📑 Pop Music’s Nostalgia Obsession

Bookmarked Pop Music’s Nostalgia Obsession (theatlantic.com)

The only things that ever succeed in pop music are a blend of novelty and familiarity. That’s the case in all sorts of arenas, but it’s especially true in pop music. You can only iterate a bit on what’s been done before without going into the realm of being too experimental, too far off the curve or too indie to catch the ears of audiences. I mean, when you get obsessed with a new song, it’s not because that song confused you.

Kevin Townsend, Shirley Li, Spencer Kornhaber, and Hannah Giorgis reflect upon the Grammys and the state of pop music. They talk about the place of nostalgia and the way in which steaming allows us to easily fill our listening with more of the same.

Radio doesn’t occupy as big a place in people’s music diet as it used to. And so, when you listen to Olivia Rodrigo now, [you’re on streaming where you] can immediately listen to Paramore after and get stuck on their albums. It’s a very different way of discovering music. I also think we’re seeking out the familiar during a time when we’re all perhaps still actively seeking comfort.

I am intrigued by search of new and how this sits with the idea of memory and nostalgia. I wonder if it is a human condition to organise into the familiar, but the place of the artist of continually play with this and challenge it.

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  • Aaron Davis

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