Apple Music just isn’t the same…
It’s that time of year again. Channel 5 has had Christmas films with £45 budgets on every day since Halloween; we’re all trying not to attack our advent calendars in one go when we’re pissed; and everyone you’ve ever met is posting their Spotify Wrapped on Instagram.
I’d love to sit here and say it’s boring, it’s annoying, nobody cares, and that we’re all over it. But the thing is, I use Apple Music – and I’m jealous.
Give me the stats! Let me see who I’ve got most in common with around the world! Let me see my true obsession with Alex Turner and George Michael. In cold. Hard. Numbers.
The thing is, I run a club night, it’s called Indie Amnesty and it’s my favourite night out. I thought nobody went to indie discos any more so I made my perfect one and then accidentally started DJing it. I then sort of started getting booked for DJ gigs, despite being, primarily, a comedian and writer. As I write, I’m getting ready to DJ a comedian’s wedding; as such, people assume that I have an extremely nuanced and eclectic music taste. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m terrible at listening to new music unless it’s on 6Music (as much as I have problems with the way Spotify doesn’t reward artists financially, it’s a great tool for introducing people to music they otherwise wouldn’t have found). I essentially live like it’s 2008 with my playlist, listen to Northern Soul that I hear at my boyfriend’s sets and through his vinyl collection, or through live versions of songs I watch over and over because I’m fascinated with the time or culture around it. So in Spotify Wrapped’s absence for me again this year, I would guess my top five tracks to be:
- Arctic Monkeys: ‘R U Mine’. (It never gets old; when I saw it live at Glastonbury this year I nearly exploded, screw the haters)
- George Michael: ‘Somebody to Love, Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 1992’ (He had just found love and then it was cruelly taken away from him and he sings this like an angel)
- Lindsey Buckingham: ‘Big Love (Live) (He’s doing all of this on the one guitar! I cannot express this enough!)
- Pulp: ‘Birds In Your Garden’ (Jarvis for PM, forever)
- Jerry Butler: One Night Affair (I have an actual sickness with this song, it must be stopped, I listen to it for days on end).
And there you have it. Nothing groundbreaking. I’m looking at all my pal’s Spotify Wrapped and wondering who the hell Big Thief are? Should I know? They must be selling out stadiums with the amount of time they’re featuring on everyone I know’s Top Listened To. And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song by them. I’m deeply uncool. But the thing is, that’s OK.
There’s no such thing as uncool if you’re just being yourself. In fact, there’s nowhere to hide with Spotify Wrapped, you can’t fake who you are. Unless you desperately try to shunt Coldplay down your list by listening to exclusively unsigned bands for the last six weeks on repeat just to skew the stats. (And if you’re bothered enough to do that, you have bigger issues than your music taste).
I love the people who post their’s unashamedly (aside from the friend who’s genuine top listened to was Scouting For Girls, you need help), and the people with kids who had been put through 3000 minutes of Wheels On The Bus. (One friend’s list was taken over almost exclusively by Ed Sheeran, because he’d read an article about his music being the most effective in getting a new puppy to sleep, and he’d just become the owner of a very small, cute and restless dog).
Spotify wrapped makes people come together over music, makes them feel like a community with other fans, and of course, invites either admiration or mockery, depending on your results. But really, who cares? It’s just nice to look back on your year through this lens.
Few other things can emote like music can; perfume is just about the only other contender that can throw up a memory so vividly as a track from that time you were falling in love, moving house, heartbroken, on a holiday, or inexplicably, being forced to listen to Scouting For Girls at gunpoint, as one can only assume my friend was. Still, a memory is a memory, aye? Now get on it Apple Music, I want to see how uncool I am, stat.