Who here remembers 2012 to 2014? You know, when everyone from the Black Eyed Peas to Rihanna was making feel-good, dance-pop slammers for the summer? Everything was super shimmery, the beats were steady four-four rhythms and all the lyrics were about “tonight” and “this love.” Calvin Harris was the undisputed king of that era, and while he’s spent the past half-decade flexing his creative muscles, taking on everything from funk to ‘90s house, he must currently be feeling nostalgic.
Indeed, Harris’ latest single “By Your Side” is an instant throwback to simpler times. It sounds like fruity cocktails enjoyed poolside, each sip numbing your brain until you forget that you’ve ever heard the terms “pandemic” or “fake news.” The sunshine single features vocals from Tom Grennan, who dance fans may recognize from his work on Chase & Status’ “All Goes Wrong.” If you’re looking for something to blast at the vaccinated family barbecues this summer, “By Your Side” is a fail-safe move. — KAT BEIN