At what point in the year do we stop prospecting for the Song of the Summer? I feel like it would be as easy to make an argument for September as it would be for June. Personally, I think we’ve got a big enough pool of songs for Summer 2018 to choose from. At this point the best a song can hope for is “Song of the Autumn” or perhaps to be forgotten about and shelved with hopes to be rediscovered in time for Summer 2019. Anyhow, here are three of this week’s top contenders for Song of the Autumn!
Cuco & Clairo: “Drown”
If you don’t know Cuco and Clairo, rest assured the cool kids skating past you as you groggily lumber off to work do. Both of them (performing here as a duo, but typically as solo acts) broke onto the scene via viral internet-only hits last year, and each has continued to succeed not only in making me feel 100 years old but also in laying down some of my favorite indie pop tracks in recent history (for Clairo, start with “Pretty Girl,” and for Cuco, try “Lo Que Siento”). “Drown” is an icy breakup anthem with a punchy keyboard bassline and traded vocals. For an ostensibly sad song, it’s pretty endearing. As their reputation and fanbases continue to expand thanks to tracks like this one, beware Cuco and Clairo: more of us Olds will soon start paying attention and invariably ruin the fun for Cool Teens everywhere.
Robyn: “Missing U”
This week’s highlight was a new single from the Swedish pop singer Robyn, whose 2010 album Body Talk redefined her career and set the high water mark for all pop albums to be released in this decade. “Missing U,” her first solo release since Body Talk, feels sonically distinct from that album while retaining the deeply felt emotion that made it such a landmark. The chorus begins “There’s this empty space you left behind / now you’re not here with me,” and indeed there’s a lot of breathing room in the song as well. A looped synth arpeggio ties much of “Missing U” together, and if you play the song on repeat the song finishes by coming back around to the same moment it begins, allowing an easy opportunity to lose track of the time in a sea of wistfulness which has begun reminding me of Destroyer’s opus “Bay of Pigs.”
Travis Scott: “Stop Trying to Be God”
A few weeks ago, I was flabbergasted by the music video for Ariana Grande’s single “God is a woman.” Today I was flabbergasted when I saw the equally bonkers video for “Stop Trying To Be God” and determined it had to be directed by the same person. Of course, it is, and it turns out director Dave Meyers has a terrifyingly long videography which spans back to the late ’90s and is a must-read. Similarly, Travis Scott’s new album Astroworld is a must-listen; as the second single, this song is about as evocative of the album’s vibe as one song could be, but there’s much more depth and consistency in the rest of the album than in Scott’s previous releases. On the right kind of day, you might swear it has you riding a mythical beast shooting a river of fire out its mouth.