Spotify Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself (my favorites of 2016, 101-90.)

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(me, at the fourth grade talent show. i was very punk rock as i pretended to play the guitar.)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Spotify user. Every year, I look forward to its end-of-the-year recaps because Spotify has a way of recapping my year for me better than I’m actually able to do. In recent years I’ve stopped writing as often as I used to, (I KNOW.) and the yearly retrospectives have been the easiest way for me to recall various memories. Spotify recently released a playlist which is apparently determined by the number of times a song has been played. I finally checked it out last week, and let me tell you, I was really irritated that the tunes I listened to the most in 2016 were from previous years! However, I discovered some really cool artists that are new to me, and I’m so excited to continue listening in the coming year!

Starting from the bottom of the list, here are the songs I streamed the most in 2016.

101. “Fantasy”- Mariah Carey: I can’t remember the point where I finally surrendered and decided to throw my hands up and reveal my secret love for Mimi to the public. If I had to guess, I’ve been hiding it since the sixth grade. I discovered this tune when my sixth grade teacher played it one day before the bell rang. I was extremely peeved that this song had sampled “Genius of Love” by the Tom-Tom Club, and I felt like my teacher was supposed to stop listening and announce it to the class. Unfortunately she didn’t, and I stayed secretly upset by my teacher for the rest of the year.

I think my embracing of Mariah happened by what I like to call a “YouTube rabbit hole” session. I log on to YouTube intending to watch or listen to one artist, and I completely end up on an unrelated search. My starting point must have been Britney related, and it slowly crept completely into Mariah territory. I spent the majority of the semester walking up and down the Hill at WKU to this song. I made sure to remain pensive as possible to fool everyone into thinking I was listening to something extremely introspective.

100. “In My Room”- Grant Lee Buffalo: Left over from my Friends obsession of last year, I listened to this song constantly on Spotify, and tried to play it as much as possible during my radio shifts. Believe me, I was pretending to stare sadly out the window at the rain while I imagined being really upset at Ross.

99. “4th of July”- X: I’m more familiar with earlier tunes from X than later material, like this song right here. I think I first discovered this song a few years ago while lurking around Facebook a few years ago on, you guessed it, the fourth of July. It wasn’t until this year that I shared the video on the fourth of July and became completely obsessed with how catchy it is. Needless to say, I played it and danced around to it way past that day.

98. “Come On Back This Way”- Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders (featuring Sharon Van Etten): Good God. In a music related conversation, it probably takes less than five minutes for me to mention how much I love this song so much so that I listened to it enough in 2016 for it to make YET ANOTHER year-end list related to me. If you’re just enrolling in Taylor 101, this song was the tune that got me out of a funk after being the music director for my college radio station, and feeling extremely disappointed that I couldn’t find a song that didn’t sound exactly like every other song I was listening to on a weekly basis. This song dominated 2015 for me, and I kept it in my station’s heavy rotation category much longer than anyone on staff or listeners wanted me to.

My best friend Ford bought me a Jack Ladder t-shirt for my birthday, which came with a card autographed by Ladder which was pinned to my refrigerator with a Jack Ladder magnet. My parents still cringe when I blast it on the stereo. I have a problem.

97. “Then He Kissed Me”- The Crystals: This song is featured in my favorite scene in Goodfellas, so I listened to it repeatedly when I didn’t have a copy of the film with me while at school.

96. “Going Down To Liverpool”- Katrina and the Waves: I’ve been in a relationship for a very long time with this song. You might know that I’ve had a huge obsession with The Bangles since my childhood, and they covered this song on their first LP. I had known their version for years before finally listening to Katrina and the Waves’ version. It doesn’t pain my Bangle devoted heart to admit that I’m a bigger fan of this version! It rocks so much harder, and I think Kimberley Rew deserves so much more recognition for writing this gem.

95. “Georgia Dust”- Sunseeker: Sunseeker is based out of my hometown of Nashville, and I went to high school with two of the members, which made me exceptionally excited to hear this track when it was released in the Spring! This song was a departure from my typical soundtrack, and the rotation I was putting in at the station. I loved writing to Sunseeker’s folk sound, and really liked their harmonies.

94. “It Must’ve Been Love”- Roxette: I care only slightly about how embarrassing it is to admit that I’ve got a pretty big soft spot for this song. I’d heard it on the radio while on the bus in Bowling Green, and it stuck with me; I thought it was the best accompaniment to my extreme frustration that I was always en route to my math class. Seriously, don’t ask me why hearing this song took me on an extreme quest to find a copy of Pretty Woman. I finally bought it after searching for it at two video stores in Bowling Green (yes, really) and finally subjecting Ford to two hours of Julia Roberts’ vein in her forehead. Songs can make you do strange things.

93. “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight”- Richard and Linda Thompson: I think my father was a little worried when I admitted to knowing who Richard and Linda Thompson were, a few years ago. This song is the first song of theirs I discovered while in a good mood. I found it via the “Discover Weekly” playlist from Spotify in the Fall of 2015, and good god, it’s a good one. I associate this song with a road trip I took to Lexington to see my boyfriend, and we walked around the mall while he ate a huge chili dog.

92. “Whenever You’re On My Mind”- Marshall Crenshaw: I really wish I knew this song when I was in high school and crushing on every male I ever conversed with. It’s a beautiful pop song that’s pure three-minute power pop. I associate it with warm Spring days and being completely at ease and happy. I absolutely love Marshall Crenshaw’s music. Play this if you’re feeling romantically happy! I just had to pause my music to play this one.

91. “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”- The White Stripes: This one is simple. I heard it playing on Revolution one day, and spent the rest of it singing the chorus over and over. I couldn’t stop.

90. “Congratulations”- MGMT: You know when you hear a song and it’s perfect for the present moment? My discovery of this song happened in a perfect moment. I was at a friend’s apartment, and he was spinning “Congratulations” on vinyl. I’d heard plenty of MGMT before on the radio and the countless episodes of Gossip Girl that I’d digested this year, but it was as if I was hearing MGMT for the first time. Nothing I had previously heard from MGMT had sounded this perfect. I played this one song to death for weeks afterward.

 

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