Maybe you remember the nostalgia of passing along burnt CDs or even passing along cassette tapes with playlists scrawled on them. Perhaps splitting earbuds with a friend on the school bus, listening to your favorite album courtesy of a tiny iPod shuffle? Even though those days with old-school style ways of sharing music may mostly be gone, the age of the internet and modern music streaming platforms enable connection in ways previously unimaginable.
You know you’ve gotten to a certain point in a friendship or relationship when you’re willing to follow each other on Spotify, giving others a glimpse into your public playlists and most recent listens. Creating a Blend is a way to get to know how somebody’s music preferences align with your own, bonding over commonalities and discovering new music along the way. The beloved Spotify Blend allows you to mix your music with between one and ten others. I personally love throwing on a Spotify blend when I’m hanging out with a friend, trusting Spotify to do the more time-consuming, tedious work and make a playlist that both of us will enjoy. How else would I learn we both have the guilty pleasure of listening to musical theater tracks every now and then? Plus, when iOS 17 drops, set to release this September, a similar feature will exist for Apple Music. Though of course, hand-picking songs to curate a custom playlist is one of the ultimate gestures. Woo a new romantic interest with a playlist suitable for the ultimate picnic date, or send over some songs to cheer up a friend going through hard times to let them know they’re on your mind. Whether through a streaming tool or handmade, swapping playlists creates shared experiences that surely bring people closer together. Plus, the songs that we listen to together when with our friends make the soundtrack for our time together. You know you’ll never forget which song on your playlist was running during major milestones.
There are also a plethora of tools for music streaming platforms for sharing music. The website musictaste.space allows you to directly compare music preferences with others before offering up a compatibility store. You better believe I logged in with Spotify and made my bestie do the same (we’re 71% compatible musically, in case you were wondering). It offers up your top artist and top track in common, along with some other data, so now the two of us know we should be booking tickets together ASAP the next time Noah Kahan is in town.
Chatting with new people about music and discovering you have a niche artist in common, or that the same song is stuck in your head, makes for a memorable first impression. So for the people in your life – new and old, in-person and from afar — music is always a source of connection. So go ahead, blend those accounts, make those playlists, go to that website, bring up that convo. Music is such a powerful mechanism for bonding and building relationships, and it’s so exciting to see how methods have evolved in the digital age.