08 June 2020

2020 Summer Jam Week 5: Not Much Better Edition

Well folks, I'm pleased to say that across this great nation of ours we have cured COVID-19, solved systemic racism, and brought 40 million people back to work. Now that all of our problems have gone away we can get back to what really matters - counting down those sleek, sexy summer jams!

Hold on a second, I'm just hearing terrible news...we apparently haven't done anything and the world is burning to the ground! Oh well, that was a fun couple of seconds. What can we do to beat the Summer Heat? The Bummertime Badness? Summer jams, of course:

Hot Jam of the Week: "No Glory in the West" by Orville Peck

This is like a modern Johnny Cash and it's pretty spectacular. There's a sincere Western mourning in his voice and while it's rare that this column highlights Country tracks, this elevates above a lot of the drawl while staying authentic. Apparently this bro is gay, too, which is great. We haven't mined the gay cowboy well since Heath and Jake, but this track works really well. We'll see if it catches on.

"a few words for the firing squad" by Run the Jewels

RTJ dropped what seems like Run the Jewel 4 this week and it's all pretty good. I actually didn't enjoy 3 that much but 2 is one of my all-time favorites. There is a lot to like here and "Ooh La La" may be the best positioned single, while "never look back" might b my favorite. Anyway, in the age of police nonsense, this felt the best to highlight.

"RITMO" by Black Eyed Peas ft. J Balvin

I probably shouldn't be mentioning this any more. It's efinitely not popular and exists as the last bastion of a radio gasping for relevancy. But I heard it a bunch this week and still atually like it! It's a total non-starter anywhere else. But hot summer jam baby! Nah, it's probably just taking up valuable points from The Weeknd.

"Break My Heart" by Dua Lipa

"Don't Start Now" is still very much a thing, but this is gaining some traction as a proper summer jam. The flow is addictive as hell, even if Dua's beats seem like the most typical EDM ever. Whatever, that's pretty much pop in 2020. It's still catchy and has that nice fed up girl feel from "New Rules." It works.

"Say So" by Doja Cat

This is just past its crest, but I caught it again this week and was reminded that it's a pretty fun, varied, wonderful track that has some life in it yet. I love 2020's commitment to funk. There might be a little too much competition for this to push back into relevancy, but it's still a tasty jam and a nice success for Doja Cat, finally!

"Roses" by SAINt JHN

This is another track that has came and went but I heard it on the radio this week and it's just a banger. I dig it a lot. I have no idea what any of the lyrics are but it's a hot jam. Some might even say it's the hero we need right now. Nah, it's probably dead. This whole list is as dead as the moral compass of our nation! Hey oh! Gettin' political up in here.

"ROCKSTAR" by DaBaby ft. Roddy Rich

This somehow fits our era, and with another strong performance on Spotify, it almost gets the top spot this week. It's sorrowful in its own way but also feels very modern and energetic. I'm not convinced DaBaby is the next great rap star, but he's having a moment right now for sure and this song is strangely soothing to me right now.

"Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd

Is it me or do we need another great meme song? I just yearn for "Old Town Road." That should come back. But this is still a bop and with no real competition unseating it, earns another nod this week. Doja Cat has the 70s but The Weeknd has the 80s, baby! It's got good vibes. I think society is too fragmented right now for it to be unchallengingly ubiquitous, but it might be as close as we get. Is "Blinding Lights" the anthem of Black Lives Matter? That doesn't really track, we might be still searching this summer.

Next week...

I narrowly left off Drake again, but I think "Toosie Slide" could still be something. I hardly heard any GaGa / Ariana but they could certainly come back as well. I almost felt like some Bieber as well. There is quite a bit of summer left and none of these tracks feels like dominant jams yet. STAY TUNED, LOYAL READERS! Stay tuned.

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