Let’s build a new community through playlists

It’s that time of year when everyone starts discussing the best releases of the year. 2016, not unlike the last two to three years before it, has been packed with fantastic releases too numerous to count. To think anyone could possibly have heard everything worthwhile release this year – or any year – is insane. There is simply too much content and nowhere near enough time to hear and experience everything in a meaningful way. We wish we had a solution, but we do not. We do, however, have the next best thing.

Allow us to introduce The Playlist Club. This site is our attempt at further engaging our audience through the timeless tradition of sharing music and the stories that give them meaning in our lives. Each week The Playlist Club will post playlists and stories from readers just like you. It’s like walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, only now you have a soundtrack to round out the experience.

This club is open to everyone. Please invite your friends.

You should know now that we rely on Spotify to collect and share these playlists. Nothing against people who use Apple Music, Tidal, or Amazon, but with more than 40 million users Spotify is by and large the biggest music streaming service on the planet. You can try it for free if you have yet to do so (and no — they did no pay me to say that.)

Music is a crazy thing. Like photographs, songs and albums often serve as time machines that allow us to return to places, ages, and experiences that have long since past. My hope is that this community will make it possible for people to get a glimpse of the world as heard and experienced by others living lives completely different than their own.

Music connects us all, yet so much of why we love it based on connections wholly unique to our individual experiences. By sharing playlists and the ideas or memories attached through them we are able to create a modern twist on the idea of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, and maybe — just maybe—it will have a positive impact on those who participate.

Here’s what we’re going to do:

This site will serve as a hub for all stories and playlists. New additions and any updates related to the community will be shared through this platform, as well as through the site’s official Twitter account.

The goal right now is to share 1–2 playlists a week, along with an essay from the person who created it explaining the motivation behind their curation. If there is a demand for more I am open to posting more. These entries can be as long or as brief as the curator desires, but creativity is encouraged. If you want to make a list of songs that got you through college and some insight into those experiences — cool. If you want to share a collection of songs you connect with a specific person, place, or time — cool as well. If you want to curate a list of songs you believe the Conehead family would listen to if they were to land on Earth in 2016 — Please for the love of all that is holy make that happen.

Our one rule is this: Don’t be a dick.

How to submit your playlist:

  1. Follow @ThePlaylistClub on Twitter and Medium.
  2. Create a playlist based on an idea, memory, place, person, etc. using Spotify.
  3. Write a description/essay for your playlist and submit it — along with a link to your Spotify playlist — to this publication. If you need a guide for using Medium — Click here. If you have problems with your submission or need further assistance you can tweet us directly and we will make sure your submission is seen.

All submissions will be reviewed and scheduled for release in a timely manner. Curators will be notified whether or not their submission has been accepted within 72 hours of submission.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.