There are many great things that we have imported from the US. And then there are things that have arrived over here from across the Atlantic that don’t catch on and make you scratch your head with bemusement.
One of these things is definitely the song of the summer. Every year around this time, it seems as if American music fans are obsessed with the notion of the song of summer.
They want one track to sum up the season and they go to great lengths to crown one song to rule them all. In recent years, tunes such as Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Katy Perry’s California Gurls, the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling or Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe have been deemed by general consent to be the ones that sum up the summer months. The song of the summer must be melodic, carefree and infectious. It helps if it mentions “summer” or “sun” too.
The problem with this import for Irish music fans is that we don’t really have a summer in these parts. We get what we call a summer, which is a couple of days here and there when the temperature goes over 20 degrees, the sun appears in a cloudless sky and everyone skives off to the nearest park or beach to give out about how hot it is.
It’s telling that one of the few homegrown summer songs is Bagatelle’s Summer in Dublin and that kicker about the Liffey stinking like hell. We also remember Mundy’s July more for the dogs than anything else.
Stateside right now, they’re working through the current clutch of radio-friendly hits seeking to be the song of the summer. Drake’s One Dance is in the mix, Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s This Is What You Came For is in the running and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling is probably way out ahead at this stage. There are also a couple of nods for less obvious tracks such as Desiigner’s hip-hop anthem Panda, Fifth Harmony’s sleeper Work From Home and Major Lazer’s Cold Water. At least they also have the summer weather to go with the song.
Justin Timberlake: contender