The weather is finally being agreeable. The sun is rearing its unruly little head, and my hermit self is finally courting with the idea of swapping my dowdy turtleneck (yes, winters spawn the frumpy out of me) for a skin-breathing maxi dress. Ah, the short-lived joys of Canadian summers.
It’s conventional wisdom that, to truly savour the short summer, you need some sizzling summer singles. And who better to serve a healthy dollop of sizzle than female musical heavyweights? Last summer, scads of female crooners put their singles on the market. From Carly Rae Jepsen’s maddening ‘Call Me Maybe’ to Ellie Goulding’s electro-pop sensation ‘Lights’, the singles were laid on thick. On the sly, we loved them, but in the car with our sophisticated, salaried-adult friends, we feigned hatred for them. After all, the summer singles are love-hate worthy. By virtue of the fact that they are played over, and over, and over, they tend to lose their sizzle and they tend to morph your mind and your musical sensibility into ice cream-melted mush.
But before that even happens this summer, I’m rolling up the sleeves (yes, the formidable turtleneck ones) and wagering a few bets on some female troubadours that will have you either bopping your head in boxed-manufactured-radio bliss, or will have you swearing off mainstream hits until Labour Day. Ambivalent or sold to the idea of summer singles, here are my 2013 predications:
Sarah Bareilles: She’s a bona fide singer-songwriter who was galvanized into stardom back in 2007 with her hit ‘Love Song’. Her forthcoming album The Blessed Unrest is, according to Bareilles, more “open and more raw”. Aside from her jazz-pop flare and her I-like-penning-songs-not-parading-half-naked-like-some-of-my-contemproaries M.O., we love her, through and through.
Be sure to listen to ‘Brave’. It’s the album’s first and very uplifting single. It will make you want to be brave this summer and possibly break that old habit, break up with that dud boyfriend, or break up with that bad job. Or none of the aforementioned.
KT Tunstall: Our favourite Scottish songstress didn’t leave us high and dry back in 2005 with her infectious string of pop-folk tunes from Eye to The Telescope. She’s giving us more! But songs from her album Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon might be more visceral than her fans anticipated. Having separated from her husband of four years and having lost her father last year, she aptly describes the album as “full of songs form the heart.” As for a chart-climbing single, I’m seeing at least one unadulterated ballad from this raw and cathartic album to make it through the radio grinder. Certainly not The Devil Wears Prada soundtrack fodder here, but certainly a doleful sing-a-long tune for your transient summer blues. Remember people: summer only lasts a three meager months! Save your tears for winter.
Beyonce: Like the enigmatic diva she is, it would only make sense for the official release date of her album Mrs. Carter to be a complete mystery. Rest assured, it’s expected to be released some time this summer. Until then, her song ‘Bow Down/I Been On’ has caused a firestorm of controversy. Unabashedly hurling around the sexist slur b*tch, Bee has ruffled a few feminist feathers. Okay, depending on whether you’re a proponent for female-friendly language or your in Bee’s corner (expropriating the term from men), she’s bound to have one single blaring at your cousin’s second wedding this summer.
Clairvoyant or musical connoisseur, you be the judge of this summer’s sizzling singles from female singer-songwriters. Just don’t forget to turn up your car window as you dial up that summer single mid rush-hour traffic.