A summer-y of music

This summer was filled with a new variety of music. Of the vast selection of music that I had the pleasure of hearing this summer, at
beaches and pools, parks and parties and just around the web, these four tracks seem to have an important place in the summer. Both fun
and relevant, these songs seem to be everywhere, and for good reason. They span generations and genres, but all perfectly encapsulate the

Bad Habit by Steve Lacy 

Steve Lacy made the song of the summer. The second of three singles for his July project Gemini Rights, ‘Bad Habit’ shines as an anthem of missed opportunities. Fusing Alt-Rock, RnB and Funk, the song is musically consistent with his style, only boasting a very noticeable quality improvement (probably because he stopped using Garageband). Lyrically though, the song and album show a vast leap from his previous projects. On collaborative tracks, he avoided the spotlight, usually opting to produce or harmonize, and even his earlier solo works traded bar for guitar, focusing less on a concise theme or story. Here, the narrative is unmistakably clear: Lacy failed to recognize signs of interest from a prospective partner, and he mourns the one that got away. The beat is simple, repeating until the outro, where it shifts, becoming reminiscent of his older work. The guitar notes rise and fall, echoing his melancholy. His voice spans a wide range, from low to high, crooning to nearly speaking. He also employs his own voice, and a sharp synth lead, all amalgamated into a beautiful tale. Above all, the song is inescapably catchy. The simple lyric, “I wish I knew you wanted me” is just perfect; a summation of the entire song, the line urges another listen, dutifully balancing replayability with substance. Lacy’s unconventional style proved remarkable and gave us one of the best songs of the year.  

Break My Soul by Beyoncé

House music is in, and Beyoncé could not have made it any better. This surprise June single served as the first song from her newest album Renaissance. As usual, the song is incredible. The lyrics are empowering, beautiful and true to her character. The instrumental is subtle and almost entirely based around the 1992 hit ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S, also employing a sample from the legendary Big Freedia, a four-on-the-floor kick, and sparse cymbals—all in traditional house fashion. She conveys an aura of sheer power, with the simple repetition of “You won’t break my soul”. Meaning aside, the song is irresistible and so catchy. Beyoncè never fails to captivate.

Sweetest Pie by Dua Lipa (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) 

The term “earworm” doesn’t come close to describing this song. Another TikTok hit, it deserves every ounce of virality. The chorus sticks inside your brain like gum, while Dua and Meg seem to surf across the bouncy pop beat. Megan balances her sexual, cocky flow, with a suave, boss demeanor while Dua Lipa gives the performance of a lifetime, showing off every second of the bridge and hook. The bridge is a perfect break from the high tempo of the track, while the hook does exactly that: ensnares you, refusing to leave your brain for weeks. This song is the textbook definition of a summer anthem.

Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush

Kate Bush was popular long before Stranger Things. Hounds of Love is widely regarded— and for good reason— as one of the best albums of all time. And ‘Running..’ charted long before this year, when many of our parents were our age. The song carries so much strength, a motivational anthem for anything you do, even if it’s fighting interdimensional monsters. So it’s not only understandable, but so great, that this song is back in the mix. She floats over the drums, which are filled with suspense, and sings of making a proportionally suspenseful deal, with God, of course. If one song could save me from Vecna, it’s probably this one.