Four million songs on Spotify — a whopping 20 per cent of the site’s tracks — have never been streamed. That is a lot 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 dollar 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 ton 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]