Sizzling summer albums to listen to during the Saharan blowtorch heatwave

In the words of Santana: “Man, it’s a hot one”. With a heatwave hitting the UK today, temperatures could push 37C due to a 700-mile-wide mass of hot air from the Sahara Desert, aka the ‘Saharan blowtorch’. The high temperatures are set to last over the weekend, so with mercury rising and suncream sales on the rise, it’s time to lock in some essential heatwave listening.

Just as some albums sound better when it’s a bit miserable outside, there’s a glut of sizzling albums that are perfect for sweltering weather. Be it your beachside playlist or picnic listening, here’s what you should be listening to during this weekend’s heatwave.

Phoenix – ‘Ti Amo’

Released in 2016, the French group’s sixth album was inspired by what they describe as their “European, Latin roots, a fantasised version of Italy” and celebrates all the good things in life like lust, prosecco, gelato and formaggio.
Listen to it… On the beach, the album’s title track is a modern-day Italo-disco classic, while ‘Fior Di Latte’ and ‘Goodbye Soleil’ will stick to you like the sand between your toes.
SPF Factor: 40

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Calvin Harris – ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’

The Scottish producer spurned big EDM drops for belly flops on this guest-packed, throwback album of soul-infused pop. ‘Slide’ and ‘Feels’ were Sound Of The Summer 2017™ contestants – and rightly so, it was blaring outside of every beach cafe on the continent.
Listen to it… when you brave the pub for a pre-booked sesh – so you can relive the heady summer of 2017.
SPF Factor: 30

Metronomy – ‘English Riviera’

Joe Mount’s pop troupe opted for this nation’s fine shores for inspiration – ‘The Bay’s music video was filmed in their native Torquay. Although a major step up from 2008’s ‘Nights Out’, the group’s expanded production retained the naive charm of Britain’s slightly shit beaches.
Listen to it… Whilst enjoying your staycation, aka, going back to visit your parents for a weekend and quickly regressing into your teenage self.
SPF Factor: 15

Robyn – ‘Honey’

Robyn’s eighth studio album is a call to the dance-floor. A sparkling fusion of Balearic sounds, killer choruses and synth-pop shimmers, it’s a sumptuous collection of sun-drenched smashers.
Listen to it… when want to create the magic of Ibiza’s clubs with a few strobe lights in your kitchen.
SPF Factor: 45

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Hope Downs’

Filled with exuberance, the break-neck debut from Aussie indie rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is meant to be listened to in the baking sun. One that’s perfect for cracking open cold tinnies with mates, it’s crammed full of high-speed, raucous belters.
Listen to it… while driving – be that to the beach, the British countryside, or just to enjoy your cars aircon.
SPF Factor: 35

Tame Impala – ‘Currents’

Written, performed and produced all by psychedelic wizard Kevin Parker, ‘Currents’ is a one-man odyssey that proved to keep party raging all summer long in 2016.
Listen to it… When the heat has all got a bit too much, and you need a long lie down in a darkened room.
SPF Factor: 30

Tyler, The Creator – ‘Flower Boy’

On Tyler’s fourth solo album, provocative lyrics and swampy beats are nowhere to be seen – instead he teamed up with Kali Uchis, Rex Orange County, Frank Ocean and more for this lush entry into his burgeoning catalogue.
Listen to it… As the sun goes down, and we start to get a slight moment of respite from the sweltering heat.
SPF Factor: 25

Lou Reed – ‘Coney Island Baby’

The Velvet Underground frontman’s sixth solo album was his gooiest and most romantic to date – ditching the punky vibes of previous material and opting for soft-rock jams. Much of the album was influenced by NY’s chaotic but memorable beach town, making it perfect to soundtrack a roasting summer weekend.
Listen to it… You’re kicking back and cracking open a cold one with mates.
SPF Factor: 10

Anderson .Paak – ‘Malibu’

The Californian artist’s groovy second album saw him become one of the most in-demand live acts on the planet and landed him a co-sign from Compton legend Dr Dre. The follow-up to his debut – which was named after LA’s Venice Beach – was influenced by the splashy beach-town in Northern California, and is stuffed full of effervescent funk-laden hip-hop and R&B.
Listen to it… When you need something to soundtrack a walk along the coast.
SPF Factor: 20

The Beach Boys – ‘The Very Best Of Beach Boys’

Look, The Beach Boys are the quintessential band for summertime, so we couldn’t very well leave them off, could we? And who’s to stop us putting the Best Of in? Dare you.
Listen to it… Pre-surf trip (or, going to the beach and attempting to surf. After-all, the group traded off the idea they were Cali beach bums, despite none of the group able to surf at all).
SPF Factor: 50

Caribou – ‘Our Love’

Dan Snaith’s seventh studio album under the Caribou moniker is utterly gorgeous. More personal than previous releases (it was influenced by the birth of his daughter, n’aww), the glittering electronica is imbued with R&B and hip-hop; and acts as a subtle, hazy soundtrack to this baking heat.
Listen to it… when you need something to dance to – albeit very slowly, so you don’t break a sweat.
SPF Factor: 30

Confidence Man – ‘Confident Music For Confident People’

The electro poppers’ debut album is endless fun. With their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and buoyant sound that’s somewhere between Hot Chip, LCD Soundsytem and Robyn, it’s 40-minutes of pure sun-drenched joy.
Listen to it… to soundtrack your poolside strut at the local lido.
SPF Factor: 45

Vampire Weekend – ‘Father of the Bride’

Vampire Weekend’s fourth album conjures up images of early summer – when the flowers are in full bloom, and the grass hasn’t yet been scorched by the sun. Taking elements of country, folk, R&B and art pop, it’s a warm collection of sunny melodies, that’ll help ease you into the heatwave.
Listen to it… when you’re enjoying a walk in the countryside – or local park.
SPF Factor: 20

Haim – ‘Women In Music Pt. III’

“New York is cold/I tried the winter there once, nope” goes one couplet on ‘Women in Music Pt. III’ album opener ‘Los Angeles’. Haim’s third album evokes the sound of life in the City of Angels, where the sun always shines. From the whirring electronics of ‘I Know Alone’ to the Lou Reed referencing ‘Summer Girl’, it’s the sound of a city that’s used to life in the sun.
Listen to it… to dream of summers spent in LA.
SPF Factor: 25

Dua Lipa – ‘Future Nostalgia’

It’s a crying shame that we can’t enjoy dancing to Dua Lipa’s stellar ‘Future Nostalgia’ in sweaty clubs this summer. Just imagine how ‘Don’t Start Now’ would have hit, drink in hand at festivals this summer? But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it whilst battling with the Saharan blowtorch’s immense heat, as Dua’s nostalgia-laced bangers sound even better when the sun shines.
Listen to it… whilst lamenting the summer plans we’ve had to cancel.
SPF Factor: 15

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