The streaming giant has been accused of commissioning generic instrumental music to go on its hugely popular playlists – and save it millions in royalties. We take a listen
It is 10pm on Tuesday, and I have just become the 1,106,079th Spotify user this month to listen to an artist called Charles Bolt. The track I’m playing, Far and Beyond, is a gentle piano instrumental, not unlike the music Yann Tiersen composed for the soundtrack of whimsical French movie Amélie. This, I confess, is proving something of a problem. I have been listening to gentle piano instrumentals not unlike the music Yann Tiersen composed for the soundtrack of Amélie all day, and I suspect I reached the limits of my tolerance for it some hours back. This music long ago ceased to make me feel chilled or peaceful or any of the adjectives used in the titles of the Spotify playlists that contain it. Now I suspect it has turned me faintly hysterical. I can’t stop laughing at it. A playlist prosaically titled Piano in the Background has made me snigger.
There’s something ineffably hilarious about the thudding inevitability of what comes out of my headphones. The mysteriously named Novo Talos and the Hellenic-sounding Milos Stavos both make gentle piano instrumentals not unlike the music Yann Tiersen composed for the soundtrack of Amélie. So does Wilma Harrods. And so does an artist called Mayhem, which part of me really hopes is the legendary Norwegian black metal band, famed for their horrifying backstory of church-burning, suicide and murder. I quite like the idea of their members taking a break from performing songs called things such as Chainsaw Gutsfuck in order to make gentle piano instrumentals not unlike the music from the soundtrack of Amélie.