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RELEVANT’s Top Picks for “Song of the Summer”

We know, summer has just kicked off. There’s so much left of this season, including some music we’re really looking forward to. But leading up to the summer months, artists love to drop small but loud teasers oof their upcoming work to secure the coveted title of “Song of the Summer.” And from what we’ve seen so far, Summer 2022 has some strong contenders.

Calvin Harris ft. Dua Lipa and Young Thug, “Potion”

Back in 2017, Calvin Harris released Funk Waves Bounce Vol. 1, which was full of good vibes and amazing collaborations that quickly became the soundtrack to most of our summers. Earlier this year, Harris announced he’d be bringing the good vibes back with Funk Waves Bounce Vol. 2. The first song on the roster, which features Dua Lipa and Young Thug, focuses on the feeling of falling in love on a summer night. The perfect mood for Summer 2022

Harry Styles, “Music for a Sushi Restaurant”

Harry Styles has been having a great year so far. He headlined Coachella with special guests Shania Twain and Lizzo. He’s set to star in two major films later this. And this summer, he’s released his third album Harry’s House. The album is full of fun bops and delicate lyrics, which you can hear clearly on the album’s lead single “As It Was.” But if we had to pick one song to be our summer anthem, it would be “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.” Hearing Styles sing about his favorite food with trumpets blaring is a little chaotic, but also a whole lot of fun.

KB, nobigdyl., “King Jesus”

Here’s a fun question: One minute into “King Jesus,” are your toes tapping with or without your permission. The two red-hot emcees are at the top of their respective games with this boisterous, defiant, joyous ode to having confidence in your convictions.

Kendrick Lamar, “Die Hard”

We’ve been waiting a long time for Kendrick Lamar to drop new music, and he hath delivered. Mr. Morales and the Big Steppers is a masterpiece, creatively weaving together Lamar’s thoughts on personal and public matters in a way only he can. Together, the album tells an important story. It’s almost hard to separate one track from the others, but there’s something about “Die Hard” that keeps pulling you back for more.

Florence and the Machine, “Free”

Florence Welch will pull you in with her unique voice and sound, but her lyrics are the true star of the show. In “Free,” she sings about the all-too relatable notion of wanting to be freed from your anxiety. If there’s one thing we all want to experience this summer, it’s freedom from our anxiety. Worrying is for the winter — summer is for exploring, adventures, discoveries and so much more. And there’s no better soundtrack than “Free.”

St. Vincent, “Funkytown”

Hear us out: we don’t want to admit that the new Minions soundtrack is good. But we can’t lie — it totally rocks! A ’70s-themed summer soundtrack but with our favorite modern artists? Sign us up! The full track list is still rolling out, but St. Vincent’s excellent “Funkytown” cover has us anticipating the rest. Nostalgia has never sounded better than hearing Annie Clark cover a Lipps Inc. classic.

Wande, ‘They Didn’t Know II”

The always excellent Wande brings her pristine flow to the forefront of this summer banger that sounds like a soundtrack to both a solitary late night drive and a Friday night party. They didn’t know, but we sure do: Wande is the real deal.

See Also

Maggie Rogers, “That’s Where I Am”

“That’s Where I Am” is not quite what we expected from Maggie Rogers sophomore album, but we are absolutely here for it. It’s a bit nostalgic, with an early 2000s sound running throughout it. The bridge will almost certainly get stuck in your head, but is that really such a bad thing? And while it’s a much different sound than many songs on this list, it’s still got the effortless vibe that we’re all hoping for this summer.

Angel Olsen, “Big Time”

Maybe you’re in more of a Southern state of mind, in which case, get ready for the big time. Angel Olsen finally embraced the country western energy that’s always haunted the edges of her music for her latest album, giving her indie rock an excellent dose of yeehaw energy that no true American can resist.

Ethel Cain: American Teenager

Ethel Cain’s Southern Gothic concept album Preacher’s Daughter follows a starry eyed All-American kid down a Flannery O’Connor-like path of competing realities — desire and despair, grace and gratification — all while haunted by a God she just can’t quite figure out. The opening track finds our hero at the cusp of endless possibility, evoking the likes of Taylor Swift or even Bruce Springsteen before tumbling down far more fraught rabbit holes.

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