Music is a sport, and summer is the most competitive time of the year for artists. Which musician will reign supreme? What song will be played on repeat? What anthem will color the nostalgia of our sun-smooched days? The Song of Summer is among the most coveted trophies because it lives with us forever, locked safely in the cellar of our memory. It is a reminder of who we were in the unfading light of July, at our most radiant and carefree.
But the metrics for competition are changing—and fast. Music streamers are swollen with content. TikTok thinks it knows best (it doesn’t). With terrifying precision, AI-generated songs are creeping into the mainstream. Yet our nine contenders for this year’s summer anthem endure in spite of the sugary suck of the algorithm. They endure despite the artificially rendered future on the horizon.
Which leaves only one question: Who deserves the top spot?
“You Wish,” Flyana Boss