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A few weeks ago, I did what us people in the biz refer to as “reporting.” I ventured into hostile territory to get the scoop. I went undercover among the masses to see things first-hand. I did some true boots-on-the-ground digging so I could bring you to real insight into one the most important issues of our day: the 2017 Song of the Summer (SOTS).

So where did I go to risk life, limb, and liver? Nowhere other than Dewey Beach, Delaware: the Cover Band Capital of World.

For the uninitiated, Dewey Beach is a one-mile long beach town that draws 20-somethings (and 30-somethings and 40-somethings) from D.C., Baltimore, Philly, and New York to party all weekend while listening to some of the Northeast’s best cover bands. Dewey Beach is the perfect place to get a finger on the pulse of the SOTS—it’s the song that every band plays in their set that still gets the crowd going.

August is make-or-break time, and believe it or not, we’ve got some movement in the rankings. With that, I bring you the mid-August update to the 2017 Song of the Summer:

7) Calvin Harris, Pharrell, Katy Perry, and Big Sean – “Feels”

The second single from Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is another track that seems like it should be bigger than it is. Much like its predecessor “Slide,” this track seems like it’s just a victim of bad timing/not featuring Justin Bieber.

6) Shawn Mendes – “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”

My personal favorite of the 2017 candidates has gotten some more love as the summer goes on. It’s not a true threat to win, but it’s a nice summer track that I’ve heard at several bars and parties this summer.


5) DJ Khaled, Rihanna, and Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” 

“Wild Thoughts” jumped right into the SOTS mix at #3 in July, and I wouldn’t have been shocked to see it take off. But while it gets a lot of radio play, not a single band played it during my observations in Dewey. People just aren’t quite feeling this (FOR GOOD REASON, IT’S A LUKEWARM REMAKE OF A SANTANA SONG FROM 1997).

4) The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – “Something Just Like This” / Zedd & Alessia Cara – “Stay” / Kygo & Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me”

I am purposely grouping these together because they are the same goddamn song. It’s like all three of them went into a studio with the express intent of re-creating The Chainsmokers’ “Closer.”

No lie, I’ve also been subjecting myself to regular-ass radio in attempts of research this summer and it took me a week to realize these were different songs. I kept having to Shazam them just to remind myself who sang what. Of the three, I’m slightly partial to the Coldplay track (at least it features The Chainsmokers ripping off themselves), but none of these are “banger-certified” enough to be SOTS.

3) DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne – “I’m The One” 

“I’m the One” is like the Aaron Judge of 2017 SOTS—the only thing keeping it afloat in the top 3 is it’s blistering first half of the summer. This track is indeed slumping, but when you look back at Summer ’17, you’ll certainly think of this song.

2) Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Back Road” 

Don’t hurt ‘em, Sam! This song has officially gone mainstream, and with good reason—it’s catchy AF. In an era in which hip hop is the dominant music genre, a true country song contending for SOTS is a major achievement.

1) Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber – “Despacito (Remix)” 

Look, I don’t know what to tell you. While dodging champagne showers at the Starboard, there was only one SOTS contender that I saw memorialized on a t-shirt:

“Despacito” still has its fastball and gets the crowd going. As with any SOTS candidate that starts out early, we all consent to a certain amount of fatigue come August. Even “Call Me Maybe” got a little bit annoying for a stretch. But until otherwise noted, Luis Fonsi and co continue rule the summer.


The Official 2017 Song of the Summer will be crowned here the week after Labor Day, so keep tweeting your picks to @thepromptmag!

Dave Berry

Dave Berry is funny and a writer, but not related to Dave Barry. Those are different names and that would also just be weird.

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