Toronto’s songs of summer 2019

From Raptors anthems to a reggaeton time machine to the city's own Yeehaw king, these are the songs to fuel your next patio day


Haviah Mighty feat. Omega Mighty: Wishy Washy

The Brampton-born rapper’s 2019 album 13th Floor is full of bangers, but Wishy Washy is the timeless summer jam of the bunch. It’s an infectious dancehall-inflected kiss-off duet with her sister, featuring references to Lauryn Hill and the Fugees and a light and sunny beat courtesy of co-producers Taabu and A Tribe Called Red’s 2oolman that you could easily imagine looping throughout July and August. 

More summer jams:

Ebhoni: Drama

Jayd Ink: Privately

 Sylo Nozro: FOMO

General Genius: Raptor Foot

The summer of 2019 will always be defined by the Raptors’ first championship. And sure, Kawhi Leonard’s departure to the Los Angeles Clippers might have us all feeling like we’ve gone through a collective city-wide breakup, but we won’t Kawhi a river this summer – we’ll be stomping along to this reggae anthem from Scarborough’s General Genius in our OVO championship hats and “Got ’Em” shirts. This is the dip for our chip. 

More summer jams:

Drake feat. Rick Ross: Money In The Grave

Jimmy Prime: 6ix In 6

Just John x Dom Dias: Soundboi

Daddy Yankee & Snow: Con Calma

You live long enough and you see Snow’s Informer live a second life as the basis of a reggaeton smash. The white reggae artist from Scarborough first hit with the song in 1992, and since Puerto Rican legend Daddy Yankee tracked him down for a bilingual, patois-filled border-crossing song it’s been given new life – one that’s largely swallowed the initial cultural appropriation baggage into a bigger worldwide conversation (unless we’re talking about the Katy Perry remix, which is just, well… umm…)

More summer jams: 

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello: Señorita

Bruno Capinan: Tão Perto

Daphni feat Paradise: Sizzling

With his crate-digging DJ project Daphni, Caribou’s Dan Snaith has dug up a 1981 disco-funk tune from Bermudian band Paradise, jacked up the tempo, given it a serious beat and turned its indelible groove into one you’ll be hearing at every club and dance tent at every festival this season. And with good reason. Snaith doesn’t live in Toronto these days, but we’ll still claim this song for this list because, c’mon, it’s literally called Sizzling. 

More summer jams:

Jacques Greene feat. Cadence Weapon: Night Service

Myst Milano: Milkshake

Sydanie: I Want U 2 See This

Ice Cream: Peanut Butter 

Post-punk electro duo Ice Cream are set to release their sophomore album later this year, but until then we’ve got this delectable new single to tide us over. Fusing abrasive drum machine beats and ice-cold synths with a biting guitar riff, Peanut Butter is the futuristic soundtrack for dumping your summer fling and then going pool-hopping with your gang at Christie Pits.

Ice Cream play the Rivoli on July 26.

More summer jams:

Nyssa: I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon (Without U)

Absolutely Free feat. U.S. Girls: Currency

Badge Époque Ensemble: You Can Build A  Palace, Or You Can Please People

Ralph: Gravity 

A summer banger needs to be effortlessly catchy, embolden even wallflowers to get up and move and it should have a chorus that’s equally built to be scream-shouted in the club or hummed alone in the car. Pop purveyor Ralph’s new single, Gravity, hits all those notes. Anchored by silky vocals, the 90s house groove, which yes, was inspired by Electric Circus, is instantly danceable. It’s the first song from her forthcoming EP due out this October, just when we need a punch of warm synth pop to combat the post-August blues.

More summer jams:

The Darcys: Better Days

Daniel Caesar feat. Brandy: Love Again

Orville Peck: Dead Of Night

Toronto’s own ambassador of the Yeehaw Agenda (as popularized by Lil Nas X, Cardi B in chaps, Kacey Musgrave’s rhinestone bodysuits), Orville Peck’s debut Pony brims with shoegaze-inflected country songs about the outlaw life, traversing the badlands, heartbreak and loss. Dead Of Night opens like a cowboy standoff and showcases Peck’s yearning croon. He just played the Calgary Stampede (naturally) and will spend the rest of the summer on the festival circuit. Old Town Road is the world’s yeehaw song of summer, and this is ours.

Orville Peck plays Hillside on July 14, River & Sky Festival on July 18, Crystal Lake on July 27 and at Danforth Music Hall on December 5. 

More summer jams:

TOBi: City Blues

PUP: Free At Last

The local band and recent cover stars are breaking out even more with their recent album Morbid Stuff, which is about to take them to their biggest headlining show in Toronto at its ultimate summer venue, Echo Beach. And this is their ultimate self-deprecating summer pop punk song, with a shoutable hook, a guitar solo and “ooh-ooh” breakdown. It’s triumphantly sad, which if Lana Del Rey and her reoccurring hit Summertime Sadness has taught us anything (probably the first time PUP has caught that comparison) is a real seasonal vibe. 

PUP play Echo Beach on July 21. 

More summer jams:

Nikki Fierce: Made For You

Girlfriend Material: Okay Okay

Below, check out our Toronto Songs of Summer Edition of #NOWplaying, our weekly playlist of new local music. This month, #NOWplaying is powered by Toronto Fringe, whose free PS: Music Fest continues on the Postscript Patio at Scadding Court until July 14. Find the full lineup here. 

@trapunski | @SamEdwardsTO

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