I can picture it now: a cool, pseudo-fall morning in Los Angeles. I’m walking to my 9:30am class in an oversized sweater (that I’ll have to tear off by noon) and chugging a cup of coffee that will hopefully get me through three hours of back-to-back classes. As I slip my AirPods into my ears and open Spotify, I head straight to my daylist and what do I see? The title, “yearning pumpkin spice tuesday early morning” glaring back at me. After I almost spit out my coffee from pure shock, all I can think to myself is: “firstly, who in their right mind decided on this title, and secondly, how do I become their friend?”
By tracking the subtle changes in our music taste throughout the day, this newest Spotify feature, called daylist, is tasked with recreating our patterns of listening in the form of a constantly updating playlist. Just as the artists and genres you listen to on a daily basis fluctuate depending on the time, your daylist does too. If you typically listen to pop bangers on Thursday nights prior to going out, your daylist will compile songs fitting that specific vibe complete with an iconic daylist title; namely, “lit confidence thursday evening” or “2000s lyricist scream thursday night.” It updates a total of six times per day, in order to expertly keep up with your nuanced musical time blocks: early morning, morning, afternoon, evening, night, and late night. The finishing touch of the daylist is its signature rising sun and moon graphics that shift with every update.
One of the many joys of the daylist phenomena is seeing just how far it will go to call you out. Just because I dabble in a little soul-crushing music during the wee hours of the night, doesn’t make the title, “lonely breakdown tuesday late night,” any less of a jump scare. I mean, can’t a girl listen to “My Love Mine All Mine” twenty-seven times in a row without it becoming a daily feature? My advice is, don’t underestimate your Spotify AI. For example, whenever I sit down to write and discover that my daylist contains the word “writer” in it, I do start to get a little unnerved and question just how much of a predictable creature of habit I am. But in my AI’s defense, Spotify did preface all this with the fact that your daylist “can get a little weird.”
Looking past the slightly unhinged but often scarily accurate titles, the daylist is inarguably a stroke of genius, making Spotify’s traditional curated playlists seem like a thing of the past. To not only have a playlist that suggests music based on your tastes, but also responds to the day of the week and time of day, is simply remarkable. With this feature, it poses the question of whether we will continue to make playlists ourselves, or whether we’ve outgrown that era of our lives due to these new forms of technology.
Since I first discovered the feature, I have turned into an unpaid, undercover marketer for daylist and I’m honestly not mad about it – Spotify, if you’re reading this, my inbox is wide open. It’s changed my music game for the better and not just because of the funky titles and deft vibe curation, but also because it introduces you to new music that aligns well with your tastes and blends seamlessly into the songs that you’ve already had on repeat. With this feature, every day feels like Christmas morning: you never know exactly what’s going to be under the tree, but my gosh are you excited for it anyway.
My parting gift to you is a hack from a seasoned daylister; if you want to save a particular daylist to your library, you can save it as a new playlist by clicking on the three dots next to the share button and selecting, “Add to other playlist.” This way, your “rage soap opera monday afternoon” mix isn’t gone forever. Happy listening and let things get weird!