New year, new music

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Photo by Randi Haseman

Check out the playlist on Spotify @marquetteuniversityradio.

I am a strong believer that the music we listen to has the power to change our mood.

Before we go to sleep at night, I consciously pick the song that will somehow, against all odds, gets me up and excited for my 9:30 a.m. lecture. I pick the song that I carry with me in my pocket as I walk home to my apartment for the night, knowing my friends will be there, ready to dance to our favorite song.

At the beginning of the year, we are faced with the task of finding new songs to create the mood for the inevitable long and stressful days to come, but also the ones that we will never forget. Somehow, it’s music that brings it all together. This year, I decided to create a playlist of all the songs that I discover and see how much my taste changes and grows and I have found that there are many easy ways to do so right at my fingertips. 

Make a Collaborative Playlist with all of your Friends

Not only is making a group playlist fun, but it’s super easy to do. It’s crazy how quickly the songs will stack up (the playlist I have with my friends just hit over 800 songs).You can create one huge playlist or make a new one every year with the songs that you like. It’s a great way to get song recommendations from your favorite people. You can do this through any music platform simply by asking your friends to make a big list of all of your favorite songs. Apple Music  has a feature called the Friends Mix that allows you to listen to the music that your friends are listening to simply by following them on the platform.  You can also create a collaborative playlist on Spotify by sending a link out in your group chat and letting them add whatever they want.

Can’t think of what songs to add? Spotify has a feature that allows you to blend the music taste of you and one other person. The blended playlist randomly puts songs from each person’s music taste. It even shows who contributed which songs so you can go through and just listen to the songs the other person contributed. The playlist also updates daily so the songs on the playlist will never be the same. This way, Spotify does all the work for you and you can reap all of the rewards. Blend with a friend or even a family member. Some of the best songs I have found are the ones that my mom has liked and listened to when she was in college.

Take Your Own Music Taste Further

Music platforms also have tools that take the music that you listen to and make suggestions of other songs you might like based on your personal taste. By creating a Spotify Radio, you can take any song, album, artist, or playlist and by clicking the three dots, Spotify will create a 50 song playlist with the song’s vibes in mind. Apple Music also has a feature called Personal Radio. All you have to do is ask Siri to “Play my Radio” and you will be set up with suggested songs picked just for you. Whatever way you listen to music, these are both great ways to take your own music taste and elevate it to the next level.

Enhance your Playlists

If you don’t want to start from scratch, use playlists that you already have and take them to the next level. Using the auto-generated Mixes on Apple Music, you can pick the playlist that matches your vibe. As a combination of your already liked songs and new ones, you can use the “like” and “dislike” features to help the platform to find songs that perfectly fit your taste. You can also take any existing playlist that you have, click the enhance button, and allow Spotify to add new songs based on the music already there. The songs will be mixed into your playlist but are not permanent and you can choose with of the enhanced songs you want to add. Once you turn enhance on, you can also turn it off at any time and the songs that you have added will remain on the playlist.

Use the Amazing City at your Disposal and Seek Out New Artists

Whether it be at The Back Room at Collectivo or walk down the street to The Rave. Living in Milwaukee has given me so many ways to discover new music, and there is no better way to experience a song than hearing it live. Find a concert buddy and find a show, it’s that easy. Plus, you can rest assured that the artist will receive the payment they deserve and support a small venue all at the same time.

All of these tools have been able to help me to find new songs to add to my playlist and I hope that they are able to help you as well. Below is a playlist that I have created of some of the new songs that I have been able to discover this year. I hope this inspires you to seek out new music this year, whether it be with your friends, by using any of the tools above or just by clicking on a random artist and seeing where it takes you.

This story was written by Anna Houston. She can be reached at anna.houston@marquette.edu.