The new year’s all about renewal, taking inventory of all the shit you did poorly last year and want to improve upon. Maybe you want to work on your personal health, take up yoga, unfollow a bunch of accounts on Twitter? Suppose you want to get into more obscure or unique music? If the latter is your motivation, boy, do I have the app for you! Meet Obscurify.
It’s pretty simple: Obscurify asks you enter your Spotify login credentials to essentially determine how much of a music snob you are. It offers an “obscurity rating,” or a percentage of users who have less obscure taste than you, along with an ambiguous score that you can compare to the global average (which is 182, for whatever reason.) From there, you’re given two columns and scores for your most-listened artists, labeled “all time” and “current.” They also provide some mood analysis, measuring your taste by happiness, danceability, energy, and acoustic-ness.
Creator Alex Olivero unveiled the site in 2017 and the start of 2018 feels like as good a time as any to really dive into your musical tastes. But be warned: I think there are probably still some kinks to work out in the data accumulation (for instance, I listened to Taylor Swift’s “End Game” and Coldplay way too much in the past month and in life for neither to appear in current or all-time artists). I’m also not sure about the message it’s sending, that obscurity is inherently “better”? Or less “basic”? I hope we, as a culture, will soon recognize that hipster rockism is bullshit, that there isn’t necessarily more or less value in listening to the same stuff everyone else is, if it’s what you enjoy.
Even if we are coming closer to shattering whatever illusions of cool permeate music, there’s an undeniable stigma attached to being that (once again for the people in the back, basic) guy—you know, the one who says Forrest Gump’s his favorite movie and reminds you that John Mayer’s actually a really great guitarist. But whatever, I’m fine with having my Taylor Swift and my Kendrick Lamar and my Jeff Rosenstock and my Nickelback all in one place. No shame 2018.
But also, like, if you want to find out if you’re a music snob/establish bragging rights, use the app! Tweet your results! More power to you, my friend.