Just because a song is old doesn’t mean it will trigger nostalgia. If you keep Beyoncé in regular rotation, listening to “Crazy in Love” probably won’t take you back to 2003 every time. But I’ve found a kind of music that’s way more likely to trigger nostalgia: The one hit wonder.
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“Sea chanteys are work songs, so they’re designed to coordinate effort between a group of people doing physical labour,” says video producer Jamison Hermann, who sang them while working on ships at the Mystic Seaport maritime museum. “The saying in maritime historical circles is that a good chanteyman is worth ten sailors on a line” — because he helps everyone pull the rope at once.
Usually when I load up a “biggest hits” playlist, I end up skipping half the tracks. I’m barely skipping anything on NPR’s new playlist, “The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+”. Every song is good! Even the country songs! And the lead performers are all women or non-binary.
Highlights include “F**k the Pain Away” by Peaches, “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs, “Drone Bomb Me” by Anohni, “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo, “Help I’m Alive” by Metric, and “Good as Hell” by Lizzo. There are also megahits such as “Run Away With Me” and “Single Ladies”. This is real singalong stuff.
Eight years ago, musician Nick Pittsinger made Justin Bieber's "U Smile" sound like ambient pop band Sigur Rós by slowing it down 800%. Bieber haters celebrated this beautiful edit, and ever since then people have been slowing down songs by 800%, 1000%, or more, and uploading them to YouTube and SoundCloud.
The genre's smooth sounds and lack of discernible lyrics makes it great background music for creative work, so we've collected some of the best in a YouTube playlist, "All Music Sounds Good at 1/10 the Speed."
Spotify's top playlists feature way more men than women. Not just in the algorithmic playlists, which reproduce inequalities in the music industry at large, but also in the curated ones, according to a thorough, stat-filled feature article on The Baffler. For example, Spotify's top curated playlist of 2017 was RapCaviar, a rotating 50-track playlist with nine million followers. Over the entire month that The Baffler tracked, it included one woman-led song. One.
In the Pomodoro Technique for productivity, you work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. (After two hours, you take a longer break.) You can use a kitchen timer, your phone, or a specialised app.
In the Popodoro technique, instead of a timer, you use music - like the new Spotify playlist from Popjustice.
Ravel's Boléro, the famous repetitive piece that builds to a full-orchestra climax, is the most famous example of a classical form, based on the Latin dance genre of the same name. TV Tropes, a website made entirely of rabbit holes, lists over 50 examples of this particular song structure, and we've collected as many as we can in a Spotify playlist.
Have you guys seen that new trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda? If you haven't, go check it out. If you have, go watch it again. Then come back and put on this playlist of all of the music from this series.
Tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder can be incredibly immersive with the right music. This playlist has all the music you'll ever need to paint a picture for your party.