On the unexpected joy of random Spotify discoveries

Written by Nathan Jolly on 8th May, 2018
On the unexpected joy of random Spotify discoveries

There is an Estonian indie-rock band named Ewert and the Two Dragons, and they fucking rule.

Now, I don’t know how down you are with the current music coming out of Northern Europe, but I confess I am largely ignorant when it comes to the sounds emanating from the shores of the Baltic Sea.

The only reason I know this band at all is because they have a song named ‘Gold Digger’ which happened to play after I searched and listened to ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye (West) on Spotify, and this song continued afterwards.

This has happened numerous times during my Spotify experience, and while I can’t help but think that often times this could be a savvy move from these artists to capitalise on this very search function, I hope that’s just the cynic in me.

I doubt Ewert and the Two Dragons were adopting this algorithm play* but I also discovered UK pop punk band Neck Deep via their single ‘In Bloom’ who I am less convinced were unaware of what they were doing. They are a big band, whose latest record debuted at #4 in the US and #8 here, so I imagine I would have heard them eventually (especially being in the same office as Don’t Bore Us). Still, this song felt like a secret level I’d discovered, just by searching directly for a Nirvana song by name, rather than putting my Nevermind CD on.

I discovered a dreamy shoegaze song named ‘So Low So High’ by a band named Maps — now one of my favourites — just by searching for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs single they (maybe) named themselves after. ‘Boyfriend’ by English folkie Marika Hackman was on high rotation for months due to a search for ‘Boyfriend’ by Best Coast.

‘Something About Your Love’ by Mason Jennings was discovered by a want to listen to presumably either ‘Something About The Way You Look Tonight’ by Elton John, or Something About Airplanes by Death Cab. I can’t quite remember which. It doesn’t matter.

And so it goes…

It’s a great way to discover music in the most random fashion, something that on-demand streaming services such as Spotify have largely removed from the equation. And, who knows? Maybe Neck Deep really did write a song named ‘In Bloom’ without giving it a second thought. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I will, however, call out any band that releases an original named ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.


*Fun Fact: The singer’s name is actually Ewert, and — Ben Folds Five style — there are three other members, not two. They aren’t dragons, either.

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer