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song of the summer

Song of the Summer: The Search Begins!

It’s been 266 days since Vulture, in a surprise move, skipped over the divisive work of the Black Eyed Peas to crown Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” 2009’s Song of the Summer. That was dramatic, right?! Well, now the competition begins anew. There are still a few weeks to go before Memorial Day, but it’s always a good idea to get a head start on scanning the charts, airwaves, and blogs for that transcendent summer anthem — the one song which, when you hear it again in fifteen years, will immediately bring you back to the summer of 2010, when you did [romantic/moderately risqué thing X] with [awesome person Y] at [unexpected/classic location Z]. So, here we go!

This year, since even Andy Rooney knows the music industry is fragmented, we’re taking a new tack. Instead of entering every contender into general competition right away, the Song of the Summer field will be broken out into its natural divisions — Laid-back Radio Country, Car-Stereo Hip-Hop, Steamrolling Inescapable Pop, etc. (Don’t worry, category names are still being fine-tuned.) From there, an overall champ will eventually emerge. First up: the current contenders for the Hipster Cookout Song of the Summer. What are the top tracks you can reasonably expect to hear at every gathering of young, Pitchfork-conscious people in Brooklyn from now until September?

This year, since even Andy Rooney knows the music industry is fragmented, we’re taking a new tack. Instead of entering every contender into general competition right away, the Song of the Summer field will be broken out into its natural divisions — Laid-back Radio Country, Car-Stereo Hip-Hop, Steamrolling Inescapable Pop, etc. (Don’t worry, category names are still being fine-tuned.) From there, an overall champ will eventually emerge. First up: the current contenders for the Hipster Cookout Song of the Summer. What are the top tracks you can reasonably expect to hear at every gathering of young, Pitchfork-conscious people in Brooklyn from now until September?

2. Yeasayer, “O.N.E.”
This futuristic funk workout is actually a bum-out breakup song (sample lyrics: “it’s hard having fun / it’s much easier said than it's done”), although listeners will surely be far too busy getting the hell down to pay attention to boring stuff like words.

3. LCD Soundsystem, “Drunk Girls”
The one with longevity: “Drunk Girls” will surely be soundtracking parties (ironically? Unironically?!) for centuries to come.

4. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, "Round and Round"
Pink, a longtime indie-rock contrarian, makes a play for the pop charts with this professionally recorded single, and it works.

Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images, Karl Walter/Getty Images, Roger Kisby/Getty Images