My Music Listening Habits for 2023

It’s that time again, when I discuss my music habits for the year, or at least, parts of it that seem interesting, to me. I’ll just start off with the 5×5 chart, from my scrobbles. I had some Spotify Wrapped stuff too but it doesn’t capture everything and was only for like 3 months of listening, so it’s kind of worthless.

So, a bit of an interesting surprise, Wolf Alice’s Blue Weekend was my top album for the year. I guess I was listening to that one a lot more than I really thought I had been. The same goes for Paramore’s This is Why. This is Why is kind of in there twice too, because they put out a second version where every track was done or remixed by an artist that was not Paramore.

I’m also a bit surprised how high Aurora’s The Gods We Can Touch ranked, at number three. I’ve always kind of considered it my least favorite of Aurora’s four albums. In less surprising areas are Hot Mess from Dodie and CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe. Bones is definitely from the tenth-anniversary release. Hot Mess actually shows up twice, probably because before Spotify I was listening to the copy I made off the Vinyl version I own, which was tagged as Hot Mess (RSD Vinyl).

Related to CHVRCHES is Lauren Mayberry, with a single. Shame is one song, and it’s number 6. The album I believe is supposed to drop sometime in January, and I can almost guarantee it will be in a top spot for next year’s wrap-up, if not at number one.

Things get a bit more interesting later in the list here outside the top ten reliable when we get into the whole “potential usurpers” area. At number 14 is Ben Fold’s latest album, What Matters Most. Ben Folds has become a bit of a weird piece in my music listening. I’m not entirely sure I am super into his music, though it’s all pretty enjoyable. But I find Ben Folds as a person really interesting. I’ve been watching a bunch of his interviews on YouTube where he talks to all sorts of creative types and talks about the music-making process and it’s all very fascinating. My last real exposure to Ben Folds was way back in High School when Ben Folds Five and Brick were on the radio all the time. I don’t really being super into that song either, I was a lot more into rock and alternative in that time period. I’ve recently signed up for his soon to be ended Patreon, so I can snag the archive content and give it a listen.

At number 15 right after is Fizz with The Secret to Life. Fizz is a sort of super band collaboration between Dodie, Orla Garland and a couple of others that I had not really listened to previously. As much as I really like Orla and Dodie, I slept on this album because I just found the acid trip aesthetics of it to be really off-putting. But I decided I really should at least give it a try and it’s really good. Like super great good. I wish I had started listening sooner.

The last couple I want to point out here, feel a bit related. Let’s start with Raffaella, at number 20, with Live Raff Love (Act I). It’s technically an EP I think, I never really got the distinction honestly aside from EPs have less tracks. Anyway, Raff has been a consistent mainstay in my library since first hearing about her back in 2019 when I went to see Sigrid. Live Raff Love (Act II) I believe is slated for January, and I’m looking forward to it.

Like Raff, I want to mention Claud, to which I was pretty much introduced in a similar way, Claud was one of the acts performing at the little festival thing where I saw Lauren Mayberry’s solo show. Like Raff, I listened to a bunch of their music before the actual show and enjoyed it, and I enjoy it even more after watching them perform live. I am pretty sure at least half my plays on that Paramore remix of This is Why, is Claud’s rendition of Crave.

Which leads me to my usual predictions for next year. Claud and Raff will likely rank up there. Lauren will probably top the list. Sigrid I think has a new album in the works and has been making a bit of a come back in my listening this year, so I am predicting she will be pretty high. Fizz will probably be around, I’m not sure they will go much higher though after a whole year. Ben Folds will probably remain, though I doubt he will break the top ten. The only one on the list above I can say probably won’t return is Maisie Peters. I enjoy her music, but I don’t really know how to describe it, but I don’t really like her. Seems a bit too bitchy in a sort of “I think I’m better than everyone” sort of way.

The Annual Playlist for 2023

A few years ago, I was sorting through some older music, and came across old Mix Tapes and CD-Rs.  It’s really fun because unlike digital music, these are essentially static playlists.  This is a window into what I was listening to at that time.  And no, you didn’t misread that, Mix Tapes.  and they were mostly from the 90s era.  My first car didn’t have a CD player, it just had a cassette deck.  Teenage me would regularly visit the local library and check out a variety of CDs, then spend the week picking out my favorite tracks and recording them to tapes.  I also recorded some from the radio.  I had a stereo with a dual cassette deck so I could easily copy some back and forth among my tapes.

Here is a fun blast from the past for ya. I had a thing for a while where I would make little custom art for my tapes too, most of them had Gunsmith Cats artwork but I also did some for Dance Dance Revolution as well.

Something really amusing I noticed here is that “Car Tape 3” includes 2 Alanis Morrisette songs, both of which are on my 2023 playlist (below).

