Bangers get a boost in the summertime, researchers analysing 66 years’ worth of UK weekly pop charts have found.
They scored more than 23,000 songs on factors such as tempo, danceability and energy, then compared the songs and their rankings with the weather. The result: songs with high intensity, that spark joy and happiness, soared to the top of the pops when the weather was warmer and less rainy.
Loud, fast and energetic songs—the kind boosted by summery climes—included the 80s dance bop ‘Get Loose’ by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, the early 2000s banger ‘Temperature’ by Sean Paul, and a cover of ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by the cast of the TV show Glee.
Songs in the top 10 showed the strongest associations with weather, fluctuating with the seasons. This suggests that it’s not just the quality of a song that propels it to the top of the charts, but also the prevailing weather.
The study authors suggest that sunny weather may make people feel happier, leading them to listen to upbeat music to match their mood—but they can’t say for sure, noting that the study only measures correlation.
It’s clear that we do, however, like singin’ in the rain: the popularity of low-intensity sad songs did not appear to change when the weather did.