Happy Spotify Wrapped Day to all who celebrate! And a happy regular Wednesday to Apple Music users. It’s that magical time of year when you open the Spotify app and are reminded of the time you lay in bed and listened to Ethel Cain’s “American Teenager” on repeat for the better part of an hour while thinking of every choice you’ve ever made.
This year, instead of just revealing your quiet obsession with that one Taylor Swift song, Spotify created “Sound Towns.” Basically, it has used its trove of data to match you to “a city based on your listening and artist affinity.” Interesting. Well, surely this means that there is a long list of cities to which one could be assigned, and perhaps those cities would have some kind of history with the genre of music that you’re listening to. A quick check of the website formerly known as Twitter will probably confirm this theory.
Just kidding! Everyone is getting the same three cities. At least, that’s what it looks like on my feeds (and yours too, probably). Berkeley, Burlington, and Cambridge — three major college towns — are having a moment thanks to Spotify. Obviously, the streaming company is not revealing how it has placed people where, but I have my theories based on evidence gathered from my group chats.
From what I can tell, Berkeley is for those who listen to dancy music made for gay people and a minority of straight men (A.G. Cook, Charli XCX, Caroline Polacheck). Burlington is for people who listen to music made by women who have suffered (Phoebe Bridgers, Waxahatchee, Big Thief). And lastly, Cambridge is for the girls who want to dance now and think about their problems later (MUNA, Chappell Roan, Maisie Peters).
If you do a little digging, you will find that some people have gotten other cities. San Luis Obispo and Bozeman are both on the list, as well as Provo and (if you listen to enough show tunes) New York City. As for me? Well, I somehow got Ann Arbor; apparently that’s where they’re listening to Lorde.