Playlist-making is an art form. You have to craft it a certain way; songs have to flow, energies have to be shifted. You don’t skip a good playlist. And we know you won’t want to skip our newest one. ’10 Songs We Absolutely Strut To’ is perfect for that half-an-hour walk across town, your chin tilted up and your legs falling in line with the beat. Bonus points if you’re in a small town, no one will see you lip-sync, because this playlist just makes us feel like that bee.
After the queen, Demi Lovato dropped ‘Confident – Rock Version‘ on us, we’ve been on the hunt to find some of the best songs to strut to. With different kinds of strutting considered, from the ‘I‘m powerful, don’t even look in my direction‘ to the ‘I look good, and I know it, take me in,’ we’ve compiled dark electropop, pop punk, alternative pop, and some post-hardcore (for the emos) (it’s us, we’re the emos). And do not fret; we have included some queens (and kings) in all different parts of their careers.
Have a look at our ten picks for songs that we absolutely strut to.
‘Escapism.’ – RAYE, 070 Shake
You’ve probably heard the chorus on TikTok. But, have you listened to the whole song? Because we genuinely believe this song, and RAYE, should be nominated, and win, a Grammy. Not only are the lyrics incredibly relevant to the modern day and how a lot of us can be guilty of unhealthy coping habits when going through heartbreak. We’ll admit it, we’ve been there. However, the instrumentals and construction of this song bring the song to a completely different level. The deep, thudding bass, the synthesizers thriving in the chorus, the flow and emotion, dynamics ranging, strings added to create depth… this song is truly a masterpiece. And we won’t lie when we say we have strutted, sang, danced, cried, partied, and more while listening to this song. It’s perfect for when you’re dressed up for a night out, walking to meet your friends. Trust us – you will feel incredible.
‘FRIENDS (feat. State Champs)’ – CHEZ
CHEZ’s ‘FRIENDS (feat. State Champs)’ is for the bees that are just tired of people. The bees who prefer to be by themselves and put in their headphones when walking to avoid anyone talking to them. This song’s tempo is perfect for a good strut, the guitars striking an angsty chord within, and a killer guitar solo for when your confidence peaks because you’re strutting; it’s impossible not to feel good when you strut. We also love the addition of State Champs to this track – pop punk embodies the idea of angst. And we are angsty.
‘MY WAY’ – PVRIS
Our queen. Our mother is mothering. Lynn Gunn‘s confident anthem, ‘My Way,’ was made for that oozing confidence and devilish smirk. Again, the tempo is perfect – wanna walk a bit slower? Sync up with every two beats. Wanna go a bit faster? Sync up with every beat. It’s perfect, versatile, the guitars dripping with rock confidence as Gunn shouts about having things done the way she wants them and that she deserves it. And we’ll be honest, she makes us believe we deserve it too.
‘FORGET ME NOT’ – HOT MILK
A rock band whose name is on everyone’s lips, Hot Milk, crafts an interesting track to strut to. Hear us out: for those who want to stroll a little, a confident stroll. The mentality is still the same. And for the bees who may feel a little bit sexy and seductive… listen to the chorus. The pulsing synthesizers, the slow, deep tone of the bass, the echoing mimicking the feeling of nighttime. A reflective strut, if you will. The explosive last chorus is enough to make you feel like spinning once while looking at the stars, basking in the moment of just… being.
‘Only Problem’ – Pale Waves
Picking you back up after that momentary bliss, we have something a little more melancholic. UK pop-punk group Pale Waves crafts a tale of just being sick and tired of being in a relationship that makes them feel sick and tired. The catchy riff and fast tempo drums drive the instrumentals as frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie all but curses out this awful person, her vocals swinging along the line of pop-punk and rock. As we’ve said numerous times, we’re obsessed with a good bridge. And the guitar solo that soars through the bridge just fills us with so much joy – then the full-force chorus afterward just makes us want to scream this song at the top of our lungs. It’s a bit of a faster strut, but boy, does it feel good.
‘Nightmare’ – Halsey
Another queen. We are a matriarchy in this hive. Halsey’s iconic ‘Nightmare’ was released as a single and never included on an album (which we’ll never forget). It’s all about being that woman who just can’t bring themselves to fit these cultural norms that are so unbelievably outdated and sexist. Halsey is honest, unable to handle the way they’re objectified and told what to do constantly. The chorus is where we strut, and we strut hard. When we’re angry, fed up, frustrated, and bogged down by the world, this song turns it around. It’s a positive kind of anger, one that breathes a wave of fresh air into your lungs and fire under your ass. This is a slower, more sinister strut. It’s the one where you’re this close to losing it, and it just takes one more comment.
‘Confident – Rock Version’ – Demi Lovato
The song that inspired this article. Yes, this song was an anthem when it was a pop song, but there’s something so fitting about ‘Confident’ as a rock song. We love the dark, deep riffs, Lovato’s versatile, rock-orientated belting, and the seductive nature of the pre-chorus. This song sounds like us revving up to be that bee. A playful, sinister smirk would suit this strut; pair it with your chin tipped up in confidence, and you’re good. This is the kind of song where you just want someone to try it. Just once. And see what happens because it’ll be a memory no witness will be able to forget.
‘Youngblood’ – 5 Seconds of Summer
Now, would it really be a Honey Pop song recommendation if we didn’t mention 5SOS? Yeah. Didn’t think so. While it’s their most popular song, it is certainly one of their best. That driving, thudding bass and drums paired together to mimic the perfect strut near run that the supermodels do. We don’t want to be like supermodels, but we digress; we do love a good supermodel strut. Another sing that’s just a twinge seductive with the deep tone of the bass and synths. Kind of makes us think of that one scene in The Wolf Of Wall Street. You know the one, like we are that bee that could have anyone they wanted on their knees. What can we say? Confidence makes us feel a certain kind of way.
‘Kick Me’ – Sleeping with Sirens
Venturing into territory that’s a bit heavier than anything mentioned before when you want a good rock’n’roll type song, ‘Kick Me’ is what you need to play. Sleeping with Sirens is a post-hardcore band from Florida that’s been around for over a decade and has produced banger after banger. But this song is just confidence. That’s all it is. Kellin Quinn, the vocalist, belts about challenging people’s rules and expectations with a sick post-chorus that leaves you swinging your head and hips while you strut. Rising above the naysayers and proving just how wrong they were as they watch you succeed. It’s the perfect song to strut to after a win.
‘Fake’ – I Prevail
The heaviest song on this ‘Songs To Strut To’ playlist, yet we pick it with confidence. I Prevail is a Grammy-nominated rock band from Michigan. They’re one of our favorite bands on the planet, and their newest release, TRUE POWER, included the gem of a song, ‘Fake.’ This song encompasses a controversial topic: how to deal with people who aren’t kind and honest about their intentions. You can either be quiet, or you can make a ruckus. This is the song you play right before you make said ruckus. We love the honesty and the intensity of the instrumentals. We can never go wrong with I Prevail.
And you know what? We’re always looking for songs to add. Commuting has us walking a lot, you know? So, tweet us songs that you love to strut to, or let us know on Facebook or Instagram. We want to create the best playlist for everyone who’s feeling particularly… daring.
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An American music journalist based in Dublin. Words in: Alternative Press, Insider, Kerrang!, The Honey Pop, Headstuff.org, OTwo