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COLUMN: Spotify Wrapped (IDS Arts Desk Version)

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With 433 million users, Spotify is one of the most popular audio streaming services in the world. While providing users with music from millions of artists and trendy podcasts, the app also tracks its users listening history meticulously. Through Spotify’s use of this data, the app curates highly-individualized playlists and daily mixes for all users.  

At the end of the year, Spotify reviews each user’s listening history and releases Spotify Wrapped — a compilation of data about each user’s activity throughout the past year. Spotify Wrapped grows to include more data each year, but always tells each user their top five artists, top five songs, top five genres, total minutes spent listening to music and includes a unique top 100 songs playlist for each listener.  

The fall 2022 IDS arts desk staff decided to join in on this fun and share our 2022 Spotify Wrapped stats. From Kendrick Lamar to Orville Peck to Taylor Swift, read below to see what music the IDS arts desk listened to this past year.  

Ellie Albin, arts desk co-editor 

Top artist: Taylor Swift 

Top song: “Souvenir” by boygenius 

Top genre: Pop 

Total minutes listened: 68,110 

Honestly, I thought “Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen — an eerie, desolate, flawless, sans-E Street Band masterpiece — would take the cake as my top song. And, in a way, it did: of the 101 songs on my 2022 Spotify Wrapped playlist, four of them were various versions of the this tune, including the original, two live performances and a cover by The Band. GAs gorgeous as “Souvenir” by boygenius is — I did play it 293 times, not including the NPR Music Tiny Desk version on YouTube — “Atlantic City” was my real song of the year. 

Related: [COLUMN: Weyes Blood paints celestial soundscape on ‘And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow’

Erin Stafford, arts desk co-editor  

Top artist: Kendrick Lamar 

Top song: “Rocc Climbing” by Remble feat. Lil Yachty 

Top genre: Pop 

Total minutes listened: 38,925 minutes  

As an avid hip-hop listener, it’s no surprise Kendrick Lamar reigns supreme as my top artist this year. With the release of his fourth studio album, “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” in May, his emotive, illustrious wordplay and narrative-driven lyrics overcame my summer listening. Taking inspiration from hip-hop veterans like Dr. Dre and MC Eiht, Lamar has established himself as one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time. The first time I heard his career-defining “To Pimp A Butterfly” album, I thought it was a masterpiece. Perhaps that’s why its songs “i,” “Momma” and “Institutionalized” were also on my top 100 songs of 2022 playlist. Effortlessly revolutionary and cathartic, “To Pimp A Butterfly” solidified Lamar as one of my favorite artists and I’ve admired him ever since.  

Chloe Fulk, film columnist 

Top artist: Orville Peck 

Top song: “Making Plans For Nigel” by XTC 

Top genre: Rock 

Total minutes listened: 47,039 minutes 

Considering that my top song of 2021 was “Succession (Main Title Theme),” I see my 2022 Spotify Wrapped as a monumental win. Orville Peck has been my top artist for three consecutive years, so I’m not shocked this pattern continued. His crooning voice and alternative country sound keep me crawling back for more. Two songs from his most recent album “Bronco” — “Daytona Sand” and “The Curse of the Blackened Eye” — made their way into my top five, while the rest of the slots were filled by English new-wave bands from the 1970s. What can I say? It’s the duality of man. My most played song of 2022 was “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC, a tune that’s as catchy as it is angsty. I first heard the song in my History of Rock ‘n’ Roll class and instantly fell in love with its repetitive vocals, synthetic drumbeat and distinct sense of time and place. 

Taylor Satoski, local music reporter 

Top artist: Florence + The Machine 

Top song: “Anything You Want” by JAWNY 

Top genre: Pop 

Total minutes listened: 23,571 

Unequivocally feminine, Florence Welch’s band Florence + The Machine was the only logical option for my top artist of 2022, as I am in the top 1% of their listeners. Their latest release, the brilliantly-titled album “Dance Fever,” caught me rapt. I had never felt as understood as when I heard Florence belt out the words of a confused woman. She was wondering what to do and if it’s too late, feeling the mortality of life and bombarding obstacles of being a woman. The divine strength in Welch shone through her ability to create artwork out of her own suffering, which led me to belt out the lyrics and dance around in my freshman dorm room during the spring semester of 2022 and established Florence + The Machine as my top artist of the year. 

