See Spot(ify) Play

I generally use the new year to take stock of what I own and what I use, then try to make any necessary adjustments; I've already begun amassing a pile of stuff to donate or throw away. This doesn't just apply to possessions, but to my online life as well. I deactivated Twitter after a few weeks of not being able to work up even the minimal effort to check in. As a trade-off to that, though, I picked up another service that everyone else has already long become familiar with. What can I say? I've always been a late adopter.

That service is Spotify, where you can select specific music tracks to stream, rather than relying on an algorithm to pick music for you, like with Pandora or AccuRadio. You can also create playlists and poke into what your friends are listening to, which is what I've been using it for so far. As I've said many times before, I'm entirely at ease describing, discussing, and debating my tastes in film, television, books, and games, but for some reason, I'm all thumbs when it comes to music. My music tastes trend towards the unsophisticated, and I'm usually ignorant of many indie groups I'd love if only I knew about them.

This is where the built-in friends list of Spotify comes in handy. Some of my friends are very tuned in to the world of music (no pun intended), and by piggy-backing on the music they listen to, I've been discovering some great groups and songs I never would have heard otherwise. Each track has the option of marking it with a gold star, and from the wealth of music I've been able to dive into so far this year, four songs have gotten that hallowed branding. It's entirely possible that everyone in the universe besides me has already heard them (though three of the four were just released in 2012), but on the off-chance I can actually spread the wealth to anyone new, I thought I'd mention them.

It's very difficult for me to describe why I like any certain song beyond just saying "Ooh, I like that," but I'll give it a try. Maybe I'll have to get some guest comments about why a certain song is so engaging from my friend Kyle, whose playlist all four of these were plucked from.

"Casualties of War" (Gossip): The music is what first hooked me. And I also like the purity of Beth Ditto's voice. The lyrics, though, which are about exes encountering each other after a breakup and doing a pensive dissection of what went wrong, are what hit me last, and what hit me hardest.

"Sister Wife" (Alex Winston): This one's the other way around. The witty lyrics about the jealousy and territoriality of the narrator towards another woman who shares the same husband tickled me, and the catchiness of the music came later.

"The Void" (Metric): I wanted to choose one of the four videos to embed into the post itself, and after seeing these moves, how I could resist picking this one?

As to why it earned a coveted star, one listen should be all the explanation you need.

"Phone Sex" (Blood Diamonds - feat. Grimes): I couldn't even begin to tell you what this one's about. I just really like the ethereal music paired with a good beat.


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