Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa are vying for Song of the Summer with “Potion.”

The once coveted title “Song of the Summer” has become increasingly elusive and irrelevant in the age of streaming and TikTok. Scottish DJ Calvin Harris apparently still has his eye on the award with his new single ‘Potion’ starring Dua Lipa and Young Thug, which was released today alongside a trippy, tropical music video.

The new track is the first single from Harris’ forthcoming album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2017 Funk Wave Bounces volume 1 This LP primarily spawned the pop radio staple “Feels” starring Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean, and the sleeper hit “Slide” performed by Frank Ocean and Migos. (He also produced the hit single “One Kiss” from the 2018 enhanced edition of Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut.) volume 1 preceded the disco revival of mainstream pop that began at the onset of the pandemic, with artists like Doja Cat, Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware sounding noticeably out of step with other music that occupied the Billboard charts. Listen volume 1you could tell Harris was still experimenting, producing a sound that was a little too clean and polished for the late 20th-century aesthetic he was aiming for.

Five years later, Harris seems more confident and excited about this new era of music making, even joining TikTok to promote “Potion.” In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe 1 , the producer said something like this Funk Wav Bounces Volume 2., “I wanted the original essence, and I want the layers and the sand and the dirt. And I don’t want everything to be perfectly mixed. I want things to be too loud, and I want things to be like that, you know — I want things to be like Sly and the Family Stone when it’s just mixed on the fly.

Extremely fresh sounding, impeccably constructed “Potion” has little that is gritty, dirty or “on the fly”. Much like Lipa’s recent collaboration “Sweetest Pie” with Megan Thee Stallion, the track isn’t the most interesting use of the British pop singer’s husky, R&B-leaning alto. The melody isn’t as infectious as a song like “Feels” or Young Thug’s last collaboration with Harris, “Heatstroke”, either. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Thug’s eccentric, bouncy vocals that keep the song – which doesn’t quite live up to its psychedelic ambitions – from falling asleep. His presence on “Potion” is otherwise notable as it marks his first single since he was indicted along with rapper Gunna on gang charges earlier this month. Both artists are currently in prison.

With more opportunities for Harris to wow us, hopefully “Potions” won’t be the best Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 has to offer and maybe just a joke. Hopefully, now that Harris’ breezy post-disco contributions feel more contemporary, he’ll have more room to play around and experiment. Still, it’s nice to have a song-of-the-summer candidate that’s over 2 minutes and 30 seconds long and sounds seasonally appropriate. It will certainly go down well with the TikTok crowd. And it won’t be a big surprise if Lipa’s rudimentary dance moves on a lily pad also become a phenomenon in the music video. Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa are vying for Song of the Summer with “Potion.”


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