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6 picks for Song of (the end of) the Summer

by Amanda Hatfield, Andrew Sacher and Jeremy Nifras

Mitski at Elsewhere
Mitski at Elsewhere earlier this month (more by Em Grey)

Way back around the Fourth of July, we posted our picks for Song of the Summer. Now that Labor Day Weekend is upon us, which means summer is about to unofficially end, we decided to look back on what other songs dominated our summer since then, and put together a new list of contenders for the soundtrack of 2018’s endless heat wave. Some of these songs weren’t out yet when we made the first list, and others were, but took a little longer to creep up on us. Read on for our picks, and have a great long weekend!

MITSKI – “NOBODY”

One of the highlights of Mitski’s excellent new album Be the Cowboy, “Nobody” waves its loneliness and alienation like a flag, under the tropical pulse of a disco beat and slinky key changes. Being lonely in the middle of a crowd isn’t a uniquely summertime malaise, but “Nobody” places that feeling in an almost palpably warm setting. Besides that, it’s a total jam that makes alienation sound worth dancing along to.

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VALEE – “WOMP WOMP” (ft. JEREMIH)

Valee won us over at SXSW, not long after he released his G.O.O.D. Music debut, the GOOD Job, You Found Me EP. But it wasn’t until his Jeremih collab “Womp Womp” that it became clear how truly fantastic he is, and that song’s addictive, undeniable hook has stuck with us throughout this whole summer. Valee’s flow is simple but fun and innovative, so it’s no surprise that everyone has been trying to copy it. Still, even with the Valee flow everywhere all summer, nothing has topped “Womp Womp.”

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DRAKE – “IN MY FEELINGS”

If we had included a song off Scorpion on our first SOTS list, it probably would’ve made most sense at the time to go with “Nice For What” or “God’s Plan,” but in the time since then, “In My Feelings” became the reigning Most Popular Drake Song, and it happened for the same reason so many songs have become famous recently: because of a meme. Even if you’re a little cynical about memes making songs popular, it’s been tough to deny just how much of a crowdpleaser this song has turned into. Plus, it puts a hugely deserved spotlight on City Girls.

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FOXING – “NEARER MY GOD”

There aren’t many 2018 indie rock songs that sound as ready to take over the world as “Nearer My God.” It’s much less likely to actually take over the world than, say, a Drake song, and actually, that’s kind of what the song is about. “Does anybody want me at all?”, Foxing’s Conor Murphy sings, and he’s implied that he’s at least partially talking about his music career. Whether or not this song actually skyrockets Foxing into stardom, it certainly deserves to. It’s similar to Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming-era M83 both in style and in how arena-ready it sounds, and like M83 did, it feels like it could unite music fans of all kinds.

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BOYGENIUS – “ME AND MY DOG

The joint project of three musicians renowned for their beautifully sad songs — Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus — boygenius may seem like an odd inclusion in a songs of the summer list, and it’s true that “Me and My Dog” starts off with a distinctly melancholy air. Once the banjo and the lush three-part harmonies kick in, though, the song becomes a bonfire singalong. When Phoebe, Julien and Lucy sing, “I wish I was on a spaceship, just me and my dog and an impossible view,” we’re transported to gazing up at the stars from the beach at night.

88RISING – “MIDSUMMER MADNESS”

88rising’s crew album Head In The Clouds was a mostly solid effort that showcased the chemistry between many of the label’s artists, but no other track on the record came together as perfectly as the lead single, “Midsummer Madness.” Joji’s soaring, memorable hook was tailor-made for loud sing-alongs at summer parties, especially with its bold “fuck the rules!” refrain. The rest of the track features verses by Rich Brian, AUGUST 08, and Higher Brothers, who each envision a worry-free, optimistic future with their significant others. Broadly speaking, it’s a track about letting go of your inner worries, and embracing the positives in life during the present, which is a sentiment we need in these times of negativity. It’s clear 88rising was aiming for a summertime jam (it’s right there in the name and its tropical-themed music video), and they truly succeeded.

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