24 August 2020

Summer Jam Week 16: Almost There

 We are heading towards an uncertain Autumn. As we weight the fate of our nation, the Post Office, and College Football, let's take a moment to reflect on the Summer of 2020. We are almost there - but the one great thing about Summer 2020 is that we have an unprecedented 18 weeks instead of the usual 17. It's truly freaking me out. So instead of the penultimate week, we're dragging this bastard out. Here we go!

Hot Jam of the Week: "The Plan (From the Motion Picture TENET)" by Travis Scott

To be clear, this isn't very good at all, and also has an awkward title. Oh, I'm quite sure we're not supposed to include "From the Motion Picture TENET" but that's totally how it's listed on YouTube and Spotify. You did this, Christopher Nolan. Maybe this would have been cool if the movie had actually come out this week. Is it still coming out? Sort of? Kind of? We have got to do better than Bad Boys For Life (2020) being the high mark of the year. I can totally get behind the irony of marketing roll-outs that have been completely upended due to COVID-19. Let's get some TENET!

"Mood" by 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dorr

I listened to this the other week and it's an okay song. It's kind of fun. Mildly popular. We've had so many spur of the moment surges of songs this week. I think we're so decentralized that we get these flare-ups from time to time of popular tracks that can't really catch on nationwide all at the same time. Folks are just listening to their own thing. It's a fantastic time to cater to everyone's tastes. A little tougher for shared zeitgeist. I like this one.

"death bed (coffee for your head)" by Powfu

This song is still a thing and while it's not quite as impactful or interesting at this point, it's still a charming track when it comes on Spotify. I never get modern radio here. It's probably still a big song. It feels very unique and calming during a summer where everything is hellish chaos all the time. I can dig it for a while to come.

"Laugh Now Cry Later" by Drake

I mean, whatever. Drake is always known for being cool, but I think this is the first time where the seams are really showing where he's trying to be cool instead of just being cool. And there's nothing less cool than trying to be cool. It's rough waters, especially because we should know that playing the cripple kid on Degrassi does make you cool. This song is popular. It's fine. It's background. It doesn't arrest my heart!

"Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd

I mean...this song is long lover, but I still heard it, it's still charting well, and I still like it. So here it is! A late gain is crucial for The Weeknd's first serious foray into Summer Jam Kingliness. He's got a decent shot because of longevity here. And it's a genuine bop, more so than a lot of other jams this summer.

"Watermelon Sugar" by Harry Styles

Somehow we can't keep Harry Styles down. I never think this song is coming back, and then it does! I may be overjudging it - that is, it's sincerely possible that this song seems like it's omnipresent more than it actually has been this summer when you look at the whole list at the end of all things. But isn't that in itself the sign of a great jam? Does anyone read this? These are the questions that keep me up at night during thunderstorms and Double Hurricanes.

"WAP" by Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion

This is still a big, notable song that has taken the country by storm. It's bizarre and kitschy and has a level of cheap 2020 CGI that I can't tell if it's an attractive stylistic choice or just cheap. It's aggressive and sexy, though, and truly the song we need right now. We'll see if this streak catapults it to the top, it's got two weeks left and the summer's been pretty starved of hits. Maybe they were timing it with College kids back in the fall, but we deserved this in mid-July!

"cardigan" by Taylor Swift

I love that these songs are dueling now. It's just spectacular. Again, this is the kind of classic summer match-up we've been waiting sixteen weeks to see! This earns the top spot this week, but that could flip a little bit before we're through. I just want all the sad right now. Like "WAP" this could do some damage late in the game in the absence of a clear summer favourite. We'll probably regret whoever we end up crowning this year.

Next week...

Katy Perry seems to keep trying to do something. None of it is very good. Dua Lipa also seems to be trying to capitalize on having a pretty good summer by dropping a lot of new music constantly. At this point no new song is really going to contend for a title, but we're always curious about late-breaking tunes. We're almost out of this, folks!

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