I wanted to share the music that I have found and loved over the past 10 years. In a trend form so less about a single artist and more about genres of music because that seemed be to the easiest way to summarize my music spanning over ten years. Each trend has an accompanying Spotify playlist (listen + read ☺️).
According to Last.fm I listened to 28,791 songs and a total of 129,107 times from January 2010 until end of 2019, that’s about 35 songs a day. I listened to 7,828 artists and 15,697 albums.
The year with the most music listened to was 2011 with 17,494 songs listened (not unique songs, total listens). And 2017 being the year with the least music listened at 8,351 songs which less than half of 2011! The reporting could be a bit off because Spotify and Last.fm don’t always play well together. The song with the most listens is “Crosses” by Jose Gonzalez at 269 plays. And Fleet Foxes with the most plays for a single artist at 3,464 listens (and so is their self-titled album, with 1,426 plays).
This is not really the genre most of this music fits in but I discovered it as such because the prime artists of this category are the groups like Tinariwen, Bombino, and other Malian musicians. Half of Tinariwen’s music is somehow about the desert, so, feeling like you’re experiencing the most out of your own world sort of music experience is completely expected.
But mostly, I think of this as desert music because of the instrumentation and much less about where the artist is from. There are many different artists on this list but a few interesting highlights would be Souad Massi who has the softest song I’ve heard with so much depth behind it. A summer obsession of “Raoui” led me to include the song on here and on many other playlists. It all began with Tinariwen’s “Asuf D Alwa” somewhere in 2014, over the last 6 years, I’ve heard countless new music because of that one accidental pandora recommendation. In 2017, there was a good few months where I would listen to “Kothiboro” by Ayub Ogada while I was in the shower. The song is a good wake up song, doesn’t hype you up but slowly wakes you up. I don’t even know what the song is about and it sounds great to me. I’m sure there are songs on this list that might not mean something I hear them to mean but that’s music, to one person it might mean everything and to another nothing at all, and to some, just something.
Pakistani, Bollywood, and Junoon
This second list of music is something I have listened to for as long as I can remember, it’s not really a new trend for the past decade but instead a reintroduction. I put Junoon in the name of this trend because I don’t know how else to describe the rock music that Junoon makes. This category of music has really resurged in the last few years as I found it to be helpful in concentrating while working and especially during writing code. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a different language and my brain is not easily distracted. Same would go for the desert music as well I suppose. This list contains a lot of different music but I think most of it I listened to together so that’s why I’m including it as one list.
Electronic, various genres
I can’t keep up with all the different subgeneres of electronic music, maybe I’m ignorant but I’m happy collecting and listening to music without much knowledge of genre names. So in the trend, maybe I am thinking of individual artists. The overall trend here has been more instrumental, similar sounding music so working for a decent period of time can be done with one 10-15 song playlist. I don’t like to listen to too much music of the same genre in more than one sittings in the same day. So, idk if others have this but I don’t have “grunge days” or “rap days”. But here and there, I will listen to a specific genre more than a couple of hours. There’s one particular song that sticks out more than others, “Stuck – Superpitcher Remix” by Contriva, I listened to that song a lot when I first started writing code at work. There are so many artists on this list that I had no idea existed 10 years ago! Well…here’s the list.
Folk and American Primitivism
If there’s one thing that was pretty hectic in the 2010s, it was the number of so many different music curation services that came and went. Rdio and Songza were two I used quite a bit. Rdio was just to tide me over until Spotify became available in the US and after that, I stopped using that too. Songza introduced me to a genre I had never heard of before called American Primitivism, which is a folksy sort of instrumental guitar music as far as I can tell and it has a very calming sound. I started listening to this when I was working at Outbound and then the songs I discovered stuck around. Artists from this genre include John Fahey, Sandy Bull, and Bert Jansch (his music might not all fit in this genre). Then there are the folk artists like Cat Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzalez, and so many others who have been about a quarter to a third of my music over the past ten or more years, these artists range from me liking one or two songs all the way to every song released by them. I think it started with Fleet Foxes in 2008 and now, 12ish years later, there’s still so much more indie folk and classic folk that I’m discovering. Singer-songwriters are also in this category.
Ok fine, this is not a category and I’m explicitly calling out an album but I guess it does have a sound that’s unique, the game brought me lots of joy and the music has stuck around afterwards.
Top 20 songs of the 2010s
At first I was reluctant to put this list on here but really wanted to keep a list of the songs I liked out of so much music I had heard.