Let Spotify be the soundtrack to your summer. We’ll set the right mood no matter what fresh horror your day has in store, because life doesn’t take a vacation. Simply hold your portable music player in your hand or strap it to your body as you go about your typical summer day and Spotify will use its proprietary motion detection technology to determine what you’re doing and match that favorite summer activity to the music that best suits it… and you.
… Spotify has detected from your erratic movement and frequent despondent sighs that you are at home with your five and seven-year-old children during their week off between the end of school and the start of camp. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think summer meant a break? Not for you, silly! Because you’ve chosen to spend the better part of your productive adult years parenting two growing humans who are dependent on you or your designated caregiver for their nearly every need. Uh-oh, is that the rhythm of you yelling at Julian for eating an entire box of crayons while Casey pees in the inflatable kiddie pool for the third time today? We think it is. Here’s The Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn” followed by REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and “I Can’t Feel My Face” to kick off what is sure to be a soul-crushingly exhausting seven days with your precious little darlings.
… Based on your motion Spotify has discerned that you are frantically carrying armloads of objects up and down your patio steps. Sounds like a backyard barbecue to us! And really, what says summer more than a party that mixes generalized social anxiety with day drinking, sweat, and grilled meats? What’s that we detect? Is that you pouring jello shots? Hell yes, let’s just lean into this shitshow. Pump up these sexy party tunes by Rihanna, Robin Thicke, and others to make everyone feel even more self-conscious about their aging bodies and anxious about whether or not there will be dancing on the patio as they strategize about who they might have a chance of going home with at the end of the day and which corner of the yard will be best to puke in should the need arise, which it almost definitely will on account of the jello shots. Party on!
… Spotify has determined from your relative inactivity and general air of pretension that you are currently sitting outside a local coffee shop drinking a cold brew coffee and reading David Foster Wallace. We’ve also discerned that you went into teaching so you could have the summers off to “work on your writing” but that five summers have come and gone now and all you have to show for them is honorable mention in a regional poetry magazine contest and a half-written short story about the death of your pet iguana Robert that, if you’re being honest with yourself (and you rarely are), is nothing more than a piece of J.D. Salinger-copycat trash. Enjoy this “Emo Hits of the ’90s” playlist to accompany your beverage, book and thinly-veiled self-loathing while you contemplate applying to an MFA program for the fourteenth time this month (Spoiler: We’ve detected that you’ll never actually apply. Another spoiler: We’ve also detected that Kristen is about to leave you for a lawyer she met at a bar crawl.)
… Your complete lack of motion other than the occasional transfer of your right arm from your lap to your mouth can only mean one thing: you’re sitting on the couch eating Nutella straight from the jar while you watch Tiny House Hunters and wait for Mark to text back. Yes, why go outside and enjoy this beautiful summer day when you can sit in your air-conditioned apartment listening to female-empowerment pop anthems as you await Mark’s imminent text? Why hang out in a sunny beer garden with friends when Mark is definitely going to text you back very, very soon and totally ask you to hang out? That’s right, just wait patiently listening to Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift while you watch Linda and Dan decide whether or not a lack of indoor plumbing is a deal breaker, because Mark is bound to text back any minute, since he is a good guy and not a thoughtless monster like Dan who doesn’t understand that his woodworking table isn’t more important than Linda’s writing nook and that sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the people you love because that’s how relationships work, Dan! That’s how they work! Oh my God Mark’s never going to text, is he? No, no he’s not. We’ve now taken the liberty of ordering you a large pizza with extra cheese. We hope we haven’t overstepped.
… Ah, we see from the steady rhythmic rumbling of your backside that you’ve loaded the family into your crossover vehicle to head out for a fun-filled Saturday at the beach. But first you’ve got to slog through the almost two-hour long bumper-to-bumper traffic to the coast as your spouse points out all the alternate routes you could have taken to save time, an argument that somehow leads into a discussion about how you never assert yourself at work which is why Margaret always gets the good accounts and why you can never take a proper vacation like Margaret does with her family every summer. Oh, good, now your children are arguing over who gets the first turn with the pool noodle once you reach the ocean, as though they have no idea that it literally doesn’t matter since life is fleeting and death comes to all. Here’s a mix of The Beach Boys’ greatest hits and Nine Inch Nails to capture your deep ambivalence about this day, this season, your marriage, your family, your career, and every choice you’ve ever made that has led to this inexorable moment. Also, you may want to pull over because we’ve also detected that Sophie just puked up her chicken nuggets all over the back seat of the car.