04 July 2017

Summer Jam Week 8: TOTALLY ON TIME LIVE EDITION

I rarely talk about my personal life here (read: never), but I'll note that this post was a day late because I just got a new job in Cleveland, Ohio and spent most of the weekend driving across the country. I know this doesn't make up for my Jam-tardiness. You've been waiting for this forever. I did listen to a ridiculous amount of Jam Candidates in the car, though, making this the most accurate rundown ever.

Hot Jam of the Week: "ELEMENT." by Kendrick Lamar



This isn't nearly as catchy or invigorating as "Humble." or "DNA." but the video full of slow motion rage is damned spectacular. I think Kendrick's shot at a legit Summer Jam has probably passed, but he's a solid contender for straight-up album of the Summer with DAMN. which keeps churning out incredible singles proving that he's a rapper without real parallel right now.

I Get a Little Bit Franklin Han: "Genghis Khan" by Miike Snow

I'll stop highlighting obscure alt songs as legit pop competitors soon but I had this track in my head all week this week. I've had so many weeks like this this summer, but particularly this week. It's so damn earwormy. It's not much for radio play yet, but that hardly matters. I'm curious to see what else Miike's got for us.

Through the Jungle: "Wild Thoughts" by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller

I'll admit to being thoroughly unimpressed by this at first listen last week, but it's grown on me a bit and I've enjoyed it more as it's begun to rise up this week. It's actually a decent latin guitar-filled Summer tune that could strike it big if it gains a bit more traction. I'm curious if it's actually TOO chill, though. There's not too much here and Rihanna just kind of shows up, but it's got a nice amount of bite to it.

More Latino: "Despacito" by Justin Bieber ft. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee

I'm not really sure if this is a true Bieber song or not, but the Bieber version is totally the better track. Who knows what he's singing about - something about a burrito - but it's still a pretty sexy sunny summer jam to chew on. What do Caribbeans do all year long? It's summer every day, right? I'm glad we Americans at least appropriate their culture from May to August. It's a good time.

More New Americana: "Now or Never" by Halsey

I dig Halsey's voice, especially as this new generation's grimy go-to track filler, although her solo stuff is probably her best. The high notes here towards the beginning are gorgeous and totally suitable for some pop-jam-ness. I'm a bit worried this song isn't distinctive enough at all to really jump out - indeed the beat is totally uninspiring. We'll see how it goes.

Sippin Rum n Cola: "Stay" by Zedd ft. Alessia Cara

Here's an oldie but a goodie that definitely had an upsurge this week. I couldn't even really separate this from other Alessia Cara songs, but I do really enjoy that "Sippin Rum n Cola" bit, hence my shout-out above. This really adds to the female EDM pop wave that's crashing all over Summer 2017, which isn't totally a bad thing, but really feels like a lot of the same thing. This is enjoyable, but also kind of whatever. It's been around for a long damn time, too, and may not have much energy left to be a viable jam.

Unstoppable: "Issues" by Julia Michaels

I may be calling it now - "Issues" has a huge lead. This could very well be it. Even running through the rest of this list for the week there's not really another song that already feels SO 2017. There is a lot of Summer left, of course, as we're just about to crest the halfway point, but it'd be cool to see Julia Michaels run out in front of this.

Whiskey Neat: "It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

There were some heavy contenders this week, but "It Ain't Me" rose to the top to complete our extensive series of female vocal-led EDM tracks. I like this jam, but I do think it could do a bit more lyrically with the tension between love and moving on from helping a helpless drunken jerk. It feels pretty Summer, though, and it's star will shine bright yet.

Next week...

As we round Independence Day Weekend we're nearly at the half-way point, which is a miracle. There were plenty of jems I left off this week including Calvin Harris' new mega-collabo "Feels", DJ Khaled and Justin Bieber's "I'm The One", Miley's "Malibu", and Niall Horan's "Slow Hands", which gives me sincere pains to ignore. Stay tuned to see them crack next week!

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