Gino Diminich, Jacobs School of Music reporter 

Top Artist: Elvis Presley 

Top Song: “Airport Piano” by Tim Minchin 

Top Genre: Mellow Gold 
Total Minutes Listened: 69,260 

I’m not surprised that Elvis is my top artist. I’ve been a fan since I was a child and the recent release of the biopic by Baz Luhrmann only solidified this love of the musician for me. Did his hair influence my own pompadour? The less said the better, but happy or sad there seems to be an Elvis song for any mood (also his Christmas album is *chefs kiss*). I did expect something by Harry Styles to be in my top songs, but my top song is by an Australian artist by the name of Tim Minchin. The song “Airport Piano” has the guise of a bopping pop single, but the actual lyrics reveal a message of the fleeting nature of time. That sort of message reminds me to enjoy what I have while I have it, it’s just a nice reminder. Side note but I don’t even know what “Mellow Gold” is as a genre so Spotify owes me some answers. 

Tory Basile, community arts reporter 

Top Artist: Phoebe Bridgers 

Top Song: “I Wish I Never Met You” by Babygirl 

Top Genre: Indie Pop 

Total Minutes: 32,788 minutes 

Phoebe Bridgers has owned my Spotify for three years and will probably continue to own it forever. I’m in her top 0.5% of listeners; the obsession is very real. Her music is so originally intimate and emotional. Bridgers captures the most mundane, ubiquitous feelings in a way that makes them feel brand new. I could never get tired of her – I’ve played “Moon Song” and “Chinese Satellite” on repeat for two years. Not exactly a hot take, but I truly think she’s one of the best songwriters of this generation.  

Char Jones, columnist 

Top Artist: Car Seat Headrest 

Top Song: “Coconuts” by Kim Petras 

Top Genre: Indie pop 

Total Minutes: 36,764 

I am personally shocked that there aren’t more alternative rock bands on my Wrapped this year, but I do have to remember that my comfort music is Sky Ferreira, whose song “Ain’t Your Right” ranked fourth for me. I loved the breakdown of music moods throughout the day, mine starting with bravado hardcore gothic and ending with determination somber escapism. Some things never change – Car Seat Headrest was my top artist last year as well, placing me among their top 1% of listeners two years in a row. Pierce the Veil and Taylor Swift switched their places, but remained in my top five nonetheless. I like to think that I have a fairly good musical range and Spotify Wrapped corroborates this every year, boosting my ego. 

Related: [Local music scene: Dec. 1-7

Lainee Kirk, columnist  

Top artist: Frank Ocean 

Top song: “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus  

Top genre: Indie pop 

Total minutes: 96,868 

Frank Ocean has ruled my Spotify ever since I began listening to him. Especially this year, I thought if I listened to a ton of his music it would manifest a new album. It didn’t. Nonetheless, his music will never grow old to me as I continue to find new meaning in it with every year. The somber song “Self Control” is always comforting when I’m feeling down, but there are songs like “Sweet Life” to bring me back up. Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift were also in my top artists, along with 21 Savage and Kendrick Lamar, making for an interesting contrast. I spent most of the year reinventing myself, though, so I think it is a perfect fit.  

Grant Wheeler, music columnist & IU Auditorium reporter 

Top artist: austenyo 

Top song: “Height” by austenyo 

Top genre: Indie pop 

Total minutes: 65,984 

austenyo's status as my top artist this year was surprising to me. His songs occupied my top three spots as well, despite none of them being the subject of my occasional binge-listens. I was certain there were artists and songs that I listened to more this year, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I listened to a lot of music this year, especially writing for the IDS, and I don’t often stick with a particular album for a long period of time. austenyo's debut album, “Minialbum,” was a consistent listen this year for me though. At just 20 minutes in length, I found myself going to this album for brief car rides or to fill space when doing chores. Its length makes it feel convenient and its variation keeps it fresh throughout. It’s become a favorite of mine, and I’m glad it’s so well represented in my Spotify Wrapped this year.  

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