This NOT That: Songs for Summer

music substitutes for billboard hits, summer songs

Summer is just around the corner, and the heat has even peaked its head a little early (at least here in the Midwest). Summer is a great time for music, from all the big music festivals, outdoor concerts, to just driving with windows down and the music blasted, summer is pretty hard to beat. So here is another installment in our This NOT That series – offering healthier options for some of the more harmful songs from the Billboard charts.

NOT THAT: Nicki Minaj – “Starships”

THIS: Azealia Banks – “Jumanji”

Nicki Minaj no doubt has the skills to rule the female rap game, but her music has been consistently inconsistent and many times straight-up obnoxious. Azealia Banks is the young gun looking to take the throne, and with a song that sounds crunk in name and sound in “Jumanji”, Azealia Banks has all the ingredients to make for a flavorful yet healthy alternate.


NOT THAT: Calvin Harris – “Feel So Close”

THIS: “Hot Chip” – “Flutes”

EDM has clearly ruled the last year or so, and Calvin Harris has been one of the biggest names in the scene with one of the biggest hits in “Feel So Close”. However, instead of the cheese-filled build of “Feel So Close”, enjoy “Flutes”, the new hypnotic single from dance-pop geeks Hot Chip. Though do know watching the video isn’t quite as healthy as it will give you some serious dizzy spells.


NOT THAT: Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”

THIS: Norah Jones – “Say Goodbye”

Nothing against Carrie Underwood (as I think she is one of the bigger talents in contemporary country), but this song is pretty painful listening, her acting a little obnoxious in her delivery pulling the all-to-overdone good girl gone bad schtick. Norah Jones new single “Say Goodbye” is a pleasant, country-tinged tune perfect for those sun-drenched afternoons and will make for a fit, quieter alternate.


NOT THAT: Neon Trees – “Everybody Talks”

THIS: The Walkmen – “Heaven”

Neon Trees have made waves with their feisty, quasi-glam rock that can no doubt be replaced in your headphones by some much better rock music. The Walkmen’s new single “Heaven” comes to mind as it has a similarly peppy pace and sound, but without the insufferable vocals and with a much more lovable determination to it.


NOT THAT: Gotye – Making Mirrors

Gotye Making Mirrors album cover art

THIS: Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block

Peter Bjorn & John Writer's Block album cover art

While this may be a bit of a cheap excuse for a substitute since Writer’s Block is a throwback album, but you are better off returning to the welcome arms of Writer’s Block than the super inconsistent Making Mirrors. Gotye’s album no doubt has its highlights (“Easy Way Out”, “Bronte”, “Somebody That I Used To Know”), but also has its fair share of stink bombs and you are better going back to an album that does a much better job at capturing that whimsical electro-pop sound.


We hope these healthy substitutes will lead to a richer, healthier, and more rewarding summer of music, trimmed of the junk food hits of summer.

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Author: Wes

Hoosier. Writer. Music Buff. Media Man. Tourist. Polar Bear.

4 thoughts on “This NOT That: Songs for Summer”

  1. Very interesting theme, this. On casual listening, I would’ve thought the Azealia Banks song is sung by Minaj. Norah Jones, any day. BTW, I’m enjoying her new album very much.

    You may want to take a look at the sizing of the Hot Chip Youtube video embedded here. Click on it and you get a ‘Video player is too small’ message. I just copied the link and played it normal size. Still…

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