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Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Behind the beats: The Inkspot staff’s 2023 Spotify Wrapped reveal

Each year, Spotify takes us on a trip down musical memory lane with a look back at the songs, the albums and the artists we had on repeat. 

When Spotify Wrapped hit the app on Wednesday, Nov. 29., recapping our most-played music, the Inkspot couldn’t help but wonder if Wrapped really encapsulated our true musical tastes or if there was more to the story behind our top tracks. 

From guilty pleasures to surprising obsessions, our team looks at their top song of the year, peeling back the curtain on why their most-listened-to artists and songs racked up so many plays.

Join us as we dive into the beats and lyrics that defined our year, breaking down the why and how behind our Spotify Wrapped revelations. What made these artists and songs the soundtrack to our year? 

But we’re not stopping there. As a bonus treat, we’ve curated a Spotify playlist featuring the top tracks that dominated our airwaves. 

 

Ali Ince 

Top Artist: Morgan Wallen      Top Track: “Bandaid on a Bullet Hole”

Morgan Wallen topped Ince’s list this year; the country artist was in constant rotation as she prepped to see him perform live in Philadelphia. But while Ince learned the lyrics and lines to Wallen’s catalog, she never got to sing along to “Bandaid on a Bullet Hole” as the concert was canceled after Wallen lost his voice. 

“I’ve never been more disappointed in my life,” Ince said. 

 

Bayli Ferris

Top Artist: Taylor Swift      Top Track: Phoebe Bridgers – “Kyoto”

Taylor Swift has been Bayli Ferris’s ride-or-die since I was knee-high; as Ferris said, she’s been a Swiftie since she was a little girl. 

Swift was Ferris’s top artist for the second year running. Ferris revisited the artist’s eras before seeing Swift on tour this year. 

Phoebe Bridgers’s “Kyoto” has sentimental meaning for Ferris; Bridgers is an artist she and her dad both enjoy. Dad and I share more than just genes; we share a love for Bridgers. “Kyoto” is about Bridgers’s dad and when Ferris and her father saw the artist perform it in concert, Bridgers introduced it by saying: “This one’s for all the dads.” 

“‘Kyoto,'” Ferris said, “will always be “associated with that memory.”

 

Mr. Brad Bovenkerk

Top Artist: Death Cab for Cutie      Top Track: Dorris Day – “A Bushel and a Peck”

This year, Death Cab for Cutie announced an album tour, playing their 2003 album “Transatlantacism” in honor of its 20th anniversary. Bovenkerk revisited one of his favorite albums from high school, playing it on repeat in preparation for the DCFC concert in Chicago. 

Bovenkerk’s top song, Dorris Day’s “Bushel and a Peck,” was no surprise but more of a reflection of his daughter’s tastes than his, he said. The show tune is a song he grew up with; it was what his grandma sang to him at bedtime when he was a kid. Now, it is a bedtime staple when he puts his three-year-old daughter to sleep and one of her most requested songs.

  

Lyra Townsend

Top Artist: Sam Smith      Top Track: Lord Huron – “The Night We Met”

Sam Smith was the maestro of Lyra Townsend’s musical world, as Townsend said she listened to Smith on a loop. 

2015’s “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron? 

It was Townsend’s go-to whenever they were having a down day. It is no wonder, as the track delves into themes of love, loss and longing set to a slow-tempo and haunting melody.

 

Zachary Knox-Doyle

Top Artist: Dominic Fike     Top Track: Dominic Fike – “Superstar Sh*t”

Dominic Fike was Zachary Knox-Doyle’s top artist for 2023. Fike, a singer, rapper and songwriter, has a “raw sound, versatile voice and … guitar riffs,” all reasons Knox-Doyle couldn’t stop playing the genre-bending artist. 

As for “Superstar Sh*t,” Knox-Doyle said the song is two minutes of pure perfection. 

“Whether I want to go on a late-night drive or just listen to a song after a hard day,” Knox-Doyle said, there is never a bad time to listen to the song. 

 

Leonor Rivas

Top Artist: Tyler, the Creator      Top Track: Mac Demarco – “Only You”

For Leonor Rivas, Tyler, the Creator’s music is the quintessential summer soundtrack. This summer was no different as the artist racked up hours pumping out of Rivas’s speakers. Tyler, the Creator’s music defies easy classification, incorporating elements of hip-hop, R&B, funk and even experimental genres which means he has a song that can serve as the backdrop for almost every occassion.

Demarco came in as Rivas’s second most listened to artist. Demarco’s “Only You” is Rivas’s favorite song by the performer. The track,  released on the 2012 album “Rock and Roll Night Club,” is a laid-back and dreamy. It has a raw and unpolished quality, which gives it a sense of charm and authenticity.

 

Bella Green

Top Artist: So!YoON!      Top Track: So!YoON! – “Canada”

 So!YoON is a member of Bella Green’s second most listened to artist: Se So Neon, a South Korean indie rock group. While Se So Neon wasn’t very active this year, Green said, So!YoOn released some solo tracks. 

“I checked it out,” Green said. “I started listening to her album on repeat, and “Canada” just stuck with me. I added it to my regular playlist, and I guess it got played enough to take the top spot.”

 

Pranathi Ganti

Top Artist: The Weeknd      Top Track: Chris Brown – “Under the Influence”

Pranathi Ganti’s top song might be the textbook definition of “guilty pleasure.”

This summer, Ganti said, she had a Chris Brown obsession, she fell under the pop/hip hop artist’s influence. 

“While it was short-lived,” Ganti said, “it did enough damage to push ‘Under the Influence’ to the top of my list.”

 

Bailey Kozlen

Top Artist: Taylor Swift      Top Track: Fleetwood Mac – “Everywhere”

Blame it on the friend who wouldn’t shut uo about Taylor Swift, but Kozlen got lured into to Swift’s discography this year. 

“My friend would not stop talking about Taylor Swift,” Kozlen said, “so I ended up listening to her way more than I expected.”

As for Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere,” it’s the earworm that wouldn’t quit. The 1987 track encapsulates Fleetwood Mac’s signature sound, combining catchy melodies, rich harmonies and heartfelt lyrics. Its upbeat and dreamy qualities make it one of the band’s standout songs.

Abigail Ziemer

Top Artist: Taylor Swift      Top Track: Taylor Swift – “Cardigan”

Taylor Swift’s calmer albums found a special place on Abigail Ziemer’s playlist this year.

“During the winters,” Ziemer said, “I like to listen to Folklore and Evermore, especially ‘Cardigan.’ Taylor Swift has a lot of upbeat pop songs that I rotate through, but this year I really gravitated toward her calmer albums.”

That gravity pulled Swift to the top of Ziemer’s Spotify Wrapped for 2023.  

 

Abby Ruebush

Top Artist: Glee Cast      Top Track: Nathan Lanier – “Time”

Did you know Abby Ruebush was a Glee-k?  

“I listen to ‘Glee’ covers when I’m driving home late at night and don’t want to fall asleep,” Ruebush said. “They offer the perfect degree of familiarity and keep-you-alert-but-don’t-drive-you-crazy show-tuniness.” 

As for Ruebush’s top song, “Time” by Nathan Lanier, it isn’t one of her favorites, but it topped her list out of necessity. 

“It might not be my first choice, but it fueled my choreographic journey,” said the part-time dance teacher, “clocking in at 172 listens.”

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