Due to the accessibility and availability of music streaming services in the 21st century, many people find themselves listening to music all day long. As a result, listeners have come up with creative ways to listen to their favorite songs, and playlists have become the obsession of the century. Most people who religiously listen to music have personal playlists, but they may seek out others’ custom Spotify playlists to match their mood. Many have even taken to creating playlists based on different fictional scenarios so that every moment (real or imagined) has the perfect soundtrack playing in the background.
The “Let’s Watch the World Burn” Playlist:
“As the World Caves In” by Matt Maltese is foundational to this playlist; its haunting chorus sets the tone for a world on fire: “And here it is, our final night alive / As the earth burns to the ground / Oh, girl, it’s you that I lie with.” The song itself has an apocalyptic feel and a slow melody, which contribute melancholy eeriness. The ballad need not be wholly apocalyptic, it could easily be the backdrop to slow dancing with a lover as the sun sets. The silhouettes reflect off the wall, making the moment a forever memory.
Taylor Swift blessed the world with so many good songs in her “Folklore” and “Evermore” albums, which were released in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Swift’s song “mad woman” is the perfect fit for this scenario; it’s psychotic in a good way. The female character goes crazy upon learning that her lover cheated on her. With lyrics such as: “Every time you call me crazy / I get more crazy / What about that? / And when you say I seem angry / I get more angry,” it’s easy to see how wanting to watch the world burn is a reasonable desire.
The “Enemies to Lovers” Playlist:
Taylor Swift makes a second appearance in this playlist since “cowboy like me” is the perfect enemies to lovers song, especially for a historical romance scenario. The lyrics describe two people who fighting to remain enemies despite knowing that somewhere deep inside, their true feelings are quite different:
“And you asked me to dance / But I said, Dancing is a dangerous game and You’re a bandit like me / Eyes full of stars / Hustling for the good life / Never thought I’d meet you here / It could be love / We could be the way forward / And I know I’ll pay for it.”
The reference to bandits and cowboys also fits the historical romance theme. Anyone who has listened to Swift’s music knows that she is great at telling stories through her music, and her storytelling ability makes this song as a top contender for the “enemies to lovers” playlist.
The “I Want To Feel Hot” Playlist:
“Diamonds Are Forever” gives off a “fancy ball gown” and “infamous museum thief” vibe. In the music video, Carpenter is seen wearing a fancy gala dress at an art museum where she admires a secured diamond necklace. “Diamonds Are Forever” has been referred to as a “hot girl anthem” with lyrics such as, “No, think you got your break? / I’m your sugar mama, I’m the piggy bank,” coupled with “I’m your new money / Dropping all of your crew, spent too soon money / One percent, I’m at the top of this Earth money / That’s what I’m worth honey, that’s what I’m worth, worth, worth.” In the titular lyrics, the song also references eternal beauty and love: “I am diamond, and diamonds are forever / My love is timeless, ‘cause diamonds are forever.” This song is sure to get any woman feeling confident and ready for a night out.
Carpenter released another “hot girl anthem” titled “Sue Me,” which became very popular on TikTok upon its release. Most TikTokers will quickly recognize the following lyrics:
“So sue me / For looking too pretty tonight / Wearing your favorite color under the lights / For moving on, doing everything right / So sue me / For being good friends with your friends / And running into you the place that we met / For being something you can’t forget.”
In the music video for the song, Carpenter goes for a sleepover or pool party vibe and shows some skin. The song encourages women not to apologize for being too irresistible — especially when it comes to their ex.
The “Right Person, Wrong Time” Playlist:
Yet again, another Taylor Swift masterpiece, “champagne problems” (from her “Evermore” album) is the painful yet catchy embodiment of this trope. The most hard-hitting lyrics of the song are:
“Because I dropped your hand while dancing / Left you out there standing / Crestfallen on the landing / Champagne problems / Your mom’s ring in your pocket / My picture in your wallet / Your heart was glass, I dropped it / Champagne problems,” as well as “You had a speech, you’re speechless / Love slipped beyond your reaches / And I couldn’t give a reason / Champagne problems.”
The song is slow, which makes it heartbreaking, even for listeners who have yet to experience their first heartbreak. As mentioned, Swift is masterful at storytelling, which is why the song hits so hard. The listener may experience hurt themselves as Swift recounts the events of a crumbling relationship; the love shared by the characters is so apparent, and it’s impossible not to root for the couple’s success.
“I never should’ve called / ‘Cause I knew you’d leave me / But I didn’t think you could do it so easily / I never should’ve held your hand / On that cold rainy night / ‘Cause, further along, it would cause another fight / Stranger, that’s all I see / When I look into your eyes / A soulmate who wasn’t meant to be.”
Those painful lyrics are the work of “A Soulmate Who Wasn’t Meant to Be” by Jess Benko. The song gained some traction on TikTok and is known to rip people’s hearts out; it’s almost as if the song’s entire purpose is to make the listener to cry their eyes out. All playlists about lost love or heartbreak should include this song.
The “Maybe We’re Both Toxic” Playlist:
“Was It Something I Said” by MyKey can relate to either a toxic friendship or romantic relationship. “Guess it’s time for sadboy kiss and tell / You ruined my life but I wish you well / I lied about that second part, oh well.” This line has an element of pettiness to it, which is what most people feel toward someone who is toxic. Concerning romantic relationships, MyKey sings: “Was it something I said / That made you anxious, yeah, it made you upset / Made you call me back at 3 a.m. / Just to tell me your defense.” Every couple has their fights, but when it happens repeatedly, it might be a sign that it’s time to move on.
In addition to these songs, there are several more that can fall into each of these categories; at the end of the day, the choice is up to you. All of these, however, are great places to start, as the imaginary fantasies they detail truly embody these playlists.