When I was first asked to write this post, the idea was to make a playlist of my favorite Christmas music. I soon realized, however, it would just be Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” 12 times in a row because that’s the only good Christmas song. So that suggestion was quickly tossed out.
Instead, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite holiday treats, and then reprise a post I did last year entitled “Distilled’s Year In Music,” around Spotify’s End of Year tool that summarizes your favorite music of the year, which has been updated and improved for 2014! Huzzah!
In the 3 months since I’ve moved to London from Seattle, I’ve realized that almost no one here knows about Saturday Night Live. For this reason, a lot of my jokes/references bomb. This is a damn shame, because (a) I’m hilarious, and (b) This is just something everyone should have in their lives:
I think Kiefer Sutherland is famous both sides of the pond though, so hopefully the Brits appreciate this as much as us Yanks do:
But I know everyone knows “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and for my money, the definitive version is the DMX version:
As we discussed last year, Spotify is being awesome by creating a summary of your favorite music of the year, and for 2014, they’ve made it bigger and better. Check out yours here! Spotify Year In Music 2014.
First, a look at the global trends and new features:
2014 was a big year for pop. Ginger crooner Ed Sheeran and perennial chart-topper Katy Perry were the most-listened-to artists in the world. No idea who they are? Get a crash course on the biggest hits of the year here:
Pharrell revolutionized positivity and longevity with the world’s first 24-hour music video: 24hoursofhappy.com – (even if you don’t want to listen to the song 360 times in a row, it’s a pretty cool thing to watch. Very dancing! Much celebrity cameos!)
Spotify has invested a lot of time into making music easy for you to discover and enjoy. Need to get some extra reps in at the gym? Buckle down and study? Or just turn up with your friends before a night out? No problem: there's a mix for that.
I keep my own playlists of what I’m listening to most each season, so I’m way stoked that Spotify has done the same this year: the tunes we shared.
One of my favorite features carried over from last year is the top track of the year by country: the track each country loved.
And whether you want to jam out to what you already know and love, or discover new tunes based on your listening history, Spotify’s got you. They now automatically make a playlist of your Top 100 Tracks (click the “View Top 100 Songs Playlist” button right under “Your top 10 tracks”), as well as generate a playlist tailored to your taste (scroll way to the bottom to the “Play it forward” button). So cool.
As someone who until recently was Lara “YachtRock” Petersburg on Facebook, I am thrilled to learn of my fellow Hall And Oates fans at Distilled. Our VP of Creative Mark Johnstone describes their place in his Top 10 Tracks as “horrendously embarrassing,” but he just needs to embrace the fact that he, London Office Manager Cheney Houseman, NYC Senior Consultant Stephanie Chang, and I routinely sail away in cheesy bliss. Piña colada, anyone?
The folks with kids (primarily our Founders Will Critchlow and Duncan Morris, and VP of Seattle Rob Ousbey) once again blamed their children for their kid-friendly playlists. You know what, guys, Let It Go. You love Frozen.
(And for the record, my data shows that Cheri was far from the only Katy Perry fan at Distilled this year - we, like the rest of the world, cannot resist her siren songs.)
Pint-sized PR Consultant Britt Klontz retains her “Surprisingly Gangster” crown this year with a very hip-hop-heavy Top 10 Tracks:
Another Top 10 dominated by a single genre is that of Senior Consultant Geoff Kenyon, who as far as I can tell is the only person at Distilled who likes country:
Interactive Designer Richard Westenra, a native Kiwi, has fully embraced his adopted country via a strong devotion to the musical wiles of Thom Yorke:
The “Finger On The Pulse” award (which I just made up. There’s no prize.) winner is NYC-based Client Development Executive Matt Taff, whose Top 10 includes the year's most-listened-to artist (Ed Sheeran), the most-viral song (“Take Me To Church”), and Spotify’s Breakthrough Artist of 2014, Alt-J.
I simply have to single out Content Coordinator Kyra Kuik, not only for her fantastic Top 10 Tracks:
But also for the fact that her husband is a dead ringer for one of the guys who made her #2 track of the year, Grizzly Bear.
And since I showed you theirs, I must show you mine, complete with embarrassingly mainstream hip-hop:
Although in my defense, as Cord Jefferson aptly put it, “The single most charming piece of American music released this year has to have been T-Pain's turn on NPR's 'Tiny Desk Concert' series.” T-Pain is just one affable dude.
So with that, ladies and gentlemen, I impart to you my sincerest holiday greetings: may your shopping be done, your bank accounts not-depleted, and your playlists be merry and bright.
Happy listening, and happy holidays, y’all. :)