Featured Music

Music of 2021

Top played albums of 2021: (Artists top row l-to-r: Tame Impala, Caroline Rose, Miike Snow, Dent May; Second row l-to-r: OK Go, Washed Out, Islands, Ladytron; Third row l-to-r: Ladytron, Hot Chip, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, Sebastian; Bottom row l-to-r: Todd Terje, Broken Bells, OK Go, Chairlift)

Data: I’m relying solely on data since I learned that Spotify Wrapped only uses data through the end of October, which cuts off two whole months of listening. The numbers differ between Spotify and, which makes me wonder if one of them is being dumb, or some scrobbles aren’t making it to The Musicorum project turns your stats into a Wrapped-style report.

What I Listened To

  • 4100 unique tracks
  • 1650 artists
  • 2700 albums


My most-listened genres were:

  1. Indie
  2. Electronic
  3. Indie rock
  4. Indie pop
  5. Rock

My Favorite Music from 2021

Top Played

My top artists were:

  1. Islands (414 plays)
  2. Ladytron (326 plays)
  3. Tame Impala (300 plays)
  4. OK Go (233 plays)
  5. Spoon (217 plays)

My top played song was Feel the Way I Want by Caroline Rose, which I listened to 141 times.

My Best of the Year Playlist

Here’s my curated playlist of favorite songs from 2021:

New Music Discovery

I try to listen widely — a quarter of the artists I listened to were new to me. I also listened to more albums and tracks from artists I already knew. Overall 35% of the tracks I listened to were new, and 40% of the albums.

How Much I Listened

I listened to the most total tracks ever since I started tracking: just over 16,000 plays. That added up to 45 days worth of listening, or almost 1100 hours.

2021 Listening Compared to the Past

I listened to slightly more music than last year, on average one more song a day.

Music of 2020.

My listening has grown pretty steadily over the past ten years, reaching the levels I listened back in college.

How I Listened

I continued my habit of making one giant playlist that I add through during the year called “2021 New Music,” where I add anything that interests me enough to give a second shot (so sometimes I have to delete stuff if it’s not as good as I thought on second listen). I also listened a lot to my weirdo “synthwave” playlist, plus some writing playlists I made. Sometimes I’ll put on a whole album while I’m cooking.

I fell off my habit of listening to Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar” playlists, where I usually get new music, but still seemed to try a good number of new musicians. I listened to more of Spotify’s auto-generated playlists created based on existing songs or playlists, so that exposed me to new material.

I usually listen for a couple hours during the workday, but always do when I’m writing. Putting on headphones helps me go into focus mode. Using my bluetooth speaker, I’ve been listening while I make brunch on weekends or bake, and try to put it on if I’ll be cleaning or doing chores. I also listen while I’m on my bike, though I didn’t ride as much in 2021.

Almost all my listening is on Spotify, unless I’m in the car where my bluetooth is annoying so I mostly listen to CDs (which don’t get tracked) — but I haven’t been driving much this year. I used to like putting on the radio but have found the musical zeitgeist has apparently diverged too much from mine over the pandemic, so pretty much the only stations I can bear now are KEXP, our local public radio station, and the classical station.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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