Summer is still a few weeks away, and music fans and journalists are already trying to predict the song of the summer. The uncertainty around this topic is causing job stress, strain in personal relationships and volatility in the markets. And has anyone else noticed that it’s been getting warmer for, like, months?
And what does “song of the summer” even mean? Well, the quick answer is that it’s the song that spends the most summer weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It’s usually something peppy, mindless and fun. Last year it was “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen. In 2011 it was LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and in 2010 it was “California Gurls” by Katy Perry.
And while summer isn’t here yet, the frontrunners are already decided: 2013’s song of the summer will either be Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us,” Mariah Carey’s “Beautiful” or maybe Ariana Grande’s “The Way.”
There. That was easy enough. Now we’ve gone to the trouble of compiling a few tunes that only have an outside shot at earning the title of 2013’s song of the summer.
1. “I Take a Picture” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: Despite its summery pop vibe, and the fact that it premiered on the season finale of American Idol, the song doesn’t feel as organic as “Call Me Maybe.” That might be because its main riff is Coca-Cola’s audio signature and because the lyrics were decided by fan voting.
Summeriest lyric: “Flying kites with boy wonder / Hold tight to me all summer.”
2. “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: The song of the summer is supposed to be light and peppy. Del Rey’s voice is a coat filled with rocks and the music is a paralyzing agent.
Summeriest lyric: “All that grace, all that body / All that face makes me wanna party / He's my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds”
3. “Neurotic Society” by Lauryn Hill.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” was a summer hit 15 years ago. This is way angrier.
Summeriest lyric: “Get up stand up / Cast Lucifer out / Shake it up baby / Watch them twist and then shout”
4. “Humiliation” by the National.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: The National’s Trouble Will Find Me is one of the spring’s most anticipated albums, and this is its most summery track, but in keeping with the National’s whole deal, it’s still maudlin as all get out.
Summeriest lyric: “All the L.A. women fall asleep while swimming / I got paid to fish 'em out, and then one day I lost the job”
5. “It’s My Life” by Cezar.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: This was Romania’s entry in this year’s Eurovision song contest. It won’t be the song of the summer because you’re not ready for it, because you’re not a Transylvanian disco count.
Summeriest lyric: “Love is so deep / And it makes my life complete / Like a mountain in the sky / Love is high, so high”
6. “Tan Mom Song” by Tan Mom.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: Oh, because it’s the worst. This is that lady who faced child endangerment charges last year for putting her 5-year-old in a tanning bed. But why not let her put out a song? Follow your bliss.
Summeriest lyric: “My name is tan mom / Tanning is the bomb.”
7. “Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton.
Why it won’t be the song of the summer: Um, it came out seven years ago, but it was initially mocked. This could be its year!
Summeriest lyric: None, actually, but the video is on a beach.