This month Victoria Parkey takes a break from the bangers to reflect on why Shazam is one of the greatest gifts that modern technology has bestowed upon on us.
Recently something horrifying appeared on my Spotify account; a playlist entitled “My Shazam Tracks”. It’s 315 songs long – every track I have ever used the popular music identification app to discern. While on surface level this might not seem too bad, there are three primary situations in which I have Shazamed over the years I’ve had this app on my phone:
– in overpriced cafés
– in overpriced vintage clothes shops
– to pretend I’m familiar with a song a guy I am dating has put on
Because of number three on that list, ‘My Shazam Tracks’ is more than just a playlist – it’s a hideous timeline of my dating history flashbacks told through music.
– ‘Radio Sweetheart’ by Elvis Costello. I was ghosted by this guy after three dates which is weird because I’m a joy.
– ‘Hey Mama’ David Guetta – I’ve repressed almost everything about this experience but the date that it was added to the playlist tells me I was still in my first year of university and I used to drink a lot of Sambuca then.
– ‘Apple Orchard’ by Beach House – Shazamed because I can’t tell the difference between any of Beach House’s songs but I liked this guy and he liked Beach House.
There are, however, moments of pure musical gold scattered throughout the playlist that meant I didn’t have to instantly delete it and pretend it never existed – tracks that I heard by chance out-and-about that have gone on to become some of my favourites.
I used the app to put a name to The National’s ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, when I was in sixth form, which paved way for me loving them an embarrassing amount and whose music I constantly turn to.
There’s Solange’s ‘Losing You’ that I used to hear through the wall as my next-door neighbour in my university halls would listen to it endlessly, and I love it because the moment I hear that unmistakable Blood Orange-produced groove it instantly reminds me of my flatmate, being 18 and having left home and being overwhelmed and brand new to London.
There’s also The Isley Brother’s ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’, that makes me feel happier than anything else and is testament to how much music can influence my mood – and Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Making The Most of the Night’ one of my favourite melodramatic (that drum break…) and atmospheric pop songs of the last few years.
So, thanks Shazam, for helping me pretend to know what I’m talking about to impress boys and introducing me to bangers.