Not a whole ton that’s overly exciting this month. I did listen to quite a bit of BT, whom is one of my all time favorite artists, even if my time listening to his stuff comes and goes. I think there was a bit of earlier stuff that I didn’t associate as being BT that I liked, but I remember that Never Gonna Come Back Down was the track that really got me into listening to more of BT’s music. It was on the soundtrack for Gone in 60 Seconds. In the actual movie, they play this really neat super low key remix of Never Gonna Come Back Down that I have never been able to find a copy of anywhere. It occurs when they are stealing the Ferraris from the garage.
Another older album I used to listen to on repeat that came back briefly this month was Rollergirl. Last.fm suggests Rollergirl hasn’t had a release since 2002, which is probably around the time I was listening to this music. Also, apparently Roller girl is some German dude.
Still plenty of Sigrid and Tessa Violet going on. Plus a bit more CHVRCHES this month. I have to say, the more I listen to CHVRCHES, the more I like their stuff. Not that I didn’t like it before, I just, like it more.
Anyway, I’m just gonna close out here with a little Spotify Playlist I made up that collects together the more low key Sigrid tracks available on the service.
I keep wanting to change these up to be by artist instead of album but there doesn’t seem to be a 5×5 generator that does artists and has images. Sounds like an excuse to do some coding, but I’m not sure it’s possible because it feels like something someone would have done.
So anyway, it’s back to albums. Which gets a little sloppy looking this month.
So, there has been one major change this month. Around the turn of the year, I got an email through work for 6 months of Spotify Premium. I usually don’t really go for limited time offers but 6 months is a pretty good chunk of time, so I decided to go in on that. I’m enjoying using Spotify, but I doubt I keep the subscription after the 6 months are over. In general, I prefer to buy music. It has been pretty nice for discovery however.
Most of that discovery doesn’t show up on this 5×5 grid though. It’s hard to make it to the top monthly list when you get played maybe 2-3 times within a playlist of others played 2-3 times. Going by the numbers, it didn’t really increase my overall monthly Scrobbles either.
I am honestly a little surprised that Sigrid is still my most listened to artist. She has consistently held that spot since I started listening to her music, and she has become my most listened to artist of all time. I’ve gone through several phases of listening to her music which has helped. There was a time listening to the Sucker Punch album, which is Sigrid’s most recent album. Then I was listening to tracks from live shows that are currently unreleased, some on Youtube (which also gets scrobbled). Then there was a period of listening to the previous two EP releases, Ray and Don’t Kill my Vibe. More recently, with Spotify, I’ve found a cache of tracks that are only on Spotify.
I want to roll of Sigrid to Amanda Tenfjord. Her music came recomended on some Sigrid fan channels due to her similarity in overall style to Sigrid. The music sounds similar, the album art sounds similar, she is also Norwegian. There were jokes that she was secretly Sigrid, though there is a definite difference in the vocals. I am probably not an expert enough to properly describe it, but Amanda Tenfjord has less range and sounds a bit more Tenor… maybe? Like there’s more low end going on in her voice. Plus there is a slight difference in their accents.
Still a lot of Tessa Violet sprinkled throughout the playlist. I mentioned last month that I expect her to stick around for a while, though I’m starting to wonder just how long. I don’t really like all of her songs like I do other artists who stick around for a while. Another one that’s all over this 5×5 is Carly Rae Jepsen. I’ve enjoyed Carly’s music for a while, but Spotify has kind of opened up a nice little world of alternate takes and songs from her library. I particularly like this take on No Doubt’s Don’t Speak.
It’s not a super interesting take, but It’s a weird contrast to the usual super upbeat music of Carly Rae Jepsen. Also, back in the day, I used to listed to Tragic Kingdom a lot, so I have an underlying love for No Doubt as well.
The only thing left that’s particularly notable here is the soundtrack to Gris, coming in at number 4. Gris is a video game I was playing earlier this year and both the visuals and the soundtrack are excellent. It’s got a really nice ambient sort of piano vibe going that’s great for background music.
