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Scott Morrison's Spotify Playlists Are Fucking Balls

Think our prime minister's 10-hour 'Eighties plus' playlist is bad? Wait 'til you see his sadboy folk mix.
Scott Morrison

It’s national tradition for Australia to have tasteless prime ministers. Budgie smugglers, offshore detention, non-binding plebiscites—if our PM doesn’t harbour some garishly tone-deaf opinions, it seems like we just don’t want ‘em. True to form, current PM Scott Morrison has already proved himself as one of our most tasteless leaders to date since he came into power a couple of months back. Man’s been in office less than three months and he’s already said that social welfare doesn’t need to increase, criticised opponents of ‘Australia Day’, made Tony Abbott an Indigenous envoy, and chucked a boat-shaped trophy on his desk that says “I Stopped These.” Man couldn’t prove himself more tasteless if he tried.


Except somehow, he has! Morrison has caused a minor stir this week due to some bizarre Spotify playlists unearthed by Labor MP Tony Burke. Burke took to Twitter on Monday to call Morrison out over the lack of Australian bands in his ‘Eighties plus’ playlist, a 10-hour monstrosity created by Morrison in 2012 that he’s been updating fairly regularly ever since, including an update four days ago to add “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba to the mix. (Respect.)

“If you love and care about Australian music consider this,” Burke wrote. “Scott Morrison released a play list on Spotify today. 146 songs, 92 artists, 11 hours of music. Guess how many Australian bands?” The answer to that would be ‘one’: the only local artist on Morrison’s 80s playlist is “Simulation” by Wa Wa Nee. (Burke hashtagged his post with “#laborloveslivemusic”, which is true—Anthony Albanese once helped Sticky Fingers get US visas when they were denied because of their criminal records.)

The population of Australian Twitter users who love to get Riled Up About Insignificant Things have taken particular umbrage with the fact that there are so few Australian artists in the mix despite Morrison’s ‘fair-dinkum bloke’ image and the fact that it’s currently Ausmusic Month across ABC radio stations.

That’s all well and good—support your local scene, etc etc—but what’s more troubling about Morrison’s Spotify playlists to me is that, well, they fucking suck. Man’s ‘work out’ playlist includes four Armin Van Buuren songs. Elsewhere, Morrison subscribes to the playlists ‘Gospel Christmas’, ‘Hillsong’, ‘Hillsong United’, ‘Hillsong Christmas’ and ‘Best of Chris Isaak’. He has also made not only one, but two Keith Urban best-of playlists. I am not at all surprised. His ‘Berrara’ playlist—which I assume he listens to on bougie holidays to the NSW seaside town of the same name—features wet blanket folk weepies like Vance Joy, The Paper Kites, James Vincent McMorrow and Angus & Julia Stone, but ends, bafflingly, with Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied,” which is not only a bad song but one that’s completely inconsistent with the tone of the rest of the playlist. Man can’t even put together a good sadboy folk playlist, how are we supposed to expect him to run a country properly?

No, but really: Scott Morrison's government continues to uphold abhorrent policies regarding refugee rights and has failed to end the cruelty on Nauru and close the processing centre there. Find information on how to lobby against the government's retrograde refugee policy at RISE.

Shaad D'Souza is Noisey's Australian editor. Follow him on Instagram.