Skip to main content

The End Of Summer Songs You Need to Stream in 2021

End of Summer Playlist

With Labor Day now well behind us, it’s tough to say goodbye to summer, even if this has been a pretty unique one. As for us, we are going to hold on as tight as we can until the official end of the season on September 22nd, but as school starts up (if only virtually in some places) and the temperatures start to drop, we know we can’t stop the inevitable. To sooth the passage into autumn, we talked to some experts in the music industry and gathered a little “goodbye to summer” playlist. Some of the recommendations are oldies. Some are mellow, some are funky, and some are songs you’ll want to belt out in the shower. 

Estate Summer by Shirley Horn

Shirley Horn - Estate (Summer)

Billy Stritch is a Grammy-winning composer, musical director, and performer who, despite being one of the most talented performers of his generation in his own right, may always be known for accompanying the legendary Liza Minnelli for 23 years. “For my money, you can’t go wrong with anything Brazilian. I’m particularly fond of all music by João Gilberto or Antonio Carlos Jobim but the sultriest summer song ever is Estate (Summer), performed by the great singer Shirley Horn. Sensual and incredibly hypnotic!”

Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer by Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder - Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer - Live

Music director Alex Rybeck is a composer, arranger, and pianist with Broadway and Off-Broadway credits on his resume; working with cabaret superstars like Karen Mason, Tommy Tune, Jeff Harnar, and both Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway. Rybeck adds Stevie Wonder’s heartbreaking, Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer to our list (which we think feels like a Labor Day anthem), as well as Blame It On the Summer Night, from Rags, a 1991 musical about turn of the century immigrants in New York City. The London Cast recording was just released in July. 

Toxic by Kehlani

Kehlani - TOXIC (Quarantine Style)

You may know Destin Pfaff from his hit Bravo show, Millionaire Matchmaker, where he and his wife Rachel Federoff help “the financially elite and socially awkward find love.” Sounds like the perfect person to add some romantic spice to our mix. “Stay away from music that’s misogynistic, overly vulgar, or scary,” says Pfaff. Think about what your summer night will be and who it will be with. Like chocolate, music is sex. It tightens your senses, smooths your nerves, and gives you release. Think about the music that makes you happy, and sets your mood: hers will follow.” From Pfaff’s date night soundtrack we pulled Toxic by Kehlani (“Throbbing,” says Pfaff), and I Feel Love by Donna Summer. “Don’t knock it. It’s amazing.” 

Summer Vacations by Based Frequency

Based Frequency - Summer Vacations

Freddie Atlas is an up and coming musician and performer. While you can find his music here, like any struggling musician, Freddie has had to play his share of weddings and bar mitzvahs to fund those expensive recording sessions and music videos. “For weddings people love anything from the 1960s up to the 2010s; radio classics. Songs like I Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You, Brown Eyed Girl, and Bring Me Up Buttercup.” We’ve added another Stevie Wonder hit, For Once in My Life from Freddie’s special event set list (in fact moved it to the opening spot), but then also dipped into his personal listening space: “When I’m at home I listen to Vaporwave music. It’s not very mainstream and emulates the 1980s. Think riding a motorcycle through the streets of Miami in the ‘80s. It’s my mood music.” Freddie points out that some of the best is found on platforms like Soundcloud because the artists don’t always have the rights to the tracks they’re picking up. To keep it safe, we’re adding Based Frequency’s Summer Vacations (Summer Vacations). 

Slow Down by Skip Marley and H.E.R.

Skip Marley, H.E.R. - Slow Down (Lyrics)

Alvin Anthony is a music producer, songwriter, and guitarist who has worked on projects for Sony, Interscope and Simon Cowell’s Syco. He has also had songs on heavy rotation on New York City’s Power 105.1 radio station and Canada’s CBC Radio. “Reggae is making a comeback,” says Anthony, and Drill is the new hip-hop sound that is going to take over. It started in the U.K., then hit Brooklyn: it’s going mainstream in 2021.” Anthony adds some updated reggae to our playlist with Skip Marley’s collaboration with H.E.R. on Slow Down for a decidedly updated sound that builds on Jamaica’s trademark mellow rhythms. Anthony also turns onto Doja Cat’s Mooo! for a smooth sound and a theme that harks all the way back to Kelis’s 2003 hit Milkshake. 

I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On by Cherrelle

Cherrelle - I didn't Mean to Turn You On

DJ Corey Craig is a fixture on the New York and international nightlife scene, renown for his podcast Coreyography. When we approached him for his thoughts on the topic of summer soundtracks, his response was to do what DJs do, and create this Date Night  Coreyography playlist on Spotify, which includes sultry numbers by a variety of artists. We’re going to choose his pick I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On by Cherrelle from 1984, and then we’ll slow things down with another song titled Slow Down, this one by Maverick Sabre, featuring Jorja Smith. 

Finally, because we couldn’t resist, we’re throwing in a few old favorites just to complete the transition. What would Labor Day be without Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic September? Can Autumn Leaves be far behind? 

For Once in My Life Stevie Wonder
Blame It On the Summer Night Rags: The Musical
I Feel Love Donna Summer
Toxic Kehlani
Summer Vacations (Summer Vacations) Based Frequency
Slow Down Skip Marley, featuring H.E.R.
Mooo! Doja Cat
I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On Cherrelle
Slow Down Maverick Sabre, featuring Jorja Smith
Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer Stevie Wonder
Estate (Summer) Shirley Horn
September Earth, Wind & Fire
Autumn Leaves Ed Sheeran

Editors' Recommendations

John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
Can You Watch All of the Tokyo Olympics on Peacock? What’s Streaming?
best swimming workouts 2017 usa triathlon age group national championships  olympic

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are here a year late after being postponed last summer, and if you're looking to tune in, you've got some options. Among them is Peacock, a relatively new (and rapidly growing) streaming service from NBC, which is being promoted heavily with the Olympic games as the exclusive outlet for some of the biggest events. Here's what's streaming on Peacock and how you can watch it all live.

Peacock is NBC's new streaming platform which was launched one year ago. Given that NBCUniversal is one of the top outlets for all things sports and the primary U.S. broadcaster of the Olympic Games, it's no surprise that Peacock is one of the best destinations for streaming everything from PGA Golf and Premier League Soccer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Better still is the fact that the biggest Olympic games can be streamed via Peacock with a basic non-paid account, meaning you can watch the Olympics online for free -- with one exception.

Read more
Watch Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2021: Stream the Action NOW
watch impact wrestling slammiversary 2021 live stream

Tonight in Nashville, Tennessee, Impact Wrestling is hosting its 17th annual summer Slammiversary exhibition featuring Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship as the main event. This is a pay-per-view show, and if you're looking for the best way to watch  theImpact Wrestling Slammiversary 2021 live stream online, there's still time to grab the PPV so you can stream it live with Here's what you need to know.

Watch Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2021 Live Stream in the U.S.

Read more
Everything You Need to Know About Greg Hardy Before UFC 264
everything you need to know about greg hardy ufc fighter profile

UFC 264 is happening this evening, and everybody is lining up to see Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier settle their 1-1 score with a trilogy bout -- but there are some other great matchups on deck. Also on the main card is NFL player-turned-MMA-fighter Greg Hardy, who is facing Tai Tuivasa in a heavyweight contest. Here's everything to know about Hardy before the fight.

Greg Hardy, aged 32, hails from Tennessee. He attended high school in Memphis and earned letters in multiple sports including football, helping his team make it to the 2004 Tennessee state championship. Hardy won an athletic scholarship from the University of Mississippi and was eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft in his junior year, but opted to keep playing for Ole Miss as a senior.

Read more