If you live in the northern hemisphere, it's currently Summer. And if there's one thing about Summer that translates across regions and cultures, it's that it's a season of relaxation and celebration. Sure, for many of us it's also a period of business as usual, but mixed in there– perhaps on the weekends– someone is going to have a barbecue, get married, have a party, or all three.

And where there's a party, there sure as hell had better be some music. So if you're running out of ideas of what to put on the playlist, maybe this can give you some inspiration. These are the songs that we can't stop playing at the BlakeWrites HQ right now. And by BlakeWrites HQ, I mean my house. And by "we," I mean my dog and I. Regardless, my dog has pretty good tastes in music.

Artists to Keep an Eye On

In our opinion, every song on this playlist is a banger in its own right. But, there are also a few artists on here who you are basically required to keep an eye on and check out further.

Perta

 

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Perta is one of those bands that made me stop what I was doing the first time I heard one of their songs and just stare at the wall until it was over. Fronted by Pennsylvania native Matthew Bazulka, Perta is an unsigned LA-based band with a sound I can only describe as glam-soul-rock-funk. And if that's not the perfect genre for Summer, I don't know what is. Bazulka's range and the band's driving music are a match made in heaven, and their single, "From Fire," is my most-played track of the last couple of months.

As an added bonus, Bazulka is just fun to look at, so be sure to check out their Instagram (@pertamusic) for more Perta music, news, and Matthew Bazulka's shirtlessness.

Cautious Clay

Cautious Clay is a breath of fresh air. He's mellow and soulful, with thoughtful lyrics and songs that are perfect for low-key vibing. He's insanely talented, and his music has a way of taking listeners on a journey. For this playlist, I chose his song "Cold War," for its beach-worthy melody and ease of listening, but you can't go wrong with any of his discography; I particularly recommend his tracks "Silos" and "Joshua Tree." 

Dusty Ray Bottoms

 

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 While many readers may know Dusty Ray from Season 10 of Rupaul's Drag Race, his single "Neva Lavd Yah!" is not what I expected from a Ru Girl the first time I heard it. As a fellow Kentucky native, I had a soft spot for Dusty from the beginning of the season, but with this song, I'm an even bigger fan. "Neva Lavd Yah!" isn't stuffed with references to RuPaul, anal sex, or wigs like so many other songs that get released by competitors after the show airs. Instead, it's a fun, grungy pop-rock song with a major 90s influence. While Dusty's biggest stage thus far has been Drag Race, if he continues to produce music like this, I expect that he'll eventually pivot from the drag-scene to the indie rock scene. Personally, I hope he'll keep the heels, dotted makeup, dresses, and pimped out sailor hats when this happens, but if he decides to perform out of drag, he's got the looks to do so.

Beth Ditto

 

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Beth Ditto is a rocker with a big, brassy voice. As the former lead vocalist of Gossip, her solo career has been as epic and wonderful as the work that she produced with her former band. Her music has power and sass to the extreme, and her single, "Fire" is exactly that... fire. It's hot. It's wonderful. It's, in the truest sense, what the kids would call a bop. I've been a big fan of Ditto for a while, and each time she puts out a new song, I've been incredibly satisfied.