The Song of the Summer: Oxygen Staff Predictions
Memorial Day has come and gone. It's time to dust off the Boombox and crank up the tunes while driving around town with your windows down. But what songs will provide the soundtrack for these summer rites of passage? And when we collectively look back at the summer of '14, what single song will be most tied to our memories? From Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea (top left) to British crooner Ed Sheeran (bottom left) to up-and-comer Ariana Grande (bottom right) to the ubiquitous Pharrell, here are a few guesses by the Oxygen staff. Spotify playlist and music videos below!
Pharrell + Daft Punk owned last summer with "Get Lucky" and Pharrell could own this summer all by himself. "Happy" is an instantly catchy soul song powered by hand claps, Pharrell's funkified falsetto and a bit of bossa nova. While the single came out all the way back in 2013, it's been sitting atop the Hot 100 chart most of this year, and it's hard to imagine people won't be dancing, clapping and singing along to this breezy hit through the summer and beyond. -- Matt Muro
5. SIA, "CHANDELIER"
No summer playlist is complete without an epic power ballad. Australian singer-songwriter Sia caught our attention when her single "Chandelier" skyrocketed to the top of the charts, and we've been captivated by her vocal range ever since. It roars, quivers and wavers, soars ethereally, and drives the beat in a husky talk-rap. The music video for "Chandelier" is a masterpiece too. Although Sia doesn't appear, Dance Mom's 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler delivers an equally haunting and chilling performance. Trust us when we say this isn't one of those “save your tears for your pillow” songs! (Get the reference?) -- Lindsay Hahn
Merging bubblegum pop and badass beats, your favorite girl next door (in hot pants) collaborates with Juicy J in this infectious track. Slightly more sinister than Katy Perry’s typical fare, it still penetrates your brain like a major sugar rush, insistent and intense. Paring Perry's signature ballad sound with Juicy J's down-and-dirty rhymes, this dark horse galloped its way into the limelight and will be taking up residence there all summer. -- Amy Schuster
7. THE CHAINSMOKERS, "#SELFIE"
You'll never take a selfie the same way after you've listened to "#SELFIE" by The Chainsmokers. The DJ group has been around a while, but have recently hit mainstream with "#SELFIE" thanks to ridiculously funny lyrics and a sick club beat that'll have you dancing around your room. "Can you guys help me pick a filter?/I don't know if I should go with XX Pro or Valencia, I wanna look tan/What should my caption be?, I want it to be clever/How about 'Livin' with my bitches, hashtag live?'" Let this be the soundtrack to your own #SummerSelfie! -- John Thrasher
8. SAM SMITH, "STAY WITH ME"
We haven't heard a young British crooner with this much talent since Adele. Like Adele, Sam Smith excels at crafting pop songs about unrequited love with vintage sounds from black Americana. Smith's "Stay With Me" is inspired by gospel, which is fitting because his voice sounds just like an angel. -- Matt Muro
9. CALVIN HARRIS, "SUMMER"
Following hits like "Feel So Close" and "We Found Love" (written for Rihanna), "Summer" is DJ Calvin Harris's breezy new single about pining over a summer fling. Currently on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Summer" is already getting its fair share of radio airplay. Unlike many of his other singles, this track features Harris's own scratchy voice, something we hope to hear more of in the future. -- Emily Spada