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NPR Music's Songs Of The Summer 2017

We still don’t know what the song of this summer might be, but we’ve picked out a few new songs to soundtrack road trips, cookouts and sultry nights.

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What makes a song the song of the summer? You could base that judgment solely on chart performance and bestow the crown to the track that hangs on to No. 1 through the warmer months. Or maybe you follow a kind of source-cue methodology, granting the coveted distinction to that one song that’s always wafting like a balmy breeze — or blasting like an air-conditioner’s chill — from car radios and backyard cookouts.

We like a more personal approach, one that favors the music that soundtracks our own experiences of the season. That’s why NPR Music staffers (plus a couple of our friends from the wider public radio system) picked out a set of our favorite new songs that, to us, embody summer in some way.

In the audio segment, you’ll hear four of our picks for the summer of 2017; read on for those selections and 11 more. If you’re craving even more summertime sounds, check out our extended playlist on Spotify.

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