The best summer songs of 2013

Update that summer playlist with a bit of nostalgia by adding these summer songs of 2013 to the list, we promise you won't regret it!

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 12th Jul 2024

2013 was a pretty great year for music, memes were starting to come into fruition and pop culture was flying.

Everyone decided to do the Harlem Shake (something I think we're all glad is over), Mylie Cyrus dropped the Disney Channel look and mounted a wrecking ball, and The US Office graced our screens for the last time.

But, what we're really here to talk about is the music. From unexpected (but highly-deserved) chart-toppers out of New Zealand, to instant club classics, to songs that will go down in indie folklore, the summer soundtrack for the year was absolutely iconic. So, we decided we needed to revisit those tunes and put together the best summer songs of 2013!



I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris ft Ellie Goulding

Calvin Harris was on fire in 2013, with hits like 'Feel So Close,' 'We Found Love' featuring Rihanna, and 'Sweet Nothing' all coming out in the space of a year. He really was riding a creative wave, but the pinnacle of that wave for us was 'I Need Your Love' with the spectacular Ellie Goulding. We can guarantee you still know all the words, even 11 years on, and it will instantly transport you back to better times. 



Diane Young - Vampire Weekend

A song that first sounded like a bit of a left turn for Vampire Weekend fans, but soon became a solid earworm that all your hipster mates were using to cap the night of a summer boozing session. Whilst it may not have stood the test of time like many on this list, the track just conjures up feelings of my teenage years and deserves a place for nostalgia alone.



Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers

I don't think there's a single soul who will be against this inclusion, a stone-cold classic that gets played to this day, it really was one of (if not the best) summer songs of 2013. To be able to get one of the best dance acts in the world, alongside one of the best producers of the era AND flipping Nile Rodgers all on the same track is almost unthinkable, and the collab that dreams are made of. Just give me five, I'm gonna go and listen to this one again.



Latch - Disclosure ft Sam Smith

In a year of Sam Smith collaborating with seemingly everyone, this synth-laden track is probably the pinnacle of them. Few tracks got the exposure and playtime that this one did, and it's not hard to see why. A funky beat with Sam's luscious vocals over the top and a stomper of a chorus. It had us all dancing that year and were very confident that it did you too. 



Do I Wanna Know - Arctic Monkeys

Does this one need much introduction? Arguably the song that sent Arctic Monkeys from one of the UK's biggest acts to one of the worlds, and still on many a playlist today, its influence and quality are undeniable. Whilst you may not think it is the most summery of tunes, anyone clad in Docs and fishnets around this time will argue till the day's end with you about its necessary inclusion. Plus, you got to see Alex Turner in leather with slicked-back hair, and that will never be a bad thing.



Reflektor - Arcade Fire

Whilst maybe not as popular as the majority of the tracks on here, it's our list and you just have to deal with its inclusion... Arcade Fire are timeless, and this track off of their 2013 album of the same name is one of their best. A seven-minute funk-fuelled indie classic, it never fails to get us up and grooving, plus a guest vocal appearance from David Bowie himself, there is little don't to love about this tune, and it has held a treasured spot on many playlists since.



Royals - Lorde

The track that shot up the up-and-coming New Zealander Lorde into superstardom, you'd be lying to us if you weren't spinning this all the way through the summer. Whilst it doesn't inspire images of beaches and sunshine, it is undeniably catchy and fun, and when a track spends nine weeks at Number 1, it means it's pretty good. We challenge most to put this song on and not sing along, it's just one of those tracks that lyrics seem to be hardwired into us all.



Black Skinhead - Kanye

In a time where the chaos and drama took a backdrop to the tunes, and not the other way round, Black Skinhead is one of the heavier Kanye tracks and can make an entire room erupt to this day. The punk-rap song is definitely the crown jewel of Yeezus and was used in The Wolf of Wall Street trailer in the same year, not bad going eh? In terms of summer songs in 2013, this would have been a mainstay in many a playlist. 



We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus

What a year 2013 was for Miley. Sending a shockwave through the industry by killing the Disney channel persona she had cultivated over the years. It was a welcome change for many and caused a lot of talk, talk that was first backed up by a large swinging wrecking ball and then again by this absolute banger. Chants of "It's our party we can do what we want," echoed from many a session and will forever be a pop classic of the era.



La La La - Naughty Boy ft Sam Smith

This one will either conjure up a memory long forgotten, or make you want to turn off the speaker and go outside, what you can't deny is that this song was absolutely everywhere in the summer of 2013, and is pretty much etched into some part of everyone's brains. Another massive feature for Sam Smith, and the track that made Naughty Boy a household name (at least for a bit), it's undeniably catchy and extremely fun, go on listen to it again and get it lodged in your brain all over again, we dare you.



The next time you’re getting ready for a night out, a barbecue, or a summer day drinking sesh, pop back over to the best summer songs of 2013 for the perfect throwback summer playlist to get you in the mood.

Check out our other best songs from years such as 20102014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022.  



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.