embarrassed by their Spotify Wrapped lists


Kingston singer-songwriter Sarah Perrotta is a little embarrassed by the year-end tally of her listening habits generated by the music streaming service Spotify.

“I’m one of my best artists,” said Perrotta, who recently released an album produced by Peter Gabriel and Paul McCartney’s Jerry Marotta, laughing.

Composer, producer and engineer David Baron de Boiceville said the same thing.

“It’s probably embarrassing,” said Baron, who co-produced, designed and mixed Lumineers new album, “BRIGHTSIDE,” at his Sun Mountain Studios in Boiceville. “Some people don’t listen to their own work, but I do.”

Baron, who also played keyboards on ‘BRIGHTSIDE’ and worked with Lenny Kravitz and Shania Twain, added: ‘You think, okay, that’s kinda pointless. But the truth is, at least from my perspective, I love hearing my music in playlists.

“I listened to every playlist [my songs] were in it. I was curious as to how it was placed and what it was placed around. For me, it’s kind of a benchmark of how the algorithm, or Spotify, reacts to the music I put out to the world.

In another Spotify twist, Baron ranked number three on Perrotta’s personalized list of top performers for 2021, which the streaming service shares with subscribers at the end of their year. Envelope listing. Baron was ranked behind her second-place artist – herself – with premier reggae group Toots & the Maytals coming in at number one.

“I just love dancing to their music,” Perrotta said of Toots & the Maytals. “It’s so happy. I love this feeling.

Digital sharing can lead to the discovery of new artists

Woodstock singer Simi Stone doesn’t need the Spotify platform to know her most played song of 2021: “The Ascension” by Sufjan Stevens.

Tom smith

Much of our lives have been reframed by digital technology, which offers an analytical yet compelling perspective on what we do, how we do it, and how often we do it.

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon “watch” our television viewing habits. Amazon closely follows our purchases. Facebook integrates us into a global virtual community defined in large part by the number of “friends” we have.

And Spotify takes what can be a casual exercise designed for entertainment and relaxation – listening to music – and generates a year-end count of our most played artists and songs, the Wrapped list, which may or may not be. an accurate representation of the role music plays in our lives.

But the reach of this streaming service is undeniable – over 70 million songs, with 381 million users, including 172 million subscribers in 184 markets. Thus, the Spotify Wrapped List can offer, on a global scale, a subject for reflection and evaluation of one’s own listening habits. There will also be revelations.

In the Hudson Valley music community, which includes many notable names, the stakes can be high when Spotify is used as a career tool. This is how Baron and Perrotta – who email links to their own songs on Spotify to grow their audiences – often use the streaming service.

But a Spotify Wrapped List can also generate some fun.

Marlboro drummer Lee Falco laughed his music “is the last thing I want to listen to on Spotify. I don’t really put on my own music because I listen to a lot of it when I do it, and I hear it all the time.

Falco is a member of The Restless Age and plays with the Lemonheads. He also performed with Amy Helm, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and Kate Pierson of B-52.

He said his Wrapped list is a pretty accurate snapshot of his musical tastes in 2021. But it’s not as straightforward as it sounds, because a Spotify Wrapped list can peel away many layers of the proverbial musical onion of a listener.

Falco regularly plays music from his Spotify account at the Falcon, the concert hall and family restaurant that he runs in Marlboro. This therefore shapes its end-of-year balance sheet. And he was surprised that jazz alto saxophonist Eddie Harris ranked number four on his list of musicians and number five on his list of songs, with “Mean Greens.”

“I just found out this year, which is probably why I listened to it a lot,” Falco said. “Some grooves are really cool.”

Perrotta said she viewed her Wrapped List as an accurate representation of her musical tastes. One of the reasons for this is that she didn’t know who two of her top five musicians were. Perrotta believes she found Josephine Oniyama and Evripidis and Her Tragedies – Two Surprises – via the Spotify genres, and this reflects her adventurous spirit in discovering new music.

Arthur Russell was drummer Lee Falco's most performed artist on Spotify this year.  Unlike some artists, Falco (pictured here) says he never plays his own music - that's

Arthur Russell was drummer Lee Falco’s most performed artist on Spotify this year. Unlike some artists, Falco (pictured here) says he never plays his own music – it’s “the last thing I want to listen to on Spotify”.

Ayla Recot

Additional 2021 musical features that found their way to Perrotta via Spotify were “ecstatic” and “melancholy.” She couldn’t remember where on the streaming service she read this about herself in relation to her Wrapped list. But these descriptions could probably come from “Audio Aura” by Perrotta, which Spotify generates in collaboration with an aura expert, based on the two main musical moods of a listener.

As for Baron making her Personal Wrapped List, she said she just loved his music and was proud to support another Hudson Valley musician.

“I know him and love his music,” said Perrotta, whose Marotta-produced album “Blue to Gold,” stars King Crimson bassist Tony Levin and Peter Gabriel’s band; and Gerry Leonard, who was in David Bowie’s band and currently performs with Suzanne Vega. “I love his piano playing.”

As for Baron, when asked if his Wrapped list offered a good overview of his musical tastes in 2021, he replied, “Yes and no.”

“I produce music for a living, so I could listen to a lot of reference music to inspire me,” he said. “I also listen to things I’ve worked on – to hear them in a real environment.”

Hello, ‘Tiny Dancer’: unexpected songs in the most played mix

As for the unexpected, it would certainly be Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” ranked in Baron’s top 10.

“I was surprised that I listened to it enough to make it on my list of the best songs,” said Baron. “I love Paul Buckmaster’s orchestration on the melody. I love Elton’s voice. I like everything about the song. Spotify only confirms this.

Woodstock musician Simi Stone, who in addition to her own career has performed with renowned Talking Heads Natalie Merchant and David Byrne, is an outlier when it comes to the Spotify universe. Instead, she opts for Apple Music.

Either way, she doesn’t need an algorithm to tell her which song she listened to the most in 2021: “The Ascension” by Sufjan Stevens.

“Basically I listen to a song over and over again,” Stone said.

And that’s also what happened with her second most-listened song of the year – “What Happened to My Brother” by Jimmy LaValle and Mark Kozelek. Her boyfriend turned her on and, she said, “It was a surprise.”

Stone was surprised that she liked the song so much because of what she described as her “80s Casio beat”.

But, she continued, “We blew it up in my car and the lyrics are so good, and it’s such a good groove. It blew me away… I couldn’t get enough of this. song.

Hudson Valley Art, Music and Culture

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