It’s always a competition between stars to see who can pen the “song of the summer.” Just as often, it’s a one-off novelty single or an artist that comes out of nowhere. The summer of 2018 is unique because there isn’t just one song that ruled the summer charts. Instead, an eclecticSU group of artists created what might better be termed as the “sounds of the summer.”
The Carters, “Apeshit”
The Carters surprise album Everything is Love showed up on Saturday in June and immediately became a constant groove. The song “Apeshit” was the earliest breakout on an album that dominated the first half of the summer.
T-Pain, “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai Remix)
T-Pain has a habit of launching other artists, and that’s exactly what happened with the Ella Mai remix “Boo’d Up.”
Diana Gordon, “Moment to Myself”
A slow-burner on the EP Pure, Diana Gordon muses about being seen as overly vulnerable. Her singer-songwriter bona fides are in full view on “Moment to Myself.”
Christine & the Queens, “Doesn’t Matter”
Frontwoman Héloïse Letissier came up with a new spin on old 80’s synth pop. On this sharp single from the upcoming album Chris, the mood ranges from despair to triumph.
Robyn, “Missing U”
Icon Robyn never totally goes away. After eight long years of waiting, she released her first new solo music since 2010. “Missing U” is a quintessential Robyn song, but with a biting subject – what happens when a person disappears into thin air.
Donald Glover, “Feels Like Summer”
Donald Glover openly coveted the “song of the summer” label by dropping two singles in July to vie for the title. “Feels Like Summer” is the more popular track, which was co-produced by Ludwig Goransson. (Although one could argue that as a song without the heavy video, “This is America” could actually be the song of the summer. Just try to get rid of that ear-worm after listening).
BROCKHAMPTON, “1999 Wildfire”
BROCKHAMPTON is an incredibly eclectic hip-hop group that can do almost anything. On “1999 Wildfire,” the group showcases their retro R&B chops.
Ariana Grande, “God Is a Woman”
Some prefer “No Tears Left to Cry” but that one seems perfect for tweens making out. For the rest of us, “God Is a Woman” is a reminder of what Grande can do at her best.
Garren Sean, “Endless”
Producer Garren Sean is best known for his work with Chance the Rapper. On this track from his Sundrip EP, he’s adding a dreamy R&B vibe for a chill out song that is just right.
Chance the Rapper, “65th and Ingleside”
When Chance the Rapper wasn’t busy inserting himself into Kanye West’s drama, he was getting engaged and making typically lyrical tracks like “65th and Ingleside,” which talks about the tough times he and his longtime love Kirsten Corley went through back in the day, when they lived at the address in Chicago.
Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J. Calvin, “I Like It”
No 2018 list is right without a little bit Cardi B. This track hums with a salsa-vibe, accompanied by Bad Bunny and J. Calvin.
BTS, “Fake Love”
This was the summer when the rest of us could no longer ignore K-Pop. BTS ruled the U.S. pop charts and dominated with “Fake Love,” which hit #1 on the Billboard Artist 100.
Indie-rock champion Mitski managed to write a pop song about terrible loneliness that turns out to be an uplifting bop.
Kendrick Lamar and SZA, “All the Stars”
Sure it is from Black Panther, but by early summer “All the Stars” was still booming out of the speakers around many neighborhoods.