What was the sound of summer 2022?

Every summer has a soundtrack. Every holiday has an anthem. Here are the tracks that will forever feel like the hottest bits of 2022

Summer 2022: the year that you couldn’t walk into a Sainsbury’s Local for a Cornetto without ‘As It Was’ following you through the aisles.

We all spent the summer in the company of different music, and heaven knows there’s been a lot of great releases to choose from over the past few months, but some tracks were unavoidable. Flooding radio stations and retail playlists as well as dominating social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, they made sure that we would forever associate them with forty degree heat and the return of festival season. Like them, love them or loathe them, here are the songs you couldn’t escape this summer.

‘As It Was’ – Harry Styles

Harry Styles - As It Was (Official Video)

Of course. Other tracks from Harry’s House have also had their moments, with ‘Late Night Talking’ being the latest to ascend the charts, but none have reigned supreme quite like the wistfully upbeat ‘As It Was’. The track spent ten weeks atop the UK Singles Chart, eleven at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and enjoyed stints at No. 1 in 33 other countries. That opening riff will be seared into our brains for many summers to come.

Find tickets for Harry Styles: Love On Tour 2023 here.

‘Break My Soul’ – Beyoncé


Beyoncé proved that she is magnificent in every genre when she gifted us RENAISSANCE last month, and lead single ‘Break My Soul’ was our very first taste of her new dance/house sound. A triumphant bid for liberation and call to live for the things that make us happiest, it was the post-pandemic dancefloor hit that we all needed.

‘Running Up That Hill’ – Kate Bush

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill - Official Music Video

Stranger Things 4 breathed new life into this Kate Bush classic when the song appeared at a pivotal moment in the series. Suddenly ‘Running Up That Hill’ hit the top of the UK charts, 37 years after it was originally released. A whole new generation began to explore Bush’s discography.

‘Vegas’ – Doja Cat

Doja Cat - Vegas (From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ELVIS) (Official Video)

When it was announced that Doja Cat would be releasing a new version of Elvis Presley’s 1956 track ‘Hound Dog’ for the upcoming Elvis biopic, no one was entirely sure what to think. But Doja’s ‘Vegas’ was an instant hit. Chastising an immature partner, she delivers a string of excellent punchlines with characteristic humour.  

‘About Damn Time’ – Lizzo

Lizzo - About Damn Time [Official Video]

Lizzo delivered a hit of serotonin with the uplifting lead single from Special, an affirmative funk-pop track that was an excellent incentive to get back in the club. The lyrics are typically reassuring: Lizzo encourages us to shake off sadness and stress and go enjoy ourselves for a night.

‘Me Porto Bonito’ – Bad Bunny, Chencho Corleone

Bad Bunny ft. Chencho Corleone - Me Porto Bonito (Video Oficial) | Un Verano Sin Ti

Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti was one of the biggest albums of the summer, and one of its biggest hits was this collaboration with Puerto Rican singer Chencho Corleon. The track sees the two artists compete for a woman’s attention, making promises about how well they’d treat her.

‘Super Freaky Girl’ – Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj - Super Freaky Girl (Official Lyric Video)

Minaj samples Rick James’ ‘Super Freak’ to brag about her many talents in what many considered a return to form. With hilariously explicit lyrics and Nicki’s trademark braggadocio, the song feels like a call back to the Minaj of the 2010s. Its 12 August release date makes it a fairly late entry into the race for song of the summer, but it’s already been embraced by fans.

‘First Class’ – Jack Harlow

Jack Harlow - First Class [Official Music Video]

Harlow boasts about his glamorous exploits in ‘First Class’, which sees him describe what he enjoys about the celebrity lifestyle and promise similar benefits to the girls who hang out with him. It’s irresistible in its cheekiness and won Harlow the Song Of The Summer award at the MTV VMAs.

Find tickets for Jack Harlow’s UK tour here.

‘Green Green Grass’ – George Ezra

George Ezra - Green Green Grass (Official Video)

Four years after ‘Shotgun’, Ezra tried his hand at another summer classic. This single from his album Gold Rush Kid jumped up the charts immediately, thanks to its sunny disposition and sweet depiction of young summer love.

Find tickets for George Ezra’s UK tour here.

‘Sunroof’ – Nicky Youre, dazy

Nicky Youre, dazy - Sunroof (Official Music Video)

“I got my head out the sunroof/I’m blasting our favourite tunes” sings Nicky Youre in the opening lines of ‘Sunroof’. It’s not hard to see why the track quickly became a summer favourite, even though it was way too hot this summer to do anything except keep all the car windows closed and blast the AC.

‘Glimpse Of Us’ – Joji

Joji - Glimpse of Us (Official Video)

Undeniably the outlier on this list, Joji’s ‘Glimpse Of Us’ is for those who don’t mind a little summertime sadness. The track took off massively on TikTok this summer, shared by those who felt they could relate to it a little too much. It’s beautiful, but maybe not one for the neighbourhood barbecue…

Listen to the full playlist here: