Lizzo (Melissa Jefferson) during Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park recently. Daniel DeSlover/TNS
Dan DeLuca/Tribune News Service
Music lovers all live in their own playlisted and algorithmed bubbles.
My music is probably not your music, and vice versa. And it's better that way: Who needs a mono-culture when everyone can have his or her own personalised micro-culture? The media obsession with naming one single, world-dominating Song of the Summer is silly, annoying and pointless.
So here’s a songs of summer playlist, which is designed not as a list of contenders for that championship title, but rather as a multi-genre and mood mix of pop hits and indie nuggets that acknowledges summertime is not only for bops, bangers and songs that slap. Though sometimes it is.
Truth Hurts by Lizzo
Just how much 2019 has become the year of Lizzo — the singer, rapper and flautist born Melissa Jefferson — is demonstrated by this song. Truth Hurts was originally released in 2017. But with the success of Cuz I Love You, the world needs more Lizzo. Truth Hurts took off after being featured in the Netflix rom-com Someone Great and went viral thanks to a pithy Lizzo lyric: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100 per cent that b**** ."
The Way I Loved You by Reyna
Milwaukee sisters Victoria and Gabby Banuelos make sleek electro-pop that acknowledges the songs you remember often sound happy but are actually kind of sad.
Earfquake by Tyler the Creator
The talented Odd Future producer offers a delectable, shimmering love song that he offered first to Justin Bieber and Rihanna, who rejected it. Tracee Ellis Ross stars in the video.
Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
The 17-year-old goth-pop teen phenomenon is having her biggest hit yet with this slithering, undeniable narrative of rebellion. "I'm that bad type, make your mama sad type / Make your girlfriend mad tight, might seduce your dad type."
Con Altura by Rosalia
This song is so danceable I couldn't help embarrassing myself listening while walking my dog. The flamenco-schooled Spanish singer teams with Colombian singer J Balvin and producer El Guincho.
True Blue by Mark Ronson with Angel Olsen
Bruno Mars and Amy Winehouse producer enlists lots of cool singers to handle the vocals on his new heartbroken solo album of sorts, Late Night Feelings, including Lykke Li and Miley Cyrus. Indie star Olsen, who's steadily moved from writing sterling folk songs to grander, more romantic territory, is a perfect fit here.
Young Enough by Charly Bliss
The title track of this Brooklyn band's less-frenetic follow-up to 2017's terrific Guppy confronts the uncertainties of adulthood. "I can't protect you now, if I couldn't save you then," Eva Hendricks sings, sounding triumphant.
Blood From a Stone by Sheer Mag
More raging riff rock that evokes the 1970s from the Philly band fronted by Christina Halladay. It's the lead track from the band's second album, A Distant Call, due Aug.23.
Smoke.Netflix.Chill. by Tank and the Bangas
The playful New Orleans genre-splicing band expand their sonic parameters on the new Green Balloon. Here, Tarriona "Tank" Ball invites you over for activities that promise to be most relaxing, provided the air-conditioning is working.
Money Good by Megan Thee Stallion
The Houston rapper who is one of the breakout stars of 2019 on the strength of her unrelenting debut, Fever, lets you know she is in no need of assistance from anyone who "doesn't bring anything to the table but a plate."
Sucker by Jonas Brothers
The all grown-up sibling trio make ear candy suitable for strutting down the boardwalk on a sugar rush on the lead single from their blissed-out comeback album, Happiness Begins.
Talking Heads by Black Midi
Rising British band Black Midi make super-taut, twitchy music that places rhythm at the forefront, recalling punk-era acts like the Minutemen, Wire and, yes, the Talking Heads, whom this song is not about.
History Repeats by Brittany Howard
Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard has a solo album called Jaime, named after her late sister, due in August. This personal protest voices its desire for the dark days of history not to repeat themselves, and intrigues with Howard drawing from Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye.
Love Starvation by Nick Lowe
The title track on the new EP from the former New Wave hitmaker, who sounds unbothered by being locked up in a prison of disappointment and desperation. Maybe because he has terrific surf-guitar band Los Straitjackets backing him up.
Moonlight Motel by Bruce Springsteen
The closing track from Western Stars, Springsteen's best album in more than a decade, delicately revisits a place of previous happiness, only now the swimming pool is drained and the season of contentment is in the distant past.
Doin' Time by Lana del Rey
The queen of summertime sadness delivers a blissfully bummed-out cover of a 1996 song by ska-punk band Sublime about those days when summertime ought to mean living is easy, but you're too lazy and hazy to get out of a beach chair.
T-Pain’s unadorned singing on ‘The Masked Singer’ made the judges cry, and his win feels like vindication: he always told you he could sing.
West's Sunday Service was not a traditional Kanye West concert; it was a spiritual, had-to-be-there experience fashioned like a new-age Baptist church revival.
Lil Nas X is done riding ‘Old Town Road’ and now embarks a new one, as his debut EP ‘7’ reveals a star behind the meme.
Pitt portrays an astronaut who travels through the solar system to find his father. The film includes actual NASA shots of the moon and Mars.
Rod Stewart has been given the all-clear after battling prostate cancer, the British pop stalwart has revealed.
Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments," which begins 15 years after the "The Handmaid's Tale" leaves off, is a wild ride, taking readers beyond the walls of the fictional Gilead.