Justin Bieber, Luis Fonsi, Selena Gomez, Calvin Harris, Lorde, DJ Khaled — who will have this year’s summer anthem?
Each year, music writers like to play a game where we attempt to predict the “song of the summer,” the track that, come September, will define the preceding months of sand and sunshine. It’s a bit of an arbitrary distinction — there is often more than one “it” song — but this annual exercise is not entirely without its merit. The so-called “song of the summer” provides a much-needed window into the past; it’s a metric, flawed but unambiguous, of who we were and what we danced to.
Here are our guesses for 2017’s summer anthem:
“Despacito – Remix” (Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber)
It’s a shame that most Americans only happened upon Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s foot-stomping, hip-shaking “Despacito” after it was remixed and translated – the original is a masterclass in sultry club smut – but it’s a blessing it made it to U.S. listeners in some form, however diluted.
The musical equivalent of a street dance on a summer night, “Despacito” is the most block-party-ready beat on this list, a key determinant in the “song of summer” race. This danceability ought to keep Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton collaboration bumping on the radio until at least September.
A mid-April release, however, raises the question of whether “Despacito” even deserves to be considered a “song of summer.” As a purist, I vote no. But the track’s immense and unwavering popularity suggests I might be on the wrong side of history.
“Feels” (Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean)
Should “Despacito” take an unlikely tumble, Calvin Harris’ “Feels” is sure to be first in line to inherit the crown. Harris’ track, the newest off of his forthcoming album, features a who’s who of…