It isn’t officially summer yet, but it is officially time to start watching out for the Song of the Summer.
The SOTS, that special anthem that serves as the back drop for your barbecues, pool parties, boat outings, roller rink get togethers, sock hops, Father’s Days, late night fires, tailgates, and anything else that happens in the summer months. More importantly, the Song of the Summer will forever be linked with its particular year. For the rest of your life the Song of the Summer can take you back to the time and place where you heard it. Whether it be a barbecue, a pool party, a boating outing, a roller rink get together, a sock hop, Father’s Day, a late night fire, a tailgate, etc.
But how do you figure out which song is crowned the Song of the Summer? Some people like to use objective criteria like chart position. I think numbers can be helpful, but Song of the Summer is about more than numbers. The Song of the Summer is like hardcore pornography, I know it when I see it and I enjoy listening to it while on the treadmill. I have certain things I look for when looking for the Song of the Summer. Is it rocking stadiums? Does it give me that indescribable summer feeling? Do girls yell ” omg YAASSSSSSSSSS” and run to the dance floor when it comes on? These things are more important to me than the numbers.
This list will be updated periodically depending on how the race for Song of the Summer develops. In some years the contender emerges early and runs away with it. In which case I’ll probably stop updating this. But in some years, like 2015, a clear winner never really separates from the pack. With these things in mind, here is my initial watch list of Song of the Summer contenders for summer 2016:
6. I Took a Pill in Ibiza- Mike Posner
Pros: I’m not the biggest fan of EDM type stuff. I don’t even know much about it so I call it “EDM type stuff.” But I can get down with songs that sound like this.
Cons: The lyrics are a downer. It’s summertime and you’re taking pills, try cheering up a little bit, Mike. I’m probably doing it wrong by listening to the lyrics when it comes to EDM type stuff.
5. Work from Home- Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign
Pros: I appreciate that it is coming out with a strong position in favor of telework. Hard to top the hook in terms of catchiness. Ty Dolla $ign does a passable 50 cent impression.
Cons: Did it peak too early? It is going strong now but will it have momentum deep into the summer? I also just don’t know if it gets me there as the song to carry the banner of 2016.
4. Panda- Desiigner
Pros: Pandas are adorable, first of all. Just want to be on the record about that. This song seems to ratchet up the enthusiasm on the dance floor from “lit” to “ratchet.”
Cons: Something most Songs of the Summer have is singability. This doesn’t have that catchy chorus or hook that people can sing along to..other than the word “Panda.” It’ll stay in the summer rotation but I don’t think it has what it takes to move up the rankings.
3. Can’t Stop the Feeling- Justin Timberlake
Pros: This is a real contender because it has just about everything you look for in the Song of the Summer. It’s already getting heavy play in stadiums and bars. It’s very catchy and it even orders you to “dance, dance, dance.”
Cons: I can’t put my finger on it, but it is missing something. It seems a little like it was manufactured specifically to be Song of the Summer instead of sliding into the role naturally. I think it seems like it is trying too hard. It’s like the “Who’s Who Among American High School Students” of songs. I’m going to keep an open mind on it though.
2. Don’t Let Me Down- The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
Pros: Is this EDM type stuff? I think so, but it’s the kind I like because it actually has a chorus and/or lyrics. This is the type of song that has a lot of versatility, it is good for any venue or occasion. Especially an occasion where you don’t want someone to let you down. Daya is great.
Cons: No glaring weakness, but I think it’s a little less catchy than some of the contenders that are sure to emerge.
1. One Dance- Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla
Pros: If there’s any artist out there who makes girls yell “YAASSSSSS” and run to the dance floor more than any other, it might be Drake (though they never call him on his cell phone). The beat here is danceable even for the guys who normally prefer to stand by the bar, nodding their heads and checking their wordpress blogs. The dancehall sound even makes you think of being on a beach, preferably on an island. Just like the last two songs, this is versatile in terms of where it can be played. And I think it definitely could have staying power, not just through the summer but through the years.
Cons: Even though it is sure to stay in the rotation all summer, it may just be lacking that Song of the Summer feel to win the title. Let’s give it a few weeks to see how if it takes the throne.
Keep your ears to the ground and feel free to hit up our Song of the Summer tip line if you think there’s one we need to consider.