An interesting but arguable bit over at the Graun, about when people stop listening to music. Or really, to new music. Early 30s according to the streaming data, which feels right (and a long, long time ago) to me.
Most people don’t stop discovering new books, films, podcasts or TV. Yet music seems to be something that more commonly slips away – or is even perceived as something you’re supposed to grow out of. Music is a key part of youthful identity formation: once your idea of yourself becomes fixed, perhaps by distinct markers like marriage and kids, the need for it slips away. Sometimes when I speak to people about going to gigs, festivals or raves, I see an almost pitying look wash over their face: “Really? You’re still doing that? Bless.”
I still listen to a lot music, and some of it is even new. But that tends to be for functional purposes. I have a dog-walking playlist, a cardio workout playlist, a strength training playlist, a five-hour-and-growing playlist for driving, and I tend to add to them promiscuously. Subtract too, to keep it fresh.
But I’d be fucked if I could tell you the names of more than a handful of the songs, or the artists who made them. I just sucked them out of the aether with Shazam and added them to the list.
And yeah, if I’m looking for something to ‘do’ or just listen to, I’m a fair chance to fire up a podcast or an audiobook. I guess I’m old.