The idea of one true “Song of the Summer” that conquers the culture had already started to seem a bit dated in the age of personalized streaming algorithms. Being bombarded by one catchy pop song constantly on the radio or the TRL countdown is already a thing of the past, but the other ways a traditional “Song of the Summer” contender can take foot (summer BBQs, nights out, beach days) are no longer possible in 2020 (unless, of course, you want your personal song of the summer to be the “beep… beep… beep….” of a hospital vitals monitor).
Though DaBaby and Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar” has maintained some chart momentum, the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 has turned over almost every week now, indicating momentary hype over staying power. Though, we wonder which artist would really want the dubious honor of having the song of the summer of 2020? That’s like having the biggest bop on the soundtrack of an esoteric Swedish art house drama.
TikTok, which has already shown promise in having the ability to send songs viral, may have unturned a dark house song of the summer fitting for these times.
On the social network, it’s colloquially known as a the “Ameno Dorime” song. It’s a hunting little ditty that features a pitch-altered Gregorian chant over unsettling, sparse electronic music, and is generally reserved for soundtracking the most cursed content on the app found in the dark corners of an area known as “alt TikTok.”
I first encountered the song in a video from user Shrexy Ogre who has undertaken the odd hobby of giving Barbie dolls unsettling home makeovers into other pop culture characters. “She’s happier this way,” read the caption. I have not known peace since.
Another viral video with the song features a long-nailed figure engaged in the ritual adoration of a giant baby.
Dig further, and there’s, of course, a frog in a turtleneck.
Don’t sleep on “Zhu Zhu pets offering up a Furby as a sacrifice to their Gods” either (just kidding, you won’t be able to sleep anyway after watching it).
For our last taste of this in no-way-conclusive roundup, may we suggest “cat surrounded by lobsters.”
Although it may seem like the song originated from the dark corners of your own subconscious, it actually dates back to 1996. That year, the French New-Age music project (a cursed phrase in and of itself) +eRa+ released their first song “Ameno.” The song’s intro is the source of the clip that’s now gone viral on TikTok. “Ameno,” by the way, was actually a top 10 hit in France, Belgium and Sweden and charted in Germany and Iceland as well.
Unsurprisingly, the song did not manage to make the trip over the Atlantic, but has lingered around the internet ever since. The altered version of the intro began to go viral in late 2020, and eventually arrived on TikTok in the middle of the pandemic in March. Its haunting power shows no signs of stopping.
The audio sounds like accidentally taking a wrong turn and walking into the middle of a very strange, but very serious occult ritual. But its versatility makes it something like the cursed cousin of the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song—a perfect musical cue for when things are just a little bit off, and unsettling so. Of course, it finds new resonance at a time when things are actually unsettling, and it does seem like half the people on your Facebook feed have joined some strange cult with bizarre logic.
If the song of the summer is supposed to be the soundtrack to our usual seasonal activities like pool parties and grilling, then “Ameno Dorime” is also the perfect soundtrack for how we’re spending our time in 2020: holed up at home alone, lights out, incessantly scrolling through content on our phones at 2 a.m., until we reach the oddest corners the internet has to offer.
Related: The Song of the Summer 2019 Awards