One of my favorite things about Spotify is the curated playlists made just for you, especially the yearly rewinds; it’s so interesting and gratifying to see how my listening habits change over the years. There was one playlist that caught my eye recently called “Your Summer Rewind,” which features some of my most-played songs from past summers. As I scrolled through the playlist, memories flooded back of when, where, and who I was during those summers.
There are the classic upbeat summer songs about being happy and loving the sun, like “Shotgun” by George Ezra, “Sunflower,” by Rex Orange County, and “Sunshine” by Tom Misch. But most of the songs are all tied to a specific memory, place, or person.
Summer 2019, the summer before my freshman year of college, I was very emotional about leaving home, I even made a whole playlist about it. That explains “Nobody” by Mitski, “A Little More” by Catie Turner, and “A World Alone” by Lorde. A few weeks into college, I couldn’t stop listening to “Halo” by Beyonce, so that too, wormed its way onto my playlist.
Summer 2018, I listened to “Blonde” by Frank Ocean all summer, so “Pink + White” and “Nights” made it on the list. I remember listening to “Nights” for the first time at the pool with my friends, looking up at the stars, feeling whole. That summer, my friends and I decided it would be fun to memorize the rap in “Determinate,” a song from “Lemonade Mouth,” a Disney Channel Original Movie. I listened to it dozens of times, trying to keep up with the fast-paced lyrics, so many times, that it too made it onto my Summer Rewind.
Summer 2016, I was still mostly listening to pop music, and Jon Bellion had just come out with “The Human Condition.” “Guillotine,” was my favorite song off of that album, and it used to be my most played song of all time. Other songs from that album found their way on the list: “Maybe IDK” and “Morning in America,” just to name a couple.
Summer 2015, I discovered my love for music, and became obsessed with Troye Sivan. His debut album “Blue Neighborhood” and preceding EP “WILD” had yet to come out, so I was listening to “Happy Little Pill” on repeat. I can’t listen to it anymore because of the strong nostalgia it gives me, transporting me back to when I was freshly fourteen years old and not even a freshman in high school. But Spotify doesn’t know that, so onto the playlist it went.
The playlist is only fifty songs, but it felt like going through old photo albums, reading old texts, and opening a time capsule all at once. When I look through playlists from summers past that I made, I am reminded of the experiences I curated and fantasized, the summer I wish I had; that is not always representative of how things go, or what I end up listening to, it’s subjective. Spotify, a program made with code and algorithms, shows me the tracks I actually listened to most, a third party view of my past.