Do you feel it? The warmth on your body? The brightness in your eyes you must combat by wearing Wayfarer-style sunglasses? The moisture in your armpits that accumulates as you wait on the subway platform and then freezes against your body once you are on the train itself? Yes, friends, it is Summer. And that means it is time for Song. Of the Summer.
Yes, my fellow music enthusiasts, the sun has kissed our faces yet again. No longer are we confined to listening to podcasts, ambient background sounds, conversations, reruns of Frasier on Netflix, and the racing, anxious thoughts that characterize our inner monologues. Now that it is Summer, we can also listen to Song. Of Summer.
We get but one of them a year, one Song, every Summer that we are allowed to listen to, on repeat, from whenever it gets hot in May until whenever it gets cold in September. We must choose wisely, for we cannot stop listening to it, or decide on an alternate Song once it’s mid-July and we’ve gotten sick of Song. One Song to rule them all, one Song to find them. One Song to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
Which Song will be Our Song? Of the Summer? I have carefully weighed the contenders, considering them from all angles, and have laid out their pros and cons below. My findings should be considered scientific and binding, and shall not be questioned. If you disagree with my conclusions about the Song of the Summer, you can always text me your dissent at 828-675-8574, but honestly I’m probably not going to listen to you. I’m not even listening to myself here. I am like zombie Dale Cooper, simply channeling the whims of a shadowy world into actions I do not fully understand. For Summer itself is speaking through me, directing me to choose Song. Of Summer. Let us begin.
Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber – “Despacito”
According to Billboard’s Song of the Summer chart, which combines “radio airplay audience impressions,” “sales data,” and “streaming activity data from online music sources,” this summer’s hottest song is “Despacito.” And while Billboard’s cunning use of Big Data is certainly helpful when determining the Song of the Summer, Big Data is also what helped Donald Trump and Brexit happen, plus Justin Bieber is a fucking idiot and forgot the words to his own number one hit and replaced them with lyrics that were childish at best and racist at worst. Legally, this song cannot be the Song of the Summer because Justin Bieber is from Canada, where Summer does not exist. The original version, with only Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, is the true Song of the Summer.
The Calvin Harris Song with Migos and Frank Ocean
Like Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” the Song of Summer 1991, The Calvin Harris Song with Migos and Frank Ocean is an example of an artist who rose from the underground, built up an immense fan base, and cashed in by making an unabashed pop song. Metallica teamed up with producer Bob Rock a.k.a. The Guy Who Produced a Bunch of Hair Metal Albums for their crossover play; Frank cliqued up with Calvin Harris a.k.a. The Guy Who Makes Songs of the Summer and Migos a.k.a. Migos. Without a doubt, The Calvin Harris Song with Migos and Frank Ocean is the Song of the Summer.
French Montana feat. Swae Lee – “Unforgettable”
An important quality in a Song of the Summer is that lots of them get released way before the Summer that they dominate and just languish around in a state of semi-death until Summer hits and then all of a sudden get really popular. This also happened to Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” which was released in the year 1978 but had to wait until Summer 2015 to become a Number One Hit Record. Given that it was released in December, “Unforgettable” fulfils this requirement. Therefore, it is the Song of the Summer.
Whatever Lil Uzi Vert Song Happens to Be Popular Right Now
Teens like Lil Uzi Vert, right? I don’t know, because I’m so old that I’m basically dead. Anyways, school is out and the teens are out vaping, and they’re listening to Whatever Lil Uzi Vert Song Is Popular Right Now while they’re doing it, and that Song, whatever it may be, is the Song of the Summer.
A Song by a Former Member of One Direction
One day soon, it will always be Summer, and we will be forced to listen to but one Song every single day. If Summer is perpetual, we cannot pick a new Song to listen to, so we must choose wisely. Perhaps if Canada becomes so hot that they get a real Summer, Justin Bieber will be able to make that Song. Until then, there are multiple members of One Direction with solo careers, and one of them, probably, has made the Song of the Summer.
Enrique Iglesias – “Bailamos”
Nothing is forbidden anymore, even all of us deciding en masse that an 18-year-old song from the Wild Wild West soundtrack is the Song of the Summer. I have been floating “Bailamos” trial balloons with my friends whenever we’re hanging outside and they let me control the Bluetooth, and I gotta tell you––the song kills. Nobody ever expects it to come on, everybody knows the words, and inevitably everybody starts talking about those Now That’s What I Call Music compilations they used to buy when they were in fifth grade.
Satanarchist – “Silver Ships of Andlair”
Satanarchist’s name is pretty self-explanatory. They are anarchists, and they make extremely loud music that skews the line between crust punk and metal. If you don’t have time to listen to their new album, First Against the Wall, in its entirety, you should listen to the album’s closing track, which is a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Silver Ships of Andlair.” Play this song on the way to joining up with the Black Bloc, or while amping yourself up to do all other sorts of fun Antifa activities, and then burn all of your money and stand real close to the flames. It’ll probably make you sweat, but it’s Summer so you were probably sweating already. Props to Noisey’s own Kim Kelly, who suggested that Satanarchist may just have made the Song of the Summer.
Tradition – “The Breathtaking Blast”
Summer means many things, but mostly it means, as Axl Rose famously once said, you gotta gimme some reggae. Or in this case, you should be giving Axl Rose some dub by the legendary Jamaican group Tradition, specifically, the song “The Breathtaking Blast.” It’s from their just-reissued album Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol, which if you couldn’t guess by the title is a sci-fi dub album about space. In space, no one can hear that you’re high, and that is why this is the Song of the Summer.
Your Own Blood-Curdling Screams Into the Void
Man, you’ve really been listening to a lot of Satanarchist lately, haven’t you? Why don’t you join in on their politicized misanthropy by adding Your Own Blood-Curtling Screams Into the Void to the mix? No, there’s not a band called Your Own Blood-Curdling Screams into the Void or anything, but now that it’s Summer, maybe you should go into a nice, hot, empty field and scream. Or go on a hike to a top of a mountain and scream there. Or jump into a pool and see if you can scream underwater. Could be cool! Screaming into the void doesn’t have to be desperate or sad, it can be cathartic. Or, if you’re super sad and want to scream about it, that’s chill too. No judgments here, just advice on the best Songs of the Summer.
Every Song off of Chief Keef’s Thot Breaker
Social media plays a large role in determining the Song of the Summer. And when I asked Twitter what the Song of the Summer was, my friend Justin a.k.a. @BauceSauce replied, “Every single song off Thot Breaker.” For those not “in the know,” Thot Breaker is a project that Chief Keef has been promising for years which he finally released this week. It consists of extremely warped hip-hop tunes that oscillate between delicate pop and straight-up experimental music, and it is decidedly the shit. I had so much trust in Chief Keef and Thot Breaker that I lobbied for it to be named VICE Magazine‘s Album of the Month in January 2015 despite having not heard it and not realizing that it wouldn’t come out for two years. Each track on it is equally the Song of the Summer.
Future Days is a weekly column by Drew Millard. If you agree or disagree with what he writes, feel free to text him at 828-675-8574.
Drew Millard used to work at Noisey, but now he doesn’t, so now he has this column. He lives in North Carolina with his dog. Follow him on Twitter.
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