Childish Gambino and the Search for the Summer Anthem
The summer anthem yields to ritual. An tireless spawn of musical ambrosia, its lineage widens from slowburners like Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes”( 1993) to the arena-scale decadence of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”( 2007) and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”( 2010 ). But while the end ensue differs each time, the summer anthem usually and above all embodies renovation: age-old frames made anew.
Consider Childish Gambino’s “Summer Magic” and “Feels Like Summer, ” two bright gumdrops that summon the nostalgia of the season and further play into Donald Glover’s emergence as a self-styled enchanter. Issued Wednesday on Spotify as the EP Summer Pack, the objective is dreamlike psalms about the geography of intrigue and yearn: for love, for a better world-wide. “Oh I know you know my pain/ I’m hoping that this world will change, but it just seems the same, ” he sings on “Feels Like Summer, ” which could just as readily be a comment on global warming.( In the second poem he offers: “Every day gets hotter than the one before/ Extending out of liquid, it’s about to go down.”)