A summer soundtrack is as essential as SPF. It sets the mood for long, hot days spent under the sun and still nights lived under the stars, so a playlist is essential from June through August. It’s something so important, we asked ChatGPT to help us craft the “perfect” summer playlist.
Videos by American Songwriter
What the artificial intelligence chatbot came up with was a 10-song list that offered variety in a feel-good, upbeat package. “Perfect for enjoying the summer season,” the program reasoned. Overall, the selection was decent, if at times generic and a little outdated, but you decide for yourself. Here is AI’s idea of the “perfect” summer playlist.
1. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
A predictable, but apropos choice, ChatGPT first suggested Pharrell Williams’ 2014 neo-soul hit, “Happy.” The smooth, energetic tune has spent nearly a decade of summers as a go-to pick when it comes to soundtracking fun in the sun.
2. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and The Waves
What better song is there for walking in the sunshine than “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves? The entire song even sounds like summer. The 1985 infectious classic was another AI choice, one that is an oldie, but a goodie.
3. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
We don’t blame AI for its next pick. Every playlist deserves a little solo Justin Timberlake, but his 2016 bop, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” in particular, is a summer banger through and through.
4. “Dance Monkey” – Tones and I
Tones and I’s 2019 electropop tune, “Dance Monkey,” became a viral hit for much of that year and virtually faded into obscurity afterward. Seeing it as an AI pick brings about a bit of a pause, but listening to the tune again only reinforces why it became a sensation in the first place.
5. “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire
September may be a fall month, but Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 disco-funk standard of the same name is the song for any season. It’s a bit of a sidestep from the Top 40 pop hits ChatGPT has chosen thus far, but AI knows what’s up when it comes to this tune.
6. “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers
A lot like Williams’ “Happy,” Daft Punk’s 2013 hit, “Get Lucky,” knows no age. It has spent 10 summers, topping playlists and soundtracking summer fun. Love it or hate it, the song is irresistible, so this pick feels like a no-brainer.
7. “Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” was one of 2019’s biggest chart-toppers and remains a constant on playlists today. The electropop tune is cool with its steely synths, but also upbeat with a persistent rhythm. AI seems to understand a crowd-pleaser.
8. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
ChatGPT also threw in Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 disco hit, “I Will Survive.” The tune is no doubt a throwback, but it’s impossible not to sing along to. It may not immediately scream “summer,” but the song sure is an uninhibited good time.
9. “Hey Ya!” – OutKast
OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” could soundtrack an entire summer on its own. It’s best when sandwiched in between other bangers, but the 2003 hip-hop standard can hold its own.
10. “Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus
While among the more outdated options, Miley Cyrus’ 2009 pop hit, “Party in the U.S.A.,” does the trick. Everyone knows it and it makes for a throwback-fueled sing-a-long, so why not? When in artificial intelligence-created Rome, right?
Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images