It’s again time to look back on some of the musical highlights of the past summer.
For almost 20 years, I’ve had this tradition of choosing my Official Song of the Summer. The winner of that title can represent any genre or era of music, as long as it will always make you remember that summer.
Before announcing the number-one song of summer 2023, we’ll also celebrate the most memorable lyrics and the top nostalgic pick.
This summer was a delightful mishmash of all kinds of music from Italo disco to salsa to techno, and I’ve probably never danced so much. I also dug into some classics – which takes us to the first categories of this “ceremony.”
Over the summer, I listened through all the solo albums of Michael Jackson’s brother Jermaine.
Jermaine pales in comparison to his brother in terms of vocal talent and sheer charisma, but he does have a couple of bangers, such as Let’s Get Serious, So Right – and Do You Remember Me, the chorus of which has so much nostalgic weight. I’m a sucker for bittersweet love songs.
Still, another song wins this year’s Retro category, and funnily enough, it represents the same genre and time period as Do You Remember – and also has a connection with Michael Jackson.
The song has quite a compelling story. It was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose work has influenced early hip-hop and techno artists and includes film scores such as The Revenant.
Behind The Mask was originally made for a Japanese commercial in 1979, and then expanded into a longer version with Sakamoto’s band Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Since then, the song has been covered by such a diverse group of artists as Eric Clapton, The Human League, and yes, Michael Jackson. But my favorite version is the high-energy and synth-heavy take by Greg Phillinganes.
My Official Summer Song 2023
I’ve discovered many amazing new tracks over the summer, but this year’s Official Summer Song is a bit of a throwback to pre-Covid times that I rediscovered thanks to a phenomenal live performance in June. I’ve been playing this one on repeat ever since.
The song is catchy, sexy, and dark as hell – it’s everything you’d expect from one of my favorite artists. My Official Summer Song for 2023 is Faith by The Weeknd.
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P.S: Suomalaiset kävijät voivat nauttia aiempien vuosien Kesäbiisi-voittajien valinnasta kotikielellä. Täältä löydät viime vuoden voittajan.