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Each year as the weather gets warmer, DJ’s and other music aficionados begin debating and speculating as to which track will be the “song of the summer.”
Exactly what defines this elusive title is unclear. Is this the most requested song on the radio? (Do people still request songs on the radio?) Or is it based on iTunes buys or, now that streaming services are becoming even more prominent, Spotify plays? Does the song have to be released during the summer, or can it have been out for several months but only reach its full popularity around June?
For example, Carly Rae Jepson’s viral hit “Call Me Maybe” was released in February of 2012, but went on to become the number one song of that summer, according to the Billboard charts. An earlier release might help contenders reach their peak once summer hits, as they’ve been in rotation longer. Or sometimes a single fizzles out right before the season starts, not getting as much traction as the artist had hoped for or being overshadowed by larger hits.
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Then, there’s the question of content. Does the song itself have to be about summer? There have been many contenders that are obviously trying for the distinction. From Calvin Harris’ “Summer” last year to Maroon 5’s somewhat odd “This Summer” or Demi Lovato’s just-released “Cool for the Summer,” artists seem to think that we need glaring neon signs to indicate that their song is going to dominate our pool party playlists.
I have already read several articles on which song will be this summer’s biggest hit. Surprisingly, many of the choices are newcomers or previously unknown artists.
Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” is getting a lot of airplay, but the powerful anthem isn’t quite the upbeat party jam that usually wins out.
“Cheerleader” by Jamaican artist OMI wasn’t even released this year and it’s currently the 2nd most popular song on iTunes and fourth on the Billboard chart. For a song from 2012, that’s pretty good.
“Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd is another contender. While it’s not currently at the top of the Billboard charts, the catchy R&B track is number 1 on iTunes and might skyrocket on Billboard by the end of the summer.
Conspicuously missing from this year’s choices are the usual suspects. Big-names like Ke$ha and Katy Perry haven’t released any new music, but one heavy-hitter with a big presence this summer is Taylor Swift.
Still on her way to world domination, whether you like it or not, Swift’s “Style” and “Bad Blood” have both been in heavy circulation this summer.
A remixed version of “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar is currently at the top of the charts, but the current number one song on Billboard is “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. Written for the Furious 7 soundtrack, the track pays tribute to the late Furious star Paul Walker. It’s a more subdued song than in past years, but if it keeps its current position it could be the biggest hit of this summer.
If I could choose which song defines this summer, my pick would be “Shut Up and Dance” by indie outfit Walk the Moon. The fact that the song has done as well as it has so far on mainstream charts speaks to the overall catchiness and appeal of the crossover hit. It’s spunky, upbeat and, of course, danceable.
What is your pick for the 2015’s song of the summer? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
I'm a rising senior at Brandeis University, studying business, American Studies and journalism. I'm a music obsessive, aspiring photographer and foodie who just returned from an amazing semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland.