Spotify released its “official” predictions for the song of the summer this morning, and, to be honest, I don’t think it’s fair that it got to pick 15 of them. Anyone can guess the song of the summer if they get 15 tries!
The songs were selected using a fascinating combination of vague-sounding scientific techniques. According to a press release, each song was chosen by “tapping the insights of its genre and trend experts, analyzing its streaming data, and considering factors such as a song’s performance on the charts, on key Spotify playlists, and how it’s performing over time.”
Spotify also “factored in buzz on social media,” so I’m not sure how we got all the way to the following list without so much as touching on the fact that Justin Bieber says bad, fake Spanish on the #1 track in the United States right now. I’m pretty sure people are just hate-listening to it.
Anyway, after Spotify selected the 15 songs most likely to burrow their way into your skull through August, it labeled each with the summer situation that it is perfect for — with the mildly funny exception of two songs by Future and Lil Uzi Vert, which are labeled only with the information that they are rap songs. Noted!
- The “This Song is [two fire emoji]’ Song”: “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez
- The Party Song: “Strip That Down” by Liam Payne feat. Quavo
- The Lounging by the Pool Song: “I’m The One” by DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne (Also a recent One Video selection on The Verge!)
- The My Summer Fling is a Disaster Song: “Crying in The Club” by Camila Cabello
- The Sunburn Recovery Song: “The Cure” by Lady Gaga
- The Road Trip Staple: “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes
- Ultimate Club Banger: “Swish Swish” by Katy Perry feat. Nicki Minaj
- The Rap Cut: “Mask Off” by Future
- The Dark and Stormy: “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons
- The Summer Workout: “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar
- The Summer Lazing Song: “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan
- The Globetrotter: “Despacito” (Remix) by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
- The Cruising to the Beach Song: “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus
- The Song with an Important Message: “1-800-273-8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara, Khalid
- The Best Trap Option: “XO TOUR Llif3” by Lil Uzi Vert
But here’s what most of these songs are actually perfect for: being bummed out. Or, to borrow a phrase, crying in the club. Liam Payne’s debut song as a solo artist is one of the worst things I have ever heard in my life, and that is coming from someone who tried to believe in him even after he compared himself to Tyga. Working through the list, I doubt we (as a species) are capable of fathoming Niall Horan, a perfect angel of love and light and intellectual curiosity, at all, or ever will be. As such, his post-One Direction solo music will only ever hurt us a little, like sipping pure grain alcohol or staring into the sun.
“Malibu” strikes me as a song written and performed under coercion, and I don’t really want to talk about how bad Shawn Mendes is because the last time I did that I received upwards of 500 death threats on the internet. Any song featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid, the idols of a brand-new generation of teens that I am not a part of and can’t completely relate to, is only going to make me feel like I am nearing death.
In summer, we need to party while we can... while Congress is in recess. We deserve a better “club banger” than a track with Katy Perry on it, weakly dissing another pop star who also doesn’t belong in the club, and we deserve to forget that Imagine Dragons is a thing, which I mostly had until right now. We deserve true apocalypse pop or its polar opposite — the brain-pickling earnest romanticism of Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest offering — and nothing in between. If we deserve anything from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. it’s “FEAR” or “LOVE,” and oh my god, what is wrong with everyone who is letting Lana Del Rey’s two perfect summer singles sit in the corner gathering dust? This is no fault of Spotify’s, but 2017’s summer pop roster could really use a few heroes.
(“Bad Liar” is incredible. If the list had stopped there it would have been a great list.)
The best summer song is the one that gets pumped, whether you like it or not, out of every car window in the United States for three entire months. Spotify, to its credit, does not dare to guess which song that might be. We’ll find out soon enough.
Three weeks until summer, please hold on!