This year we opted to not just try and predict which jams would be summer jams as they were released at to just wait and see what came to be. Now that July has come, it’s time to decide. It’s been a pretty great summer for summer jams, all told. In fact, here are two. One is better, but the other would easily win were it not for the first.
The official winner is “Staring Contest” by Mates of State. A Summer Jam has to be happy, catchy as hell, floating and lush, and about that kind of nostalgia for summers past that crashes into hope that this one will be even better. This track checks off all the boxes while also being a great pop song that has a super fucking cute video. It’s the sonic equivalent of the sun sweeping across your face on a breezy day atop a mountain. It’s a summer crush, both in the middle school love and orange soda varieties.
The runner-up is “Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen. Again, it’s just about perfect as a summer jam. You should hear this track everywhere for the rest of the summer, which isn’t the worst thing ever. It’s arguably (and that argument is correct) her best song yet.
Now if anybody could explain how her album has already been released in Japan but isn’t being released in the U.S. until the end of August…