ELLA HENDERSON is a pop singer from the UK. She was on The X Factor and came in somewhere around 6th place. Her debut single, GHOST, hit UK radio back in June and debuted at #1.
Ella has recently been getting lots of American attention and had her US television debut on GMA this morning, but where was all the hype back in May, June or July when Iggy Azalea was running away with the SOS title?
And if this doesn’t sound like a Simon Cowell produced pop track, I don’t know what does.
It’s the month of May, which means Memorial Day’s unofficial start of summer is right around the corner, which ALSO means it’s time to start picking front runners for this year’s Song of the Summer competition. After much consulting with the Internet, here’s the current state of play:
I WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN – Rita Ora
Thanks in part to some Calvin Harris producing, Rita Ora’s new single epitomizes summer. Combine the infectious pop with a self-satisfying hook that you can sing to just about anyone – even the mildest of your acquaintances! – at a backyard BBQ and you’ve got a very serious contender.
I WANNA GET BETTER – Bleachers
This song’s got it all, namely a massive chorus that says, “I’d like to be making a better effort!” and a guitar solo worthy of Marty McFly. But perhaps most refreshing, it’s a great alternative to all the EDM beat-dropping that we’ve been swept up in for as long as anyone can remember.
JEALOUS (I AIN’T WITH IT) – Chromeo
If you like having fun, this one’s for you. And summer = fun. It’s also the poppiest non-traditional pop song going at the moment.
RATHER BE – Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
Jess Glynne is the featured vocalist flavor-of-the-month, but this is her finest work. And all thanks should go to her if Clean Bandit wins Summer 2014.
BIRTHDAY – Katy Perry
You know what makes this song an especially strong contender – errbody’s got a birthday. You have a birthday. I have a birthday. Even our pets have birthdays! Yes, the album came out last fall, which makes this song ancient history, but the music video was just released with much fanfare and KP’s gearing up for a huge summer tour.
PROBLEM – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
This song is definitely a jam. And with that familiar sounding sax sample from Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”, it’s already showing heat as the #1 song on iTunes, not to mention a coveted August performance slot on the Today Show Summer Concert Series.
WATER FOUNTAIN – tUnE yArDs
Let’s call this an indie-outsider thanks to a fun hook that, ultimately, is probably better suited for a children’s song than a summer anthem.
COME WITH ME NOW – Kongos
Kinda like if Mumford and Sons drank Red Bull in Tennessee.
LA LA LA – Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith
With a big debut on SNL last month and his eagerly anticipated debut album set for release later this month, Sam Smith is poised to be the next big thing in music. “La La La” has been on the charts for months, but all the recent attention may give this one a shot.
SUMMER – Calvin Harris
Probably a little too nail-on-head. But respect for cutting straight to the chase.
MOVE THAT DOPE – Future featuring Pharrell Williams & Pusha T
At the very least, it would be a nice full-circle moment for Pharrell to bookend an incredible year of hits.
NOBODY TO LOVE – Sigma
Not since Dido sang “My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why” has there been an opportunity for a catchy hook to spinoff as its own hit single. Chances here are slimmer (it’s the same line over…and over…and over), but it’s the only way you can really get dancey to Kanye’s incredible “Bound 2” chorus.
HEARTBREAK DREAM – Betty Who
She had an under-the-radar pop hit with “Somebody Loves You”, but this first single from her second EP may be what puts Betty on the map in a well-deserved way.
SUMMERTIME IS GREAT – Three Beat Slide
and finally, your worst S.O.S. nightmare…
But no matter who wins, as long as it’s not “Happy” or “Let It Go”, I think we’ll all be just fine.
The season officially kicks off next week, but most of us have been in full-on summer mode since that first early office close or march of caps and gowns a few weeks ago. If you were anywhere near a radio over Memorial Day weekend, the 2012 Song of Summer contenders were impossible to ignore.
Right now, it’s a neck-and-neck race between Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”, with everyone else in a distant third.
On Chris Brown‘s behalf, allow me to pitch what should, almost mathematically, become your new ‘SOS’ champ- “Don’t Wake Me Up”.
As evidenced by a sea of screaming girls and their overly excited Mothers during a Today Show concert last week, all chair throwing and female battery are forgiven. It’s all good, Chris!
“Don’t Wake Me Up” is an anthem. Start with a moody mystery woman that hits you with a warning. Don’t wake her up! Cue the track: catchy acoustic guitar and keyboard get you nice and warmed up before it turns pure electro-dance. Yea, the lyrics are bland, but damn what a chorus.
The single for “DWMU” debuted on iTunes a couple weeks ago and basically sank (it’s currently nowhere to be found in their top 200). The official music video debuted yesterday and should cruise past 1-million views today, but CB still needs your help. He could easily fall through summer’s cracks.
But hey, if Carly Rae ends up victorious this summer, I’m cool. After that Jimmy Fallon/Roots collaboration last week, I’m fully on board.
So long as we make it through the summer Black Eyed Peas free, I’m happy.
Summer officially gets started this week and like clockwork, DJ Earworm has delivered his annual mashup of current hits that will be blasting from cars, backyard bb-q’s, and sweaty people’s iPod’s from now until Labor Day.
Sadly, however, 2011’s edition,”Party on the Floor,” is a let down coming off of last summer’s “Like OMB, Baby.” But let’s not blame Earworm. How can you expect J-Lo, Ne-Yo, and Mike Posner to compete with the likes of Ke$ha, the Biebs, and Jason ::singing:: DeRulo?
And in fairness, 2011 has yet to produce a clear front runner for Song of the Summer. If someone doesn’t step up soon, Adele is going to run away with the crown on a hit that’s been playing since we were still shoveling snow…and I’d be totally fine with that.
Check out “Party on the Floor“:
Then look back fondly on 2010: