August marks the dead heat, final lap of summer. It’s the best, brightest, and most lurid of the summer months, the final distillation of what this heat will represent to us later on, after it fades into the past and we drift toward fall. So I’d argue that it’s impossible to designate a Song Of The Summer in the early months of the year — June and July are both too close to spring to really reveal what will be resonating. There’s too much time left for a dark horse of a pop song to gallop into the lead.
It’s in August that everything snaps into focus, the pervading sounds and stars are placed upon their pedestals, and we settle upon the song that will define this briefly tender season where everyone pretends that they’re teens again, capable of the carefree love and light that always felt possible before adulthood.
Maybe the Song Of The Summer is a way for everyone to reclaim their youth in the humid confines of a pop song, sweating it out without a thought of tomorrow. In that spirit, here’s the twenty songs that could or should or will define the summer of 2017. If you’re not a blurbs person, check out our full playlist of all twenty entries over on our Spotify account.