A Deep Dive Into My Spotify

In the spirit of deep diving into my Goodreads, I want to do a deep dive into my Spotify because I was thinking about how I had to try and explain to my dad why I think Stranger in the Alps is one of the best albums of all time. My music taste is broad; I have pop in there, alternative, rap, musical theatre, and the Glee cast. It is both annoying and exciting because our music tastes can define our character and personality. We all relate to the lyrics of certain songs, and that can tell so much of our story.

My Top Artists

Lana Del Rey

Taylor Swift

Phoebe Bridgers

Why are my top artists my top artists?


I discovered Lana in middle school from my friend in middle school, who showed me her Born to Die album. This was my first experience with alternative music. At the time, I really only knew the popular radio songs. I didn’t focus on finding artists specifically that I enjoyed, but Lana was my first case of doing this.

I fell in love with everything about her music. Her voice, which had a sort of deep rasp to it, was unlike anything I had ever heard. I once saw someone say her voice mixed with her instrumental was like taking psychedelics in a church. It’s a strange comparison, but it makes sense. Many people were drawn to her music because of her visuals and aesthetic of a sort of Vintage Americana, which was especially prevalent in her Born to Die and Paradise albums. This, yet again, broke down the teen pop aesthetic most artists brought to music. 

To me, and many others, her best work was her 2019 album, Norman F***ing Rockwell. This is one of the top albums of all time. The self-titled track is beautiful, and the lyrics discuss why men are the worst. “Your poetries bad and you blame the news” reminds me of self-proclaimed film bros who try to be the next Tarantino and think they will become such, despite being horribly misguided in their goals. There’s the obvious “Goddamn man child” and the chorus, of course, of “You’re just a man, it’s just what you do.” She somehow can turn frustrations toward men into a lyrical masterpiece.

The Greatest is another of her best on the album. I always took it to be about nostalgia, burnout, and anxiety. The line, “Don’t leave I just need a wake-up call,” hit very hard for me for various reasons, but that’s the beauty of it. That line can mean many different things depending on who listens. “Those nights were on fire, we couldn’t get higher, we didn’t know that we had it all,” is pure nostalgia. That, for me, reminds me of when I realized that I took a lot of my teenage years for granted, which is already depressing, though enough without Lana Del Rey having to come up with lyrics to put the feeling into words. 

Unfortunately, she hasn’t been really recognized during award season for music. Most people thought she was a shoo-in for Album of the Year at the 2019 Grammys, but it ended up going to Billie Eilish. I wrote about this before, but the Grammys have really become a popularity contest in the past few years, so it’s not surprising. While I think it would benefit anyone to listen to Lana, many people aren’t drawn to her music at first because of how unique it is.


The first concert I ever went to was a Taylor Swift concert. The first time I ever sat down and listened to an album in its entirety rather than picking songs I enjoyed was a Taylor Swift album. The second concert I ever went to was a Taylor Swift concert. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard “Swiftie” because there are quite a few things she’s done that I disagree with, and I really can’t just like some of her songs because it’s Taylor Swift’s Song. But I really do adore a lot of her music, and I think lyrically, she’s very talented. She also has a ton of albums, all with songs that are geared toward everyone, so statistically, I feel like she ends up in a lot of people’s top artists, unintentionally sometimes. 

My personal album from hers is 1989, but I want to break down Folklore because, technically speaking, I think that’s her best work. The interesting part of Folklore is that it literally tells a story. And I know what you’re thinking: don’t many songs tell stories? But this album is a story with a plot and characters. It tells the story of Betty, James, Inez, and Augustine, most of whom are the names of Blake Lively’s kids. I find that amazing, I feel like songwriting is hard enough, never mind making sure the entirety of an album fits into a fictional plot. I give so much credit to her for being able to do that.

And while the album’s plot is fictional, there are some of her most relatable songs on this album. This is me Trying is one of my favorite songs, partially because it is my life anthem. The songs on this album are so relatable because Taylor Swift is so good at immersing you in the song. In Tears Ricochet, I know that I feel a part of that song when I listen to it, and probably many others, because many people would consider that the best song on the album, or at least the top three.

I also just think that this is her style of music. I was hoping that Midnights would copy this, but she went back to the traditional pop sound, which I found disappointing at first, but it took me a few months to realize the album was not bad. I honestly can’t describe it, but her voice is just stunning in the slower, gentler indie genre. She’s always been talented lyrically, but sometimes her vocals fall flat when it comes to more unique voices, but this album encapsulates her craft entirely.

On top of her voice, I also think she is a really great businesswoman as well. Her steady release of albums, and popular ones at that, means that there is constant attention on her, which then, in turn, means…bingo. More money. The success of her tours too is amazing- I don’t believe she’s had a tour yet that hasn’t been filled with a sold-out crowd, and her music appeals to all age groups so that she doesn’t have to cater to one age group. She also trademarks everything, which makes it hard for people to sell homemade Swift merch on platforms like Etsy, but she knows her worth. She’s incredibly smart.


