Impact’s Tabitha Smith writes a rundown for her 2023 Spotify Wrapped, a day she has been waiting for all year. With a wide range of artists and genres to celebrate, we look back on a fantastic year of indie anthems, discovering new favourites, and unhealthy obsessions with particular songs.
Spotify Wrapped brings me insurmountable joy every year. Despite tracking my Spotify stats throughout the year, when I received a message in University Radio Nottingham’s groupchat announcing that Wrapped had indeed dropped, I was beside myself. Going back to tracking stats, I thought I had a good grasp on what my top songs and artists would be in 2023, due to tracking them all year. In our house, we even created a little Spotify Wrapped bowl, where we wrote down and put in our predictions for our top five artists and top ten songs. However, I emerge from Spotify Wrapped day having only guessed four of five of my top artists, and a measly four of my top ten songs. My supposed dedication to this day has not provided me with the results I wanted or, more likely, Spotify does not collect my data in the way I hoped it would.
Bakar is very much my comfort artist, with his yearning lyricism and gentle honesty drawing me back to his music time and time again
As I said, my top five artists were not a surprise in the slightest. Dominic Fike came out on top, with his July album ‘Sunburn’ having had quite the hold over me this year. The peak of my appreciation came when I attended his show at the Eventim Apollo in September, where he brought the album to life with such raw emotion and delight to finally come to the UK. Next up was Ericdoa, my top artist from last year, whose catchy, hyperpop music will never not be on repeat for me. If you need music to strut confidently to, I highly recommend ‘Things With Wings’, his third album, which dominated my top one-hundred in 2022. Predictably, Remi Wolf and Duckwrth followed, two artists I had known previously but fell completely in love with this year. I can trace the start of my journey with Remi Wolf’s music back to my birthday in February, where Sexy Villain was played an ungodly amount. Bringing up the rear was the old reliable Bakar, who has made my top five for the last four years. Despite not having invested as much time as I would’ve liked in his newest album, his singles Good News and Right Here, for Now soothed me in the way his music always does. Bakar is very much my comfort artist, with his yearning lyricism and gentle honesty drawing me back to his music time and time again.
I believe Spotify aligned this location with pov: indie listeners
A new feature this year was Spotify’s ‘sound towns’, where users were assigned a worldwide location, creating communities of fans with similar tastes. With the buzz around LGBTQ+ communities created in Cambridge Massachusetts, Burlington and Berkley, I was disappointed to find my sound city was San Luis Obispo in California. I believe Spotify aligned this location with pov: indie listeners, as this was my top genre of the year, beating out the 59 other categories which Spotify placed over my listening habits. The genre is characterised by its DIY and more independent artistry, with artists such as Still Woozy, TV Girl and Tyler, the Creator being aligned with the location. The location trended on X, as 0.8 of Spotify’s users received San Luis Obispo as their ‘sound town’ and were understandably seeking answers. One user joked that more people had tweeted about the location than the total population of the area, demonstrating the international fascination with Spotify Wrapped and their interesting methods of categorising its users.
It has long been said that Spotify collects data from users up until 31st October, however this year they extended the deadline
As for songs, I could not have been more wrong in my predictions. I assumed my top song would be Baby Said by Måneskin, a song I had obsessed over since its release in January. However, this song only reached number three in my top songs, as there was a slight twist in fate with the way Spotify collected stats. It has long been said that Spotify collects data from users up until 31st October, however this year they extended the deadline to allow some of our November listening to be included in the stats. This led to dancinwithsomebawdy by Ericdoa, released on 3rd November, to become my top played song, with eighty-seven streams from its release to somewhere in mid-November. This realisation absolutely baffled me, as I was not aware that Spotify was going to out my obsession so brutally, however the song is fantastic, and I am glad it has got the recognition it deserves. Duckwrth took the second and fifth spots, with his songs Big Bewts and Ce Soir, two songs I feel will stand the test of time. Duckwrth has a really unique sound that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere; known for his viral song Start a Riot from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, he blends electronic hiphop with a touch of funk that creates an infectious groove to his discography that is hard to turn away from. From one Spider-Man song to another, the fourth and final spot was taken by Mona Lisa, Dominic Fike’s single for this year’s instalment of the animated franchise. Catchy, upbeat, and all about falling in love; it’s the perfect pop song to round off the list.
Overall, I am very happy with my Spotify Wrapped this year. None of the embarrassing parody songs made an appearance in my top ten, and successfully guessing most of my top artists has given me a superiority complex like no other. Spotify Wrapped puts a delightful spin on the fact that the tech giant is constantly monitoring our listening data, and I am always ecstatic to see others be just as excited to see their artist rankings. A lot of people fear judgement of their Spotify Wrapped, and this is such a shame. Even if a Minecraft parody made your top five songs, I encourage you not to feel ashamed and pop it on your Instagram story; it’s a great way to reach out and connect with people through music.
In-article image courtesy of Tabitha Smith via Spotify. No changes made to this image.
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