On Spotify Playlists

Music is emotion made tangible.”
— James Griffin

While I’m writing this, I’m eating an ice cream concrete from Scoop Dog with caramel, heath and M&M’s. Ice cream makes me feel playful and young. And I like to listen to upbeat music like Instupendo or Shallou while eating it on a summer evening.

I typically listen to music on Spotify because, well, it’s one of the best ways to find and listen to new artists without having to buy albums. An infinite amount of music at my fingertips.

Unlike Facebook and other social media, Spotify is all about art and artists. I suspect that many Spotify users** don’t take full advantage of the capacity to follow friends and artists, but we should.

You can share your playlists with others or make them public so people can listen along with you.

My family has created collaborative playlists for everything from Thanksgiving to funerals. We add and delete songs over time to generate living playlists that mark our evolving tastes and relationships.

My own playlists also change with the seasons. Rather than creating a set of songs and letting it grow stagnate over time, I edit to redefine the set as feels good to me today. Each playlist starts with a name that embodies a feeling I want to capture. And that sentiment shifts with the music and my own evolution.

Naturally, there are some songs that don’t change. Some songs are the bedrock of a playlist, like Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine". But many find themselves being deleted when they no longer serve the original intention.

In Utero” holds songs that I heard before I was even born. “Pensive Day” seems self-explanatory. And “Swagger”, well, you get the picture.

I love seeing what my friends listen to. Some of my favorite artists have public playlists, too. Kendl created two playlists that seem well-titled, “Dusk” and “Dawn”. And Jack Johnson has “Jack’s Playlist”.

Unlike the intellectual static of a Facebook newsfeed or Trump's tweets, Spotify playlists share felt realities. It’s about the art that moves us and becomes the soundtrack to our lives.

Music is emotion made tangible. It powerfully shapes my world. It can shift my emotions or it can amplify them.

What better way is there to understand how your friends view the world than to listen to their music?

Who are you listening to? What songs or artists motivate you?

If you’re looking for something new, check out my simple playlists by clicking on the Spotify symbol at the bottom of the page. And let me know if you’ve got someone you think is worth sharing. After all, I love finding new artists almost as much as I enjoy eating ice cream.


** Random note: “Users" is a term found in only two industries to describe their customers: drugs or software. What does that say about our dependence on computers?