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Stop! Hammer Time: What’s The Best Music To Listen To When Doing DIY?

In 2020, our homes needed to double up as an office, a school, a gym, and perhaps even a romantic restaurant at times, so it’s no surprise many of us started saying ‘I need a wide-open space’, and lots of us turned to DIY to improve our homes.

It doesn’t look like our love for all things DIY is slowing down any time soon either, as more of us are now searching for ‘how to’ videos on Google for different DIY tasks. ‘How to put up shelves’ has increased by 58% in just 12 months, how to install a roof window’ is up by 15% and ‘how to install insulation’ has increased by a huge 48%.

Now, if you’re anything like us, one of the first things we get ready before picking up a paintbrush, is a decent playlist to soundtrack our labour of love – whether it’s to create a calm atmosphere whilst concentrating on painting, or to provide upbeat motivation for less enjoyable jobs like plumbing in a new sink or sanding down old woodwork.

It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)

So, we were curious. Which songs and artists do people listen to the most when doing DIY? For us it’s Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys every time – but what did the rest of the UK think was the best music for DIY?

To find out, we headed to Spotify and analysed more than 70,000 songs on playlists that people had created to accompany a range of DIY tasks like: painting and decorating, home improvement, gardening and even flat-pack furniture.

 

man drilling into wood

The Official UK Top 10

In at number one, is Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams – added to 48 DIY playlists in total. At number two it’s The Less I know The Better by Tame Impala and Post Malone’s Sunflower makes it to number three.

The Top 10 Most Listened To DIY Songs (and the number of playlists they’re added to):

Rank

Song

No. of Playlists

1

Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

48

2

The Less I Know the Better – Tame Impala

45

3

Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse OST) – Post Malone

44

4

Pretty Girl – Clairo

44

5

Are you Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo) – Wallows

42

6

Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood

42

7

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

41

8

Sunflower – Rex Orange County

39

9

We Fell in Love in October – Girl in Red

39

10

Circles – Post Malone

37

 

If you’ve lost that loving feeling with your current décor and you’re planning some DIY but need some inspiration for what music to play, here’s the top 50 most popular DIY songs:

 

My Generation

Taylor Swift ranks as the most popular artist, appearing 659 times in different playlists for DIY, with Billie Eilish and Tame Impala close behind – beating old favourites like The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. Harry Styles, Hozier, the Arctic Monkeys and Post Malone also feature in the top 10.

Top 10 Artists For DIY (and how many times they were added to different playlists)

Rank

Song

No. of Playlists

1

Taylor Swift

659

2

Billy Eilish

345

3

Tame Impala

339

4

The Beatles

283

5

Fleetwood Mac

282

6

Mac Miller

274

7

Harry Styles

273

8

Arctic Monkeys

225

9

Hozier

224

10

Post Malone

221

Paint It Black

Pretty Girl by Clairo, which ranked fourth overall in the official top 10, also appears to be the most popular song on playlists created especially for painting. For gardening it’s Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, and Down Under by Men at Work is the most added track on playlists for plumbing.

Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff is apparently the best track to listen to if you’re tackling flat-pack furniture and, for general home improvement, Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen was added to playlists the most. Also, very appropriately, when looking specifically at playlists created for home improvement, Limp Bizkit’s self-explanatory track ‘Break Stuff’ appeared as the third most popular track.

The Best Music to Play When Painting and Gardening

In total, 13,395 different songs were added to playlists for painting, and Pretty Girl by Clairo was the most popular, added in total to 42 different playlists. But that’s not her only entry, with Bubble Gum also making it to number seven. Elsewhere, the all-time top song for DIY, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac also makes an appearance, at number eight.

legs messy from decorating

Top 10 Songs to Paint to (and how many different playlists each track was added to)

Rank

Song

No. of Playlists

1

Pretty Girl – Clairo

42

2

Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo) – Wallows

38

3

Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood

38

4

Sunflower – Rex Orange County

34

5

Heather – Conan Gray

32

6

We Fell in Love in October – Girl in Red

32

7

Bubble Gum – Clairo

32

8

Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

30

9

The Night We Met – Lord Huron

28

10

Falling for U – Peachy!

28

 

For gardening, 10,004 songs were pulled in to different playlists - Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison is at number one, and September (the last month of gardening for many, before the cold snap hits) by Earth, Wind and Fire also makes the top 10 at number nine.

family doing gardening

Top 10 Songs to Play When Gardening (and how many different playlists each track was added to)

Rank

Song

No. of Playlists

1

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

20

2

Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac

16

3

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

16

4

Someone Like You by Adele

16

5

Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners

16

6

Bloom - Bonus Track by The Paper Kites

14

7

The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala

14

8

Electric Feel by MGMT

14

9

September by Earth, Wind & Fire

14

10

American Pie by Don McLean

14

 

If this has inspired you, and you’re crazy in love with your latest DIY project, we love a good before and after shot, so send them over on Facebook – and we’ll share the best ones.

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Methodology:

All results are based on Spotify data correct at January 2021. The most popular artists and songs were calculated by scraping the song data of playlists including DIY related terms such as ‘home improvement’, ‘interior design’, ‘painting’, ‘plumbing’, ‘renovation’, ‘gardening’ and ‘flat pack’.