This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.
Spotify released data today that lets you see the most listened to artists, albums, tracks, and genres of your personal Spotify music listening habits in 2015. In the storied tradition of using music as a stream-roller to concrete one’s position as a personable, cool, ahead-of-the-curve character, people are rampantly posting screenshots of their own “most-played” lists online. As in: look - I like Carly Rae Jepsen and Fetty Wap!!! Don’t act like you’re not impressed by “indie-tronica” being my most played genre of the year! Please: like this tweet that shows I, too, have listened to Kendrick Lamar.
It’s fair game, really, to draw conclusions on people based on their music taste. Because if one thing is certain in 2015, it’s that we continue to see music as one of the great definitions of our being. So we took it upon ourselves to delve into some of the most popular results on all these top Spotify lists to sketch a portrait of the different sort of people who operate on the musical landscape. What does your #YearInMusic really say about you?
YOUR TOP ARTIST WAS...
Let me guess, your favourite leisure activities are: bubble baths, pub lunches, and taking dayglo paint to V Festival. There is nothing wrong with any of those things. There is nothing wrong with Ed Sheeran being your artist of the year either. We all need an outlet, don’t we? I’m just saying, maybe think about what it says about your life choices this year that you identified most with a musician who still has MySpace hair in 2015 and once sharted his pants onstage.
Let’s face it: you’ve at least tried to have a lot of sex this year. Because when it comes down to it, that’s all The Weeknd’s music is about, isn’t it? These songs are so sleazy you can literally taste the hormones perspirating from The Weeknd’s face as he stands too close to you at the bar, unceremoniously placing his hand on your lower-back. Or sliding into your boyfriend’s work email with coy requests to “go for lunch :P”. If The Weeknd is your most played artist of the year, we’re not saying you’re a complete sleaze-ball, but we are confident you’ve curated a “Sex Playlist”, followed-up the world’s most sus text message with a “cry-face-emoji”, and still use the phrase “friend-zone”.
Despite what everyone said about these guys biting the dust, you’ve stuck with them through the thick and thin. And now look at them! “Sugar” has racked up nearly one billion YouTube views this year, making Maroon 5 the most popular band without a discernable fan-base. Which begs the question: who are you? You’re not basic, that’s for sure. Do you work in accounts or social media marketing? Are you a mother? One of those people who has reached the upper-echelon of calm by never reading the news or leaving your home-town? Someone who continues to shop in Burton? It’s hard to tell. But god bless you for rising above the birthing mucus of millennials. You live the guilt-free life we all strive to achieve.
When “BBHMM” was released you either had a lengthy discussion with someone on the internet about its relative pros and cons as a feminist manifesto because you are a journalist, or you are not a journalist and were therefore able to just enjoy the song. You’ve been waiting for Anti so long that your manner of waiting has become quite passive aggressive, and you neurotically re-listen to "Bitch Better Have My Money" again and again, prodding play with increased frustration.
Congratulations! You have just achieved your PhD in ‘Basic Studies’.
YOUR TOP TRACK WAS...
MARK RONSON - "UPTOWN FUNK"
You’re not quite sure how this happened, and you’re a bit embarrassed tbh. When you get to the end of your #YearInMusic and Spotify says “Share your year in music to Twitter or Facebook?” the eye sore prevalence of “Uptown Funk” in your top tracks is just too brutal to publicise. "How has this happened!?" you’re whispering in disbelief at the laptop screen, “Nobody... NOBODY can see this!” Truth is, all your mates already know you bloody love that song, mate. Everyone does. You played it via the Spotify for Uber app in the taxi home after every single night out you took in 2015, shouting "Don't believe me just watch" then fist pumping out the window. You were just far too drunk to remember.
ADELE - "HELLO"
Welp. You’re only human.
