***’ – Nicki Nicole & Milo J

Latin music this year has been incredible so far, with so many amazing releases and great collaborations! For example, Miss Nicki Nicole released such a vulnerable album. We have been obsessed with ALMA ever since she released it! She truly couldn’t have had a better lead single for this album, and getting to enjoy Milo J even more alongside her has made this song a true bop! Also, if you’re just like us, this song is perfect for when you’re playing first-person shooters (geddit?) 😜 – María Solano

‘Cream Soda’ – EXO

Feeling the heat this summer? Quench your thirst with an ice-cold ‘Cream Soda!’ EXO is back with their 7th mini album EXIST, and the title track ‘Cream Soda’ is one of our favorite singles this year. Baekhyun starts the song with a bang, and the pop-dance track just keeps fizzing. We still couldn’t be happier to have EXO back, and there’s no doubt we will be listening to this track all summer long. – Anna Marie

‘If We Ever Broke Up’ – Mae Stephens

British singer-songwriter Mae Stephens burst onto the TikTok scene with her spunky single ‘If We Ever Broke Up.’ Going viral on TikTok, the synth-pop bop was dropped earlier this year after a massive reaction on the video-sharing app, and it’s been a delightful and catchy earworm to millions ever since. The song has catapulted Stephens into the spotlight, giving her a fairly sizable audience to kick-start her career in the spotlight. This trending banger is the perfect middle finger up to your ex and an essential if you plan on having a hot girl summer. – Jazmin Williams

See Also

‘S-CLASS’ – Stray Kids

Stray Kids keep taking the world by storm with every single comeback and this year is no different. They opened the summer with ‘S-Class’ and it hasn’t left our minds ever since. ‘S-Class’ is bold, unapologetic, and overflowing with confidence. It screams Stray Kids all over with its unique sound and mixture of genres. Whether it’s the melodies, the lyrics, the raps, the choreography, everything about this is addictive and simply iconic. We could never get tired of it and it was at the top of our summer playlists since the day of its release. – Juu

‘Wild Uncharted Waters’ – Jonah Hauer-King

That’s right, we’ve listened to the Disney movie and the movie song of the summer with this one! The live-action version of The Little Mermaid has stolen our hearts and our Spotify listens. We are beyond obsessed with this power ballad by our very own Prince Eric, played by Mr. Jonah Hauer-King! Is it really a summer soundtrack without a Disney track? – Sage Marie Grace

‘Supershy’ – NewJeans

Nothing like an amazing, catchy, and refreshing song to help us out with the infamous heat! The NewJeans girlies have created nothing but hits, and we have been tuning in to every single one of their releases! ‘Super Shy’ hasn’t left our minds all summer, and we know that so many people are listening to it on repeat! This girl group knows how to conquer everyone’s hearts. If you haven’t checked out New Jeans’ latest EP, what are you waiting for? It’s full of bops! – María Solano

‘Flowers’ – Miley Cyrus

Miley has constantly given us hits to vibe to over the years; summer anthems are nothing new for this queen. ‘Flowers,’ however, is that and so much more! The lyrics are empowering, lighting a fire in our hearts to blaze through this summer looking and feeling better than ever before. Speaking of hurt but embracing the fact she can be there for herself. She’s her own strength. The fits in this music video scream of a true hot girl summer. Not to mention the mental care evident all over the board. Swimming, working out, self-care, being her own best friend, and indulging in life’s simple pleasures. What more could we need for our summer anthem? – Dakota Ash

‘Evergreen’ – PVRIS

We love PVRIS in this house. Like, could write an entire 10,000-word thesis on Lynn Gunn and her brain. PVRIS’ newest release, EVERGREEN, fed us and gave us clear skin. Particularly, the title track. With a fun, smooth beat, brutally honest lyricism, and a hip-swinging chorus, why wouldn’t it be our Song of the Summer? For optimal listening experience – stand in the rain (with waterproof earbuds) and bask in the feeling of being alive. The song confronts the parts of you that you’re not proud of, and the catharsis comes in the booming chorus, which we recommend shouting along to. – Isabella Ambrosio

‘Queencard’ – (G)I-DLE

Need a song that’s going to get you feeling ready for a hot girl summer? (G)-IDLE has got you covered with ‘Queencard!’ This anthem will give you all the self-esteem and confidence you need. It’s super catchy with a brighter energy than most of (G)-IDLE’s title tracks, but isn’t any less impactful. And if you don’t believe us when we say this song is iconic? Well, good luck escaping it on your FYP, as pretty much every K-POP idol is as obsessed with the TikTok dance challenge as we are. – Anna Marie

‘Barbie World’ – Ice Spice & Nicki Minaj

What can we say? It’s a Barbie summer, and we’re not immune to how infectious this single by Ice Spice and Nicki is! Isn’t Barbie all about unashamedly embracing the things we love? We’ve been hoping for a collaboration between these two megastars for a while now, and honestly? ‘Barbie World’ is the perfect song with the perfect timing. We’ll be listening to this on repeat as we dress up to go watch the Barbie movie with all our pals… again. – Emily Miller

‘Padam Padam’ – Kylie Minogue

What’s summer without a fun and playful song? That’s exactly what Kylie Minogue delivered this season with the viral sensation ‘Padam Padam.’ Coming from her upcoming album slated to drop in September, this experimental pop bop is slightly on the silly side, mixed with a serious beat that will get you on the dance floor. As time goes on, Kylie ages like fine wine and continues to appeal to an audience of various generations. Boomers to Millennials, Gen X to Gen Z, who doesn’t love a little bit of Minogue? – Jazmin Williams

‘Bite Me’ – ENHYPEN

Name a hotter lyric this summer than “just come kiss me and bite me,” we’ll wait. With ‘Bite Me’ from DARK BLOOD, ENHYPEN took their vampire cinematic universe to a whole new level. The smooth septet really showcased their charisma, and whilst vampires can’t go outside in the sun, that won’t stop us from listening to ‘Bite Me’ all summer long. ENHYPEN came for our necks this era, literally. – Anna Marie

‘RoCKSTAR 2.0’ – DUKI & Jhayco

If you’re a big fan of Duki like us, you have been sharing Antes de Ameri with everyone. We were all missing that signature style that’s been added to all of his songs, and we’re so glad he went back to his original roots with this album! ‘RoCKSTAR 2.0’ includes so many iconic verses, including “inteligencia artificial pa’ que me copien las canciones, y no tienen mi ADN ni con 400 clones.” You will never be able to imitate the king of Argentinian trap! If you’re not screaming these lyrics at the top of your lungs, you’re doing it wrong!🔥 – María Solano 

Which of these songs are you vibing to lately? What other songs do you have on your summer soundtrack for 2023? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!

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