The art of the playlist

Everyone who reads her blog, or even sees her social media posts knows Savannah loves music. She stores her records with great care. She understands her albums like we could only hope to understand our friends. Heck, she even coordinates her outfits with them.

I’d like to compare myself to her in this way. But, everyone has their own unique way of connecting to music. When you really get down to it, we’re not all that alike. We collect differently, and we listen differently. She’s a classic record type of gal, whereas my lifeline is Spotify. She listens by album, by artist, on her jamming stereo system. I hop from song to song like a headphone-wearing, phone-toting flea.

There are pros and cons to both of our methods. One thing in I love about my way is the endless amount of themed playlists I can create as I please.

This could be a distinctly Lucy phenomenon, but I hope that’s unlikely. I construct my playlists from a mix of songs on the radio, recommendations and the ever-amazing Discover Weekly playlist. I don’t usually stick with a single artist or a single album. My music collection is comparable to the junk drawer in my kitchen, messy and varied, but thrown together because of some intangible connection.

I make my own connections with themed playlists.

They range from music to listen to when you’re up such as “Let’s Dance on Top of The World” to when you’re down such as “emo.” I also have playlists featuring songs that have a commonality in the title such as “songs named after animals” and “songs whose titles are questions.” Other playlists are put together for organizational purposes such as “day cruise” and “songs with lyrics that speak to Lucy on another level.”

I also have rules. You can’t just willy-nilly Google songs that have “my darling/my dear” (another playlist of mine) in them. No. You have to come across them organically. Secondly, you have to know the song, like a friend. This is not to say you must completely adore it, but you can’t add random songs because you want to up your music street cred with ‘70s underground weirdness. Finally, have fun with it. I know my “Songs Harry Styles has Tweeted About” playlist isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it brings me great joy.

Now that you’ve been sufficiently introduced to the idea, these are my top three themed playlists, with a quick glimpse at what sort of songs you would find on them, for inspiration.

1.“thank god for girls” (23 Songs)

This playlist is named after my most favorite Weezer song in existence. It consists only of songs with titles including traditionally female names, making it easy to find proper additions.

Highlights include:

  • “Selene” by Imagine Dragons (also featured on “all time favs”)

  • “Marnie (Muscovite Mix)” by The Jazz Butcher

  • “Olivia” by One Direction

2. “songs that fit their titles to a T” (10 songs)

This is composed of songs that work well with their titles. Usually, they’re songs that aren’t named after a huge piece of the chorus, but exemplify everything the titles stand for. The feelings the song evokes could essentially be transferred to just the title and maintain its meaning. I feel this one in my bones.

Highlights include:

  • “Indigo Night” by Tamino

  • “Tropicoller Lease” by Sun Club

  • “Humbug Mountain Song” by Fruit Bats (also featured on “all time favs”)

3. “all time favs” (77 songs)

This is a tool for me. It gathers all the song heroes that have made it through my screenings into one playlist. It’s also my oldest themed playlist. I can walk through my music phases with a simple click of the “Shuffle Play” button. I have a next level “all time favs” called “This Is It” for the real music library legends, but that one is highly specific.

Highlights include:

  • “She Moves In Her Own Way” by the Kooks

  • “Mountain Man” by Crash Kings (also featured on “songs that fit their titles to a T)

  • “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines

  • “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” by Hozier

  • “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol (also featured on “Let’s Dance on Top of the World” and “thank god for girls”)

I’m not sure how other people organize their music. My main playlists usually average about 100-150 songs. I have one friend who essentially has one playlist, “all.” It has 3000-plus songs. I have another friend whose average playlist length is 12-20 songs, and every playlist title is an emoji.

Everyone has a different way of fitting into Spotify, but I highly recommend trying a theme. It’s satisfying and useful, but mostly it’s fun.

Lucy is a high school junior and avid pursuer of good music and cute clothes. She describers her style as "Mom from the '90s" combined with "Young, confident ,millennial." She values kindness and self-expression.