WIZ KHALIFA - "SEE YOU AGAIN"
Most of your favourite actors were originally wrestlers, you love a good footlong Subway, and when people say “I can’t believe there are seven Fast and the Furious films” you assume they’re meaning that there should be way more. You have a playlist called “Emotional” which features this Wiz song, as well as “Candle in the Wind”, “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy, "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" by Eamon, and that song that’s always on Channel 4 by The xx. You listen to it while doing the ironing.
THE LIBERTINES - "GUNGA DIN"
You really, desperately wanted to like this song. You listened to it 250 times, searching for merit or at least a certain quality that could salvage the future of British guitar music from the limp, sterilised hands of James Bay. You think that by convincing kids at your local pub to give the Libertines a chance instead of getting hooked on Years and Years or grime or something you are fighting the good fight, but in reality you have begun to feel very old. Your bones hurt. Is it normal for bones to hurt?
KYGO - "FIRESTONE"
Your consumption of music goes a little like this: see TV advert for expensive piece of technology, Shazam TV advert for expensive piece of technology, find on Spotify and add to playlist titled 'inspirational running songs'.
YOUR TOP ALBUM WAS...
AVICII - STORIES
You took your first ecstasy pill this year and while you have absolutely no intention of ever doing something so horrid ever again, you do have some great memories of that feeling when it first hit you as Avicii played “Hey Brother” at Wireless back in July, just before you sprinted to the toilet to spew up 3 litres of Somersby cider and a pork burrito. You listen back to his album every weekend and reminisce about wilder times, as you light a scented candle and load up another episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine on Netflix.
FETTY WAP - FETTY WAP
You still haven’t gotten around to listening to this whole album but you keep telling people how much you love it based only on the fact you’ve listened to “679” a hundred times. You can’t wait to make memories to track 14. Or, uh, 15. Whatever, you know this album is good because you listened to it the most apparently.
JAMIE XX - IN COLOUR
You don’t normally listen to dance music but this was okay actually. “I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)” was great, but you’re still not convinced by vocoders. Can’t they sing properly or something?
CARLY RAE JEPSEN - EMOTION
A few years ago you wrote Carly Rae Jepsen off, didn’t you? The rush you got whenever a DJ dropped “Call Me Maybe” began to dwindle and you started using it as a window to go to the bar. You banished her to the Land of One Hit Wonders alongside Chumbawumba and Cee-lo Green (I know right, Cee-lo who?) and stopped giving her the time of day. Then she came back with one of the greatest albums of the year - not just in terms of pop but in the context of 2015’s music landscape in general - and a video starring Tom actual Hanks. Haha! In your face! This is your favourite album now! Your mum will probably buy it for you on vinyl from Tesco as a Christmas gift!
MADONNA - REBEL HEART
This album ushered in some of Madge’s worst sales weeks in two decades. If this is way up in your data it's probably because you're under the age of 18, watched the Brits, thought “who’s this lady getting dragged backwards down the stairs cape-first?” and looked her up on Spotify.
YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE WAS...
In a world where the former vocalist of a metalcore band is now one of the biggest mainstream producers in the world, Ryan Adams charted with a covers album of Taylor Swift’s 1989, and alternative online music publication Noisey.com named Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” their song of the year, it’s hard to imagine someone alive in 2015 who doesn’t enjoy pop music. Pop making an appearance on your end of year listening data doesn’t say anything about anybody anymore. It barely confirms your connection to modern civilisation.
You probably signed that petition to stop Kanye West performing at Glastonbury, didn't you? You probably don’t like what’s happened to the NME and XFM. You probably rush home from the pub on a Friday to catch TFI Friday. You are probably 37.
You've said “it’s lit!” a lot this year. Mostly in reference to your dinner and other things that do not, actually, qualify as lit.
You have a free Spotify account that you only utilise when you’re “DJing” between iTunes and Spotify at a house party.
In all likelihood you chose your genre in your teens and have remained loyal to it with economic vengeance ever since, pressing play on the same Iron Maiden song since 1983 and not once failing to air guitar along with your leg up on an elevated surface. You will do this until the end of time.