2/28/2016

How To Make A Chill Spotify Playlist

spotify and chill

Making a playlist can be a frustrating process, as you may know the general vibe you're going for but not know enough songs to fill a playlist. Since I've made a lot of playlists in my day, I figured I'd offer my advice on how to make a playlist. For the sake of brevity, for this post we're going to classify a "full playlist" as thirty songs, but this method can be used to make a playlist of any size.

In order to demonstrate my method, I'm going to make a chill new playlist as I write this post. I'm using Spotify because in my opinion it's the easiest way to access a bunch of awesome music, but you can make a playlist using your chosen music streaming service. If you didn't already know, Spotify Premium is 100% worth $9.99 per month, and with the 50% off student discount, it's a steal.

Start With One Song
To begin, you're going to need to pick a song to build the playlist around. This can be anything, really, so long as you dig the vibe and you'd be interested in an entire playlist with a similar feel. For my playlist, I'm going to start with "Crime" by Real Estate. I chose this song because it's a song I'm very familiar with, and it has that laid-back vibe that I'm going for.

Once you have the first song you should know what you're looking for as an overall vibe. It's much easier to make a playlist if you're able to think of a few similar songs off the top of your head, but it really depends on what kind of playlist you want. If you're looking for all new music, you'll have to spend a lot of time listening to music. I go over some basics in this post, but you can expect a more detailed guide in the future.

Set Criteria
The next step is to figure out a general basis for selecting songs for your playlist. Are you going to stay away from the slow songs, or keep them under a certain length? Or maybe you have a certain band or artist that you've listened to so much that you can't bear to hear one of their songs on the playlist, even if it fits the vibe perfectly. No matter what it is, take a mental note and get to work.

For this playlist I decided to have two songs from each artist, and none from the same album, so I'm going to add one more Real Estate song. That song will be "Wonder Years", since it is another one of my favorites and it's not on Atlas. Now I have two songs out of thirty for this playlist, as well as an idea of what the songs on the playlist should sound like. The ball is rolling.




Expand From Roots
Here's where things start to get tricky. We've got our roots and we need to move on to the next artist. Each song has the potential to change the direction of the playlist, so we've got to make sure that we can keep ourselves within the defined category, without getting boring. Nobody likes a boring, repetitive playlist.

There's hardly a better way to avoid boredom than to throw in some Mac Demarco. For this particular playlist I'm going to choose "Chamber of Reflection" off Salad Days and "Ode To Viceroy" off 2. I picked those two Mac Demarco songs because they are my favorites off each album, and they go well with the two Real Estate songs that I've already included.

Find New Music
Now, I want to discover new music that I've never heard of before, just to spice things up a bit. To do this, I'm gonna go to Youtube and pull up the "Chamber of Reflection" music video. You can pull up a video for any song on your playlist. On the right hand side, there are video suggestions based on the video you're watching. Scroll down the list until you see something that interests you, and click it.

The first song that caught my eye was "Nausea" by Craft Spells. I gave it a listen, and it definitely fits the vibe of my playlist, so I went back into Spotify and added it. If you don't like the song that you pick, simply press the back button on your browser and choose another. Once you've discovered a new artist, and you can spend some time exploring their music until you find another song you like. The second Craft Spells song I added to my playlist was "Your Tomb" off Idle Labor.

Rinse & Repeat
Since this blog post is already getting long and you don't need to know the entire play-by-play, I'm going to skip that part. Keep making a playlist using the process outlined above until you're happy with the full thirty songs. Stick to your criteria, and spend your time listening to songs and imagining them in the mix with the other songs you've already added to your playlist.

As you get closer to your thirty song limit, you'll notice the playlist starting to take shape, and if you didn't get lazy, it's probably awesome. Below I've included the playlist that I made during the process of writing this post. I think it came out pretty damn good.

How To Make A Playlist


If this post helped teach you how to make a playlist, I'd like to know. Feel free to link your new playlist in the comments! Also, don't forget to follow @extra_chill on Twitter.

No comments :

Post a Comment