Songs of the summer – staff picks
Songs that defined The Sentry’s summer
The Don Diablo remix of Birdy’s “Keeping Your Head Up” was the jam for getting through the first semester of a graduate program in one piece. It has a warm weather vibe that makes it an essential addition to a summer playlist. It’s peppy, dancey, uplifting, and even though it was released in 2016, it still fit in perfectly for keeping motivation up this summer during the times of soul-crushing final papers and projects. But it also worked as a victory song when the grueling semester came to an end. Consider adding this song to the playlist year-round.
Carly Rae Jepsen is arguably the most underrated current pop star, possibly due to her decidedly muted public persona compared to her contemporaries like Ariana Grande. “Julien” juxtaposes Jepsen being “forever haunted” by a former lover with the distinct upbeat pounding synth. The half disco, half 80’s pop-inspired track is more lyrically generic than, say, “thank u, next,” but the universality of the experience of missing an old flame makes the track more relatable. Plus, the infectious beat of “Julien” makes it nearly impossible to let heartbreak get in the way of dancing the night away.
As millennial Twitter seems to have decided, the summer of 2019 has been about pain and personal growth, it’s fitting that Halsey released “Nightmare” at the start of May. The song screams its chorus of “I don’t owe you a goddamn thing,” as Halsey blatantly rejects societal expectations of women and rape culture. The song articulately expresses anger at the powers that be and that sometimes seem inescapable, making for a powerful anthem of rebellion. Halsey’s raging performance and take-no-prisoners lyrics feel particularly topical in the political climate, making “Nightmare” well worth playing on repeat.
Ever since the release of her album Queen last August, Nicki Minaj has kept quiet. Midway through the summer she released her new single, “Megatron.” One that’s easy to memorize and dance to, “Megatron” is a summer jam that showcases Minaj’s talent and versatility in vocals and rhyming rap lyrics. The single has a consistent melody of fast beats and keys with a decent amount of bass involved. It flows fluently with the tempo and pace of Minaj’s lyrics, creating an energetic feel to the atmosphere. Even though the underlying theme is drinking and partying, “Megatron” contains a feel good vibe every summer deserves.