It’s A Kind Of Magic
“If music be the food of love, play on” is a well-known line spoken by Duke Orsino in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Yip, it’s universally accepted that music maketh the moment more than any old larney venue. So if the playlist you’ve downloaded onto your mobile device is properly geared towards old-fashioned romancing, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of perfect dates anywhere.
But unlike in Shakespeare’s day, when those who could afford it employed their own flute, violin, mandolin or lute-playing musician, today it is up to the person planning the date to select one of a range of excellent music apps on which to compile and later listen in to their playlist of choice.
Peter Gardner reviews five of the best apps of the moment on Lifehack, each of which have a range of pros and cons. While he ranks Spotify as “the king of music streaming”, you’ll either need to fork out $10 per month for the premium membership (which allows you to download songs for later offline listening), or be forced to listen to (rather irritating) adverts via the free membership. Spotify offers a huge catalogue of up to 20 million songs, but its music discovery area needs a bit of attention.
Shazam, he says, “is yet to fail at finding a song for us”. Indeed, it is more of a discovery app and less of a listening portal. It’s free, and lets you find songs at the push of a button. Could help you find the names of some of the older ballads you’re keen to include for the late-night sexy section of your date.
Another free offering, Soundcloud, has matured over the years into a portal where artists can release their newest offerings – including unofficial remixes that you won’t find anywhere else. It allows you to really keep ahead of the crowd in your music genre of choice; just note that you can’t download songs for later offline listening.
Then there’s Rdio, which is free or costs $10, depending on what level of membership you require. This offering is making big strides in the industry – its apps for iPhone or Android are better supported and possess superior interfaces to Spotify’s, according to Gardner. However, it lacks Spotify’s user base, depth of catalogue and social aspect. It could be disappointing to create the perfect date-night playlist on Rdio, only to realise that you’re then unable to share it with your mates, as you could have done on Spotify.
And last, but not least, there’s Songza – which is free, or a more affordable $5 for the Club Songza subscription. Gardner lists as just one of its pros that you’re “always guaranteed a curated playlist with a set of solid songs”, which is tailored towards the hour and how you’re feeling. You just can’t choose specific songs that you want to listen to, which could put a spanner in the works for those lovers with a very specific set of tracks in mind for their upcoming date deluxe.
Soundtracks with spice
App downloaded, now it’s time to collate your list of tunes. Run through the evening’s activities ahead of time, making sure that your playlist matches the moves you mean to make. Going to be serving some bubbly on the deck, while the sun sets? Angel Olsen’s “Shut Up Kiss Me” may be a little blunt. So might Madonna’s “Crazy For You”. Let’s keep it cool, right? How about a little Marvin Gaye? His Greatest Hits album should work perfectly to get you both into a relaxed mood as the evening rolls into night.
Going to barbecue in the yard next? Let your date assist you with a little food prep. Even make a joke about traditional roles – and let her cook the meat. Only kidding! For this section of the evening, you’ll want something a little upbeat. A selection from Tina Turner’s Greatest Hits could be just the ticket. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” will have her boogying down as she slices up those salad items.
Once you’re seated for dinner, play her some of the new stuff you’ve recently discovered on Soundcloud or Songza – and then downloaded from Spotify. Or share a little of the research you’ve done into the new music genres, and artists, who are currently making waves.
According to writer, DJ and curator Joe Muggs, in an article published on Sound Of Life, “The strangest and most category-evading things can become global sensations in an instant” within our digital age. Read his piece and impress your date with facts about Nigeria’s newest artist Rema who, at just 19, is successfully broadening the Afrobeats genre to incorporate smooth soul and Bollywood influences; rising singer/songwriter/cellist Mabe Fratti, who hails from Guatemala and has just released the mesmerising “Pies Sobre La Tierra” within the neoclassical genre; and Green Rock act The 1975, who have used Greta Thunberg’s verbiage in a track that has set in motion all things eco-friendly as a fresh creative influence.
In the classics we trust
If you’re both into gym workouts, that type of remix vibe may suit you both for a touch of energetic dancing after dinner. Select tracks such as “Just Got Paid”, “Party For One” and “Kiss And Make Up”. And then, subtly … very subtly … start interspersing these high-energy tunes with options from Insider’s “The 51 Best Love Songs Of All Time, Ranked”. Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” is sweet and sassy, while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” is most people’s all-time favourite. The idea is to send the nostalgia levels skyrocketing, while being very present in the room with the girl you’ve set your sights on. Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” won’t hurt either.
Let’s leave it there. We wouldn’t want to impose any further. Just be sure to share your playlist on Spotify, so others can enjoy a similar experience in the future.