For the higher(opens in a brand new tab) half(opens in a brand new tab) of a(opens in a brand new tab) decade now, tradition observers have lamented the disappearance of the tune of the summer time. I might stroll you thru why that’s — the loss of life of monoculture, Spotify killing radio, TikTok traits downsizing the eye span for hit songs — however that’s not the primary level right here. Tradition not facilities round singular items of artwork; as an alternative, we wander by way of vibes. That’s how we obtained scorching lady summer time(opens in a brand new tab), Meg Ryan fall, and the sudden rise of pickleball.(opens in a brand new tab)
As a tradition connoisseur myself, I’ve felt the winds of change and settled on the aesthetic of this upcoming summer time — and it sounds rather a lot like metal drums. That’s proper, the summer time of 2023 is the Summer season of Jimmy Buffett (SJB). Get your ass to a Tommy Bahama instantly.
Now you may motive, if you happen to knew me, that that is wishful pondering. Admittedly, I am an enormous fan of Jimmy Buffett and ascribe to the entire Margaritaville vibe, but I’d argue I’m simply higher attuned to the summer time to return due to that reality. One may say I used to be born to jot down this publish. I’m not saying it, however I’m additionally not not saying it.
And, to be clear, I’ve proof to again up this concept, which I clarify at size, under.
Parrothead trend is in
Go searching at what’s cool in clothes proper now. What’s “in” and stylish, particularly for menswear? Hawaiian shirts(opens in a brand new tab) and camp collar(opens in a brand new tab) linens. Florals are additionally in and leaning extra maximalist, attune with the tradition’s “rising love for novelty—if not outright camp,” in accordance with Marie Claire(opens in a brand new tab). Even saggy cargo pants(opens in a brand new tab) and shorts are trendy once more. Every little thing, basically, is trending towards flowy and lightweight.
All these objects are extraordinarily Margaritaville couture. It describes, precisely, what one would put on to a Jimmy Buffett live performance.
You understand what else is having a second? Margaritaville-branded Crocs. Look on Twitter, TikTok(opens in a brand new tab), or in my closet. Folks love them and are posting(opens in a brand new tab) about(opens in a brand new tab) them(opens in a brand new tab) rather a lot. And, not for nothing, have a look at the gauche gorgeousness of these items.
If that’s not proof of the approaching SJB, what’s?
Jimmy Buffett tradition is leaking into on-line traits
OK, first we now have to giggle on the phrase “Jimmy Buffett tradition.” I perceive how foolish that sounds and, in actuality, how foolish it’s.
Nonetheless, there’s a particular vibe to the Buffett fandom. It’s a lazy, sun-kissed, sundown feeling. It continuously includes consuming alcohol, perhaps even marijuana. It’s not that you simply don’t have tasks, it’s that you simply’re selecting to disregard them. Any issues could be dealt with by an undefined future model of you. You exist solely the place your ft are, and people ft are probably barefoot. Your solely issues are the small ones instantly at hand, reminiscent of(opens in a brand new tab) a blown-out flip-flop or misplaced shaker of salt. That’s the essence of Buffetcore.
I noticed a viral TikTok — that has since accrued greater than 2 million views — about having a “enjoyable uncle” summer time. The publish from @patrickmazuca(opens in a brand new tab) reads: “No scorching lady summer time, it’s enjoyable uncle summer time. Be the enjoyable uncle of your good friend group. Get inappropriately drunk on the incorrect occasions. Consolation over trend all summer time lengthy. Spray tan, if needed. Make folks second guess how one can afford your way of life. Possibly purchase a ship. We’re having enjoyable 100% of the time.”
The tune this thesis was set to? “Margaritaville.”
And goddamn if that paragraph doesn’t nail the Buffett vibe. It’s being unfastened and having a very good time whereas remaining unproblematic. You’re the uncle with nothing weighing him down who everyone seems to be thrilled to see on the cookout.
A lot of other people on social media went viral making comparable(opens in a brand new tab) (or outright copies) of the “Enjoyable Uncle Summer season” publish. TikTok consumer @sarahalessa obtained greater than one million views on a publish(opens in a brand new tab) in April for his or her “Beer Uncle” playlist set to, what else, “It’s 5 O’Clock Someplace.”
There’s additionally been a gentle improve in Buffett content material on-line. This previous April, comedian-actor Dan Soder took to TikTok(opens in a brand new tab) to debate the Buffett banger “He Went To Paris.” Look across the web and also you’ll discover memes in regards to the Buffett revival.
