Four million songs on Spotify—a whopping twenty per cent of the site's tracks—have never been streamed. That is a tonne of lonely tunes, but thanks to Forgotify they're going to start getting some listening love; the service queues up stuff that's never gotten a spin—the non-Biebers, the un-Mileys, the bizarro-Beys—and creates a running playlist of all-but-unknown audio.
And it's pretty genius. Even though you're not doing the selection, it's got the appeal of buying a record in the discount bin because it's got a great cover—sometimes it's a winner, sometimes it's a dud, but either way there's that thrill of the unknown.
First up for me was an album called Red Giant, by bop trumpeter Red Rodney. Holy wow—it's so great! Groovy jazz, a perfect soundtrack working on a rainy Thursday morning. Plus, I was actually excited to do a little digging and learn a something about a new (to me) artist. This guy played with all the greats—Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman—got into drugs, got clean, and recording into the '90s before he passed away.
Next I got into Wilma Lee Cooper, a bluegrass and country star and regular on the Grand Ole Opry; the twangy, jaunty melodies are a definitely change of pace. And it makes sense that a lot of these are likely to be old timey talents and long-gone hits, which likely hold far less appeal to kiddos using the service. Clicking through turned up a load of brilliant names I'd never heard of: Tandy MacKenzie's A Rare Hawaiian Experience, Haida's Indian Music of the Pacific Northwest, Ali El Haggar's Matsadakeesh, some Schubert. It's a veritable United Nations of lost music! Such an awesome resource.
It's also strangely poignant to think that once you've heard something on Forgotify, no one else will have the opportunity; by nature of the service, your listen ousts it from the lineup. Here's to bygone diamonds in the rough! Get to listening—and let us know of any gems we should check out in the comments below! [Popbitch]