Listen Here: “Hot” Songs For Cool People

Listen Here is a monthly playlist picked and curated by members of the Deadshirt staff around a certain theme. This month’s theme is “’Hot’ Songs,” with a playlist selected by several Deadshirt staffers and curated by music editor Julian Ames.


Glenn Frey knows about the heat.

It’s July, it’s the summer, and in many places that means hot weather, muggy weather, sweaty weather. Conventional wisdom would suggest that we put together a list of cool songs to help you forget about the heat, but instead the writers of Deadshirt decided to create a playlist of songs about being hot to commiserate with you as you huddle in your tent you attached to the refrigerator. Here’s the playlist, picked by Dylan Roth, David Lebovitz, Mike Duquette, Madie Coe, Joe StandoKayleigh Hearn, and Julian Ames. We hope you enjoy it.

“It Must Be Summer” – Fountains of Wayne
“The sun is beating me senseless / I feel defenseless like a dying lamb.” This is one of several tasty turns of phrase you’ll find in this catchy summer anthem from NY/NJ power pop weirdos Fountains of Wayne. If you’re into bands with the unmitigated audacity to rhyme “shore” with “sure,” this one’s for you. – Dylan Roth

“Why Does The Sun Shine?” – They Might Be Giants
If we’re talking about heat, we might as well go directly to the source: the sun. Hey kids, who wants to learn about the sun from TMBG? Of course you do, because you were raised right! Seriously, though, leave it to the Johns to make a catchy, rollicking song about how the sun is a mass of incandescent gas. (On a related note, anyone else remember when this song was on KaBlam!? Man, was I surprised years later when I found out Henry and June were probably named after an NC-17 film.) – David Lebovitz

“It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humanity” – The Bouncing Souls
This song starts out riffing on the many cliched colloquialisms used to describe how hot it is; even the title is a joke on the boring old person phrase “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” The song shifts to describing the atmosphere at one of their (or another punk band’s) shows—all those sweaty bodies packet together moshing and dancing and stuff. The whole thing sounds like a hot, muggy good time. Plus, this is probably the only time you’ll hear as unpoetic a line as “my balls are sticking to my legs.” – Julian Ames

“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
Yes, I know you’ve been hearing this song everywhere since January. That’s largely because it’s a Good Song and if we’re talking about songs about it being too hot (hot damn) this is a perfect fit. – David Lebovitz

“Some Like It Hot” – The Power Station
Gosh, the eighties sure were weird. This supergroup, created by Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor and bassist John Taylor while the band was on hiatus, featured the late, great British blue-eyed soulster Robert Palmer growling come-ons over choppy funk-rock riffs anchored by former CHIC drummer Tony Thompson playing snares like he’s John Bonham. (Thompson would, improbably, sit in with the surviving members of Zep at Live Aid in 1985, a performance best remembered for Robert Plant looking like he’s late for a luau.) The Power Station were not to last—Palmer used their momentum to ignite his lengthy solo career in America, and John Taylor would return to a splintered Duran Duran in 1986—but this thundering single is a perfect relic of a bygone era. – Mike Duquette

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston
You know what makes you hot? Dancing. In the summer. – Madie Coe

“Always and Forever” – Heatwave
Let’s slow things down a bit with this one. British disco band Heatwave lit up the charts in 1976 and 1977 with the pulsating dance track “Boogie Nights,” then followed it up with this sultry, steamy groove. “Always and Forever” benefits from the impassioned vocal of lead singer Johnnie Wilder, Jr. (tragically sidelined from the group two years later when a car accident left him paralyzed) and the melodic gifts of Rod Temperton, the band’s chief songwriter/keyboardist, who’d later get plucked from Heatwave to write songs for a 21-year-old Michael Jackson, including “Rock With You,” “Off The Wall,” and “Thriller.” “Always and Forever” is, bar none, one of the best sexy soul ballads ever committed to magnetic tape, and it’s sure to heat up your summer (or winter, or whenever) some 38 years later. – Mike Duquette

“Too Hot” – The Specials
Ska music is always gonna feel like summer to me. As a fan of the genre, there’s plenty to choose from, but “Too Hot” by the Specials is interesting because it’s about a pretty specific moment in the history of the genre. As much as I like the third-wave and beyond stuff that every high school ska band plays, it’s cool to hear the specific protest elements of British music from an era before I was even born. And while it lacks some of the up-tempo riffs of better-known Specials hits, the driving beat does a good job of replicating oppressive summer heat that frays nerves and stains shirts. – Joe Stando

“Lay Me Down” – Dirty Heads feat. Rome
“So wipe the dirt off or take your shirt off, we should go hit the cantina, we got work off.” This Dirty Heads song about rebels on the run reminds me strongly of the summer I lived at the beach, between my junior and senior years of undergrad. The punchy, island-influenced tune puts it right up there with other third-wave ska summer favorites, but with a happy ending. Hot days of working outside only to strip your clothes off and leap into the ocean come to mind. – Madie Coe

“The Heat Is On” – Glenn Frey
This choice cut from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack is home to one of the most unforgivable earworms in pop history: that saxophone riff that you’re probably humming as you read this sentence. “The Heat Is On” is perhaps one of the top ten soundtrack cuts of the 1980s, in terms of both quality and placement (its use over the opening credits of Eddie Murphy’s greatest film sets the madcap tempo for the rest of the movie, even if the movie doesn’t stay in Detroit for very long). Not a bad accomplishment for one of the doofiest members of one of America’s doofiest bands: The Eagles. – Mike Duquette

“Hot in the City” – Billy Idol
A humid, sticky song about being a young, sexy stranger in the big city. You can easily envision the sweat drenching Billy Idol’s bleached blonde spikes when he snarls, “I’m a chain ‘round an A-bomb”– he’s going nuclear with lust. – Kayleigh Hearn

“Hot In Herre” – Nelly
A no brainer on this list. Don’t question it, just do what the song says, I guess. – Julian Ames

That’s Deadshirt’s hand-picked “Hot” Songs playlist – now, you tell us what songs you associate with hot summer days. Comment below or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!

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