First things first, it's still summer (as if you couldn't tell from this week's heat wave).
That out of the way, whether your seasonal mantra at this point is ENDLESS SUMMER! or END THIS SUMMER! – and there are plenty of legitimate arguments for each – there's undoubtedly been a soundtrack to go along. The annual notion of a Song of the Summer, one that captures the seasonal musical zeitgeist, is traditionally a jam, a banger, if you will, though there are no rules. There are those songs that tend to float to the top, the ones that seem to have the most mentions in listener polls and such. The readers of music website Stereogum had Kate Bush's resurgent classic "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" narrowly beating out Beyoncé's "Break My Soul," for example, while Billboard called it for Harry Styles' "As It Was."
But your Song(s) of the Summer can just as legitimately be those that do it for you, even if it's you alone. Music and taste remain intensely personal, after all, so with that in mind we've once again selected our own Songs of the Summer, and the results are as varied as you might expect. Compare and contrast with yours, and find these and more collected in a playlist at the end of the post.
Alisha Sweeney, Host/ Local Music Director
Sudan Archives - "Selfish Soul" At the heart of this track is celebrating the diversity of women's hair, and moreso, our womanhood and what makes us unique. What makes this song of (my) summer is how I feel every time I put it on---strong, cool, empowered. The bassline is catchy, the handclaps are infectious and the confidence in Brittney Parks, aka Sudan Archives' voice is captivating, like an idyllic sunset in summer. Runner-up track: "It's Corn!"
Demi Harvey, Host, Serve It!/Digital and Social Media Editor
Steve Lacy (feat. Foushee) - "Sunshine" With a brand new album Gemini Rights, Steve Lacy returns on his third LP with more funky neo-soul sounds. This album is not only perfect for road tripping, but it makes the most relaxing soundtrack to any summer activity. A standout track is his collaboration with sweet and soulful California singer Foushee. This isn’t their first collaboration together and their chemistry within their musicality continues to build and flow on “Sunshine”. It’s a feel good, romantic tune that has been on repeat for me since its release.
Willobee Carlan, Program Director
Diana Ross (feat. Tame Impala) - "Turn up the Sunshine" For obvious reasons, summer is about turning up the sunshine, taking advantage of what Colorado has to offer and enjoying outdoor concerts. Not to mention, Diana Ross is an iconic artist that transcends genre, case in point, this collaboration with Tame Impala. As the lead track from the Jack Antonoff-produced motion picture soundtrack of the year, it’s just fun and makes you wanna put the top down, turn it up and cruise to the beach.
Jason Thomas, Host/Music Director
Alex G - "Runner" I heard Alex G’s name mentioned recently as “one of the great American songwriters.” You might notice the lack of qualifiers in that statement. When I heard that, I realized that I’ve always had respect for his work but wasn’t quite ready to go that far. After spending time with “Runner” this summer I’m in no mood to push back on that statement.
Zach Gilltrap, Producer/Weekend Host
Failure - "Submarines" Okay, so it’s not a 2022 release but after seeing Failure play the Bluebird at the start of summer this year, one of their songs from their 2021 album Wild Type Droid just stuck with me. “Submarines” a track echoing what I and what I think a good amount of people felt and are still feeling about lockdown, a song about (and I’m quoting the band here), “coming back to the surface, putting away your armor, ignoring willful idiocy, and getting back to life after a trauma. We’ve collectively lost our innocence with this plague, and we need to fight the reflex to close-up and sink like a stone when risk and threat and fear seem to be everywhere.” And since it’s Failure, it just, um... rocks. I’ll steal from Alisha Sweeney here and say my runner up would be Weezer’s “A Little Bit of Love”.
Bruce Trujillo, Host/Especial
Tobe Nwigwe (feat. Fat Nwigwe, Pharrell Williams, Earthgang) - "LORD FORGIVE ME" As always, you can expect the entire package from Tobe Nwigwe. It isn’t just a listening experience, it’s an experience top to bottom. Sonically and visually, Nwigwe creates his own minty universe and the rest of us get to take short peeks in through his highly monochromatic, choreographed and stunning music videos. His new album, moMINTs, is full of back and forth between musical friends, and of course his wife, Fat, but the one that stands out is “LORD FORGIVE ME.” It’s an earworm, to be sure, but it also features a hip hop, and at this point, cultural icon: Pharrell Williams. Tobe and Fat protect what’s theirs between Pharrell’s approval and prayer, one that is on repeat this summer.
Jeremy Petersen, Morning Host
Hovvdy - "Ruby" "Why? Am I floating" (sic) - a listener on YouTube, reacting to this shimmering gem from the Austin duo Hovvdy with what seems to be a question (though the answer is obvious). Ma'am, you are floating because such is the power of "Ruby," at once buoyant and nostalgic, like the breeze through your hair on your way to the lake that time with the top down. After the heavy weight of the last two years, it's almost as if what I needed in a summer song was something that let me drop that weight, if only for three perfect minutes – and this one did that again and again. I should also mention that it was strong enough to hold off a late summer push from Hot Chip's absolute banger "Eleanor," and the song that's actually the most catchy thing to be released this summer: "It's Corn!"
Stream these and more on our Spotify playlist!
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