Winter is bleak. Some people love it, preferring the cosiness of duvets and thick coats to the sweatbox that is summer heat. For most of us though, it is a cold, dark and thoroughly downbeat time that we just have to endure until the summer rolls around again. Snow is the holy grail that offers up some respite, but 90% of the season is spent being jealous of the animals who hibernate through it and therefore don't have to experience it.
But every now and again, a song is released during the winter that makes us yearn for the summer. These tunes often become anthems that go off at festivals, taking the summer by storm months after their original release. It seems bizarre to release these songs outside of their natural comfort zones, but those of us who are summer folk are often glad as we can spend the next few weeks pretending it's not quite as rainy outside as it really is.
Without further ado, let's look at some of the best summer tunes released in winter.
Feeder - Buck Rogers
Released 8th January 2001
To this day, Feeder's 'Buck Rogers' makes festival crowds go OFF. With its simple structure and even simpler lyrics, there is nothing to deconstruct with this song. As soon as the words "player", "player", "player" and "player" come along, there's no turning back. It's upbeat, bouncy and one of the best summer anthems that the genre of rock music has ever come out with. Singer and songwriter and Grant Nicholas doesn't even like it, loathing the fact that Feeder's name was made with a "throwaway pop song", though he does also acknowledge that it essentially saved Feeder's career. That it did, and the patrons of Reading and Leeds have been enraptured ever since.
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
Released 25th January 2011
'Party Rock Anthem' is ten years old. Ten. What's that about? The uncle-nephew duo's song is one of the only summer anthems that fully embraces its nature, as shown in the song's very title. They knew what they had and what is was - and yet, the label decided to release it in January. The strange decision to release such an obvious summer song at the height of winter did nothing to harm the song's performance, however, and it remains on many a dance playlist.
Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life
Released 13th October 1997
This Latin and Salsa inspired track is one of the best tunes to come out of the UK's dance-pop scene of the late '90s. A song that seems ripe for late evenings and beach parties, it was released just as the skies were darkening and Christmas was starting to dominate shop shelves. It became a summer anthem of 1998, of course, but far more interesting is that its b-side was called 'Spice Invaders' and was literally just the group having a conversation. Absolutely glorious, that is.
ATB - 9PM (Till I Come)
Released 26th October 1998
Okay, seriously, what happened here? The cover of the single could not make it more obvious what time of year this song is intended for and yet it was actually released not a week before Halloween. It was a sleeper hit, unsurprisingly, but would eventually top the UK charts in July 1999, a much more appropriate time of year for the song to be played at. One of the most recognisable summer songs of all-time, it is pretty unbelievable that it would be released at such an inappropriate time of year. Still, when summer rolled around again, there it was, with the song's lethal guitar hook ensuring that it became a hit during the millenium's final summer.
The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
Released 29th November 2019
'Blinding Lights' became THE hit of 2020 - despite the fact that it was released in 2019. It's not that it was a sleeper hit, but more that its success was just so enduring. As people
quarantined during the summer, this was what they continued to listened to, the last big hit before the pandemic. Now it acts as a link back to those times, when we could still go out and party to these summer anthems. It was the summer anthem of 2020 (well, along with 'Rain On Me') because it was the last anthem that came out before lockdown hit and that's what has carried it to this very day.
It may only be January, but on this evidence, 2021's summer anthem may already be out. Only time will tell though. In the meantime, why not let us know on Facebook and Twitter which out-of-time summer anthems we missed from this list? There must be some and we'd love to hear from you.