With only one week left until the official start of summer, everyone is scrambling to crown an official “song of the summer.” Every year it happens: one song rises above the rest, reaches near-ubiquity on the radio, and provides the soundtrack to our road trips and pool mixes and parties even though we’re kind of sick of it because, no matter how many times we hear it, it still reminds us of the best three months of the year and gosh darn it it’s just so catchy.
I have only one, very strict, requirement for a summer jam: it’s gotta make me want to dance. That’s it. Whether it’s on a dance floor or at a sunset rooftop parties or just wiggling in my chaise lounge while enjoying poolside cocktails, I wanna MOVE.
This summer’s frontrunner has already begun distancing itself from the pack. This week “Call Me Maybe” finally reached the Number One status that had eluded for so long. I generally pride myself on knowing What’ Up in music, but when I told my 8th grade girls about two months ago that I had heard this great new song they looked at me like I was an alien. Apparently it’s already way over among the middle school set. So summer means my musical tastes revert to 8th grade? So be it. Anyway, when I finally DID jump on this glorious, glorious bandwagon, I literally listened to the song 20 times in one day. I went to the gym over lunch and pounded out 4 miles while listening to nothing but this song on repeat. And I came home that night and made a music video to it with Lauren. I don’t care if you’re the indiest indie that ever indied, YOU LOVE THIS SONG. Don’t pretend like you’re too good for it–I promise you you’re not.
(A whole bunch more contenders after the jump…)
Also in the bubblegum pop division we have One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” According to my 8th graders this song is even MORE over than “Call Me Maybe,” but to me it is still just beginning. The whole resurgence-of-boy-bands thing is a bit confusing to me, but I’m just going to enjoy it now before the LFOs and the 98 Degrees of the 2010s start to proliferate the market.
Another obvious choice is “We Are Young” by fun. I already wrote about it here, but it’s got the whole relevant-to-graduation thing going on (historical precedent: “Good Riddance” by Green Day) which cannot hurt its cause.
While scouting my Summer Mix I found Tanlines and their song “All of Me,” and I will never be the same. Their name leaves no doubt about what sound they are going for and they just HIT IT. Their entire album (along with Lemonade’s album “Diver”) kind of represent all that I want summer to be.
This will never become the official Song of Summer, but Dirty Projectors’ “Gun Has No Trigger” might be the song most deserving of the title. No song will make you feel cooler while driving with the windows down, or your money back! The cool, driving beat reminds me of those last few seconds of the Mad Men theme song
, and I can’t imagine a better few bars of music. I never feel cooler than when I’m watching the last few seconds of those opening credits, when that silhouette man is sitting on the couch and the swingy “bum, ba bum, ba bum” stuff is going on. (I miss you already, Mad Men!)
One song that has no possible chance of actually becoming the Song of Summer but I’m including it anyway because I love it and this is my blog is “Houseboat Babies” by Reptar. First of all, five gold stars for naming your band after a fictional children’s character on a children’s show from the 90s. That alone is enough to make me want to listen to your band. But this song just has that undefinable summer sound and when I hear it my shoulders are powerless to remain still.
But so far my top pick for (my) song of the summer is “I Love It” by Icona Pop. I don’t know what’s in the Swedish water but they just make pop stars a little bit better. (See also: Robyn.)
Honestly, there are probably more songs that will be in the running. But they probably play exclusively on Top 40 radio, and I generally don’t listen to Top 40 radio (except for when I flip over during commercials just to check if they’re playing “Call Me Maybe”) so I don’t really know about them yet.
Which song do you think will rise above the rest and win the coveted title? And, more importantly, what is YOUR Song of Summer 2012?
P.S. — If you’re looking for more groovin’ summer jamz, check out my playlist “Summer 2012” on Spotify 🙂