A wall with horizontal rows of CDs with yellow text that reads “a new era of music playlists”

A New Era of Music Playlists

By Crystal Ramos
Music Journalist

As a kid, did you ever find yourself gazing out of the car window feeling like you were the main character in a movie while the radio hummed in the back and the world slipped away as you closed your eyes? Now, you can probably find a playlist for this memory.

TikTok is to thank for this particular trend where people are building distinctive playlists with equally distinctive titles and sharing them for the world to hear. What these creators are essentially doing is creating soundtracks to precise moments of their lives. The appeal for naming a playlist “Mood Booster” or “Sad-Lofi” has far advanced to “the tunnel scene feeling from Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “crying on the floor at 2 a.m.”.  The vulnerable expressions of these titles are what is making these playlists so unique and successful.

As a platform, TikTok is a huge contributor to music discovery. From the dance trends to meme tracks to the reintroduction of older songs, it’s algorithm has created a large impact in the songs we listen to. It is a hub for crowdsourcing music, so it is not surprising that videos of creators sharing their music recommendations is a sweeping trend.  

Of course, I decided I wanted to dive into the trend and create three specific playlists.

In honor of summer having officially started on June 20, I created “serotonin you’re gonna need this summer.” The summer we had envisioned for 2020 may be gone, but we can live it vicariously through music. This playlist features many songs that I like to refer to as “feel-good bangers” from “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, to “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine, to “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove. Every song is sure to bring you the elation you need while being blasted out of the rolled down windows in your car. 

I couldn’t miss out on crafting my own “soundtrack to your own coming of age movie” playlist. I believe we never truly stop “coming of age.” By the end of each decade, we have amassed new wisdom and experience in life. At one hour and 54 minutes,  this playlist is ordered to follow a movie plot structure. The exposition is “Intro” by The xx. The rising action, climax and falling action include songs like “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975, “Ribs” by Lorde and “All These Things I’ve Done” by The Killers. The ending is a mixture of Harry Styles’ “Golden” and “the end” by Misterwives.

The last playlist is an ode to overthinkers everywhere. I called it “piecing the puzzle of the universe” after a line in Kid Cudi’s “Soundtrack 2 My Life.”  A lot of these songs consist of laid back thought-provoking melodies. If you own any LED lights, then pair this playlist with it for a worldly experience. To give you another sense of the music in this one, Frank Ocean is overwhelmingly yet tastefully featured throughout.

Featured image by Crystal Ramos.

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