Boys of summer: Lizzo is our new VBF

Lizzo’s new single, ‘Boys’, is the perfect soundtrack for this steamy summer heat

“I like big boys, itty bitty boys, Mississippi boys, inner city boys, I like the pretty boys with the bow tie. Get your nails did, let it blow dry. I like a big beard, I like a clean face, I don’t discriminate, come and get a taste. From the playboys to the gay boys, go and slay, boys, you my fave boys.”

Lizzo is sharing the love for the men across the world. In all shapes and sizes, no matter what their musk or how they spend their time, she is showing the boys some appreciation. As a hot contender for one of the best songs of the summer, her latest single Boys ticks all the boxes in what we need for a carefree bop to carry us through the warmer months. With a zingy guitar line lifted right out of the dream diaries of The Rapture and a cowbell so persistent it's practically down on its knees, begging you for one dance, this is a song that should be on repeat and Lizzo . . . Well, she's our new VBF.

There’s a lot to demand from a summer song. It has to have that callback power so that if you hear it in the depths of winter 2028, you can recall the scents and the emotions you experienced in the summer of 2018. The whiff of whatever sunscreen you wore will come back and the flash of colour from the shorts you wore in 1995 will stand out in your memory.

Sure, summer songs are often novelty songs like the Macarena or DJ Otzi's Hey Baby, but some stand the test of time, like Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise, released during the heatwave of 1995, Wannabe by The Spice Girls, released in July of 1996, Len's aptly-titled 1999 single Steal My Sunshine, Beyoncé's groundbreaking 2003 single Crazy In Love and Rihanna's Umbrella that accompanied the wash-out of 2007. As we're going through the pains of a serious heatwave across Ireland and the rest of the world, the dancefloor is definitely the hottest place to be and, if you let it, the feisty verses of Boys will spill out your mouth, boiling your blood and steaming up your surroundings.

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Out your pores 

Let the sweat drip down your face, catching in your eyebrows (shout-out to eyebrows for fulfilling their true purpose in this year's dead heat), and then watch it cling to the walls, becoming part of the environment. For the summer song seeps out your pores and becomes firmly lodged in the sepia-toned vaults of your memory bank, sparked by the scent of charcoaled sausages and the overheated cheap cans of beer you snuck in in your formative years. There's still time yet to change the song that defines your summer of 2018 and Lizzo's Boys is certainly more evocative than George Ezra's Shotgun, which seems to have the nation in its limp grip.

Detroit-born, Houston-raised and Minneapolis-based, the 30-year-old singer, hip-hop artist and body-positive advocate (check out her photoshoot for August's issue of Gay Times – damn!) is an out-and-out star. Working in the music industry since 2012, either in indie groups, girl groups or as a solo singer, Lizzo (née Melissa Jefferson) is hilarious, self-assured and very, very cool. While you're waiting for the next instalment of her musical output, the one that's spearheaded by Boys, and the follow-up to 2015's Big Grrrl Small World, it's a good time to reassess what summer songs mean to you and place Lizzo at the top of your playlist. Give this piping hot summer the soundtrack it deserves.