What’s The Ideal Length For A Song? Major Artists Debate

30 May 2024 | 12:26 pm | Mary Varvaris

"A song doesn’t need to be longer than two minutes 30, in my opinion."

PinkPantheress, Dionne Warwick

PinkPantheress, Dionne Warwick (Source: Supplied)

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English singer, songwriter, and producer PinkPantheress (real name Victoria Walker) accidentally started a debate about the ideal length of songs with American singer, actress, and television host Dionne Warwick.

Promoting her new single Turn It Up, the British star – opening for Coldplay on their upcoming Australian tour and announced her own headline dates – told the US version of ABC News why she keeps her songs so short.

Turn It Up is just two minutes and 27 seconds in length. PinkPantheress explained the intentions behind her music, “I was able to experiment, and making short songs was just a result of my experimenting.

“A song doesn’t need to be longer than two minutes 30, in my opinion. We don’t need to repeat a verse, we don’t need to have a bridge, we don’t need it. We don’t need a long outro.”

The Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2 singer’s comments have gone viral since they were picked up and re-posted by the popular X (formerly known as Twitter) account PopCrave. The post went so viral that it was seen by Warwick, who only left a question mark upon sharing the post.

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However, PinkPantheress fans took that as a slight against the singer, so clearing up what she meant by her response, Warwick proclaimed that she wasn’t out to “get” PinkPantheress.

“Artists are allowed to create their art in any way they choose,” Warwick wrote. “However, I do believe a bridge is important.”

Turn It Up isn’t the only short song released in recent weeks.

Becky Hill’s latest, Multiply, runs for two minutes and 28 seconds. Central Cee & Lil Baby just dropped the two-minute, 20-second BAND4BAND, Betty’s Not Enough is only two minutes and 11 seconds, and closer to home, Grinspoon just dropped Unknown Pretenders, which goes for two minutes and 40 seconds.

You can look at Apple Music and Spotify’s “New Music Daily” playlists to find even more ultra-short songs.

Last June, The Music asked, “Hit singles under two minutes: how low can we go?” after Amy Shark released the track Can I Shower At Yours, which spans one minute and 54 seconds.

Shark isn’t the only one releasing short songs, though. Players by Coi Leray, one of last year’s biggest hits, clocked in at just over two minutes.

Songs haven’t just gone down to two minutes in the last two years; it’s been happening for decades, particularly in rock, punk, and hardcore spheres. However, TikTok's 30-second hooks and streaming's incentive to avoid the skip have taken the underground and increasingly become the norm, which is now impacting pop music.