Spotify Discover playlists serve as an abstract audio documentation of where you were generally at in life last week. A passive-aggressive nudge that says, "hey, you know there are other good alt-country artists besides Ryan Adams." It would be annoying if it weren't right so much of the time. So here's this week's What Spotify Tells Us We Like, a psychomusical analysis of UD editors' relationships to the increasingly sentient algorithms of the world's largest streaming music operation:
"Yours" by Russell Dickerson is the most shockingly romantic country song and I can’t explain its presence here but I am embracing it, earnestly. I blame yesterday’s new moon.
Three things I learned while listening to this week's discover playlist; I am a sucker for a good cover, I am nostalgic for 90s pop/rock, I am obliged to up my Zoloft dosage.
When I find a track I like, I tend to keep it on repeat for a few hours/weeks until I'm completely tired of it. A metaphor for my life, really. So yeah, I'm not sure how the rest of the playlist is, but I can say with great certainty that I love "Young Hearts" by NoMBe. For now.
Kady Ruth Ashcraft
I unfortunately ruined my algorithm by listening to too much gentle piano, so that takes up a bit of this Discover Weekly this week. But as the days are getting warmer and I, personally, feel as if I am becoming a better person (long story, can't get into details, sorry) I think these songs are assuredly heartening. Highlights include Har Mar Superstar's "How Did I Get Through The Day" and for better (but worse), Phish.
The two songs I enjoy most off this week's "Any Good?" playlist are titled "Girl" and "Girl In New York." Which probably checks out with the unfathomable amount of Ciara and Fleetwood Mac I binged through last week.
A lot of songs on this list remind me of the stuff I used to listen to in college--The Dirty Projectors, The Decemberists, Hospitality (random one), Built to Spill...I still listen to these bands (which is why they probably showed up) but it feels strange that a function designed to discover new music is really just me (re)discovering old music I used to listen to more frequently. Take that as you will?
It was weird hearing Eddie Vedder uncharacteristically pandering to a Chicago crowd in his live version of “All the Way.” He’s normally so introspective and earnest. I needed answers, so I turned to Wikipedia, where I learned that Mr. Vedder is 53 and hails from Evanston, Illinois, which is near Chicago. Suddenly, it all made sense. And then I finished my sandwich and listened to something better. I always thought the road to discovery would be way more glamorous than this.
This playlist is kind of all over the place, filled with artists whose waters I’ve dipped a toe into but never fully submerged myself in. One exception: Shilpa Ray—who I’ve never heard of, and who’s Add Value Add Time is indie-reggae-shimmery slide guitar, and I’m really into it. She talks about “artisanal panic attacks,” and I’m a big sucker for making fun of all things artisanal. Judging by every Discover Playlist they’ve given me, Spotify is also really intent on making me a Grateful Dead fan, which I think I should open myself up to.