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Podcast: The song of the summer 2024

Podcast: The song of the summer 2024


It’s our annual look at the contenders for the song of the summer.

There’s no formula for writing a song of the summer, the same way that you can’t guarantee a Christmas classic, but there are some ground rules that seem to apply for most of the songs in contention every year.

As noted by Mark Savage’s The secrets of a hit summer song piece, some key things a song has to be simple (like Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’), It should make you feel like you’re on holiday (‘Pon De Replay’ / ‘Club Tropicana’), novelty is good, whether that means meme-friendly, silly (‘Macarena’) or a novel mix of styles (like Old Town Road’s mix of country and rap) but most importantly it should be released before the summer, ideally mid April – early May latest.

We added a few more rules of our own – including mentions of food and drink are good, controversy can be helpful, titillation can work, melancholy, anticipation and the song’s unquantifiable repeatable vibe that doesn’t grate over months of listening via rooftops, out of cars, festivals, clubs and pubs. A catchy lyric is essential – are you ready to match our freak?

But really the song of the summer is a nebulous accolade, and ultimately decided by too many factors to identity.

This year’s main contenders include Kabin Crew’s ‘The Spark’, Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Espresso’, Tommy Richman’s ‘Million Dollar Baby’, Chappell Roan’s ‘Good Luck Babe’, Charli XCX’s ‘360’, Kendrick’s ‘Not Like Us’ and songs from Tik-Tok memes, Billie Eilish, Jamie xx, Tinashe, Hozier, Shaboozey and more.

We take them at their word and consider each for the ultimate summer medal – the song of the summer 2024.

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