07 July 2014

Summer Jam Week 9: Taking Independence Day to the Riptide

As the Fourth of July Weekend wanes we've officially descended into the latter half of Summer. Kind of crazy, eh? It's fantastic how much Iggy Azalea has ruled this summer, and there's still no one really out there to challenge her. Everyone else is pretty locked in, though. But importantly folks, this is only the midpoint by our official May to September reckoning. There's a lot to go, yet.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Riptide" by Vance Joy



This video landed a year ago, but I just discovered it this week, then later it was playing at a few bars I was frequenting, so I'm going to go ahead and consider it breaking into the mainstream this week. I actually really dig this video, it's got this great sense of literal humour that's hipster-y, sort of creepy, and subtly hilarious. It's also a fantastically charming Summer Jam with plenty of pep amidst its restrained nature.

Swing on This: "Chandelier" by Sia

Half-epic, half-goofy, "Chandelier" strikes back in its insane little dancing glory. It's a pretty fun jam even if it doesn't exactly rise to become a pop classic that will place Sia on the map. It's sort of that ubiquitous Top 40 radio jam that ultimately becomes white noise by this point in Summer. It's not like that's a bad thing - we need white noise in our Summer Jam Soundtrack.

The Purge: Slay with Me: "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

I have weird feelings now about this one - I think it may be in a little valley after soaring a few weeks ago, but I'm actually starting to really dig it as soon as it's cooling a little bit. Late to the party, I guess. I'm sure we'll hear more from Sam Smith, though.

Poof! "Rude" by MAGIC!

I finally caved an placed this track on the Summer Jam list - it's been around forever by now, but it finally really penetrated my subconscious this week and I started asking everyone why they gotta be so rude this week. It just earwormed itself into my brain and I had to place it here. It's a trite and innocuous song that doesn't really add anything to the human condition - the kind of alt pop rock bullshit that acts like a wannabe watered-down Maroon 5. Ugh, I hate this music. But I can't stop singing it. I have problems.

Sparkle Sparkle! "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX

Yes! "Fancy" is not the #1 or #2 Jam this week. It's still way way cherry, but I think it's starting to outrun its own novelty. There's no doubt that it's still left more of a mark on the Pop Culture of Summer 2014 than anything else up to this point - including its sister jam, "Problem," possibly because it's got quite the headier edge to it. Still, it's not grabbing our attention anymore.

When My Pants Turn Brown: "Summer" by Calvin Harris

This little bastard just won't go away, either. By all means it's a competent jam, even if I sort of get the sense that no one really cares about it. See, 2014 is weird - we don't have a "Blurred Lines" to dominate national pop conversation, for good or ill, or even a "Super Bass" that gets totally underrated all Summer before becoming a Top 40 mainstay for years after. We just have like, crap like this to fill the void in our lives. Well, whatever.

Make My World Go Round: "Wiggle" by Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg

Yeah this is weirdly taking off as of late. "Wiggle" is where it's at, fools. It's really a callback to when Rap Songs were more misogynistic, and if only we could go back to those "Tip Drill" days, Jason. Why does this song take off while something like last year's "Can't Believe It" by Flo Rida falls on its face? It's the same damn song. My guess would be simply that Snoop adds a crazy amount of credibility to any Jam and that "wiggo wiggo wiggoooo" is just that much catchier of a hook. Plus this video sucks.

No Worries: "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

Who knows what the hell is going on with this Jam, but no one's coming close to toppling these ladies so far. The video is courtesy of some dude doing a ton of different voices and musical styles, which in itself is a good indication of how popular and wide known it's getting. Still, you remember last year? "Get Lucky," "Blurred Lines," "It Won't Stop" - these tracks changed the game, son. 2014 is kind of skipping a beat so far.

Next week...

I'm curious about the potential of that smooth ass Capital Cities song "One Minute More" along with yes, that Maroon 5 Jam. I also just have an unending belief, though, that some great, incredible, life-changing jam will launch itself in the next couple weeks and completely change our pop culture landscape. Or not, who cares. "Fancy" has done a nice job of that on its own I suppose.

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