The Debate: What is the Song of Summer 2016?

We Ponder What Was This Years Definitive Summer EDM Anthem. Hmmm...

It’s getting cooler in the Pacific Northwest. Tree leaves are starting to change colors, school is back in session, and football season is revving up. You know what that means: Fall is almost here! After a busy Summer for the Dance Music NW team, which saw us travel to festivals in the region and beyond, we’re catching our breath before gearing up for the next round of raves (Nero, Krewella, Magnifique, Seven Lions, Freaknight, …the list continues).  It’s been a big summer for the electronic dance music scene and looking back at it, we ask the tough question: what was the song of the summer?

The Chainsmokers’ infectious hit Don’t Let Me Down is one of the first tunes to come to mind. Released in the spring, this song soared to new heights during the summer, topping several international charts and spending an astonishing 18 weeks (and counting) on the Billboard Hot 100. Featuring emotional vocals from Daya, a fun progressive-pop type beat and a strong drop, Don’t Let Me Down helped put EDM back into the mainstream and launched The Chainsmokers to another level.

The next two song of the summer nominees are also Chainsmokers originals. Roses and Closer, are currently receiving heavy play in the mainstream and, like Don’t Let Me Down, are super catchy, very poppy, feature wonderful female vocals, and are charting worldwide. The Chainsmokers’ current sound is nothing new in the industry, but they’ve found the formula to capture the hearts of millions and really take over the entire music world during summer ‘16. Their current hot streak doesn’t look like it will end any time soon; we’re wondering what these Paradiso 2016 headliners will serve up next!


This next artist doesn’t produce EDM, but anytime he’s featured on an electric song, a hit is born. Last year, Justin Bieber joined forces with Skrillex and Diplo and helped launched Jack Ü and Major Lazer into the mainstream wonderland following the releases of Where Are Ü Now and Lean On. Both songs DOMINATED summer 2015 and still receive good play to this day. In summer ‘16, the Biebz jumped back into electronic dance and stars on our next two nominations: Major Lazer’s Cold Water and DJ Snake’s Let Me Love You.

Cold Water brings back the sound that made Lean On a global success, while the combination of DJ Snake’s signature progressive sound and J.B.’s smooth vocals has Let Me Love You zooming up the charts following its early August release. Hate Bieber all you want, but we’re excited to see which EDM artist he’ll collab with next, in what will surely be another catchy mainstream success.

Rewinding back to Skrillex. The OWLSA head honcho was busy this summer, spending much of the time touring as Jack Ü (who even headlined Fvded 2016 in Vancouver a few months ago). Many of his sets teased a bass rattling heater that featured the Maybach Don himself – Rick Ross. Fans waited in anticipation for the track to be officially released, and when it did… oh boy. Insert flame emoji here!

Purple Lamborghini is next on our list and is a sound unlike the previously mentioned songs. Forget poppy beats and female vocals: Purple Lamborghini is as sinister as they come. Ricky Rozay carries the Suicide Squad anthem, delivering hard hitting rhymes from start to finish, assisted by menacing Skrillex drops of course. You definitely won’t hear this one on the radio!

Other notable songs include Mike Posner’s Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix), Oliver Helden’s Flamingo, and Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s This Is What You Came For.

What would you say has been the song of the summer? What songs are we missing? Drop a comment and let us know!