25 May 2020

2020 Summer Jam Week 3: Special Quarantine Edition!

Well, what's going on, now? We're still pretty quarantined, but loosening up restrictions a little bit. It's Memorial Day and time for beaches and pools to open up. It seems like we are doing so although there's no real indication that the virus is slowing down or anything or that it wouldn't come back immediately if like...we go back to what was causing it to spread. Never mind that shit, we got some hot salsa jams to get through!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Kings & QuaranQueens" by Ava Max

So this is really just "Kings & Queens" but it's a pretty good energetic pop track and I love a video that acknowledges the zeitgeist in a positive way. Ava Max is maybe underrated and this is a fun home video. We can do quite a bit at home, it's not a big deal. I'm into it. I hope this electric jam catches on and we have some fun this summer.

"Claws" by Charli XCX

Watching this just reminds me a lot of current Millennial tastes. It's purposefully kitschy, random and nihilist, since everything else in the world they've grown up in has been a chaotic disaster. It's actually pretty fun, with this grinding techno beat, chewing auto-tune and actually a nice positive drive. It's not popular or anything, but a nice diversion this week.

"Stuck with U" by Bieber and Ariana

We want to lean hardcore into quarantine this weekend and here's the capper song for everyone. It's not very good or memorable despite featuring two of the leading voices in pop music. But it's totally modern and has a nice ballad feel to it. I'm curious how much this stuff will last over the next few years. It's okay I guess.

"Supalonely" by Benee ft. Gus Dapperton

This also reeks of Millennial tastes, which is all fine. The song isn't all that memorable, but we can add being trapped at home making weird music to our list of generational standards. This song just broke and has been gaining some traction. The beat doesn't totally sync up with the lyrics or flow and could underline just about any song. Still, its nice.

"Watermelon Sugar" by Harry Styles

This song isn't that great, but it features a lot of Watermelon munching. How can you have a better summer jam than that?! Despite never listening to One Direction I tend to like Harry Styles, which might actually be related. This doesn't really do it for me, though. I wonder if my ears are starting to cave and all pop songs have become trite and interchangeable to me. No. It's the children who are wrong.

"Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa

Dua has an early Summer Lead, but I'm thinking it might be cresting. Well, it should have crested quite a while ago, but I still dig it a lot. The big Disco ballad still gets me, though and as far as I'm concerned, this is her masterpiece. It still got plenty of references this week and is credible. Sort of. It may fade fast from here on out, but I also still enjoy it a lot so probably not.

"RITMO" by Black Eyed Peas ft. J. Balvin

"RITMO" feels very old but it's not, giving it a specific weird space to thrive in. It probably succeeds by re-purposing "Rhythm of the Night" by visionary generational voice will.i.am. Also apl.de.ap. Man the Black Eyed Peas blow. I'm giving it a lot of stock this week. It comes on and it's like, "oh, this song I haven't heard much, what is that all about!" but it's all a tired fallacy. Quarantine pop regurgitation! This song is terrible. I'm addicted.

"Blinding Lights" by the Weeknd

I was really struck this week but how good this track actually is. By the weekend, the Weeknd had me hooked. "In Your Eyes" is good, too and we highlighted that last week, but if he's going to have a run at this, he needs to consolidate his tracks. I'm not sure this fills summer ubiquity standards that will carry for the peak months of June and July, but this is in a good spot right now. I love the 80s throwback with a decidedly modern style. It's just fun as hell.

Next week...

I left a lot off this list. "Say So" is still a thing, as is the new Lady GaGa / Ariana Grande jam, but to be honest, I thought that track really sucked. That's a big collabo, though and we likely won't have heard the last of it. We put "Watermelon Sugar" on this list, but "Adore You" is still a thing as well. And Toosie Slide! Sorry, Drake.

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