11 June 2018

Summer Jam Week 5! Girls

We're in the thick of June now, people. There's a little bit of action on the Winner's List this week, with some old tracks making a brave stance and mostly a ton of pop pumping through the mighty veins of summer. Let's start off with some hip-hop:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Harlem Anthem" by A$AP Ferg

There was a lot of new rap this week, and I thought about highlighting either the new epic Eminem track ft. Everyone, but it's totally not a real commercial song, or another A$AP, this one by Rocky. Ferg and the "Harlem Anthem" spoke to me the most, though, even if it's not a Shake. It's got a fresh sun-stroked beat to without a lot of hate or pretension like anything Drake or Pusha-T is making these days.

"Sangria Wine" by Pharrell Williams x Camila Cabello

Mixing Camila's already great presence with a tried and true hit-maker like Pharrell is an auspicious affair. Camila's Latin pedigree makes anything she spits out fitting for a hazy summer night anyway, and who doesn't want to waste away these months under a spell of sangria? This hasn't quite caught on yet, but is a smooth enough jam to hit the dirt running this season.

"No Tears Left to Cry" by Ariana Grande

I almost left her off this week, but after hearing the track twice in three songs on Saturday I had to throw her back on. I do think this is somewhat on the way out, but at the same time I've finally remembered what the actual title of this jam is! It's still equal parts emotional ballad and sexy summer sex song, which is just fine for everything I'm looking for in a Jam.

"The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey

Here's an ancient song back from the dead this week. There's a lot of pretty fresh tracks I could have highlighted, but that felt unfair to how this jam seemed to surge. It's still an alright song, even if I definitely couldn't name Maren Morris without looking her up.

"Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai

This jam has been around for a few weeks now and finally earns a spot here. Ella Mai is a strong young voice here and it's hard to find a better case of onomatopoeia describing falling in love like this. It's got some life under it and hasn't quite hit mainstream Top 40 yet, but if it catches on it could make a nice run of things.

"Never Be the Same" by Camila Cabello

Here's another track that I thought we were kind of done with until a late week upswing. It's still half-hypnotic and altogether wonderful. I don't think this will hit "Havana" highs, but may be a better track the more I listen to it. It certainly showcases a more impressive vocal range.

"Friends" by Marshmellow & Anne Marie

I'm clearly still digging this track. I'm not sure it was always known as the Friendzone Anthem it's known as now, which has all kinds of awkward connotations, and now that I'm thinking about it, it's kind of weird that it's apparently a pro-Friendzone song. Yeah, that totally tracks, paying attention to the lyrics now. Not to get into that minefield, because Ryan Reynolds explores it better, but I can see both the ludicrous side that men and women can't be friends along with the need to accept a rejection of advances, and the difficulty that presents in anyone actually ever getting laid. The most difficult thing linguistically is framing it according to male needs, which is an issue with most of society. Good beat tho.

"Meant to Be" by Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line

That's right! This track is #1, baby! I heard this a shitload this week and loved it every time. Suddenly I realized that's what makes a #1 song. It's old as shit, so I'm not sure how long it's got, but for now it's a pretty rad summer jam in the wake of other country crossover hits like "Body Like a Back Road" last year. I'm into it. Did this really drop last October? Aged like fine wine, baby! Bebe!

Next week...

I listened to two girls-tracks, both "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 and the video that dropped for Rita Ora & Everyone's "Girls" but neither really got any significant cultural airplay. I really like Rita's hair in that video. She looks like a lion. I should have thrown that up there. I do get kind of annoyed with visually dissimilar videos like this where it's pretty clear that they couldn't get all four of these ladies in the same room together to shoot a fun video. It's totally thematically disparate. Anyway, that's still got potential, but if I were to throw down every song that I personally listened to this week, we'd just have Jay Rock's "Win" eight times in a row. There was a lot else this week, from Die Antwood to Julia Michaels and then another massive girl pop collabo that wasn't nearly as interesting as it should have been. Also a super weird Selena Gomez video. Keep your ears open and keep listening to the skies!!

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