Summertime, When the Hitmaking Is Easy

Musicians get crafty in an attempt to win this season’s chart war

There’s never been a less subtle contender for Song of the Summer than Calvin Harris’s Summer. The track, No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 as of this writing, has only eight distinct lines, which repeat for nearly four minutes. It’s a lot of time to devote to a story as old as Grease. “When I met you in the summer/To my heartbeat sound/We fell in love/As the leaves turned brown,” sings Harris, a 30-year-old DJ from Scotland. The tune is set to the same crashing electronic beats that cemented him as a hitmaker for Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and others who’ve dominated warm-weather airwaves the past few years.

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