It’s that time of year again! The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up and the eternal debate is brewing: what will be the song of the summer? Last summer, a few songs stood out, like Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u”, Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” and Doja Cat’s duet with SZA, “Kiss Me More”. This year’s song of the summer is TBD, but expect every new song released between now and July to compete for the title.
This week’s roundup includes a few I think could be contenders, starting with Khalid:
“Skyline” by Khalid
“Skyline” is Khalid’s most upbeat and funky song to date, a departure from the silky tunes that marked his debut album, american teen, and made him a star. However, the change is welcome, as his powerful voice holds firm alongside the disco-pop tune: “Won’t you take my hand, hop into my skyline?/ It’s only just a reconstruction, but I swear it feel real/ When you take my hand in my passenger side,” he hums on the chorus. “Skyline” arrives just in time to be nominated for song of the summer.
“Honest” by Justin Bieber ft. Don Toliver
After teasing fans with a short and…strange…song titled “I Feel Funny,” Justin Bieber released his real song, “Honest.” Fusing pop and R&B influences, “Honest” is a Bieber classic. Loud synth beats and choppy, upbeat lyrics like “Honest / You’re modest, I like it / You stay down and you’re the baddest / I find you in the cut, I hit it”, make “Honest” similar to some of his previous songs from Goal and Justice. I can’t really go wrong with that.
“JUMPSHOT! by Dreamer Boy
Written and recorded in the midst of the pandemic in 2020, “JUMPSHOT!” is an ode to friendship and freedom (and basketball). The acoustic song is the perfect carefree summer anthem, dripping with nostalgia from ’90s Chicago Bulls-inspired lyrics.”Jumpshot feeling pretty good / All summer we’d play the games again / Afternoon in the sun / Angels in the mud. Dreamer Boy even references Michael Jordan, singing “Twenty-three, what do you mean you’re leaving?”
“everything” by Kehlani
The penultimate track from Kehlani’s new album blue water road, “everything” showcases her smooth, sugary vocals, backed by a dreamlike soundtrack of harps and violin. Lyrics like “Baby, that’s all for me” and “I like the way you teach me / I like the way you listen / You know all my details”, make this song sound almost like a beloved lullaby. “everything” sets the tone for the album, which is noticeably lighter and airier than some of Kehlani’s earlier songs.
“Sleep Tight” by Holly Humberstone
Holly Humberstone fans have been patiently waiting for “Sleep Tight” since the 22-year-old debuted the song earlier this month at Coachella. The song, a light summer track about friendship turned romance, was co-written by 1975’s Matty Hea.ly. “And oh my god, I did it again / Almost killed our friendship and I hope it’s worth it,” she sings on the pre-chorus, which has hints of her signature sound. from the 1975s. Expect Humberstone to sing this track in their opening set for Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR tour.
“Maybe You’re the Problem” by Ava Max
It might be the catchiest breakup song of all time. In the first single from her highly anticipated second album, Ava Max addresses an ex who caused a lot of trouble:You should take your little finger and point it in the mirror, baby/ You might be the problem. Filled with classic ’80s dance beats and a biting hook (where Max says, “It’s not me, it’s you”), this song was made to blast out loud and dance with your girlfriends. .
“It Is What It Is” by Jamie Miller
Jamie Miller has taken the music world by storm, starting with last year’s “Here’s Your Perfect” and continuing with “It Is What It Is”, his third single from his new EP, Shattered memories. “It Is What It Is” is a catchy, classic pop song, powered by Miller’s smooth vocals, occasional rasp and a powerful drum beat. The chorus makes me want to jump and dance: “Guess that’s what it is/ Wrong place, wrong time/ But I couldn’t resist/ Those white lies of the night.”
“Gucci bag” by MAX
“Gucci Bag” is as slick and groovy as it gets. “I’m in my Gucci bag (Yeah)/ Lookin’ so damn fly/ Come and kiss me, babe (Why)/ Take me satellite high,” MAX sings, referring to feeling confident and “flying.” The song represents a new musical chapter for MAX, which returns after its critically acclaimed success. Color vision album, fusing his new songs with the catchy pop beats he is known for.
“Love Me More” by Sam Smith
Grammy and Oscar winner Sam Smith returns with “Love Me More,” their first song since 2020. “Love Me More” is an introspective anthem about self-discovery and finding self-esteem. self, highlighting Smith’s powerful and unique voice. Despite the upbeat, almost beachy melody, the lyrics can be harsh at times: “Have you ever felt like someone else / Feeling like the mirror isn’t good for your health / Every day I try not to hate myself.” However, the song ends on a high note, with Smith finally deciding to “love me more”.
CHAMPAGNE by Valley
Alt-pop band Valley return with “CHAMPAGNE,” a dreamy synth pop song backed by a classic drum beat and guitar riffs. Written on Zoom during the height of the pandemic, “CHAMPAGNE” is about staying positive and reframing the way you view negative situations. The catchy chorus sums it up:I’m not a dreamer, it ain’t always greener / But I’ll turn this pain into champagne.
Credits: Cover image via UMG Recordings.