Ten+ Spotify Playlists by Ten+ Top Friends in 2019 / by Chris W. Hubbard

As many of you know I’ve been attempting to create more collaborative posts for my blog by reaching out to friends—mostly in Taipei— who like my ideas and enjoy participating.

A few examples so far are 10 cooler things to do in Taipei by 10 foreigners here for over 10 years, and 10 ways to make money as a foreigner in Taipei besides teaching English.

A few weeks ago I was working on a new playlist for one of my yoga classes, and found myself checking out friends lists on Spotify. It’s an amazing way to discover new music that you might not normally listen to. I don’t think most people realize just how easy it is to explore friends music on the platform and make playlists you can share anywhere. You can literally listen in real-time to what friends in your feed are playing. It’s amazing.

I decided to ask—more than a few—friends to create playlists of ten songs they feel others should have a listen to and embed them all into one big Thursday blog post!

I hope you enjoy them as much I do!

NOTE: although I’ve embedded all the lists here, they will only play a preview of each song in each list unless you are logged into Spotify.

To OPEN A LIST in Spotify, click on the tiny white Spotify icon in the upper right corner of the list.


1 - Alex An Dra

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2 - Yoshi Nori

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3 - Julia kao

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4 - Danielle Davis

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5 - Lee Jian Ting

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6 - Michael Tucker

I tried not to over-think this list and over a few days chose songs that I was listening to and were fresh on my mind.

A few of these are recent releases from artists I’ve loved for a long time, like Beirut and Jump, Little Children. I know Chris and I both like Lana, so she made the list with that fantastic track. A couple of these are here because my kids also like them—they go wild for Kvmbia Okvlt, for example. The Silence is a song about fatherhood and I really like the build through to the ending. Everything Is Free is a cover, but was a great song to pretend I could sing just as well, so I recorded myself singing it with my daughter. I first heard Be Alright during a boring treadmill run and something exploded in my brain and I felt like I suddenly had the energy of a thousand suns within me.

Maybe you had to be there.
Music is awesome.

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7 - John Murn

I'm forever dumping music into buckets on Spotify, whether its new records that have just come out or individual songs that seem like a good time or place or mood fit. This past winter I was really getting into the latest Songs: Ohia record, which kind of fed into the acoustic Jim James record, and Phosphorescent, and the always tinkering Will Oldham. So those things and a few others formed a foundation for a playlist that I found myself listening to quite a lot these past few months. This is a cross-section of that list.

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8 - Lance Balzart

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9 - Adam Bradway

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10 - Lars Berry

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11 - Yvette Lai

Here’s a list of songs (very difficult to choose 10 out of many!) that have inspired me creatively. When I listen to minimal electronic and techno music, I often think of contemporary and abstract art. It’s all about balance and composition, the depths of layers and textures, the repetitive and meditative emotional build up. When that particular balance of things comes together, it could be something really beautiful without necessarily representing anything ‘real’ at all. It’s fun to enjoy a piece of art while accepting that it doesn’t actually matter what it might or might not mean to you, because it’s beautiful.

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12 - Reider Larsen

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13 - Sam Perniski


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14 - Chris W. Hubbard (Me)

Of course I like to join my own collaborative activities, so I created a list as well. Like a lot of my long-time friends I’ve been making playlists since the days when they were called “mix-tapes” and recorded on “cassettes” using “tape-recorders.” It wasn’t all that long ago. For those who are old enough to remember the process—or hip enough to be part of the NEW cassette trend—it was quite labor intensive. You had to do a lot of THINKING. You had to collect all your tapes, look at them, consider them, play the songs in your head for a while. Then you had to record each song to a blank tape, which meant you listened to each song in its entirety as you recorded it. One mix tape could take ALL day. But by the end you had something of real value. A hand-held piece of your heart that you could share with anyone.

My “mix-tapes” often felt like stories I was trying to tell with music. I know a lot of people feel this way. There’s a GREAT 90’s movies called “High Fidelity” about an obsessive mix-tape maker who works in a music store. Watch this movie if you who have no idea what I’m talking about and want to peek inside 90’s mix-tape culture. (This movie was actually made in year 2,000 but it’s still a 90’s flick IMO)


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15 - Carolyn Lu

My list of songs is pretty random here but as you can tell I love me some good beautiful soulful female vocals! This mix has some oldies, and newies, some English, some not. Some of these songs make me want to sing real loud, some of these make me want to shake my bum bum. I hope you enjoy them!


Send me your TOP TEN
list so we can all discover
more great music
by more great friends!