Digital playlists aren’t quite as robust.  They are honestly kind of a pain to deal with over time, because the files can move around and then the playlists essentially just break.  But I did try to sort of replicate the experience of an annual playlist after the nostalgia trip of these tapes and CDs.  Basically, usually sometimes in January, I make a new playlist for the year, simply named, for example, “2023 Playlist.”  For the first few I would star with the previous year and seriously trim it down.  More recently I just start from scratch.  The idea is, it can evolve over the year though.  Essentially, i start with a “best of” from previous years, music I want to listen to “now” in January, then over the course of the year, I might remove some songs, and I might add some songs.  

The bigger point is, I have the old lists, if I wanted to go back and listen to things, though, that would also still have the digital music problem of, “The music was moved/removed and the list is broken.”  

But at least I do still have the list.      

More recently though I have been thinking of sticking these in a more meaningful file for future nostalgia (Ironically, a song that I debated adding to this year’s list but decided not to in favor of other Dua Lipa tracks).  Probably some sort of simple Excel file or something, then I can eventually manipulate the listings in 5 year when I decided to do some sort of retrospective blog post and list out “This song was on 8 out of 12 Playlists!” sort of nonsense.

For now, I wanted to just, post the list, for the start of this year.  I’ll alphabetize it by artist, but the order doesn’t matter, these are always just played on shuffle.

Alanis Morissette - All I Really Want
Alanis Morissette - Ironic
Alice Merton - No Roots
Alice Merton - 2 Kids
Alice Merton - Funny Business
Alice Merton - Easy
Alice Merton - Lash Out
Aurora - The Woman I Am (Vevo Live)
Aurora - Giving In To The Love
Aurora - Cure For Me
Aurora - A Temporary High
Aurora - Blood In The Wine
Aurora - Animal
Aurora - Hunger
Aurora - The Seed
Aurora - I Went Too Far
Aurora - Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
Aurora - Gentle Earthquakes
Aurora - All Is Soft Inside
Aurora - Churchyard
Avril Lavigne - Here's To Never Growing Up
Avril Lavigne - Things I'll Never Say
Bt - Never Gonna Come Back Down
Bt - Movement in Still Life
Bt - Satellite
Bt - Smartbomb
CHVRCHES - The Killing Moon (Amazon Original)
CHVRCHES - The Mother We Share
CHVRCHES - Recover
CHVRCHES - Screaming
CHVRCHES - Bitter End
CHVRCHES - Violent Delights
CHVRCHES - Good Girls Explicit
CHVRCHES - Death Stranding
CHVRCHES - Never Ending Circles
CHVRCHES - Clearest Blue
CHVRCHES - Graffiti
CHVRCHES - Forever
dodie - Monster (Vevo Live)
dodie - Hate Myself
dodie - Cool Girl
dodie - Monster
Dua Lipa - Physical
Dua Lipa - Good In Bed Explicit
Dua Lipa - Cool
Fred V & Grafix ft. Ruth Royall - Sunrise (Season Mix)
Griff ft Sigrid - Head on Fire
Juno Reactor - Guardian Angel
Juno Reactor - Samurai
Katy Perry - Electric
Kim Petras - Icey (Vevo Live)
King Princess - PAIN
M83 - Midnight City
Magdalena Bay - Killshot
Magdalena Bay - Mercurial World
Metallica - Enter Sandman
Metallica - The Unforgiven
Neil Frances - On the Lookout (feat. Raffaella)
Nigel Stanford - Automatica
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana - Come as You Are
Nirvana - On a Plain
Orla Gartland - Things That I've Learned
Orla Gartland - You're Not Special, Babe [Explicit]
Orla Gartland - Pretending [Explicit]
Orla Gartland - Flatline
Paramore - Misery Business
Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place
Raffaella - Grown Up (Vevo Live)
Raffaella - Blonde (Vevo Live)
Raffaella - Hell Yeah
Raffaella - Sororicide
Raffaella - Bardot
Raffaella - BUICK
Sigrid - A Driver Saved My Night (Vevo Live)
Sigrid - It Gets Dark (VevoLive)
Sigrid - Deep
Sigrid - Dip My Heart in Confetti
Sigrid - Dancer
Sigrid - Mistake Like You
Sigrid - A Driver Saved My Night
Sofi Tukker - Hey Lion
Sofi Tukker - Awoo (feat. Betta Lemme)
Taylor Swift - Getaway Car
Taylor Swift - This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Taylor Swift - New Romantics
Taylor Swift - Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
Taylor Swift - Love Story (Taylor’s Version)
Taylor Swift - You Need to Calm Down
Taylor Swift - Lavender Haze
Taylor Swift - Anti‐Hero
Taylor Swift - Vigilante Shit
Taylor Swift - Mastermind
Tessa Violet - Bad Ideas
Tessa Violet - Games
The Cranberries - Dreams
The Cranberries - Zombie
Wolf Alice - Smile

My Music Listening Habits for 2022

It’s that time again, when I ramble on about what I’ve been listening to this year.  I don’t use Spotify so I don’t have a “cool kids” wrap up to share.  Instead you get this!  A blog post!  And some little 5×5 charts made from my  I kind of prefer starting on Artists over Albums, so without further ado, the top 25 for 2022.  Which unsurprisingly, is relatively similar to my previous years.

