The art of playlists

I am a child of the cassette generation; I grew up sharing tapes, crowding around a player to get the best fade, the perfect mix. Titles stuck on with glue or scratched with ink over whiteout. Compiled with hormone visions and a need to express emotions, only music could. Tapes were crafted for moods, for moments in time captured in their fragile reels. My walkman a permanent attachment to my head in all it’s ever reducing forms as the years passed.

Perhaps this is why playlists have always fascinated me. I moved from tapes to CDs – the same care but in the broader space. Then from that moving onto iTunes and curating based on digital tracks foraged or brought with the care of a collector. With all this history and passion for playlists, Spotify is a playground for me. It’s where I get to have limitless options for curating that perfect mix.

I am not alone in this; others have a playlist for every occasion and those that might just come up. Some happen all of a sudden and others grow over the years. Perhaps they are around a genre of music, maybe an experience, it doesn’t matter because they are always a ritual, process of enjoyment.

A playlist to bounce along to:

One to have a moment:

One to just let it go:

Playlists I come back to and curate with the care of a musical bonsai tree. Carefully pruning and growing into the shape, sometimes a form I wasn’t planning at the start. They are a personal art form that has been an expression since tapes and shows no sign of waning no matter what platform.

I also love hearing other’s playlists. They are insights into their souls, captured in lists. Giving and taking emotional currency in the marketplace of playlists is a beauty in itself. Even the ones shared by AI weekly can often open worlds and adventures in sound. Spotify’s discover weekly and release radar take me on journeys I jump with both feet into that deep often strange pool. Playlists indeed are art, and I am here for all their forms.