The joy of Spotify
I am deeply ashamed to admit there was a dark time in my life where I was a misguided Apple Music user. However in my defense, junior high was the worst, and everything I said or did between the ages of 12-14 should be permanently removed from the public record.
Luckily, my freshman year, I fell for Apple Music’s older, edgy cousin—Spotify.
At first, I endured the ads, but due to a lack of mental fortitude, I quickly caved. From that point forward I have become an obnoxiously proud premium user, and Spotify has been with me everywhere I go.
In my mind, periods of time are defined by music:
Freshman year, studying for AP Human Geography while listening to an obscene amount of Lana del Rey.
Sophomore year, proudly blaring music from the speakers of my mom’s minivan while exercising my Iowa-given right to drive to school (and only to school, on the shortest route, between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.)
And finally now, the present: social distancing, passing the time and attempting to curb my existential dread through finding new songs and artists.
With school closures and social isolation, I finally have the time to reclaim the lost art of listening to entire albums start to finish with minimal interruption. In my album deep-dives, I feel I get a better sense for how and why the artist chose to do what they did. A deeper understanding of an album and it’s nuances always inspires me to be more creative.
While my sophisticated knowledge of music theory ends at not knowing a single scale on the clarinet by memory after six years, I like to consider myself a musical connoisseur. I feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment once I finish an album. A subtle yet boastful sense of self-affirmation as I add it to my mental musical repertoire.
I now also have time to experiment with different music styles in a way I never have before, something I feel is grossly underrated—an afterthought as we get stuck in the bubble of a set genre.
Without listening to absolutely anything and everything, how would I find gems like my favorite Ukranian Punk Band? Music is the great equalizer. It transcends language, age and political affiliation and it bridges cultural gaps.
Listening to all types of music with an open mind is an incredibly freeing experience. Don’t ask me how I know this but I’ve heard If you listen to Jason’ Derulo’s 2010 work “Jason Derulo” all the way through you’ll see a whole new side of Jason that isn’t portrayed in the media.
Taking the time to investigate songs and artists you grew up on is fascinating. And when you find something you love on Spotify, you can head to the radio feature where it works its green magic and finds you tons of other songs you enjoy.
This brings me to my last point: songs to replace social interaction. The simple joy of awkwardly craning your neck to accommodate the sharing of headphones has been lost, but I am happy to report that the camaraderie of sharing music is still alive and well. I absolutely adore sharing my music with others. I feel a burning nostalgia for creating CD mixtapes, something I never actually experienced myself, but boldly assume playlists are the next best thing.
Sharing music truly is a love language. Whenever I hear a song that reminds me of a friend, I send it to them which helps keep us connected. I am thankful to know that when I look back on this odd period of time, I will have my playlists to serve as a time capsule.