Well summer is almost over, and while summer always starts with Arab Strap it ends each year with a different tune; one that’s stuck around through the balmy afternoons and star-specked late nights. These songs can be fleeting moments, dancing through your world for a few short weeks or they can be the start of a lifelong relationship, much more than a simple summer romance.
The first summer song I recall is Tribal Dance by 2 Unlimited from way back in 1993, a song that really only holds nostalgia value, not even being worthy of being played with ironic knowingness. The first summer song I remember taking to, deeply and lovingly, however was This is Hardcore by Pulp. It was 1998 and I was 11 years old and while I was aware of music that sounded more dangerous and more seedy, I’d never heard anything that lumped in a healthy dose of sexiness besides. Now, I’m not saying that’s how I’d have articulated it at the time, it was no doubt a confounding mess to my pre-pubescent self, but that’s certainly how I feel about it now and its allure certainly hasn’t softened with time. More importantly, I’ve realised that to be a true summer classic a song really needs a certain level of sex appeal. Short shorts, dripping phallic ice-cream cones, and chafed bits (from sea water and sand, of course) are what summer is all about and a great summer song should channel those things.
This leads me nicely to The Summer Song of 2013. It’s called BIPP and it’s by Sophie, a producer based in London with little bio available. It was released on Numbers in June and I owe Auntie Flo a debt for putting me onto it back in June in a Little White Earbuds mix. It’s a great tune, that really has its tongue wedged in its cheek, which must be hard going considering how sickly sweet it is; it just makes you want to lick your lips all the way through. OK, so I’m over-egging it a bit, but I’ve sung this on top of mountains and I’ve sung this to my cat so it sure has that catchiness that all summer songs need, and it hasn’t worn half as badly as I expected it to (I’ve listened to it on repeat while writing this, I may be getting sick of it soon…)
The hardest part of loving it, I suppose, is that it’s a bit obvious. Repeat listens do wear off some of that tongue-in-cheek sheen and the lyrics can seem a little try-hard (though that is, clearly, the point). As I say, this has its benefits in that BIPP is a real earworm, and I’ve found myself singing it in some uncomfortable spots. The bit I’m, perhaps, a little apprehensive about is the first real verse (below), mainly because the word ‘felt’ sounds awful like ‘fucked’, and I don’t want to be caught singing that and sounding like some kind of mad splosher. All in all though, I think it’s going to be on summer mixes for a few years to come, getting brought out with the sun cream and the mini-Heinekens (which everybody knows are the best summer beers when chilled).
You gotta be crazy, thinkin’ you can resist this,
Y’know, yeah y’know you can’t help yourself.
I bet he can’t take it, yeah I’d like to just see you try,
You should try, if you don’t you might never know,
How it tastes so good; sweet like whipped cream,
Soft and smooth, like you felt in your dreams.
So whatever your heart desires, what you need,
If that’s what you want boy, then you know where to find me.