“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen: Okay, I know what you’re all thinking, “That song is generic and being repeated a thousand times on the radio? Really? Really Stephanie?!” But, yes. It’s a good summer pop song. Remember the days of “California Gurls” and “Blow” and other I’ve-heard-this-so-many-times-I-want-to-barf songs that come on in the summer and then remarkably every time you hear them you think, “Wow, what an awesome summer?” This is 2012’s version of that song. Catchy, with the chorus dominating the entirety of the song (making it easier to remember) and almost too sugary you seriously believe you might go into a coma post listen; that’s this song. The music is generic with string ensemble courtesy Apple’s garage band (no doubt) and a basic beat that makes it easy to bounce around your apartment to. The lyrics are nothing great, no depth or insight, but it does give confidence to those young listeners. It’s a girl giving her number to a guy. Coy, cute, and slightly embarrassed, this song promotes female action and not inaction when it comes to that first awkward introduction. Why is it always up to the guy? Come on, girls, we have femme-balls! Best line: “And all the other boys try to chase me, so call me maybe.”
“Midnight City” by M83: Okay, without a doubt if you have walked into a Forever Twenty-One or hipster dive bar, you have heard this song. With a beat reminiscent of 80s pop and softly spoken or sung vocals, this song takes the cake in did-I-step-into-a-wormhole-and-end-up-in-1984-somehow singles. Off of the most recent album from M83, the French solo (once duo) continues to awe with their reverb focused electronic pop music. Not going to lie, was pretty sure I fell in love with this song when I first heard it, wishing the rest of the world would soon follow in benevolent worship because despite the repetitious beat, this song digs deep into your subconscious where an “I love the 80s” sticker sits waiting for recognition.
“Warrior” by Kimbra (feat. Mark Foster and A-Trak): This song has become one of my favorites, often times put on repeat much at the annoyance of anyone around me. Kimbra, also known as that girl in the “Somebody I Used to Know” song and video, delights with her vocals once again, with the beats of A-Trak and guest vocals from Mark Foster (of Foster the People). This song is actually part of an advertisement for Converse sneakers (there is my plug), but despite its origins, it kicks some serious electro-pop ass. Like any good dance-based song, it uses repetitive rhythm and beats to encourage hip swivels and head bopping. Also, friendly tip, good for highway driving.
“Some Nights” by fun.: Okay, we all know that I am truly and rightly obsessed with Nate and his musical and lyrical kingdom. An original lover and follower of The Format, it was with great pride that I began to follow fun. and enjoyed his musical intensity and imagination with the combination of Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff. Loving songs like “Walking the Dog,” “Benson Hedges,” and “All the Pretty Girls,” it is no surprise that I have fallen head over heels in love with fun.’s second single (“Some Nights”) from their sophomore album of the same name. Gaining popularity this past year with the annoying repetition of “We Are Young” (another single I actually enjoy), fun. was able to propel themselves into commercial success. Usually having a feeling of disgust when a band “sells out,” I have nothing but love for these guys. They are doing something so beautiful, and undoubtedly for them, something that they have striven for. What I love about this track is the use of percussion. The anthemic chorus is beautiful, as well. It’s so easy to sing along to, even shout to. And they are relatable thoughts. I have so many favorite lyrical moments from this song that it’s hard to choose. I always agree with and shout out “Who the FUCK wants to die alone?” Never one to hide from sharing some of this life, Nate often brings up familiar feelings about growing up, leaving home, questioning about love, life, and pursuits of happiness. It’s a great summer song, and especially one for those twenty-somethings that are floundering looking for what their passion and calling are. Only negative (sorry guys!) is the use of auto-tune. Nate, I know you can do so much vocally, why did you use auto-tune?!
“Heartbeats” by The Knife: And I now throw in my wrench, my relative unknown, my indie song, my not-commercially-known anthem for the summer. This song was introduced to me LAST summer, and I have yet to STOP listening to it. An electro-pop song that is crudely constructed (comparatively speaking to the above mentioned songs), this underground gem sounds like a nintendo game met classic Asian music and they gave birth to an 80s pop addiction. Give it a listen and you will not be able to stop listening to it. It vibes with the summer sun. Just put it on and let yourself sink into it.