QJ Pop: The song of the summer

This summer, how cool you are is directly proportionate to the number of Iggy Azalea lyrics you know. Every bar, tavern, club and shanty has been blaring at least one of her massive hits on repeat since May, and if you’re not rapping along yet, you’ve still got a month or so to learn.

Every summer one song rises above all others to become “The Song of the Summer”. The song is the soundtrack of an imagined period of carefree beach parties, romance and road-trips. While it may still be too early to call, the odds of Azalea’s “Fancy” claiming this title are looking pretty good.

The song of the summer crown is descending from the heavens, still a little slick from Robin Thicke’s greasy coife, and will soon inevitably rest on Azalea’s blonde, Australian head. The enviable title has come to the 24-year-old, born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, in the wake of the release of her second full length album The New Classic earlier this year. “Fancy” may not be the most interesting or thoughtful track on the album, but it is by far the best candidate for the song of the summer.

If I died tomorrow, the following equation would no doubt be my legacy: A catchy pop tune + an intriguing artist + a killer viral video = the song of the summer.

“Fancy” has all of these things. Its chorus is singable, Azalea is a newcomer with a striking look, a rough past and a surprisingly gritty tone and the music video is a memorable ode to the 1995 film Clueless with over 140 million views on YouTube.

Bolstering the success of “Fancy” is the chart domination of her collaboration with Ariana Grande: “Problem”. The song’s success has not only kept the saxophone hook trend alive, but kept Azalea and “Fancy” in the front of people’s minds as well.

All of the runners-up this year for song of the summer are so because they are missing at least one key component of the magic equation. “Sing” by everyone’s favourite Ron Weasley lookalike, Ed Sheeran, is catchy, with a memorable, if not odd, music video. The video follows a creepy puppet version of Sheeran on a night of wild partying, complete with shots, prostitutes and racial stereotypes. It’s no surprise that Sheeran therefore falls short of the song of the summer title with this mediocre music video.

“Chandelier” by Sia is another good candidate, but the song itself, although extremely catchy, leans a little too heavily in the indie direction to qualify. Similarly, Calvin Harris’ “Summer” and Katy Perry’s “Birthday” lean too far in the club and fluffy-sugary-nothingness directions, respectively, to become the song. Hedley’s “Crazy for You”, despite its massive success on Canadian radio, feels too much like last year’s “Get Lucky” for it to overcome the other more original tunes.

After sleaze, controversy and hype won the war between “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” last summer, with Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” taking the title, I was worried the song’s lyrics about non-consensual sex or blatant misogyny would make its way into the song of the summer equation. Fortunately, the summer of 2014 feels a little less Thicke with more female artists enjoying time at the top of the charts and fewer contestable lyrics.

So while Miss Azalea may not entirely put my faith back into humanity, she certainly puts me at ease in the wake of last year, and that’s fancy enough for me.

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