As the most wonderful time of the year approaches (the release of Spotify Wrapped), the Observer's staff predicts what has been their most embarrassing listening habit this year.
The end of the year is a sentimental and nostalgic time in many ways, but nothing quite hits home like the annual arrival of Spotify Wrapped. Whether you openly share your ‘Most Played Artist’ on your Instagram story or decide to keep the fact that you streamed ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’ a worrying amount of times, we all seem to get humbled by our sacred music app. Today, the UO and OTwo Staff share their predictions on what they believe will be their most embarrassing feature in their Spotify Wrapped this year.
Holly Alder, Music Editor – Sped Up Songs
Personally, I fear that my Spotify Wrapped will not just feature a particularly shameful song, but a collective of such. This year, my brain has been working overtime as I have made some big changes to my life. To accompany this, I have taken up listening to pop music that is sped up. This habit, has of course, come from the most beautifully awful creation that is TikTok. There’s just something about a sped up version of ‘Swim’ by Chase Atlantic just seems to scratch my brain in the right way, and I’ll stand by it (in private, of course).
Tessa Ndjonkou, Editor - Glee Cast
If knowing the entire Glee! discography in near-perfect order is a curse, I’m afraid I will be wearing my crown with pride. The satire-musical or drawbridge between the end of the 2000s and the start of the 2010s is the only soundtrack that sends me into a fugue state so deep, I can almost forget my past as a theatre kid. Ryan Murphy, absentee father to many annoying musical teens, clearly has much to answer for. But why bite the hand that fed me all the ancestral musical knowledge I believed to be niche and “different” until 2015?
Healing is possible, if you try hard enough. However, as stated beforehand, my efforts have been rather weak. If you catch me humming the “Don’t Stop Believing,” put us both out of our misery and either join in, or promptly vacate the premises.
Ilaria Riccio, Deputy Editor – The Wombats’ ‘Kill the Director’
I will premise this exposé by admitting that I consider this song a certified banger and that I willingly put it on repeat whenever I’m “going through it.” Taken from the trio’s 2007 debut album, this track is quintessentially Wombats, both musically and lyrically. A catchy guitar riff and fast-paced drumming accompany the desire of singer and lyricist Matthew “Murph” Murphy to kill the director of the “rom-com” that was his dating life in his late teenage years. As I see this track on my Spotify Wrapped, I can’t help but think that I might have killed the director of my own rom-com – if there even was one.
Oisin Gaffey, Sports Editor – Plankton AI: The Weirdly Addictive Summer Trend
It is with deep embarrassment and shame that I confess my strangest inclusion in my Spotify Wrapped may be ‘Diamonds’ by Plankton AI. Over the summer, I fell down a deep rabbit hole of AI song covers on TikTok, where I stumbled across the infamous Spongebob character. Annoyed that TikTok capped Plankton’s version of ‘Diamonds’ to just one minute, I took to Spotify to satisfy my needs! Whilst it is a completely bizarre inclusion in my Spotify Wrapped, I have to admit that it is a great rendition of Rihanna’s classic song. I’m not sure she would appreciate the comparison.
Lucy Warmington, Food and Drink Editor – Taylor Swift
For the fifth year in a row, Ms T-Swizzle, TayTay, Blondie, Mother, is my top artist of the year. Yes, once again, Spotify has outed me as a Swiftie. Don’t get me wrong, my two Taylor vinyls are my most prized possessions (I don’t even have a record player!), but the rest of my music is immensely less problematic! All my other top artists are obscure indie-rock bands (no, I’m not willing to prove this) who don’t make me guilty-by-affiliation when white feminism or private jets are discussed. Taylor, hun, I love you, but things have to change. Please scoot yourself off my Spotify Wrapped so I can continue pretending I have a refined taste and musical integrity. Cheers.
Isabella Ambrosio, OTwo Co-Editor – Andy Black’s ‘We Don’t Have To Dance’
Listen – while this has been a rather recent addition to my constant rotation, I have a really bad habit of putting this song on repeat when it comes on. I was never a Black Veil Brides girlie, but I would be both blind and deaf if I didn’t admit Andy Biersack wasn’t a glorious specimen. His shouting is so fun to mimic along to and there’s an infectious energy to the song that has me in an absolute chokehold. I put it on repeat and I recognised the drummer, who belonged to a completely different genre; turns out that 5 Seconds of Summer’s drummer (my favourite band of all time), Ashton Irwin, did do the drums on this track. Here’s why you shouldn’t be surprised when this will become my most played song of 2023.