Summer, summer, summertime…time to sit back and unwind. Hey, if that’s how Will Smith recommends to spend the months of June, July, and August, who am I to argue? As my colleagues Bené and Zara have attested, summer’s a time to be spent outdoors with friends, preferably with a boombox in proximity. We’re going to start counting down the 2012 Song Of The Summer very soon, but for now, here are three songs that I’ll be hitting repeat on all summer long.
NOMINATION: Icona Pop, “I Love It”
EXPLANATION: Why do Swedes make the best pop music? Someone really ought to research this! While we all anxiously await for someone else to do the heavy lifting with that essay, I’m going to be bouncing around my apartment cranking this electro-pop earworm all the way up to 11, shouting “I DON’T CARE!” like a madman. The pulsating beats that dare you not to bounce up-and-down while pumping your fists (not fist pumping, though, because that’s lame), the crazy catchy sing-along melodies, the fact that it clocks in at exactly 3 minutes … all of these ingredients create a perfect recipe for a summer jam.
NOMINATION: St. Lucia, “Closer Than This”
EXPLANATION: My friends and VH1 colleagues Isaac and Monsé introduced me to this Brooklyn-based synth-tastic, dream pop group. Their euphoric songs instantly transport the listener to a faraway, exotic locale, bringing a little slice of paradise to wherever it is you call home. Their entire 6-song St. Lucia EP is a treat, but I have found myself gravitating mostly towards this, the closing song on this collection. The male/female vocals are straight up dreamy, and are the aural equivalent to sipping on a pina colada while you bury your toes in the cool, cool sand.
NOMINATION: Frank Ocean, “Pyramids”
EXPLANATION: Normally, summer jams are designed for the short attention span set. Three, three-and-a-half minutes of pure pop bliss usually do me well, but this 9:56 epic from Frank Ocean is a notable exception to the rule. It’s a lyrically and musically complex number that deals with some complicated themes —love gained and love lost; love bought and love sold— yet it never feels preachy or overly long. Of anyone currently working in the music business today, Ocean’s voice is probably the most pleasing to my ears, so if he wants to start recording songs that last 20 minutes, I’d gladly listen to those, too.