A lot of people recently started posting their Spotify year end reviews to social media. I don’t really use Spotify for music, but I do use Last.fm. In fact, I’ve used Last.fm off and on since 2005.
There are a few low points, I had basically zero Scrobbles for 2015 for example, and it was a lot lower while I was using Windows Phone, in general, but it’s still a pretty good snapshot of music habits. and changes. So rather than just settle for a year, i wanted to look over a year, and the last decade of music.
The top level kind of feels like it should be Artist. Across both lists of top 10 artists for the year and decade, only three make both lists. Taylor Swift, Sigrid, and The Who. I kind of feel like Taylor Swift doesn’t really need much said. She was literally named Artist of the Decade, she does music across various genres, basically like her or hate her, everyone knows who she is.
Sigrid is more notable on this list. I’ve talked about Sigrid in previous monthly posts quite a bit. She is notable because she is in third place for the decade, and in my overall list, and every single one of those listens is from 2019. Most of them are from the last 6 months. In more recent weeks I’ve been listening to less Sigrid, but I know that will change when she releases a new album. I can’t even really say that for Taylor Swift at the moment. I’ve only recently started listening to her most recent album, Lover, and so far, I’m really not feeling it like Reputation or 1989 or Red.
The Who is also a bit notable. Of all of the artists I’ve listened to over my lifetime, The Who has been the one consistent group I’ve come back to. I started listening to them back around 1990 when I first got a CD Player stereo of my own and have listened to their music ever since. Before that time, most of my music listening comprised of stuff my cousin was listening to like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Debbie Gibson, as well as the soundtracks to the Ninja Turtles movies and Oliver and Company on Cassette tape. They don’t really top any of my “favorites lists” but they are reliably always “up there”.
The rest of the top artists for the decade are all pretty representative of my primary musical tastes, though I honestly listen to a pretty wide cross section of genres overall. BT, Daft Punk, Skrillix make up some of my interest in electronic music, other like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha making up the pop music aspects. I pick up a ton of singles by less known artists, but they tend to get pushed down the list simply by sheer volume numbers of bigger named artists.
The last particularly notable point I want to add for artists is Tessa Violet. I’ve only just started recently listening to her music and I expect to see her popping up more in 2020.
So what about individual Albums. On some level, this is just a more spread out version of the top artists lists. Funny enough, Sigrid’s Sucker Punch is my top album on both. Taylor Swift is higher over all, but her music is spread out over several albums. The same for Avril Lavigne. Sigrid does have several albums listed, but Don’t Kill my Vibe and Raw are both EPs and not full albums, and “In the Moment” is sort of a fake album that’s attached to live tracks.
Top tracks gets a little more interesting, at least on the side of Top for the decade, since it better pulls out singles I have listened to a lot. The top for the year isn’t that interesting, 13 of the top 15 are all Sigrid Tracks. Number 12 is “Why so Serious” by Alice Merton and number 14 is “Ready for it?” by Taylor Swift.
Sia doesn’t even show up in my top ten artists, but “The Greatest” is my single most listened to track. The Gorillaz are sort of int he same boat. I’ve even listened to a lot of other tracks by both artists, but “The Greatest” and “Stylo” both top these two on an individual basis. Also, despite being number 14 for the year, “Ready for it?” blows away the top Sigrid track, “Basic” for the decade. Which is to be expected since I’ve been listening to “Ready For it?” for a lot longer. Meanwhile, I’m not sure I’ve listened to Telephone or Bulletproof at all int he last few years. Which just shoes how one track can fall out of rotation despite clearly being dominant for a while.
Something that’s probably worth adding, that skews a lot of these lists, I still do listen to CDs, especially for artists I really like. I’m sure if I could track CD listens that Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne would be higher, since that’s my primary way I’ve listened to both of them. This also makes BT come off a lot lower. I really really love BT’s music, but a lot of what I listen to there is on CD. Also, BT’s “These Hopeful Machines” is 2 continuous 45 minute+ tracks, mixing the tracks of “These Humble Machines” into one. Last.fm doesn’t really track these sort of things very well.