Debating the Song of the Summer on ‘The Colin McEnroe Show’

Is Justin Timberlake's "I Got That Feeling!" this year's song of the summer?

Is Justin Timberlake’s “I Got That Feeling!” this year’s song of the summer?

Summertime: that blessed stretch of warm-weather freedom, tied together with a season-defining piece of music — the song of the summer. Yet what seems like it should just be a serendipitous consensus in which we all come together and sort of informally agree that, say, “Get Lucky” or “Crazy in Love” will be the soundtrack to a few months of our lives is instead, predictably, more complicated. In fact, the song of the summer comes with as many arcane rules as the House of Lords (but, in most years, fewer powdered wigs).

I’ll be a guest today when “The Colin McEnroe Show” does its annual Song of the Summer program on WNPR-FM (90.5) in Hartford, where I’ll talk about this year’s contenders on a panel that also features Joan Holliday from WRSI-FM (93.9) in Northampton (with whom I do the Best New Song of the Week spot); Brendan Jay Sullivan, a New York City DJ and author of “Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side and the Prime of Our Lives” (which I wrote about here); and Madyson Frame, from Hartford’s Journalism & Media Academy magnet school.

McEnroe and Sullivan both have elaborate theories about what is, could possible be, or absolutely most certainly isn’t a song of the summer — watch Brendan outline his rules in the video below. Me, I just want something catchy and fun that doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the ears with an icepick to please, Katy Perry, make it stop already.

In sending my three picks to producer Chion Wolf, I categorized two of them as “Legit Potential Songs of the Summer” —Beyoncé’s “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar, and Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — and one, Sturgill Simpson’s “Keep It Between the Lines,” as “Totally Should Be a Legit Contender But Isn’t Really.”

Even though there’s an excellent chance we’ll anoint the remix of that grating Mike Posner song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” or something by Drake, the great thing about the song of the summer is that it’s a renewable resource. Even if this year’s is garbage, we’ll get another shot come next May.