An anthem is a song which everyone that is supposed to know about and love, and often signposts a happy period of one’s life such as the summer. No one ever really hears about a winter anthem.
Music writers often use the word anthem interchangeably with the word ‘song’, often times to hint that the song might become an anthem, but in reality, only a few songs ever become anthems during a year.
Reviewing our collection of reviews and write-ups, anthems are more commonly used in hiphop reviews compared to indie or dance music reviews, and compared to regular english, anthems are used 10x more often*.
How does an anthem sound?
One would agree that Planet Rock from Africa Bambaataa in 1982 is an anthem:
As is I Can’t Do Without You from Caribou from 2014:
Seven Examples of Anthems
- “A-side opens with a post-apocalyptic anthem, which makes you want to sniff glue until all worlds break down.”
- “For the joy of all b-girls and b-boys, the Godfather of Hip-Hop and today’s best heavy funk band present their banging new anthem.”
- “Autotuned raps, pitch bending soft synths, and glitchy beats combine in spaced out anthems.”
- “Rolling breakbeats, catchy vocal snippets and a very groovy bassline are the core elements of this anthem that could rock any party.”
- “He takes the track to places where it’s never been before, by re-imagining the song into a breezy summer anthem where old school electric piano stabs, handclaps and a general feel-good vibes take centre stage.”
- “It’s a meeting of minds that produces an utterly seductive dancefloor anthem.”
- “The most clublike flamboyant anthems of his always seem like shrieks of beasts, dark insects and pagan birds displaying their feathers in a territorial way : a colourful celebration !! [sic].”