In the annual battle for the Song of the Summer, there’s usually some type of competition. This year that’s not the case — it’s not even close.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the inarguable song that will forever be attached to the last summer of the 2010s. But in order to make this a full column, we’ve got to check out who else is even in the same orbit.
Billie Eilish - "Bad Guy"
I never thought I’d hear such a weird, disjointed alt-pop song like this on mainstream radio. Now I can’t stop hearing it everywhere. Its wobbly chord progression and loose structure are so far from the other music that’s topping the charts. It also gets bonus points for being the biggest song to feature such prominent use of the word “Duh!”
DaBaby - "Suge"
There’s a very good chance that hip-hop artist DaBaby will end up in the “Rappers from the 2010s with One Hit” category with artists like Desiigner, Fetty Wap and Sheck Wes. But this is his moment with this minimalist banger.
Suzie and Dustin from "Stranger Things" - "The NeverEnding Story"
Whether you liked it or not, one of the stand-out scenes from “Stranger Things 3” was actors Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo dueting this 1984 hit by Limahl via CB radio. I’m not sure how many younger people even know of the movie, but a catchy song is a catchy song.
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber - "I Don’t Care"
When two of the most boring modern pop artists collaborate, the title of the song really speaks to my reaction to it.
Lizzo - "Truth Hurts"
While she doesn’t have the defining song of the summer, it can be argued that rapper and singer Lizzo is having the best summer of any new artist. Her song “Juice” is in multiple commercials, she’s selling out shows nationwide, and this ditty, a plunky, hip-hop/piano empowerment jam, is her exact sonic aesthetic — audacious, fun, profane and overflowing with charisma.
Heck, by the time this comes out Lizzo could be on another remix of the official Song of the Summer.
Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug and Mason Ramsey - “Old Town Road (Remix)”
While the original “Old Town Road” was released in December 2018, the song has taken a journey of its own, with three remixes getting radio play. The latest version, adding rapper Young Thug and country music/meme star Mason Ramsey to the existing Billy Ray Cyrus remix, will continue its summer-long dominance on the Billboard Hot 100.
It’s one of the biggest songs of the decade, sharing space with the likes of previous Song of the Summer champions like Boyz II Men and Los Del Rio. And there might be more, as Lil Nas X has said on Twitter he’d love to have everyone from Mariah Carey to Dolly Parton on it.
— ANDREW GAUG | ST. JOE LIVE