“Song of the Summer” is one of the most talked-about honorifics in pop music. The beginning of summer is the perfect time to release a breezy, upbeat hit destined to dominate radio for months on end. Last year’s winner, “Fancy,” was no exception. But what song will take the crown this year? Here are some contenders:
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
The star-studded video for “Bad Blood” broke the all-time first day record on Vevo, helping the song explode in sales and airplay and end up on top of the Hot 100. It’s just in time, too: tracking for the Song of the Summer starts with next Thursday’s chart.
Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
The band first made waves on the Alternative chart a few years ago with “Anna Sun.” Now they’re a pop sensation with “Shut Up and Dance,” the happiest song since, well, “Happy.” It has all the joy that a summer hit should.
Nicki Minaj x3
Nicki’s chart success is a bit unpredictable. She’s gone from a successful single to a failure to another hit too many times to count. She’s currently climbing the charts with three tracks: David Guetta’s “Hey Mama,” “Feeling Myself” (feat. Beyonce), and a solo turn on “The Night is Still Young.” All three feel like summer hits, but if you’re placing bets, place yours on the infectious “Hey Mama.”
OMI – “Cheerleader”
Music-identifying app Shazam has become a remarkably reliable predictor of hits. Currently, it’s foreseeing big things for “Cheerleader,” a catchy, though lyrically sparse, reggae/pop tune. The song has already gone to #1 in the UK.
Rachel Platten – “Fight Song”
In the tradition of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and Katy Perry’s “Roar,” “Fight Song” is a jubilant ode to self-appreciation and perseverance. The previously unknown Platten broke through when the song was used in an ad for CBS’ Supergirl.
Maroon 5 – “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt…”
The Adam Levine-led band is a consistent hitmaker, and their latest is off to a great start. And what better way to get the Song of the Summer than to put “summer” right in the title?