Spotify Has Compiled the Best Road Trip Playlists for Your End-of-Summer Needs

The best songs to put the pedal to the metal to


If you’re trying to fit in one last road trip before summer ends, Labor Day weekend is probably your best bet, and Spotify is there for you. (‘Cause you’ve been there for them, too.)

Whether you’re on the run from the law (we won’t tell anyone) or just the responsibilities of fall (getting the kids to school, keeping warm, etc.), Spotify’s got you covered.

The company analyzed over 111,690 playlists from users that featured the words “road trip” or “roadtrip” in the title to calculate a base set of data.

Spotify whittled that list down into the 500 most popular songs in road trip playlists. Of course, that’s still 33 hours of songs, so Ajay Kalia, Product Owner of Taste Profiles at Spotify, normalized the list for popularity, which weeded out songs included in playlists simply because of their popularity, not because of any inherent suitability for road-tripping.

That narrowed the list down to 200 essential road trip songs, which is still over 12 hours of music, so the music-streaming giant decided to drill down even further into the data.

“Starting with the full list, we used artist-similarity ‘clusters’ to create playlists capturing a general style of music, like classic rock, indie folk and pop music,” Kalia says.

This yielded four playlists, ready to hit the road with you.

The Mellow Gold Road Trip Playlist features mostly tunes from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, along with backwards-looking modern music:

For a more modern take, check out the Pop Road Trip Playlist, featuring mostly modern chart hits from after the year 2000:

Get your lighters ready for the the Acoustic Rock Road Trip Playlist:

Finally, the Power Trip Playlist spans a variety of genres, featuring traveling songs both specific (“Los Angeles” by X) and broad (“Have Love Will Travel” by The Sonics):

Spotify also endorses a nifty web app called Road Trip Mixtape from Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform for The Echo Nest. Road Trip Mixtape lets you input any two cities, and the app will spit out a list of music by artists from the places you’ll be driving through on your way from point A to point B.

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