What Was Your Song Of The Summer For 2009?

Aug 21st, 2009 // 37 Comments

I’m taking off a little bit early today because I’m going to tape an appearance on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, in which I will be quizzed about this year’s contenders for Song Of The Summer, and why this summer’s most-people-unifying songs probably weren’t ones that came out this year, let alone this decade. (Michael Jackson, duh.) (Well, Michael Jackson and the ever-atomizing nature of “pop music,” which is resulting in things like gym staples not getting anywhere near the pop charts and the Black Eyed Peas being the only force that can unify us all. Anyway, given that the sweltering season of this year is nearing its close, I figured I’d ask: What song defined the summer of 2009 for you the most? My pick, after the jump.



I know, I know. “An Amerie song? Again?” But “Why R U” has a sort of rainy-day feel about it that matched very well with this soggy segment of the year. Plus it has a sort of old-school radio-rnb feel that brings me back to the time of my life when summers were actually summers—you know, with lots of days off and afternoons spent doing not much of anything and maybe even trips that stretched past late Sunday—instead of the b.s. “same ol same ol but you get to feel like you’re about to die from the wet-blanket-like humidity” setup that “adults” have these days. (See? Deep down, we’re all immature.) OK, your turn!


Amerie – Why R U (Official Video) HQ [Dailymotion]

  1. A tossup between two songs from VNV Nation’s latest, “In Defiance” and “Where There Is Light” — both came out right around when everything went to hell in Iran, and while there’s no direct connection between the songs and what was happening there — and while I was incredibly leery of everything like all the green-tinted Twitter icons and the like as expressions of temporary solidarity — the songs play out as soundtracks in my head for those who reacted to idiocy and cruelty.

  2. I’d say Dinosaur Jr.’s “Over It”. Although the song I’ve listened to THE MOST this summer is Future of the Left’s “Arming Eritrea” but “Over It” was a close second and is a lot more in the ‘summer song’ kind of vibe.

  3. Manic Street Preachers “All Is Vanity”.

  4. Tough one. Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” has been on repeat for months, and V.V. Brown’s “Shark in the Water (Crazy P Mix)” is my subway bump.

  5. DJ Quik & Kurupt – “9 x Out of 10″. Easily the least summery summer jam in recent history. If “Knock You Down” counts, that’s up there, too.

  6. I wrote about my pick

    , but to expound, it’s fun.’s “At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be),” and fun. is a band that features Nate Ruess from The Format, whose previous album Dog Problems was excellent and full of very sad pop music given to bombast.

    The fun. album, Aim & Ignite is nothing but bombast, which can grow equal measures of tiring and addicting. This song just stands out because it’s the album’s huge, explosive center in which people previously desperate and screaming come to the sudden realization that everything may well possibly turn out all right. And just for the hell of it, steel drums.

  7. Nice note on Michael Jackson. I didn’t really think about it, but the local dive bar, which usually plays classic rock, has had a few MJ songs on the juke the past 5-6 times I’ve been there. I’ll take it.

  8. To me, it was all about Shakira’s “Loba”. Crazy dance steps FTW!

    A close second is Basement Jaxx “Raindrops”.

  9. Highlife’s “F Kenya Rip” and Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks”

  10. “Knock You Down” or “The One” (Slaughterhouse) or “Good Girls Go Bad” or “Flickin’” (Kidz in the Hall) or…

    …I have tons.

  11. Oh, and “Loba.” The Spanish version.

  12. “Lisztomania” has been a bouncy enough to qualify and I’ve listen to it a ton.

  13. And “Down,” Jay Sean plus Weezy.

  14. I don’t know about “defined” the summer, but the song I can’t stop listening too is “Playboys” by The Knux.

    Here it is on youtube.

    http://bit.ly/4B6kbh

  15. I love “Knock You Down”, too! Glad to see so many fans here.

  16. I should also mention that, also on the Hilson train, I love “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere”.

  17. @goldsounds: Oh yeah. That, too. It’s been my Cut Copy of this year!

  18. I was partial to Jadakiss’s “Who Real”, and I forced all my friends to like it despite it sounding like every other Swizz Beatz-produced track… ever.

  19. @Lucas Jensen: That beat is fantastic, and her melodies in the chorus are wonderful.

    My favorite Hilson song is “Alienated,” though.

    And I should mention that Drake’s “The Search” with Saukrates is better than anything on So Far Gone and justifies a little bit (no Lykke Li) of his hype.

  20. Toss up between Miike Snow’s “Animal”, Discovery’s “Orange Shirt”, Jack Penate’s “Tonight’s Today” & Florence and The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over”

  21. this year? “Ecstacy” by jj.
    all time? “Doobie Ashtray” by Devin the Dude

  22. Dizzee Rascal – “Holiday” arrived 2 months too late, but was worth the wait.

  23. “Animal” from Miike Snow

  24. “Kiss of Life” by Friendly Fires, because those guys can do no wrong.

  25. Japandroids, “Young Hearts Spark Fire”. Doesn’t bring me back to the days when “summers were summers” so much as remind me that, although those days are long gone, it’s still nice to have a beer with my friends in the sunny outdoors.

  26. @muthafunka: @musicquizking: Yeah, “Animal” by Miike Snow is a good one. I can’t get away from that song and all the various remixes. Not that I’m trying.

  27. “Heads Will Roll”. Damned if I can ever get it out of my head (I can’t).

  28. @joshooaah @cassidy2099 Agreed! That entire JJ album is great. Check out Bibio next.

  29. @kicking222: I’m happy to see someone else with a soft spot for my pick. Love love love “Heads Will Roll”!!!

  30. @cassidy2099: I am in love with that song, but I don’t think I can count it as my summer song, since I didn’t discover it until last week.
    The album I’ve been listening to all summer is Kicksville’s “The Singles: Season One” and I’d say the summer jam for driving was “Walking In Your Footsteps.”

  31. “Blue Tears” by Cryptacize and “1901″ by Phoenix

  32. “Arrears” by Crime and the Times. Less of a summer jam and more of a recession jam.

    Here it is on vimeo
    http://vimeo.com/6021087

    That and “Actor out of Work” by St. Vincent.

  33. I actually managed to predict my summer anthems the first time I heard them: Mpho’s Box N Locks and Bloodsport by the Official Secrets Act. (Actually the whole Official Secrets Act album is super-awesome.) Had it been released earlier, Mini Viva’s Left My Heart In Tokyo would also be way up there.

  34. My own top 20 might have 7 of those (also, yay The Rat) and most definitely would not have others (ie. Crazy, My Girls, Losing My Edge, Blind).

    But I also wonder about Work It. When it came out it made me SO SO SO SO happy and was also my #1 song of that year. But listening to a Best of ’02 mix I happened to make the other day, it didn’t really stand out as being any better than lots of other songs…

  35. I don’t even know how I commented on two different posts in the same comment thread. I’m so bad at the internet.

  36. @cheesebubble: I have a soft spot for pretty much every YYYs song ever made. I’m certainly glad to see someone else profess their love of “Heads Will Roll”.

    I actually realized something after posting that comment: My two favorite songs from all three Yeahs full-lengths are (easily) the softest and (probably) the hardest songs on the album.

    Fever: “Maps” and “Man”
    Bones: “The Sweets” and “Turn Into”
    Blitz!: “Runaway” and “Heads Will Roll”

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