Top 10 Songs of the Summer 2017

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Ah, summer vibes. We’re all going to miss them. But the best thing about the summer is that its music somehow endures. Even as we age, we can hear one of the songs listed and immediately be taken back to rocking out in the car or hanging out with friends, soaking up the sun, eating ice cream…whatever it is you did this summer. Although some of these songs aren’t my favorite recently released songs, I tried to pick songs that are relatable to a majority of people, while still incorporating some I think should be recognized. So, without further ado, here are ten songs that will always be a memento of summer 2017.

1. “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man

Speaking of enduring sentiments, not only did this song hold No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative airplay chart for eleven weeks this summer, but it also captures some beats that were popular in previous decades. With lyrics such as “kick it like it’s 1986,” and the playfully rebellious attitude it carries, this song embodies music’s magical timelessness and the feelings that come with it. Not to mention, you can’t help but dance to it.


 2. “Hard Times” by Paramore

Another modern 80s retro fusion, “Hard Times” was perfect for summer 2017. This upbeat, nonchalant interpretation of Paramore’s struggles with losing band members can also pertain to other problems we may encounter. Sometimes, we may feel like misfortune is playing with us or “laughing when we cry,” but the ironic nature of the song comically makes us realize that we are not alone in our struggles. We will eventually get through it, as Paramore did. Also, releasing right after school ended, this song easily applied to making it through the struggle of the school year (for me at least).

3. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber

It means “slowly.” Yeah, I had to look that up. Anyway, this song is one of the most popular recent songs in the U.S. with strong Spanish influence. It is about 80% in Spanish and contains traditionally Spanish musical techniques such as the guitar playing in the offbeats, giving it a consistent rhythm. The slow but naturally flowing rhythm plus the smooth language made this song one of the best dance songs this summer.


4. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this song affected your choice to listen to the radio this summer. Although many considered this song overplayed, what made it so popular was its wonderfully danceable rhythm that was simple and maintained throughout the entire song. Dancing was also encouraged through the lyrics, as “We push and pull like a magnet do” gives way to appreciating the uniqueness of our bodies and how it can move.


5. “In Cold Blood” by alt-J

What a better summer song than one about a pool party turning into a bloodbath? What also sets this song apart from others this summer is its use of brasses as a sort of base drop during the chorus. The dark keyboard rhythms also made this song a classic twisted summer song.


6. “The Way You Used to Do” by Queens of the Stone Age

The distorted guitar along with the upbeat claps and Josh Homme’s effortless voice formed the summer anthem for many rock fans this year. With their last album released in 2013, it was an exciting song to rock out to this summer. Queens of the Stone age have always managed to stay true to their original sound, and this song proves it in a marvelous way.


7. “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo and Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez’s wispy voice really complemented the electronic sounds in this song. Not only was it fun to dance to the synchronized beats, but the lyrics also supported a carefree vibe for the summer.


8. “Edge of Town” by Middle Kids

This song was great for summer because it is a journey within itself. It starts off slow, with just the guitar and the lead’s beautifully deep voice, then progresses to add other instruments and voices, ending with an exciting crescendo. Middle Kids made a name for themselves—and probably soundtracked your road trips—this summer.


9. “Body like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the simile that Sam Hunt creates in comparing a woman’s body to a road. “I know every curve like the back of my hand”? Seriously Sam, you really know how to use your metaphors. Not only was this song fun in the lyrical aspect, but the twang of the guitar and its severe catchiness could make anyone-- even non-country fans—bob their heads.


10. “Whole Wide World” by Cage The Elephant

Consisting of romantic aspirations and vibrant tropical scenes, this song can relate to almost everyone’s summer in one way or another. Although extremely basic in its chord progressions, the acoustic ambience gave a more raw, natural feel to their music, which is the aim of the entire album, “Unpeeled.” This natural vibe was perfect for summer, where many of us find solace in the sun.




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