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“Playlists are the new radio stations, huh?” was something that my older brother told me after I explained my two-year-long obsession with my all-time favorite Spotify curated playlist, “Lorem.”

As someone who wasn’t in-between generations, I didn’t understand what that meant. Apparently, it was common for Zillenials, although it was probably a Millenial thing, to claim a radio station as “theirs” and only listen to that station. 

For my brother, he wasn’t like other radio listeners who succumbed to the Top 40 Hits and chose the alternative indie station. I guess we both don’t fall far from the tree because, likewise, my prized “Lorem” playlist isn’t Spotify’s “Today’s Top Hits” playlist.

For its nine hundred thousand listeners, it’s a vibe, a community, and — dare I say — a lifestyle. The curator of “Lorem” carefully selects both independent and signed artists to feature on the playlist to create a mood that often corresponds to the season and sometimes events in pop culture. 

Eventually, you learn to recognize the various featured artists. Then one day, you’ll see four of your favorite indie artists from “Lorem” featured on the cover together, freak out, and deep dive into the history of your favorite playlist. For me, it was the iconic quad that is spill tab, Wallice, MyKey, and marinelli and their quintessential “makeshift indie-kid” photoshoot. After hours of research, you’ll see that the artists are all friends who collaborate with each other and fall deeper into the cult that is “Lorem,” like I did.

“Lorem” has even been able to help upset Billboard Charts through its streaming. Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski partially attributes her successful reemergence after a two-year-long hiatus to Spotify playlists which include “Lorem.” It featured the single “Working for the Knife” from Mitski’s new album and helped her chart on Billboard’s US Alternative Songs at 27. Although relatively small compared to other playlists, “Lorem” has a strong and mighty force of listeners that radio stations could never replicate. 

In the past, stations could only be used to bring local communities together — whatever station you received, you listened to. However, “Lorem” and the other Spotify playlists do more than bring people together who have similar tastes. They foster an environment where both artists and fans can come together and create a community. 

Today, you could mention “Lorem” to any regular Spotify user, and they would have probably seen it on the app or listened to it before. It’s becoming an increasingly popular playlist like Spotify’s highly revered “Rap Caviar” playlist, but it holds one thing over all the others, its unwavering support for indie musicians. Curator Lizzy Szabo is shown time after time searching for small artists, reaching out to them, and featuring them on “Lorem.”

At its core, that’s what I love about “Lorem.” I grew up listening to Top 40 Hits which constantly played the same international superstars who love their fanbase but don’t have the same appreciation for others playing their songs. “Lorem” is able to support both types of musicians while maintaining that “indie-kid” vibe. 

If I skipped through the songs on “Lorem” right now, there wouldn’t be a song or voice that I wouldn’t know. And as silly as it sounds, “Lorem” is my comfort playlist, my pride and joy, my love. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my daily dose of “Lorem.” All this is to say thank you, Spotify, for creating the soundtrack to my life.

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Amy Yu

UCD '25

Amy Yu is a first year UC Davis student majoring in Cognitive Science. In her free time, she enjoys "grandma crafts," discovering new songs, and organizing her life on Notion.
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