My Spotify Wrapped: Rock

Natalie Howarth

It’s everyone’s favourite time of the year: Spotify Wrapped Day! The day that reveals your listening habits of the year, your minutes and top genres, top artists and many more features that the streaming platform has to offer. Impact’s Natalie Howarth breaks down her 2023 Spotify Wrapped. 

According to Spotify, 2023 was a feast to my ears having listened to 116 genres, narrowed down by an eclectic top five: Rock, Electronica, Hip Hop, Soul and Art Pop. The visual of the sandwich transforming into a cheeseburger with the genres inside was a nice touch and kept me tapping through the slideshow, waiting in anticipation to see the rest of what Spotify has to offer in their musical perception of me. 

This year’s newest feature Sound Town, a feature that places you in a city where your top artists have the most fans, has sparked internet attention and quickly responded to stereotyping fans of different artists. This feature placed me in Santa Cruz, USA, where people are far more likely to be fans of Aphex Twin, King Krule and Madlib – not sure what to make of that considering I have never stepped foot on the West Coast of America so moving swiftly on because I do not know how to perceive that. 

With a grand total of 37,893 minutes – 26 days nonstop and in the top 8% of listeners worldwide

Moving on, presented with a philosophical sentiment ‘time is a construct’ which made me question why I was sat in my student house with a broken boiler tapping through the story, enraptured by the stats when I could be using my time better. With a grand total of 37,893 minutes – 26 days nonstop and in the top 8% of listeners worldwide, listening to 1,363 artists but only one taking number one position. If you know me, you probably could guess who it is back in January: Aphex Twin. And a 0.5% top listener, something I took pride in when seeing that stat.  

In fact, his song ‘Windowlicker’ was my number one most streamed song this year with 96 streams which is surprising however, I did see Aphex Twin at Field Day All Points East this summer. Aphex Twin is a canonical, iconic, and inventive artist in the contemporary electronic age as he continually blurs the lines of genre categories of ambient, techno and jungle. He maintains an air of cool and mysticism that is appealing in an age of rampant celebrity culture and demand for transparency between musicians and fans: if you haven’t took time out of your day to listen to the works of Richard D James, I urge you to.  

With both Georgia Ellery’s bands taking fourth and fifth position in the top artists

With top artists in mind, I was fortunate enough to see four out of five of my top artists (unfortunately Jeff Buckley is not on the list). With both Georgia Ellery’s bands taking fourth and fifth position in the top artists, it would be a crime not to sing her praise. Performing as a multi-instrumentalist in Black Country, New Road and Jockstrap, Ellery switches between violin, guitar, and vocals in both her musical projects that are both polarising in genre: BC, NR are categorised in post-punk, art and post-rock whereas Jockstrap are defined by the avant pop, art and experimental pop. Both bands are often inextricably linked because of Ellery’s position in both bands and are currently two emerging bands that deserve endless popularity.  

there are some eclectic and incongruous songs that do not match the vibe of the rest of the Wrapped

As for top songs, there are some eclectic and incongruous songs that do not match the vibe of the rest of the Wrapped: Modern Talking’s Cheri Cheri Lady, an undeniable 80s classic that I hyper-fixated on for months, followed by another 80s classic, Rock the Casbah by The Clash (both make great karaoke songs!). Number four is Darondo’s Didn’t I which is a beautiful, soulful, and timeless song that really never gets old: Darondo is an artist who is highly regarded in the soul genre, the album ‘Let My People Go’ that this song comes from is unarguably his magnum opus. Finally, Ayonha by Hamid Al Shaeri, a track from an incredible Habibi Funk compilation makes the final spot: an Arabic pop song that synthesises traditional Egyptian sound with western dance, this is a vibrant and groovy track that I fully expected to make the top songs list. 



That finalises my 2023 Spotify Wrapped. Unexpected in some parts and definitely expected in others but lots of fun to see how much music I streamed this year and the incessant stories that followed from friends on Instagram. I look forward to next year’s to see what they do next with their interactive slideshows! 

Natalie Howarth

Featured image courtesy of Greyson Joralemon via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @still_on_a_downward_spiral via instagram.com and Natalie Howarth via Spotify. No changes made to these images.

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