It’s no secret that Spotify has some issues to contend with, the largest being poor compensation for the artists that prop up the service, juxtaposed with a laughably-enormous deal for the guy whose name rhymes with Poe Slogan. Using a streaming service like Spotify can be tricky because it forces us to consider how much we value artistry in the face of convenience. Yet, it’s also fostered the creation of unique music-centered niches that can’t be found anywhere else. One such gem is its catalog of weird, hyper-specific playlists.
The subreddit r/weirdspotifyplaylists highlights some of the stranger public offerings that can be found in the ether of the streaming service. I stumbled upon the subreddit after a post from the site showed up on my Twitter feed and it seems like the account is having a moment of sorts after recently hitting 100K followers, a figure that outpaces the size of the subreddit itself. It’s now at over 250K.
The collection of playlists on the whole often goes into more off-the-wall directions, with my personal favorites zeroing-in on the comedy of details. In the screenshot above, we have a standard joke that invites the viewer to do a little bit of mental deduction for the punchline (apologies to Weezer fans).
Vehicle for a larger joke — A lot of the playlists that you find are more in-line with the Weezer one, only more elaborate and range from universal truths to things that maybe plague under 1,000 people in the world. Titles like “On May 4 at 3:11 A.M. I almost died after a 9gram shroom trip,” or, “You’re walking around a dying mall, you’re the only person there but it feels like you’re being followed,” evoke a sense of ennui and leap off the screen because of their specificities. And, of course, nostalgia and Americana wistfulness.
Other playlist names like “The Batman soundtrack,” and “POV: You’re Walking Through Ohio,” are harmless enough as titles but when examined more closely, offer ridiculousness in the songs they contain.
And then there are the fully depraved ones, arguably the cream of the crop. These usually revel in levels of horny that should be bottled up and studied by researchers so that we can find a cure. Some examples include “Songs that go harder than i get for Freddy Fazbear,” and “Sea songs to have gay sex to.”
I’m drawn to the fact that these titles lean into a sense of shamelessness one would maybe find on a normal social media platform like Twitter or Instagram, but they exist on a streaming service that is decidedly not social. Shock jocking in public is one thing — there’s a certain wink-wink that both the performer and viewer partake in — but being a sicko on a semi-private/public forum feels at once vulnerable and liberating. It doesn’t hurt that the songs contained in these playlists are usually pretty mild.
The following playlists are NSFW: Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
There was a period in the mid-2010s where I took pleasure in using Venmo like it was a social site, often captioning transactions with unintelligible jokes, or highly niche references that only a small sub-section of mentally disturbed basketball fans would find amusing. Sure, I was posting things that were viewable to anyone with an internet connection, but chances are very few people would be seeing them. I can only imagine some of the fun for these demented playlist creators is similar.