Illustration by Greta Burton

What Your Top Artist of 2021 on Spotify Says About You

One of the most divisive conflicts to come out of the modern age is the age-old debate: To post your Spotify Wrapped on Instagram, or not? 

What one’s top artists really reveal about them is often overlooked in the midst of the debate of whether posting their Wrapped is mainstream in a cringey or quirky way. In order to answer this question, we conducted a comprehensive study about Lewis & Clark students and their listening habits. We also factored in their natal charts and had them self-report whether they have both (1) posted about climate justice in their stories and (2) littered an empty vape pod in the last year. After months of rigorous study, here is what we found.

Phoebe Bridgers: When booster shots were approved, you stood in line overnight to get the first one like a socially-distanced Harry Potter book release. You wear three masks whenever you leave your room (and sometimes in your room, just to be careful), but you nonetheless constantly worry about getting COVID-19. You believe that intense self-loathing is a fun and quirky personality trait, and you have a Twitter feed full of nihilistic pseudo-jokes to prove it. You are in search of the perfect “simple camisole” to thrift. You like Wild West-style things but are not really sure why. You can quote “My Immortal.” You consider this description of you “so true.”

Green Day: Last summer when the protests were happening, you wanted to go join in smashing up storefronts, but your mom said no. You are a huge fan of a single leftist streamer, and you strongly support him in his crusades against other leftist streamers. You know who Jerma is, but consider him overrated. You are the asshole who skateboards past my dorm at 2 a.m. every night, but still cannot do a kickflip. 

Lorde: You, too, wear your existential despair like a badge of pride on social media, but at least you go to parties, unlike those Phoebe Bridgers fans. During the day, you follow all the COVID-19 protocols and then some, but after 10 p.m., the KN95 comes off and the tequila comes out. You somehow stay on top of all your classes despite being perpetually hungover. Once, you almost felt happy, and did not hate being alive, but you pushed that intrusive thought deep down. 

Radiohead: You came to LC because you like the vibe of Portland, though you always put quotes around the city’s name to show that this land really belongs to Indigenous people. You have two record players: one for playing records, and one for decoration. You host a biweekly show on KPH Radio. Unlike most of your friends who hate NFTs but are not quite sure what they are, you know exactly how NFTs work and still hate them. You try to start conversations about permaculture on the Pioneer Express. 

Glass Animals: You are pretty sure Glass Animals is a band or something. You do not know the title or artist of any of your favorite songs, and you cannot stand those pretentious hipsters who actually know the names of singers and bands. You participated in the bus shelter protest, even helping to carry it for fifty feet, but the next morning you woke up and wrote a very long Instagram comment about how the bus shelter protest was a meaningless act of performative activism that showed how little LC students care about real issues. You believe in increased immigration, higher taxes on the wealthy and defunding the police, and you believe that these political opinions are unique and shared by nobody else. 

Adele: You are not a student. You are a faculty member. 

The Magnetic Fields: Really? You know the Magnetic Fields? I bet you have a favorite cut off of “69 Love Songs.” Do you know that Stephin Merritt put together the soundtrack for “A Series of Unfortunate Events” audiobooks? Of course, you do. Damn, your garden that includes every plant directly mentioned in My Hero Academia is pretty cool, too. It reminds me of that XKCD comic — you know the one I’m talking about? Do you want to beta-read my “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” fanfiction? I can critique your alternate ending for Franz Kafka’s “The Castle” in exchange. Listen, I am pretty lonely. If you are reading this, meet me in the Watzek special collections. If we squint, the dust specks in the air look like stars. BYO mandolin.

If you do not use Spotify, there is a chance that your opinions about the methods in which people enjoy and share music are more polarizing than everyone else in this article combined. You also probably think David Lynch’s work is “unparalleled” in Hollywood today and often use the word “ironic,” but you are not really sure what it means.

We did not receive any supplemental or institutional funding for this study.

Tor Parsons '24 is a well-known figure on campus. I interviewed three random LC students to gauge the public opinion on Tor.

"Who?" - A student with a really cool backpack

"I have no idea who you're talking about." - Some dude on the Pio Express

"He's cool, I guess." - Tor's roommate

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