The Power of the Playlist

I love Spotify. No Taylor Swift, of course, but apart from that minor detail, I love Spotify. I love that nearly all my music is there, waiting for me, in the aether. I love that as soon as I hear something on the radio, it’s there, waiting for me. The other night I added a song to my playlist *while I was listening to it on the radio* (Love, by Lana Del Ray, actually). For an instant gratification junkie like me, that’s a result.

And I may be in my (ahem) mid-thirties, but who doesn’t love to make a playlist? Because it’s just a mixtape by another name, and mixtapes are, as we know, very important. They’re how you express your personality. They’re how you tell someone they’re your friend, your love interest, your fellow geek/nerd. They’re a little slice of your soul, in music and lyrics. If you commute, a playlist is a vital component of your day. It makes the difference between feeling like you’re an automaton standing on a cramped train on the way to work versus starring in your very own indie movie about a cool girl who wears leather shift dresses, listening to the soundtrack you have curated. Although if, like me, you’re a devotee of the shuffle button, genuine curation isn’t even a consideration.

My last playlist had the creative title of “March 2016” and had swelled to a 100-plus behemoth which you could use to track the story of my last seven months, plus the songs which really genuinely are my favourites. It was a mix of songs from the Frozen soundtrack, Miley Cyrus, who I really shouldn’t like but I do, and all the cool stuff I listen to as well. Honest. But it was feeling a bit too memory laden. As all us students of English Literature know, the past is a foreign country (and as anyone who’s ever pondered why certain acts are “big in Germany”, or wondered why they bought that summer holiday hit); they do music differently there. I’ve lost my commuting buddy, I’m starting a new job… it was time to change my aural landscape and rewrite my soundtrack! I started a new playlist.

My new playlist is called “February 2017“. It’s almost relentlessly upbeat, positive and life affirming. No one can feel sad when they’re strutting down Hills Road listening to Aretha, or Beyonce at her most fierce, and while Jess Glynne might be a “cheery one-woman M People” © Alexis Petridis, she’s bloody cheery, and on a blustery February day, I think we could all do with some cheer.

Take a little look!  And suggest some more songs, please. I’m aiming for a behemoth of happiness.

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