PMC MAG’S SONGS OF THE SUMMER 2014
Our Staff Counts Down Their Summer Jams of 2014
By PMc Magazine Staff
The official first day of Summer is still a couple weeks away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start enjoying 2014′s songs of the Summer a bit early, does it? We decided to list for you our top ten songs that we think will be the ubiquitous Summer jams of the season–the ones that you won’t be able to turn off for the next few months when you’re laying out on the beach, chilling on your stoop, dancing in the club, or lounging on the roof, soaking up the sun.
We’ve been listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s breakout single “Girls Chase Boys” since early this Spring, but it’s only recently started to get the radio play it deserves. Maybe that’s for the best? As the song has the perfect attitude for Summer song dominance. Not only that: it’s by far her catchiest tune yet, infectious as all get out, and it’s got a great little idea about the “love game” at its heart: All the broken hearts in the world still beat, let’s not make it harder than it has to be, ohohohohohohoh, it’s all the same thing, girls chase boys chase girls.
Hopefully by Summer proper the ubiquity of Pharrell’s “Happy” will begin to diminish. Due to the radio overplaying it, that song is beginning to elicit in us the exact opposite emotion than the one it promotes. The best way to get a single to go away is to have another of the same singer’s singles steal the spotlight from the previous single. Here’s hoping the jangly guitars of “Come Get It Bae” will do the trick. Pharrell could have one of the Summer’s biggest jams with Miley’s help–and Miley is some good help to have since “We Can’t Stop” was one of the biggest Summer jams last year. “Come Get It Bae” is the perfect song to play in your convertible with the top down under a bright hot sun as a gentle breeze whips your hair across your cheek.
Word on the street had been that Robyn was suffering from writer’s block and feared she’d never top her work on the various Body Talk albums. Her anxiety was valid–she had set the bar quite high. Well, the question of whether Robyn would ever make songs as catchy as the ones on Body Talk is now 100% put to rest with this dance anthem. Apparently all she needed to do to rediscover her muse was to join a band. And she chose a great band to join: Norwegian EDM duo Röyksopp. The trio have described “Do It Again” as an “accidental pop song.” Whether accident or not, this little slab of sophisticated funk is dance-pop gold and is sure to be blaring from boomboxes down every city block. It’s the kind of song that right as it ends makes you feel the need to press play another time. Let’s do it again.
Kiesza’s “Hideaway” will likely never dominate the pop charts, but this catchy Canadian export will be rocking dancefloors everywhere this Summer. It sounds like a song from another time–a happier time, the 90s, when our greatest worry was whether our President had stuck a cigar in his intern. “Hideaway” could almost be a song by one of those 90s dance divas like Robin S. or CeCe Peniston. Yet there’s also something distinctly current about it that keeps it contemporary while stroking that nostalgia gene in all of us, especially at this time of year when the sun is out and the excitement for life is palpable.
Becky G’s feel good bubblegum pop song “Shower” isn’t racing up the charts like some of the others on this list, but instead it’s slowly building a following–the perfect recipe for Summer jam ubiquity. The sugar sweet song is not blowing its load too early like Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” but instead slowly burrowing into our ears and staying there. What’d the tortoise teach the hare? That slow and steady wins the race–and that’s never more true than in the blistering heat of the Summer. Trust us, when you’re washing off after a long day at the beach this Summer, it’ll be this song that you’ll be singing in the shower, ladade ladada ladada.
Iggy Azalea’s pseudo-Stefani pop-rap party anthem “Fancy” could have made this list–hell, it probably could have topped the list because it’ll likely still be everywhere this Summer. But though hearing Azalea’s braggadocio over those electro synth stabs is pretty unavoidable at the moment, we think the song may have peaked too early in terms of radio-ubiquity. But her collaboration with Ariana Grande we think has yet to peak. Ariana Grande’s “The Way” was last year’s throwback Summer jam. It sounded like a ghost of Summers past, specifically like J. Lo at the turn of the millennium. Her newest track, “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea, is likely to take this Summer by storm in the same way “The Way” did last year, by repeating that throwback J. Lo vibe. Somehow she managed to make this song sound even more J.Lo-ish. If she continues on this trajectory, Grande may end up on a boat with Ben Affleck. We wouldn’t mind, though Jennifer Garner might. But the Summer needs its tabloid stories too, in addition to its amazing Summer jams.
Though Calvin Harris’ “Summer” certainly wants it more, we believe Sia’s stab at pop stardom will end up eking out a victory as the ultimate song of the Summer. Sia has long been a critics’ darling, and she’s been all over the Billboard charts as a writer for pop princesses like Rihanna and Britney Spears and as a featured vocalist on rap and dance artists’ hits, but her own singles have never really crossed over into the mainstream (even though they’ve all been quite amazing). “Chandelier” feels like it might have the legs to finally make that leap, yet it never feels like it’s trying hard to do so. Sia doesn’t even appear in the video; instead, she has a prepubescent girl from the reality TV show Dance Moms dancing around with a creepy Heath-Ledger-as-the-Joker smile in a platinum Sia wig. The video, like the song, doesn’t immediately impress upon you its brilliance, but both stick with you. They’re unnerving, even as they’re both catchy and fun. So when you first hear it, if you somehow haven’t yet, you might not immediately think: “Oh, this is the ultimate Summer jam for 2014.” But after a few listens, you’ll likely realize, as we soon did, that this seeming party anthem with it’s subtly sad lyrics is the perfect song for all moods in all seasons. It’s gonna kill this Summer….and beyond…
Written and Compiled by PMc Magazine Staff
Photography Courtesy of RCA
Design by Francesca Rimi
Film Still from the “Chandelier” Music Video, Photography Courtesy of RCA