Listen: An introduction to a new category
I wanted to write about something a little bit different than books today: music. I am an avid music listener and often listen to music while reading. I sometimes spend hours curating my music library and creating the perfect playlists for certain moods. Before Spotify existed, I used iTunes and I would make sure every song had album art, the correct title, artist and everything. I even spend months adding song lyrics to the songs in my library. Every now and then I would go on the hunt for new music, which mostly consisted of listening to the radio and/or the latest ‘Hitzone’. But now there is Spotify and all that work is no longer necessary. All you have to do now is open a random playlist with a fun name and you can discover all sorts of new artists. If ‘genius’ is linked, it will even show you the lyrics and information ‘behind’ the song. Amazing.
I still create my own playlists though and have very specific playlist categories which I can’t name and therefor are just called things like ‘band X + singer Y + band A’ and I know immediately the kind of songs that suit the playlist or don’t. So I thought I would give you a tour of some music that I enjoy listening to and how I found that specific artist/album/song.
There was a time in 2012 when I was not yet an avid user of Spotify, but I was trying to find new music. This was when I stumbled onto the wonderful app of ‘3voor12’ from the VPRO called the ‘luisterpaal’ where you could listen to newly released albums from artists. I clicked a bunch and if I enjoyed listening to it, I would listen to the whole album.
This is how I found ‘Alabama Shakes’ and their album ‘Boys & Girls’. Apparently, their genre is called ‘blues-rock’ and I like their sound. I tried to describe what it is I enjoy so much, but I can’t really put it into words. I guess it is the simplicity and rawness, it has something unpolished.
I have been listening to their tunes off and on for the past, years and they have made it into the eclectic mix of ‘Lumineers + Ezra + Nutini’ in my Spotify. A mix to listen to when I want ‘upbeat relaxing’, because that is definitely a normal term…
Another fave of mine is ‘Broken Bells’. I also added this one, because it is one of the weirder ‘discovering new artist’ stories. It is I think the only time I actually used ‘Shazam’ which was (is?) an app you can use to identify a song that is playing. I was in the Coffee Company in Delft (when am I not) and this song kept being played and it was just so catchy.
So I downloaded Shazam and made it identify the song and it was ‘The High Road’ by Broken Bells and I listened to the whole album and it was glorious. Spotify says terms like ‘’old-school, psychedelic 70’s feel’ and I think that sums up their ‘indie-alternative’ sound pretty well. Their first album accompanied me through my first year at university and will always have a special place in my heart.
So turns out I am crap at describing music, but I hope you enjoyed reading about me reminiscing on some music history of my Spotify library! Also, in case you think I listen to very obscure, high brow type music all the time, think again.