There are summer anthems (we recently ranked all our favorites), the high BPM bangers and ballads that we bump at the beach and on the dance-floor, that accentuate all the season's pleasures. Then, there's the songs we turn to for validation when the sunshine and a long weekend not only fail evaporate insecurity and anxiety, but the seasonal demand to be constantly blissed out makes you feel incredibly alone.
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If a hot girl summer has been feeling elusive, then please check out 18-year-old New Jersey pop songstress Baker Grace's new single "Sad Summer," which PAPER debuts today. The song is an anti-summer anthem for the sunburnt and sullen, who opt to stay in the shade, sleep in, and roll their eyes at summer love. Counterintuitively, it's a bubbly bop. Grace sings petulant lyrics like, "Gonna be a sad sad summer, such a bummer/ I could be falling in love but baby I don't give a fuck" over a robotic 80s beat that sounds straight off of Kim Petras's new album. The whole effect adds up to a PC music Lana Del Rey vibe, with a splash of Carly Rae Jepsen color.
There's an eerie irony to the glittery sound that Grace makes clear in the grotesque accompanying video, which features Tik Tok stars Dominic Oliver, Kailey Maurer and Kelianne. Donning starlet looks (which also scream Lana), she sucks down a scorpion popsicle and pouts under her own personal rain cloud — invisible to her giggling gaggle of friends. Her isolation is a comic and effective performance, as her friend's ice cream cones drip down her face. If the scene's vibe is familiar to you, then "Sad Summer" was handmade for you to blast (alongside the air conditioning) alone in your apartment.
"'Sad Summer' is an anthem for the people who need a break from social media, the pressure to be happy all the time, to look good all the time, and to always be doing something 'cool," explains Grace.
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The song is the latest huge mood from Grace, who recently released her EP, Girl, I Know, on which each track sets out to embody a particular emotional mindset. "Sad Summer" shows a willingness to get weird and honest — while making a spectacle — that's exciting from a pop talent whose just starting to figure out what she's capable of.
Photo: Darren Craig