Is there a perfect playlist?

Music is a powerful force. It conforms to whatever you need it to be in the moment, whether you’re sad, angry, happy, dancy, or drunk. I’ve always loved making playlists, but creating a summer playlist was so hard for me. I have different moods in the summer, and new songs are continuously coming out. So, is there such a thing as a perfect playlist? What qualifies it? How do you even find songs to put on the playlist?

There are so many questions asked surrounding a playlist, but the truth is, a playlist is whatever you want it to be. In my opinion, there is no perfect summer playlist. There’s just music.

A playlist should have some kind of meaning behind it, and that’s why the best ones take the most work to create.

If I were going to describe summer songs to add to your playlist, I’d say it depends on the genre. Most of the time you want something either upbeat, maybe for a cookout or party, or something laid back, for when you’re laying out at the beach. Personally, I like a combination of the two. The other qualifying factor for me would be that I can sing along or dance to it. Think of listening to the playlist in the car with your windows down and the sun shining down. What songs do you want to hear at that moment? Those are the songs you should put on your playlist.

Break it down

Finding those songs is a whole different challenge. With Apple Music and Spotify, you can find millions of songs but, it can be extremely overwhelming if you’re new to making playlists. I could say you should look up artists you already listen to and find similar music but, eventually, you’ll end up seeing the same songs pop up. By the way, Apple Music and Spotify are both fantastic platforms, and I do use both to find music for my personal playlists.

Let’s dissect both platforms, though.

Apple Music is the subscription I pay for, and where I source most of my new songs. I do not pay for Spotify; however, I know plenty of people who do and swear by it. 

There are tons of ways to find the music you love and may grow to love through playlists that other people have made on both platforms. Both have sections in their platform that you can go to find new artists and songs based on what you have previously listened to.

“But Casey, what if I haven’t listened to anything yet?” 

Great question.

You can look up artists and songs you do like and click the heart-shaped button to note you like that type of music. Each platform can then pick playlists and songs that they think you’d possibly want to listen to. As you build up your music library, the music recommended will be more suited to your taste.

Apple Music and Spotify have a “For You” areas on their platform, as I mentioned briefly before.

Now, my Spotify “For You” music is very different from my Apple Music. Mostly because I strategically use the platforms to get a variety of music. So, my Spotify account has playlists that are on the more mellow side. They include artists like Andrew Bird and Iron and Wine. Not exactly the summer songs I look for. However, Spotify shares with me a “Tastebreakers” playlist, which has songs and artists that I wouldn’t usually pick for myself. I can then go from there and find the music that I like.

Phone a friend

If I don’t use Spotify’s premade playlists, I ask friends. Most likely, you know at least one person with an account who can recommend music to you. I love asking people for music recommendations because it’s actually helped me understand them better.

With Apple Music, I take a slightly different approach. I do my research. My “For You” page is great don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I want something completely different, so I go to my search bar. This takes a lot more time, but I think there’s always time to find good music. 

Depending on my mood, I’ll type different phrases or words in my search bar. For example, I’d type “summer loving” and scroll all the way to the bottom to “Shared Playlists.”

This is the magic spot. 

Here you’ll see a list of playlists created by all walks of life with the phrase you type in. It’s a great option if you’re trying to find songs for different moods because you can see what other people have compiled together and cherry-pick the ones you like based on it. You can also do this on Spotify.

In addition, it gives you the chance to follow people who you may not get to meet in real life and be virtual friends who listen to each other’s playlists.

Summer fun

I believe in creating a playlist that works with everyone. So, I created my “Melting Pot Summer” playlist. It has 100 songs, lasts 5 hours and 36 minutes, a variety of genres, and is sure to bring you all the summer vibes. This playlist truly has something for everyone. Below is a sneak peek of 25 out of the 100 songs. I’ll have the playlist linked below for either Apple Music or Spotify.

Happy Summer!

  • HOME RUN – Shawn Wasabi
  • Rio – Duran Duran
  • Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Five More Minutes – Jonas Brothers
  • Ur So F**kinG cOol – Tones And I
  • Learn To Fly – Surfaces & Elton John
  • Written in the Sand – Old Dominion
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • Buena Suerte – Pedro Capó
  • Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
  • EXHALE (feat. Sia) – Kenzie
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner
  • Lost in Yesterday – Tame Impala
  • Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  • The Fun in Life (feat. Pierre Bouvier & Scotty Sire) – Elton Castee
  • hole in the bottle – Kelsea Ballerini
  • So Good – Dove Cameron
  • Back to You – Twin Forks
  • Mariposa – Peach Tree Rascals
  • Con Altura (feat. El Guincho) – ROSALÍA & J Balvin
  • Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
  • You Do You (feat. Tiffany Haddish) – Jason Mraz
  • Polaroid – Keith Urban
  • Glowing – alayna
  • Fair Play (Acoustic Version) – Malaki & Lucy McWilliams

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