Summer isn’t the same this year. Even though warm weather has allowed some of us to enjoy the great outdoors in a socially distant capacity, the COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated the chance to safely experience communal seasonal rituals like music festivals. Public pools are closed or else operating at limited capacity, and even if you did go for a swim, the usual carefree summer fun would surely be replaced by creeping anxiety about catching coronavirus in line for the waterslide. Bootleg neighborhood fireworks displays were the only July 4 festivities most municipalities could muster. The baseball season has yet to begin, and even when it does, no fans will be in the stands to enjoy dime-a-dog night. On top of the social and cultural damage, we’re mourning thousands of dead friends and loved ones. It’s just a shitty situation all around.
And yet music persists. Even as the live concert industry mostly remains at a standstill and the new release calendar starts to thin out, artists are dropping new songs every day. The radio continues to circulate hits. Streaming numbers have not significantly changed. It’s not just an influx of protest music incited by the Black Lives Matter movement, nor are people increasingly immersing themselves in depressive tunes that match the mood of the moment. They’re clinging to whatever elements of normalcy they can get, including a new round of summer jams in a range of genres. In that spirit, here’s one tradition that can carry on as usual: Stereogum’s annual Song Of The Summer poll.
Yes, the time has come once again to select the definitive song of the season. Maybe it’s a rap anthem you can’t stop playing. Maybe it’s a pop bop you can’t get out of your head. Maybe it’s an indie favorite you’ve had on repeat for weeks, a country tune that makes you want to crack open a cold one on the back porch, or a metal blitzkrieg that burns like the fires of hell. You get to define Song Of The Summer however you choose — and the chance to choose is here, for the next week.
From now through noon EDT on Wednesday, July 22, you can fill out the poll below. You only get to vote once, so choose wisely. You must enter an email address to vote, but we’ll only use it to sign you up for our weekly newsletter if you want. Vote now and hit the comments section to campaign for your favorites.