Every year has that one, great, feel good summer anthem that makes you feel really good. Last year it was a four-way contest between the electronic dance jam “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, Katy Perry’s ode to the teeny bopper in all of us “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” and hipster anthem “Gucci Gucci” by Kreayshawn. But this summer, things have gone crazy, with great summer anthems from around the world, including Gotye in Belgium to Baauer in Brooklyn. Rock and don’t stop with Dishmag’s Top 10 Summer Anthems, the perfect songs for a road trip, a run in the park, an outdoor barbeque or whatever else you can imagine.....
Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Carly Rae Jepsen’s catchy pop song about a girl asking a guy for his number is the most talked about song of the summer for teenie boppers and the countless celebrities who have covered the song. Most people think the young singer came out of nowhere, but the seasoned 26 year old Jepson actually placed third in the fifth season of Canadian Idol in 2007. Jepsen knows “people” too, like Scooter Braun, teen idol Justin Beiber’s manager and the man responsible for signing white college rapper Asher Roth, the originator of “frat rap” with his hit "I Love College". Jepsen’s cheeky anthem “Call Me Maybe”, that gets stuck in your head whether you like it or not, was originally a folk song written by Jepsen and Tavish Crowe, but it was switched to a poppy format by Josh Ramsay for its release in the fall of 2011. The song really caught momentum when Justin Beiber tweeted about it to his 23 million followers and created a video of himself lip singing to the song with Disney Channel stars Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale and Big Time Rush's Carlos Penaz. It should come as no surprise that the official "Call Me Maybe" music video has reached over 140 million views on YouTube.
The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio
If anyone creates the perfect music for everything from summer surfing to a road trip with the wind blowing through your hair, it’s The Beach Boys. The official “boys of summer” have been topping playlists for 50 years, yes, even before the term ‘playlist’ even existed. Their newest smash “That's Why God Made the Radio” is the band’s first new single in twenty years, and it celebrates their 50th Anniversary in show business. By the way, the recording is also the band’s twenty-ninth studio album, That's Why God Made the Radio, which was released in April.
Gotye - Somebody I Used To Know (Feat. Kimbra)
Another international singer blowing up the airwaves in the USA is the Belgium born, Gotye. Last summer, "Somebody I Used To Know" debuted in Australia, but the song didn't catch fire until fifteen weeks after the song's U.S. release. In April, following a jam-packed week of media coverage on "Glee", "American Idol" and "Saturday Night Live", the song shot up to #1 on the U.S. chart. Gotye broke records by being the 5th Australian artist and the 2nd Belgian to ever do so. Gotye can also celebrate the achievement of having a #1 single in 23 different countries. Since the song’s release, YouTube has been flooded with people from around world singing their own renditions and countless remixes by electronic djs. The remix by electronic producer Tiesto even entered the dance charts. The historical single is also the most tagged song EVER on song recognition smartphone app Shazam. That's not all, Gotye's catchy song about heart break is currently the biggest selling single of 2012 and one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. Move over Adele!
Fun. featuring Janelle Monae - We Are Young
Many people call Fun. the Foster the People of 2012. In the same way Foster the People warmed our hearts last summer with their pop-rock tune "Pumped Up Kicks”, Fun. has done the same in 2012 for their song "We Are Young". Their ode to youth from their sophmore release, Some Night, has be certified five-times platinum and has even been sung on Glee. Fun. is labelmates with pop-rock titans Paramore, Cobra Starship, Panic! At The Disco and rapper Travie McCoy, and has also toured with Jack's Mannequin and Paramore. Fun. also performed with Janelle Monae on June's MTV Movie Awards.
Luke Bryan - Drunk On You
Women swoon when they hear the name of country music stud Luke Bryan and anyone who has seen him live knows the pelvis-thrusting star gets girls screaming for a reason. Even though some critics have called his hit song “cheesy” with lines like “you make my heart go boom boom”, it’s summery, youthful charm has fans all over the country singing along to the words, “drunk on you and high on summertime”. By the way, 'Drunk On You' is Luke Bryan’s first song to reach the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it is from his third album, Tailgates & Tanlines.
Baauer - Harlem Shake
This past April, avant-garde music producer Rustie made a mix for BBC Radio 1’s weekly radio show, Essential Mix and introduced the world to a fun upbeat track with a booming bass line and rhythm that can only be accurately described as “tropical”. This track was “Harlem Shake” by the electronic producer Baauer, who calls himself a child of Brooklyn and the internet. This summer jam was released in May on the Mad Decent imprint label Jeffree's, which has brought us releases by Diplo, Flosstradamus, Zeds Dead, Zebra Katz and more. For free every Thursday, the tastemaker imprint label aims to release "the most progessive, amazing, and the deepest underground and subterranean sounds from the Earth’s crust". Adventurous music listeners can expect to hear everything from samples of growling lions to a deep voice that says “Let Me See You Harlem Shake”. This song’s dance-o-meter rating may only be matched by its B-Side, the equally infectious “Yaow!”. So turn up the bass and get ready to shake, jump and paaaaarteee.
Usher - Scream
Usher has definitely made a home for himself in the world of electro soul, and “Scream” is a perfect example of how he fully commits throughout his new album Looking 4 Myself. Usher changed R&B when he pushed that format’s boundaries, when he released the Diplo-produced electronic slow jam “Climax”, but the most fitting track on the album for our ‘Summer Anthems of 2012” list is “Scream”. FYI: the song has the same producers, Max Martin and Shellback, as his 2010 hit single "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love", from his album Raymond v. Raymond.
Azealia Banks - 212
She was picked up on many a music fan’s radar when she was given the #1 spot on the highly coveted NME Cool List. And needless to say, Azealia Banks is cool indeed. The 21-year-old rapper is based in Harlem, but don’t confuse this summer anthem with a typical New York rap song. Her upbeat track samples Lazy Jay’s "Float My Boat" and it features Azealia rapping with quick and varying vocal personaes. Her unique sound could be considered “house-rap” (definitely a genre worth adding to Dishmag’s next Odd Music Genre story). Her single “212’” may have been released in the wintery month of December, but it was reintroduced as the lead single on her EP 1991, which was released this May. Based primarily on the popularity of “212”, as well as her other synthy rap single "Liquorice", Azealia Banks’ fanbase has grown steadily as she readies herself for the July release of her mixtape FANTASEA and her debut album Broke with Expensive Taste on Interscope Records.
Carrie Underwood - Good Girl
Former American Idol contestant and current country sweetheart, Carrie Underwood’s hit “Good Girl” provides a powerful pop/rock punch that inspires the urge to sing along to lyrics about how good girls should avoid bad boys. The music video for "Good Girl" won the award for Video of The Year at the 2012 Country Music Awards, but this catchy anthem also has potential to grab the attention of fans outside the country world. Just like Underwood’s previous singles also took the pop world by storm, “Good Girl” from her fourth album, Blown Away, has became her twelfth song to reach the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Rihanna - Where Have You Been
Rihanna takes the crown for creating the best dance music for a late night summer party. In her song, “Where Have You Been”, she reunites with electronic producer Calvin Harris who helped her create the pop friendly “We Found Love”. Rihanna has a great track record for creating fun, upbeat, club-ready songs that relate to finding - loving. Surprisingly, her dance-pop style contains elements of Geoff Mack's 1959 country song "I've Been Everywhere", but of course, she makes it her own. Though “Where Have You Been” is a pop song, the EDM (electronic dance music) community surely would not complain should a dj mix the synthesizer-cover-filled jam at an outdoor summer music festival like Movement Electronic Music Festival or Camp Bisco.