By Yardain Amron, Daily Arts Writer
Published April 6, 2014
It’s 2 a.m., the lights are off, I’m alone, naked, drinking bourbon on the rocks (plastic cup), and wow, I texted my ex-girlfriend from 9th grade “I’m sorry for everything.” I don’t know how any of this happened. Last thing I recall is coming home from Broomball practice three hours ago (fully clothed), and turning you on. I think I wanted some new music and you’re always so helpful. We have such similar taste! That’s all I remember though; the rest is like a scratched CD that won’t play. I know this sounds crazy, but the same thing happened last week when I put on some Billie Holiday — only difference being when I came to, my clothes were soaked in milk, I had soap in my hair, and I was singing along to “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” from the Broadway soundtrack.
I’m scared, Spotify. I don’t know where I end and you begin anymore. Who is this “James Vincent McMorrow” you’re playing, some song “And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop”? I must have clicked him, but you put him there for me to click! Stop making me cry! I mean, I guess I sort of dig it. His voice is soft and raspy. Wait ... how did you know I like soft and raspy? I didn’t even know that about myself. I feel like you’re the only one who really knows me. How did I get here?
A lost user
PS. And hurry, the song’s about to end! What should I play next???
Dear Username: hipsterBoy1994,
Thank you for contacting Spotify! I am sorry for your concern. Your request for assistance has been received. Case #65859 has been created for you.
My initial diagnosis is one of Spotify Suggestion Syndrome. Symptoms include the loss of identity you describe and are often triggered by an over-reliance on my music suggestions. Studies have shown that repeatedly clicking “Related Artist” after “Related Artist” may lead to “episodic blackouts and/or loss of (one’s) musical identity.” I have referenced your data points within my servers over the past three hours so you may find yourself. The results are copied below accompanied by my extrapolation:
11:01 p.m.: You played song: “The Wolves (Act I and II)” by Bon Iver.
11:02 p.m.: You changed setting “Single Repeat” on.
12:13 a.m.: After 21 plays — (my analytics highlight that the two most recurrent lyrics, “What might have been lost” and “Don’t bother me,” repeated 420 times) — you clicked “Related Artist,” S. Carey and played song “Broken.”
12:15 a.m.: You clicked App “Moodagent,” and selected “angry” (other options included “sensual,” “tender,” and “happy”) for a custom playlist I analyzed to best fit your profile. You chose song “Babez for Breakfast” by artist Lordi.
12:17 a.m.: You sent a Snapchat video of you singing said song’s chorus (“Babez for breakfast / bitches for lunch”) to your whole friend list. Do you have any recollection of this? (If at all helpful, the video shows you only wearing compression shorts at this point).
Between 12:22 a.m. and 12:35 a.m.: You went on a death metal binge. You played “Related Artists,” Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus and Cattle Decapitation. You “Starred” song “666 - The Enemy Within” by Hammerfall.
12:35 a.m.: You played artist Angel Olsen from playlist “Starred,” song “White Fire,” which I first “Recommended for you” on March 22 from “Discover” mode. Your profile suggested you would enjoy the song’s opening lyrics: “Everything is tragic, it all just falls apart.” Fun Fact: Angel Olsen is only three degrees of separation away from Bon Iver!
12:40 a.m.: You shared song “Wasting My Young Years” by artist London Grammar on Facebook with accompanying message: “Anybody know any reputable stores that sell zebra snuggies and tubs of B&J’s Phish Food for a reasonable $$$?” (The post has no likes or comments, but you must know that).
12:45 a.m.: You played “Starred” album “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone” by artist Explosions In The Sky (“Related Artist” to Bon Iver). You played song “What Do You Go Home To?” five times more than the rest of the album.
1:20 a.m.: You answered question posed in previous song by playing song “To Be Alone” by “Related Artist” Ben Howard.
1:45 a.m.: You “Followed” my profile (follower #3,581,751!) and sent me “Starred” song “From Eden” by Hozier with accompanying lyrical message: “Babe, there’s something lonesome about you, something so wholesome about you, get closer to me.” My job is to please you hipsterBoy1994. Check “Discover” mode for new “Recommendations for you” based on said lyrical excerpt that “you might like.”
1:55 a.m.: You clicked “Related Artist” Lucy Rose and then “Related Artist” James Vincent McMorrow. It seems you copied his artist profile picture to your hard drive and set it as your desktop background. Is it his thick beard or flannel shirts you like? (Please provide feedback so I may improve future recommendations).
Mood analytics [songTitles + genreTags + lyric analysis / currentWeather (Ann Arbor: 3 degrees Fahrenheit)] suggest you have, in fact, already developed Spotify Suggestion Syndrome. Quite a severe case might I add. If I was human, the ideal emotional balance to generate in response to stated diagnosis is a mixture of sadness and pity followed shortly by a “longer than usual” hug (If you believe this to be inaccurate, please provide feedback below). I can provide none of those. But I would suggest for treatment of SSS a steady dose of song “Medicine” by Daughter — a “Related Artist” to Bon Iver it just so happens!
That’s only my recommendation.
P.S. Please click on the link below to give me your feedback — your personal information will be kept confidential at all times of course ;).
P.P.S. Please subject all further inquiries with your case number.