I discovered Phoebe Bridgers much later on than the other two artists, but if I had discovered her earlier on, she would 100% be at the top of my list. Her music is genuinely soul-crushing while also having some of the most beautiful lyrics and production I have ever heard. She is the first artist I have ever listened to and there is not a single song that I dislike of hers. 

I find Scott Street one of the most beautiful songs of all time, even though it’s been tiktokified recently. This is my go-to cry song. I genuinely can not just listen to this song for fun because I will cry. It encapsulates the feeling of nostalgia entirely. “Walking Scott Street feeling like a stranger.” That is exactly how I felt returning to home from college for the first time. The idea is that what once was your home is now simply a place that you visit for extended periods of time. “I asked you how is your sister, I heard she got her degree.” This reminds me so much of the conversations you have with people you once considered your best friends, but distance has made your conversations generic and reminiscent of what your friendship used to be. 

The sound change around 3 minutes is a kicker, too. It switches from a light drum in the background to what sounds almost like humming. Whenever I get to that part, it reminds me just of the reflection of what life used to be like before big changes. 

And then we get to the biggest killer in the whole song.

“Anyway, don’t be a stranger.”



She plays bells and a train whistle right before the last lines of “Anyway don’t be a stranger,” and it is the most heartbreaking moment. It’s like you’re on a train as it’s about to leave, saying goodbye to the people from your childhood. People that you may not even talk to anymore, and all you can do is look at pictures of them from when times were easier. 

I think part of her beauty is the extremely long instrumentals she has toward the end with repeating lyrics. Waiting Room is a great example of this. She wrote this song when she was in high school, I believe, and my first question is, who hurt her? The main line of this song is, “I know it’s for the better.” She ends up repeating this toward the end of the song, which carries this feeling of you telling yourself over and over that something frankly, really shitty, is for the better, even though you know that this is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to you. It just reminds me so much of building up frustration and sadness because you need to tell yourself that it’s fine. 

I’m seeing Boygenius (the supergroup she’s a part of) next week, and I am so excited I will write more about that when the time comes. 

Top Songs of the last 4 weeks

Behind Blue Eyes-Limp Bizkit

Left Alone-Fiona Apple

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman-Pentatonix (I will elaborate)

I discovered Behind Blue Eyes pretty recently, actually, but it’s another example of a Scott Street song for me. It fully encapsulated the feeling of complete emptiness. I find a lot of songs can be sad and what not, but there are songs that kind of due that but to like an intense level. It actually alters your mood for at least 30 minutes after listening. I couldn’t listen to this and then Ice Spice and suddenly not feel sad anymore. It’s hard to explain, but when you find your song that does that, you’ll know. 

Fiona Apple is the epitome of frustration for me, especially frustration about being a woman. “Oh god what a good guy and I can’t even enjoy him cause I’m hard,” hits for me. To me, that feels like not being able to accept love around you because you, one, either feel unlovable or so messed up from past loves that you’re completely unable to enjoy again. “I don’t cry when I’m sad anymore,” also hits hard because when I get frustrated, I literally can not cry, so then I just get a headache and it makes me more frustrated. 

Okay, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is a good running song! A lot of my most listened-to songs are from my running/workout playlist, so this isn’t something I necessarily listen to for fun, I just enjoy the beat of it, it feels like I’m running from an army.

Top Songs for the last 6 months

Scott Street-Phoebe Bridgers

Gethsenamane- Morgan James

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-Elton John

I won’t elaborate on Scott Street since I already did, but Gethsemane is an interesting one because I don’t actually remember listening to it that much. It’s from a women-only version of my favorite musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, and as a Broadway fan to my core, this song is amazing. It’s considered one of the hardest Broadway songs to sing, and Morgan James just does it so so well. I saw the show in April of this year so I think I went on a tangent of listening to it a lot.

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road is one of my favorite songs of all time. I listen to it in every situation because I really like his vocals and sound in this, but I also love the meaning behind it as well. When I’m writing characters, I like to pick out songs for them, and this song actually ties in with a lot of my characters, so when I’m writing, there is a very good chance this song has played 3-4 times. 

Top Songs of All Time

Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?-Arctic Monkeys

Little Talks-Of Monsters and Men

212- Azalea Banks

212 is on there from running. I can’t help it, the song just serves so hard. It kind of feels like you’re walking down a runway. WYOCMWYH only took the top spot recently, and honestly, I have no real reason why. It’s just one of those songs that I’ve loved forever, and I listen to it at all points, running, working, and studying. It just never falls flat for me. Little Talks has the Good Bye Yellow Brick Road Effect for me- when I make albums for my characters, this song usually shows up, mainly for the end where they go, “Now wait, wait , wait for me.” I feel like it just fits well for a lot of situations. 

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