In a surprise to literally no one, including myself, my top 3 are pretty much the same as they have been for a while.  Aurora, CHVRCHES, and Sigrid.  Actually, I am a little surprised Sigrid is so high, I didn’t listen tot he new album a ton, or much Sigrid that I remember actually.  Aurora and CHVRCHES, not so much, I listen to both a lot.  Heck, I saw Aurora live this year.

Beyond that is a bit of new-ish stuff.  I’m still been digging on Radiohead’s Kid A Mnesia re-release, and I picked up a copy of OK Computer to add to that mix.  The Weeknd’s Dawn FM has become a pretty regular listen as well.  It’s an album I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I do.   Orla Gartland and Dodie slot in at numbers 6 and 7.  I almost went to see Dodie (and Orla) earlier this year but my wife had a Doctor’s thing come up and COVID was starting to ramp up again, so I opted to skip it.

Next on the list is Magdalena Bay, a newcomer to the list which a lot of the folks at the CHVRCHES discord recommended.  Another with this honor is Wolf Alice down in the number 17 slot.  I actually kind of prefer Wolf Alice to Mag Bay, but I picked up their album later, so they got less time to be listened to. Wolf Alice is a bit more, guitars and rock, while Mag Bay is more synth and electronic.  Also in this list of “Recommended by CHV People,” is Purity Ring at number 20.

Quite a few regulars on the list for a bit, though I want to comment on how much Raffaella has manages to stay in these lists.  I’m sure I mentioned it before, several times, but I had never hear of her back in 2019 before going to see Sigrid, and I’ve been listening to her music still, years later.  She hasn’t even really put out a lot of new stuff either, a couple of singles and a small sized EP.

I think Berlinist is new to the top 25, but this is entirely from listening to the Gris Video Game soundtrack.  It’s a good ‘relaxing music” album.  

There are a few missing that I’m actually surprised are missing.  Well, one anyway, which is Enya.  Not a new artist by any means, but I ended up with her entire discography, minus one, I think, at an estate sale, and I listened to quite a few of her albums recently.  It feels like it should have been enough to put her up there on the list.  It’s also really interesting because, Enya definitely reminds me of the same sort of, exotic, vocalizing, sort of style of Aurora.

Anyway, next up is the albums list, but a lot will have been covered by the Artists wrap up so I’ll just stick to anything interesting.

And it’s more or less an expansion of the Artists lists.  Most interesting, though not surprising is that every album from Aurora and CHVRCHES appears in this list.

I also noticed I forgot to mention the Cranberries.  Like Enya, I picked up a few Cranberries albums and I’ve been enjoying them.  It’s also funny because, Enya “feels” like an “Earlier Aurora” in a lot of ways, and The Cranberries, “feels” like an “Earlier CHVRCHES” in a lot of ways.  I could actually expand on this a bit with Sigrid too, because Alanis Morissette, “feels” like an “Earlier Sigrid.”

I guess my point is, the more things change,t he more they stay the same, and my overall musical tastes is about the same as it always has been, it’s just added the latest version of the same shtick.

My Music Listening Habits for 2021

It’s time again for my new favorite annual tradition here (until it isn’t), my music listening habits for the year. Not a lot of new this year, I’ll admit that. Though I sometimes wonder if part of that is that some artists and albums get sort of lost int he sauce of over listening to some of my favorite artists. Anyway onto the break down, I’ll split up artists and albums even though they kind of parallel each other.


The biggest movers this year were Aurora and CHVRCHES in the number two and number one spot. CHVRCHES has a new album released this year and Aurora in general is just really great. We also have Dodie at number 4, which I predicted last year would be a riser in the charts. Also at number 6 is Orla Garland, who in addition to being Dodie’s Guitarist, also released a pretty good album this year (Woman on the Internet).

Another one, though probably more well known than most of the rest of my top ten, is Dua Lipa. For some reason I keep having to remind myself just how good her album Future Nostalgia is, because every track on that one is excellent and I enjoy listening to it every single time.

Also a few regulars that have been floating around these lists, BT, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette, The Who. I’ve also been listening to Nirvana a lot lately for some reason. Slightly surprising is that Rafaella is still up there at number 19. She opened for Sigrid when I went in 2019.