There are even tweets about it being a Jimmy Buffett Summer season. What different folks of their 70s are trending on TikTok past, you understand, present or former heads of state? That’s the facility of Jimmy.
Google Tendencies even exhibits a rising curiosity in Jimmy Buffett this month. (And no such rise for Scorching Woman Summer season… simply saying.)
Credit score: Screenshot: Google Tendencies
One thing is within the air and on the web. Guess what, pal? It’s the approaching collective realization that it’s the Summer season of Jimmy Buffett.
Why the Summer season of Jimmy Buffett is sensible in 2023
Assuming we are heading towards Jimmy Buffett Summer season, I believe it provides up. The summer time of 2020 arrived on the top of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the tradition embraced the post-vax aesthetic of Scorching Woman Summer season. And final yr, we have been within the midst of a late 90s, early Y2K revival that in the end gave option to the clear aesthetic(opens in a brand new tab). So it is sensible that this yr we might overcorrect into rest.
This summer time, we’re all Jimmy Buffett. And you understand what? There are far worse issues to be.
If all you understand of Buffett are campy hits like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” then I’d argue you’ve obtained a bit to be taught. There may be completely nothing incorrect with these songs. They’re enjoyable and kitschy, an ideal summer time soundtrack. However as that TikTok from Soder hints at, Buffett is a prolific songwriter with tracks that pack a creative punch. Pay attention — actually pay attention — to my favourite Buffett tune, “A Pirate Seems to be at Forty.”
It’s an ideal distillation of a sure American malaise. It tells the story of a person with no course who believes he was born to drift alongside the seas in some forgotten model of the world. He’s stumbled into and out of small fortunes operating medicine and catching a buzz. He’s misplaced and lucky and wiling away the times in all of the comforts of American extra. It’s, I’d argue, an ideal image of late-stage-capitalism and imperial America in 2023 — and it was written 48 years in the past. And if you happen to suppose I’m overanalyzing this, simply know Bob freaking Dylan and Joan Baez lined this tune(opens in a brand new tab).
That’s why Buffett is an ideal image for this second in time. If you would like, you may simply benefit from the campy, Hawaiian-shirt vibes. You may shut down and sit back. However take into consideration the ambiance within the U.S. (and world at giant) proper now. Rightwing state legislators are rolling again LGBT rights(opens in a brand new tab), we’re staring down the barrel of a 3rd poisonous(opens in a brand new tab) presidential election in a row, and it appears like everyone seems to be apprehensive about(opens in a brand new tab) their capacity to remain financially afloat. Oh, and COVID nonetheless exists, and the world continues to be slowly burning.
There’s a tenor of completely satisfied nihilism in Buffett’s songs.
So, sure, ignoring these huge worries for a minute with “It’s 5 O’Clock Someplace” is sensible. However don’t overlook that Buffett usually Trojan-horses sharp social commentary into his music. 1978’s “Manana,” for example, known as out Anita Bryant, a singer and antigay activist who campaigned for legal guidelines in Florida that allowed folks to discriminate in opposition to the LGBTQIA+ group. He has a tune with “I Don’t Love Jesus”(opens in a brand new tab) within the title and wrote the lyrics(opens in a brand new tab), “Faith is within the arms of some crazy-ass folks / Tv preachers with unhealthy hair and dimples.” He tells tales of individuals(opens in a brand new tab) that’ve suffered great loss however discovered the sweetness in life. OK, and sure, he writes about consuming on boats(opens in a brand new tab), too.
There’s a tenor of completely satisfied nihilism in Buffett’s songs. Every little thing appears fairly fucked, however we will hang around with our buddies to move the time. “Margaritaville” is explicitly about fortunately losing away.
That’s the undercurrent of what we’re seeing within the tradition. Being the “enjoyable uncle” is quickly pretending your tasks and worries don’t exist. If [gesture at the world] issues appear unhealthy, carrying tender garments with loud designs is a small consolation.
A smart man as soon as wrote(opens in a brand new tab): “‘Trigger I’m livin’ on issues that excite me / Be they pastry or lobster or love / I’m simply tryin’ to get by bein’ quiet and shy / In a world filled with pushin’ and shove.”
That’s the vibe we’re reaching for in the summertime of 2023. We’re leaning into extra, and rest, and minding our personal goddamn enterprise.
Hearth up the blender.