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[discussion] Relatable music


[discussion] Relatable music

Hey Community 🙂


I am curious to hear, how important is it for you that the song is relatable?
Do you care if you can relate to the song, or do you seek to avoid tracks that you can relate to in some specific way, or in general?


Looking forward to your thoughts 👀

10 Replies

That’s a good question!


I’m not sure, however I think that I tend to listen more to music that I can relate to (in that it fits within a genre that I’m already familiar with) than music that I can’t relate to in this sense. I think that because of this tendency, I’ve gone through phases where I listen to music that may include new artists, but which largely fit within a genre that I already know that I enjoy listening to. This isn’t always the case, since I do typically listen to several genres within a given period of time, however I think I’ve gone through a progressive rock phase, a jam bands phase, a jazz phase, and more recently a phase of music within the psychedelic/stoner rock and doom metal genres. Nonetheless, it seems like each time that I discover a new genre that I really like, I still retain a lot of old favorites within my listening habits; this is probably why my listening habits typically include several genres, not just the one that I most recently discovered.


So, I think that I tend to listen to music that I can relate to more so than music that sounds completely different from what I am used to hearing, rather than the other way around. This may not be an optimal habit, since it probably inhibits me from exploring genres that are new to me that I might like as well. I think that I have, to some extent, been able to overcome this tendency by discovering new genres, as I previously mentioned; and I think that one reason for these exceptions is that some bands fit within multiple genres, such that they can introduce me to other kinds of music that I hadn’t explored before. For example, the Allman Brothers Band is oftentimes considered a jam band, which is probably why I was introduced to them by a friend who shared my interest in jam bands; however, their music is also informed by blues and sometimes jazz, which I think got me interested in listening to artists within these genres as well.



AdamDamSpotify Star
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I love to be surprised. My absolute favorites right now are Tom Waits, Johnny Lang, Leonard Cohen, HUGE fan of Avi Kaplan's solo work, the Hu, Bon Iver, and Asgeir as well as most of Vivaldi's work. You can see my tastes range in and out of genres. They all have a common thread to me ...not genre by any means...but in the power of the work and what I see as real musicianship.

So , to me , listening to music that all relates means I miss out on amazing work.  I never in a thousand years would have listened and fallen in love with Avi Kaplan's work if I hadn't stumbled across his original work when he was right out of high school.

Tom Waits absolutely did a 180 in his career and Johnny Lang has grown up into a magnificent musician. I would have missed all of this if things had to be relatable.


Wow @Alma9 😄

I feel that, actually!


The ability to relate is not something I am actively seeking for myself either. I also love to be surprised and my favourite artist Amon Tobin is real good at this sort of thing!


Kind of love how your reply seems to be almost polar opposite to one by @AdamDam 
which is cool, both of you are valid. That's what I hoped to see actually 🙂


I myself go both ways. I love relentlessly discovering new music and relatability (I'm inventing words) is not something I care about these times.

But at the same time when I'm feeling some certain feeling and have a need for music that matches my current state, I go to them.
For example when I feel not quite well in any way, I often go and listen to these two tracks:




I know some people rely heavily on lyrical content which is also interesting. It's not something I do myself
well, definitely not nearly as much

but I listened to a 1-hour playlist of music curated by a person who cared about lyrics to the point where their different feelings and happenings in their life had own tracks with lyrics that touched the topic well for them.


There are tracks with lyrics I can relate to, but sometimes I choose not to.. : )

I just had this conversation with a friend of mine today. It came up because she was listening to a playlist we share playing very quietly in the background. She said it gave her a  feeling of comfort while she was wrestling with a difficult problem in her work.  I understand that. Actually old familiar movies running quietly in the background give me that same sense of peace.


She always listens to music within a comfort zone though. Anything new tends to send her running back to her comfort music.


I am not the same. If I'm listening to  music for music,  I want goosebumps.  I want musicianship, voice control and wonderful tone. I want to be thrilled by the first listens and then be able to deconstruct the whole thing and continue to be amazed at the artistry.


I appreciate avant guard musicians like Meredith Monk and Imogene Heap for their creativity but they really aren't the whole package for me.


Right now my attention has been caught by a couple of groups from Northern Europe. Spelling their names is completely beyond me Lol!! I don't have the keyboard for it. 


They both are using the mythological and folkloric influences of their areas as part of their work so lyrics and atmosphere play a huge part in what they do.


Like you, sometimes this is fascinating but the jury is still out on whether they will make it into my favorites list.



It depends on what mood I am. I think that I like the music more when it's relatable to me than when it's something that I can't relate to and I think I like relatable music more than not relatable music because it's a way to communicate and sometimes I have trouble speaking about something so the music speaks for me. But I also listen to music that is not relatable it depends on the beat of the song, if I don't like the beat / background music then I tend to avoid the songs.

I don't care if it is relatable or not. It just has to be good (good=never gets old).

Got to thinking about the question. I  wonder if we are all thinking the same thing when we talk about being relatable.

I took it to mean all similar in genre or sound.

Is that what the intention was?

I mean, within our own scopes of music we like, i think the relatable-ness  (oh the word butchering) would branch out of genres and more into the general perception of music.


Most of the time when I see songs being described as "relatable", I expect to see lyrics talking about human emotions, mental / daily struggles or anything of that kind. It is quite rare for me at least to find a song I could call relatable, but not because of its lyrics, but its usage of sound. Or maybe I don't read into how relatable a song is when I'm listening to it, because i did say earlier that I generally don't care about how relatable a song is for me. :' ) Midway writing that part I just thought about classical music....


There are a few instances of songs that are relatable in such a painful way it steers me away from listening to them, even if i absolutely adore how those songs sound like.

Humans by nature try to connect the dots on how something fits into their experience of life, which makes it relatable in their eyes.


for example, someone who listens to Eminem probably relates to the Michigan state, or that he or she is disgruntled about a similar parental issue…  


so I would say it’s important to be authentic than try to be relatable because you will always be relatable to an audience, even if they don’t listen to your genre or music.

That’s kind of what allows people to be shaped through music as well: their perception of relating to something. 

My first response was from a Producer perspective but from a listening perspective, it’s a similar answer 😅 I always find something relatable in the track and it’s important as a listener to connect to that relatable feeling or thought

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