I’ll make a playlist

A new-music soundtrack for your first summer party



Play it back:
Queue up the summer soundtrack:

Summer officially starts this week. Time to open up the backyard to all your fun-loving friends. Don’t worry about the music—I have just the fresh mix of all-new jams that your party needs.

Start chill: Let your guests know you’re not messing around right from the start with “Bury a Friend,” by Billie Eilish. The third single from the 17-year-old songwriter’s debut full-length is her darkest yet, with a gloomy tone contrasted with a muted-but-bouncy beat that will vibrate the neighborhood, and a sing-songy melody that’ll have every person walking through the gate nodding along. Stay cool with “Cattails” by Big Thief, “Nobody” by Mac DeMarco and the gorgeous melodies of “Aaron” by Boston-based Palehound.

Pick up the tempo a bit: The Dutch four-piece Pip Blom is named after its frontwoman, and the indie band’s debut, Boat, is the perfect ’90s throwback, featuring great poppy melodies and alternately jangly and distorted guitars. Play both “Ruby” and “Daddy Issues” to give the proceedings a fun boost. Follow up with a couple more lively indie-rockers: “No Bullets Spent,” by Spoon, and “Dylan Thomas,” by Better Oblivion Community Center (a new collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers).

Now, it’s time to dance: If your party isn’t warm yet, there is probably no better current song to heat things up than “Juice,” by Lizzo. The Detroit-born singer/rapper (and flautist!) is a straight-up badass, and this sexy jam will have everyone, well, juicy: “Ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee!” Follow with a hard-to-predict set of danceable tracks: from a sweet slow jam (“Nice Things,” Tank and the Bangas) to a weird slow-jam (“Earfquake,” by Tyler the Creator) to bouncy afropop guitars (“This Life,” Vampire Weekend) to electro-empowerment-pop from L.A. (“Run,” WASI) to distorted dance-rock from London (“In Your Head,” Nilüfer Yanya).

Starting to feel it: As dopey and cliché as another rock anthem about booze might sound, “Alcohol” by FIDLAR is a big song with a chorus that you can already sing along with, and it works for all stripes—punk rockers, frat dudes and recovering alcoholics like lead singer Zac Carper. The frontman for a band that made its reputation with party-hard skate-rock is just being honest about his cravings as he tries to make it through another day. (Bonus points for best opening line of the year so far: “I walk around with a screwdriver!”) Follow up with “Drunk II,” the incredible hazy rocker from Philly’s Mannequin Pussy about partying away the break-up blues. And then go hot to the end with a couple of catchy garage-rockers—“Calquer the Hound,” by Gotobeds and “Into the Iris,” by Flat Worms—and bring the fist-pumping back with a couple more punky ravers: “(I Blame) Society,” by Titus Andronicus and “Pub Feed,” by Australian pub-punks The Chats.

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here: Lastly, clear the yard and test the patience of your neighbors with “bmbmbm,” by Black Midi. The brand-new London experimental-rock four-piece is young and thrilling, and this tune switches back and forth between a weird nervous driving rhythm (reminiscent of vintage Wire) and chaotic improvised noise. Just the thing to shake out the stragglers.