My most listened to Albums for the year are pretty in sync with the artists list. The top ten are dominated by CHVRCHES and Aurora, with the rest of the list covering others in the higher end of the list of artists. I honestly didn’t listen to enough different albums to make a proper list of new albums, but Screen Violence, Woman on the Internet, Build a problem, Red, Taylor’s Version, are all albums I would recommend.

Changes in Habits

So, I wanted to throw in real quick some changes in my music habits. One, I wanted to go to more shows after seeing Sigrid live, and this was re-enforced after seeing CHVRCHES. I keep mentioning this and so I should probably STOP mentioning this. I do already have two shows lined up for 2022, Dodie and Aurora, which isn’t a lot, but it’s something. Here is hoping the world doesn’t collapse on itself again now that we’re sort of able to do this sort of thing again.

I’ve also been shifting to FLAC over MP3. I re-ripped a few of my more favored CDs to Lossless format. I’ve also started buying FLAC instead of MP3s when I can. Part of this also means I’ve been getting less from Amazon, where I previously bought a lot of my music. It’s also part of why the “new” factor took a nose dive this year. I don’t use any music streaming services, I prefer to actually buy and own my music. Amazon did include some streaming I occasionally used with Prime, but the app has become disgustingly aggressive about pushing their paid streaming service so I removed it. Basically I’m sick of it and I’m “voting with my wallet”.


I also want to make some predictions a bit for 2022. CHVRCHES will still linger but will likely start to fall off. The new album hype is over, going to see them live hype is over, I still have them in rotation but I can tell I’ve been listening less lately.

I predict Sigrid will start to make a come back. She is still my number one artist scrobbled of all time, but she has had almost zero movement this year. She put out a couple of tracks but I prefer to wait for albums these days, though Burning Bridges and Mirror are both good. I predict the come back because of the new album. HOWEVER, I predict she will lose the top all time spot to Aurora. Aurora also has a new album coming out next year, right at the start, and (unless the world fall apart again), I’m going to see Aurora live in May. Aurora is also very close to over taking Sigrid already.

I also predict BT will start to rise fairly quickly. I’ve bee doing some catch up on some of his newer albums and I still really enjoy his music. I also feel like Dua Lipa is going to start rising in the list and Tessa Violet is going to fall. Tessa Violet hasn’t really put putting out anything that interesting lately, mostly remixed versions of tracks already released. It’s not bad, it’s just not keeping my interest.

Finally, two to keep an eye on will be Sofi Tukker and King Princess. Both have been sort of bubbling along in the background for a while and I feel like both are going to start getting more play in my rotations and album listening.

My Music Listening Habits for 2020

Yeah, those monthly updates were kind of bleh, so I dumped them. But I still want to do a yearly wrap up. Though overall there isn’t a lot that’s surprising to me about the yearly stats.

The year was dominated by most of the artists I would expect it to be dominated by. Sigrid, Tessa Violet, Aurora, CHVRCHES have 14 of my top 25 albums. This grid doesn’t even include a few additional Sigrid “Albums” of live tracks that don’t properly show up so they get filtered.

Anyway, a bit better breakdown…

I am actually surprised that Sigrid still topped the chart above Aurora. I’ve been listening to a TON of Aurora, and not just “recently” or something, like all year. Plus Sigrid hasn’t had anything new since November 2019, so I felt like I had been listening to her music less. I still had around 100 more scribbles on Sigrid than Aurora. Tessa Violet, I’m less surprised about. I’ll comment a bit more later, but Tessa Violet has kind of dominated my individual song listens, she just… has less songs.

CHVRCHES has been kind of slowly building up more and more in rotation, and I expect them to continue to come in pretty high going forward as well. Another sleeper to look out for next year will be Dodie, at number 13. She only has a handful of tracks, and I’ve only recently started listening to her, but I really like her music, and next year, she has her first full album coming out.

On the “falling” list, I’ve hardly been listening to Alice Merton and Kiesza lately. Nothing wrong with either, they just sort of, have fallen off the rotation. And despite both ranking high, Dua Lipa and Carly Rae Jepsen were never really in the rotation. I’m honestly not sure how either is so high.

There are also a few of my more mainstay artists making a showing. The Who, BT, Pink Floyd, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette, Taylor Swift. I’m a little sad that Raffaella only really had one new song recently. She was the opening act for Sigrid when I saw them in 2019 and I really like her music. She has put out one track, Bardot, and a collaboration track called On the Look Out, that may as well just be a Raffaella track.

My single top track for the year, is, without question, the “2020 Anthem” of Bored.

Granted, this track is older than 2020, but it got a music video in 2020, and it kind of just sort of… fits the feel.

Half of my top ten were Tessa Violet tracks, so like I said, she kind of dominated on an individual track list. Everything else is about as expected, though I would have thought more Aurora tracks would have made the cut for that top 20.

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