I’ve got a bit of free time, so I thought I’d write something about music. But since I don’t really know anything about music history or the current ‘scene’ I thought I’d instead write about what I do know. And that’s me.

I’ve spent years curating my own playlists in Spotify. They’re my own little babies. Some of them are totally stupid, but I love them all. So here they are.

This is a basic list of everything I’ve “discovered” in Spotify since August 2011 (coincidentally the month I began to work at a certain music streaming service). It’s really interesting to me as a history of the music I’ve come across over the years. They’re not songs that are new as such, or even ones I hadn’t heard before, but ones that sort of became surfaced in my consciousness for some reason. So probably not that interesting for anyone else (1 follower though!).

Apparently I started this one in 2010. Nice. It’s a collection of songs sung in French. There’s something about them that makes me happy. They also tend to be kind of 60s new wave things as well, so maybe it’s just an idle nostalgia for that time; back when Eurovision wasn’t the horrific spectacle it is today.

The title is probably ironic. These are songs that sound old. They’ve got that old crackly analogue recording sound to them, which instantly takes you back. Not that I recall listening to, say, Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday, as a child. But it’s a kind of false nostalgia, a longing for a better time in the past (Golden Age fallacy, I know right).

A simple one. Every song on Spotify featured in Wes Anderson films. Not as straightforward as you might think though, since not all the soundtracks are uploaded and have to be reconstructed manually (it took me a while to track down the right version of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra for the Moonrise Kingdom section).

Deliberately the most ridiculous playlist. This contains the most outrageous dubstep I’ve come across on Spotify. Some people confuse this with a dubstep adoration, but it’s more of a study into the excesses of the genre (particular via the ‘brostep’ subgenre). Wubs and drops are thrown together in the most audibly offensive way imagineable, taking it to almost an artform. Fascinating.

An attempt to kind of focus in on a particular sound I like. Technically, it’s a shoegaze playlist, but it verges into anything kind of long and noisy. It’s called “Glaze” as a shoutout to its shoegaze origins, but also because it contains songs like The Jesus And Mary Chain – Just Like Honey and The Smashing Pumpkins – Mayonaise. I like the idea that it’s these big heavy dollops of sound coming at you through your headphones. Super pretentious, yeah.

When I Met You
Four similar playlists. Just playlists of DJ sets by The Avalanches and Lemon Jelly. Finding the samples and arranging them in the right order is strangely satisfying.

It’s a rap!
My rap playlist. I don’t know anything about rap, but I know what I like.

it’s a live! (version)
Live versions of songs I like by bands I like.

Comedy bits. Playlists don’t just have to be just music! I should really add more to these.

Talk To Me
Songs that have talking in them. Either as a sample or just as an introduction or something. It’s always interesting when songs do this. Bright Eyes – Firewall is a good example – that opening insane monologue is just a killer.

Covers! I love covers. Everyone loves covers.

QQ (why can’t I hold all these feels?)
Like a kind of playlist of sad songs. This is like a necessity on Spotify. Music to weep to.

I keep changing the title of this one. It’s meant to be a reference to Lost in Translation, but that’s not at all clear. Anyway, this is songs that have a sense of urgency about them. It’s an interesting sound and I like how it’s presently differently across the genres.

Broadside Ballads
My cheesiest playlist. Mostly just a way for me to have easy access to Bonnie Tyler, etc. But some of them are ok.

seen live
An odd playlist, since the actual songs themselves don’t matter. This is just a way for me to keep track of all the bands I’ve seen live (which I previously did with a Last.Fm tag – ouch).

Music for my bookshop
One day I will have a bookshop. And this is the playlist that will play in it. I’ll probably need more than seven, so I should expand the scope beyond songs about books I suppose.

Cowboy songs. After seeing Django Unchained I kind of went off on one with this. I should probably review this at some point.

This is such a tiny subgenre, pretty much dominated by Parov Stelar and The Correspondents. I’ve tried to find some other stuff, but it is all more or less the same.

Songs that have children singing in them. A ‘challenge playlist’ because there’s not as many songs as you think.

jimmy unrustler
My relaxation playlist. This is the playlist I like to listen to in the bath. Lovely stuff.

Another challenge playlist. I try to find songs that have people spelling things out in them. More than you think.

Poetry on Spotify! Who’d have thought there’d be so much? Anyway, these are my top picks.

Samples from the Walt Disnizzle mixtape.

short but sweet
Songs under two minutes, an idea I totally stole from my friend Jamie.

The opposite of the above. Songs greater than 10 minutes. Lots of post-rock and things.

A ridiculously niche one. Songs that have people going “oooh!” in them. Please let me know if you have any of your own.

I should probably change the title. But it’s songs I like by female-fronted bands. Female singer-songwriters don’t really count.

The music I listened to in uni, back when I bought physical CDs. Since this was pre-Spotify I listened to these albums basically on repeat for three years and they’re indelibly burnt into my brain. Good memories, mostly.

Piano songs. But specifically ones that have a nice bouncy sound to them (I don’t know if there’s a proper word for that style so I opted for ‘plinky’ instead – it sounds about right).

Banjo songs. The banjo is so in right now – I really need to start practising on mine again.

Classical music I like. I need to put more effort into keeping this updated. I don’t look very cultured atm.

The answer is Jesus. What is the question?
A joke playlist! Based on the Stewart Lee routine of the same setup, I answer using things on Spotify.

songs what are years
As the name says, songs that are years. Obviously there are many more, but these are the ones I like the most.

There are some that I’ve had to archive since they’re seasonal: xmas (Christmas) and 2spooky (Halloween).

And that’s it! I also have about 300 other playlists I’m subscribed to or albums I’ve saved as playlists. But no way am I going through all of those.

This will be interesting for me to revisit in a year or so. So consider this a sort of time capsule. And I’d encourage you to do something similar if you’re on Spotify.

And if you’re not on Spotify, what the hell is even wrong with you.