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Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky': How to Build the Song of the Summer

With Get Lucky, instead of the music industry's usual approach to promotion, Daft Punk tried “seduction”
Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky': How to Build the Song of the Summer
Photograph by Chad Batka/The New York Times via Redux

Get Lucky, the new single from French electronic duo Daft Punk, is on its way to becoming the official summer anthem of 2013. Since its release on April 19, it’s sold 838,000 digital downloads in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and shot to No. 1 on digital charts in 55 countries. It also set a Spotify record for first-day streams and has since been heard on the service more than 40 million times.

The success of Get Lucky upends many truisms in the music business about artists, taste, and marketing. Most huge summer hits come from familiar names: Katy Perry’s California Gurls, the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling, Kid Rock’s All Summer Long. Another fresh face, Gotye, who had last summer’s unstoppable Somebody That I Used to Know, took almost a full year of media saturation (constant radio airplay, performances on American Idol and Glee, supportive tweets from celebs like Ashton Kutcher) to become a certified hit. How did two obscure, older French guys—their biggest previous single, 2000’s One More Time, peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard chart in the U.S., and they had limited Internet presence and no live performances in 2013—record a disco-inspired song that’s become the most buzzed-about tune of the summer?