The Best Pop Music that Came out in Summer 2022

Brooke J. Freundschuh, Managing Editor

As limits which resulted from the pandemic are being lifted daily, it seems as if every artist is releasing new work and touring in 2022. Here’s my take on the best pop music released this summer.

Late Night Talking – Harry Styles

It’s Harry’s house and we’re all just living in it. Styles’ 2022 release is loaded with songs that are perfect for night drives, road trips and pool parties alike. If this album gives listeners a view into his mind, it must be a good place to hang out for a while. “Late Night Talking” feels like warm air, neon lights and falling in love, all from your own cozy dreamscape.

N95 – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year so far with “Mr.Morale & The Big Steppers.” The Big Steppers World Tour has taken the live music industry by storm since it debuted in July. The lead single, “N95” is the perfect song to reflect on the unglamorous last two years of the pandemic. In this carefully crafted, well executed flow that is intertwined with urgent beats, Lamar examines society before, during and after quarantine and questions if we learned anything.

Vegas (from the original motion picture soundtrack ELVIS) – Doja Cat

I’ve never been a big fan of Doja Cat’s music, but I am a life-long fan of Elvis thanks to my grandmother, who is the original fangirl. “Vegas” was recorded for the “ELVIS” movie soundtrack and interpolates the Elvis classic “Hound Dog.” I first heard this song when I was at the pool, and it has become a summer essential for me since.

Movie Star – Jack Harlow feat. Pharell Williams)

Kentucky rapper Jack Harlow followed up the success of his hit 2020 single “What’s Poppin” with his first major album release, “Come Home the Kids Miss You.” Although “First Class” is the most successful from the album, this b-side, featuring production and a comedic sample from pop-music icon, Pharell Williams, is a fun summer jam for goofing off with friends, parties or the gym. Harlow’s most endearing quality is his ability to be hilarious and carefree while keeping a completely straight face, and this shows in “Movie Star.”

 Another Man’s Jeans – Ashe

If there were ever an anthem for Summer flings and embracing confidence, it would be “Another Man’s Jeans” by indie-pop singer “Ashe” who is set to release her second album, “Rae” this fall. “I don’t need a bouquet. Keep the flowers. Let’s go dancing,” is the invitation she gives to the subject of this song. Everyone should feel fun and sexy, so if you need a pick-me-up, turn this one up.

 Anxiety – Meghan Thee Stallion

My favorite track from Megan Thee Stallion’s newest release “Traumatize” is “Anxiety.” Unlike many of the other songs on this list, this track is less of a fun summer jam and more of a reassuring moment for those who struggle with their mental health. Megan is honest about her worst days, her seasons of grief after losing her mother. Lines like “and I don’t do drugs, so I never get a time when I’m at ease. I can’t even handle smoking weed,” set her take apart from many others in the industry without casting judgment on those who use substances as coping mechanisms.

 Carolina (from the motion picture “Where the Crawdad’s Sing”) – Taylor Swift

For fans of Taylor Swift who have gotten used to her dropping an album nearly bi-annually over the last two years, “Carolina” was a cool drink of water for fan’s who had not gotten a new song or recording since “RED (Taylor’s Version)” came out last November. For literary fans who have read Delia Owen’s chart-topic success “Where the Crawdad’s Sing,” the song serves as a haunting soundtrack to the film depiction of the beloved modern novel.

 because I liked a boy – Sabrina Carpenter

Whether or not one is a pop music fan or informed about the modern music industry, they have probably heard of Olivia Rodrigo or heard a song from her award-winning debut album, “Sour,” which came out in 2021. Those who paid attention to the lore behind the lyrics will know that most of the songs on the album are rumored to be about Disney Channel star Joshua Bassett, whom Rodrigo had a romantic relationship with. Although she never names Carpenter, nor disparages her in her music, listeners and speculators are more-than-aware that “that blonde girl” is Sabrina Carpenter, a fellow Disney Channel stars who dated Bassett following his relationship with Rodrigo. Fans of Rodrigo have continued to harass Carpenter since. In “because I liked a boy”, Carpenter tells her side of the story with key lyrics like “I’m a rebound, getting ‘round, stealing from the young.”