What is the Song Of The Summer, exactly? Practically speaking, it is whatever you want it to be, thanks to the return of our annual Song Of The Summer reader poll. But, like, conceptually? Constitutionally? Existentially? That’s a tricky question to pin down.
Some favor the approach that the Song Of The Summer is the single most objectively popular song of the season, in which case it would probably be something off Drake’s record-shattering Scorpion — probably “Nice For What” but possibly “In My Feelings,” the viral-dance-powered hit that just replaced “Nice For What” at #1. If not a selection from Aubrey Graham’s opulent double-LP, this popularity-driven approach might lead to a vote for other recent chart-toppers such as Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin’s “I Like It,” Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign’s “Psycho,” or Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” All of those have certainly been ubiquitous this sweat-soaked season. (And for what it’s worth, all three are great songs.)
There is a similar line of thought which suggests the Song Of The Summer should be in the air, so to speak, but not necessarily dominant. This school of thought values monocultural consensus to a point but recognizes sheer statistics aren’t the only way to define a moment in time. One who subscribes to this line of thinking might nominate Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” or Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left To Cry” or Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey’s “The Middle” — first-rate pop singles that lingered in the top 10 for weeks — or maybe something off Kanye West’s conversation-hijacking run of Wyoming albums. (Relatedly, those seeking a Song Of The Summer rubric could do a lot worse than “When you know, you know.”)
Alternately, one could leave the question of culture-saturation aside in pursuit of a more subjective Song Of The Summer standard: Which tune has been dominating (with all due respect to the Deftones) my own summer? This opens up the field significantly, making room for indie darlings, experimental obscurities, and such. “Full Control,” perhaps? “Scorpio Rising,” perchance? “God’s Favorite Customer,” you sad bastard? “Drunk In LA,” you haunted freak?
The options are limitless, but the time? That’s extremely, painfully limited. We’re more than halfway through July; the season is already slipping through our mosquito-bitten fingers. Therefore you’ve got a mere week to sort your thoughts out and vote in our poll. We’ll continue collecting responses until Wednesday, July 25 at noon EDT. Just drop in the artist’s name and song title below plus your email address, which we won’t use for anything except signing you up for Stereogum’s weekly newsletter if you so choose. Happy voting, happy summering, and thank you as always for participating in the community of music fans that is Stereogum.