Will Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea dominate your playlist this summer with “Pretty Girls”? Or will Ariana Grande come out on top with “One Last Time”?
The race for 2015’s Song of Summer is officially underway—and we have some expert help sizing up the contenders from two people who know how to write hit tunes.
For our special Summer Music Preview issue (on-sale Friday), EW created a playlist of tracks that have the potential to be this season’s most memorable anthems—then asked Jack Antonoff and Charli XCX to weigh in with their opinions, right before they head out on the road for their Charli and Jack Do America tour, kicking off July 21. Check out a few of their takes below. And to get their unfiltered thoughts on more Song of Summer contenders, pick up a copy of our latest issue this week.
Ariana Grande, “One Last Time”
Jack Antonoff: At first I thought she was going for a modern Mariah Carey thing. But now, the more I hear different singles of hers, especially this one, I feel like she’s on this full-on Diana Ross kick. It’s my favorite kind of song: one you can dance to—or cry to.
Charli XCX: I know what you mean! All Robyn songs are like that. Ariana has one of the best voices in the music industry. I also love her aesthetic: Everything looks so pink and beautiful and bruised, and she, like, lives in a cloud in a purple sky in my brain. This song completely suits that.
Antonoff: It sounds like a great Dreamgirls song, which couldn’t be a better thing. Everyone is trying to constantly bring everything back, but no one else has successfully [done] this disco-soul kind of thing.
Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea, “Pretty Girls”
Charli XCX: I love everything that Britney does, so for me, it’s probably going to be my song of the summer. To be honest, the video looks really cool, and Iggy’s really good at writing incredible video treatments. She really cares about the visual element of what she does. I think it’s going to be another strong, super girl-power summer song.
Antonoff: Maybe it’s because I’m from the ’90s, but I still get, like, butterflies anytime Britney Spears releases anything. If you opened the dictionary and looked up pop star, you would just see a picture of her.
Charli XCX: I agree!
David Guetta Feat. Nicki Minaj and Afrojack, “Hey Mama”
Antonoff: This sounded like No Doubt. Charli, what’s the album that had the black-and-white cover and had “Hey Baby” on it?
Charli XCX: Rock Steady?
Antonoff: Rock Steady! It sounds like something that could have come off of that, which I was a fan of at the time.
Charli XCX: I think David Guetta is really good at producing summer hits, so I think it’ll be a pretty big song—and Nicki’s voice sounds really cool on it. She sounds very rich.
Antonoff: I love her voice. Did you hear “Pills N Potions”?
Charli XCX: Yeah, that’s amazing! I like that side of her. I like it when she sings.
Antonoff: She’s got a really beautiful voice. It also doesn’t sound like typical Guetta production at all. It sounds extremely left-field for him.