There aren't many things that Calvin Harris
can't do, music-wise that is. He's a DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter who can play over 5 instruments including bass and keyboard. In addition to these, Harris possesses a less official talent, but a defining one, nevertheless: releasing iconic songs year after year. I, like many, first discovered Harris from his work on Rihanna's 2011 banger "We Found Love," which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. That marked his first number one single on the US Billboard charts, and he's only seen an uphill climb ever since. Harris' third studio album 18 Months
featured hit "Feel So Close," along with numerous other tracks that were just as, if not more, successful. Now, five years later, Harris is releasing his fifth studio album Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1
, and to get the party started a little early, we've compiled a list of the DJ's ten most iconic songs. Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1
is set to be released on Friday, June 30th.
1. "We Found Love"
Okay, technically, this doesn't count because it is credited as being Rihanna's song; but, where would it be without Calvin? It still would have been massive just because it's Rihanna, but without the quality brought by Harris. This track was released towards the end of 2011 and spent 41 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Calvin and Rihanna really created a classic with this one–you can play it at a party now or five years down the line and it will still manage to get everyone super pumped to dance.
2. "Sweet Nothing"
This track is iconic entirely because it features no other than Florence Welch of indie rock band Florence and the Machine. Harris is said to have had to track Florence down after expressing an interest in working with her, and I've never been so grateful for two people to have worked out their scheduling conflicts. You don't often hear a voice like Florence's in the EDM industry, so Calvin was smart to have nabbed her when he did.
3. "How Deep is Your Love"
This track burns a lot slower than we're used to hearing from Harris. He paired up with production trio Disciples to create the song, which features vocals from Ina Wroldsen, a Norwegian singer/songwriter. Wroldsen's contributions are considered to be uncredited, although she is listed as a writer on the track. The song's music video features model Gigi Hadid, which would explain why it, as of now, has over 1.1 billion views on Youtube. This leads me to think that there are some people out there in the world thinking that Gigi is responsible for the smooth vocals they're hearing and that stresses me out, honestly.
4. "This is What You Came For"
Ah, Rihanna and Calvin came through with another summer banger with this one–a truly iconic duo. "TIWYCF" is only a little over a year old, and it's still inescapable. It was nice to see the two artists with another collaboration that doesn't sound like a "We Found Love" 2.0, because although we do love that song–we love new music and growth in artists even more.
5. "Feel So Close"
"Feel So Close" was the second song of Harris' that I'd ever heard; although, I associate it as the first more so than I do "We Found Love." I think I do this
because, for me at least, this was the track that launched me into his music. I heard it on the radio once and next thing you know I'm listening to the entirely of 18 Months on a loop for weeks. Tracks like this are what Calvin Harris does best. They're catchy without being annoying, and upbeat without being overwhelming. Also, this is one of the rare times where we are lucky enough to hear Harris singing himself, rather than an outside artist.
This may be the newest song on this list, but that doesn't make it any less iconic. "Slide" is the leading single from Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 and was made in collaboration with some of the biggest names in music at the moment: Frank Ocean and Migos. The carefree tone of the song makes it perfect for its time of release, just in time for summer drives and beach days. Harris continues to prove how skilled he is when it comes to pulling collaborations together and working with artists who you wouldn't expect to find on a song in his genre.
Serving as the third single from 2014 album Motion, "Blame" features British vocalist and songwriter John Newman. Newman originally proposed the song to Harris and is said to have written it entirely on his own. This track is stark contrast to the usual soft and smooth tone of Newman's music, and Calvin's production certainly takes his abilities to another level. Calvin Harris: expanding artists' range since 2012.
Calvin Harris has said that he's stopped lending his own vocals to his tracks after becoming bored of his own voice, but when you hear tracks like this it's hard to imagine ever getting bored of his sound. There isn't anything extremely outstanding or complex about "Summer," but I think that's what makes it so enjoyable. It isn't trying to sound like anything else and it doesn't need excessive features to make it a banger. This track was named as Spotify's Song of the Summer after becoming the most played song during the summer of 2014, with over 160 million plays.
"Bounce" is one of Harris' most important tracks, as it was both the first single to be released from 18 Months as well as the first track to be released on which he didn't sing himself. The song features Kelis, who we all know and love for her classic and iconic banger "Milkshakes." "Bounce" serves as a carefree anthem about letting go which makes it perfect for every dance or club playlist. Lyrically, this isn't the deepest song in the world, which I don't believe anyone expected it to be; however, there is something to be said of the feel good vibes that are created when Kelis sings, "We bounce to this track / And I don't care what anybody thinks about that / Hands to the sky, and throw your hands back."
10. "I Need Your Love"
Quite possibly one of the best tracks on 18 Months, "I Need Your Love" is carried by the vocals of British singer Ellie Goulding. Ellie is known for the soft, yet vibrant vocals that consistently create an aura of warmth around everything that she sings. The simplicity of her voice required that Harris take the production of the track to a slightly higher level in order to avoid becoming monotonous. Harris is seen collaborating with Goulding again on his 2014 track, "Outside."