Science Comes Up with a Formula for the Perfect Summer Song

It’s that time of year again when the silliness over naming The Song of the Summer begins. I don’t care, if I’m honest. But plenty of people–including a group of data miners–are emotionally invested in the exercise.

Spotify and the Echo Nest (it’s big data division) worked with a vacation company called First Choice to come up with a mathematical formula for the perfect summer song. By studying 150 of the most-streamed summer songs from the last half decade, they came up with this:

  • T = Tempo (Self-explanatory)
  • E = Energy (A bit subjective, but okay)
  • D = Danceability (Ditto)
  • A = Acousticness (The elements that go into making sound of the song: voice, traditional instruments, synths, acoustic, amplified)
  • V = Valence (The level of positivity in the track. In other words, few summer songs are downers)
  • SHIT = Summer Hit (Oh, dear. That doesn’t really work, does it?)

These elements are incorporated as follows:

T + (E x 1.48) + (D x 1.17) + (A x 0.17 ) + (V x 1.14) = SHIT

Using this math, early favourites for the 2015 Song of the Summer in Britain include “Firestone” from Kygo…

…”Headlights” from Robin Schultz…

…and Jamie xx’s “Loud Places.”

(Via the Daily Mail)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Science Comes Up with a Formula for the Perfect Summer Song

  • May 8, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Those all suck. Here’s the perfect summer song that meets all the criteria, without using a formula

    • May 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Geez I don’t think I’ve heard that since the summer of ’98


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