Day 6

We need a song we can 'let loose and sing along' to: Predicting this year's song of the summer

Every summer, music fans unite around an iconic pop anthem. As the official start of summer approaches, the Day 6 music panel shares its picks for this summer's definitive jam.

Janelle Monae, Cardi B, Miguel and Ariana Grande lead the pack

Miguel, Janelle Monae and Ariana Grande perform onstage at the 2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango on June 2, 2018. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Rich Polk/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

As the weather heats up, so does the competition for the song of the summer.

Last year, countless headlines gave that title to Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. The song topped Billboard Magazine's weekly Songs of the Summer Chart for 14 straight weeks, from June through Labour Day in September.

So, what will it be this year? Cardi B's I Like It? Drake's Nice for What? Psycho by Post Malone?

Our esteemed music panel, featuring Andrea Warner, Nate Sloan and Maura Johnston, offered their suggestions for the coveted title.

Left to right: Andrea Warner, Nate Sloan, Maura Johnston and Melissa Vincent

This year's selections combine fun and politics while blending genres and styles, from country to blues.

"Hybridity is the name of the game right now," musicologist Sloan said on Day 6.

"It's going to confuse our traditional categories of country, R&B, and pop, but I don't think that's a bad thing because those categories are pretty artificial anyways."

Caramelo Duro — Miguel feat. Kali Uchis

Music writer and Boston College instructor Maura Johnston thinks that Caramelo Duro is the song we should be singing along to this summer.

It lends itself to the "communal nature" of the perfect summer song, she says.

"It has that kind of snakey beat on the verses, right? But then the chorus lifts into this scream-along track that, the first time I heard it, I just saw a whole crowd of people raising their arms in the air so they could sing along with it."

Among the current trend of pop songs with a dour, or "crabby" sound, Johnston argues Caramelo Duro is one of the few songs on the charts right now that's upbeat.

"We collectively, as a world, need a song that we can let loose and sing along — and Miguel is here to lead us to that dance floor of the promised land," she said on Day 6.

Pynk — Janelle Monae

CBC Music's Andrea Warner believes that Janelle Monae's ode to femininity, Pynk, should have us dancing this summer.

Warner told Day 6 that the song's "sunny" and "bouyant" sound makes it perfect for summer.

"I think my song is really just pure unadulterated joy with a really wild, raucous, raunchy, subversive side," she said. "There's nothing more joyful than sort of raunchy subversion in my mind."

That subversive side comes out in Pynk's lyrics as Monae sings about all forms of womanhood.

"She has ... been very clear about saying you don't need to have a vagina to be a woman, which I think is also this radical act of self acceptance and, you know, we're moving beyond the [gender] binary," Warner said.

"Janelle is leading the way in that, and I think it's just so exciting."

No Tears Left to Cry — Ariana Grande

Nate Sloan, musicologist and host of Switched on Pop podcast, wants Ariana Grande's hit No Tears Left to Cry on our playlists.

The song is a tribute to the bombing in Manchester, U.K., last May and has a slightly melancholy sound in comparison to the previous two picks. Sloan says that works in its favour as a summer hit.

"If we're talking about songs kind of going on a spectrum from dour to celebratory, I feel like this one sits right in the middle which seems appropriate for the moment we're in in the world," says Sloan.

"It's about resilience and it does that through an incredibly funky groove and brilliant vocals from Ariana Grande. So, it feels to me like the song we need right now."

What are your picks?

You can listen to all of these songs on our Spotify playlist — but we want to hear from you! Tell us what songs you think deserves this year's top honour in the comments or by email ( and we'll add them to the playlist.

To hear more from the Day 6 music panel, download our podcast or click Listen above.


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