For people in northern countries such as Canada, summer is extra special, our reward for getting through the long, dark winter months.
That’s why we throw ourselves into its fleeting months with abandon. We crowd patios, head out on road trips, shed layers of clothing, fill parks and beaches, and take the art of cottaging to a whole new level.
And, of course, music is essential to all of it.
Every year, one song emerges from the pack to claim the title of song of the summer. In 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me Maybe” wore the crown, so it’s no surprise that two tracks from her recent album, Dedicated, made this year’s list, alongside recent hits from Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Lights and others.
Below, find our picks for this year’s top Canadian contenders.
Which Canadian song is soundtracking your summer? Let us know at @CBCMusic.
‘Julien,’ Carly Rae Jepsen
The opening moments of Carly Rae Jepsen’s last album, Emotion, are seared into my memory. That bright burst of saxophone on “Run Away With Me” will forever remind me of summer 2015, when I shouted the words to that song at the top of my lungs at every given opportunity. In some ways, Jepsen has gifted us another memorable introduction on her latest release, Dedicated.
The album opens with “Julien” and its squelching synth sounds are subtler than its predecessor, but it fits perfectly with the “chill disco” vision she originally had for this album. Whereas “Run Away With Me” was a euphoric declaration of love, “Julien” is about being hung up on a past fling as Jepsen confesses, “Another bad dream where you were running away/ I’m forever haunted by our time.” Sure, it sounds like a bummer, but it also has an incredible way of unearthing butterflies buried deep in the crevices of your heart. This song makes the act of pining feel blissful instead of painful. Whoever your Julien is, Jepsen’s new song spins an old thorn into a blooming fantasy that you can spend all summer getting lost in.
— Melody Lau
‘If I Can’t Have You,’ Shawn Mendes
Wasting no time, this song hits you with the chorus right off the bat, as if to say, “You may as well learn it now; you know you’ll be singing it all summer.”