Statistics on My Music: 2013 Update

Each year since 2010 I have written a post in July/August that chronicles the changes in my music tastes over the past year, taking into account listening habits, new artists I have started listening to, and many other things that warp and distort the statistics. It acts as a look back, but also a comparison, to the past few years. For the past three years, click 2010, 2011 and 2012. (2010 is broken, sorry about that).

Final note: thanks to Last.fm for allowing this - I have been scrobbling for a long time (since 2006) and will continue to do so as long as they let me.

And so, 2013.

In previous years my listening habits have been quite different - in Houston I had no access to scrobbling, and in Aberdeen my computer didn't do Spotify. But since moving to Glasgow in August 2012 I have been able to keep my Scrobbling up by virtue of Spotify. However, another big change was my move to Google Music which doesn't natively allow scrobbling, and the two plug-ins I employed to cover that missing functionality don't work anymore.

Interestingly, despite this one thing has changed - I now have an Android phone, which means anything I play is scrobbled, which is pretty intersting. This might in the longrun change things, but so far it's impact has been minimal.

A new feature to start with this year is comparing the number of scrobbles I have done each year, and see how they have changed. Since doing this in 2011, I have gone from 50894 scrobbles to 79244 (22nd August 2013, 11.17am). That's 30000 plays in two years, which is pretty interesting. It also is a big jump - in 2012 I was at 65214 scrobbles, so almost exactly 15000 a year. Pretty neat, huh? I appear to have leveled out, considering between 2006 and 2011 I managed 50000 in five years, around 10000 a year.

Top Ten Artists of All Time
1. Boards of Canada - 2610 (EQUAL) +815 plays
2. Belle and Sebastian - 1624 (EQUAL) +137 plays
3. The Walkmen - 1467 (EQUAL) +128 plays
4. The Twilight Sad - 1234 (EQUAL) +113 plays
5. Idlewild 1212 (UP) +147 plays
6. Interpol 1155 (DOWN) +111 plays
7. Mogwai 1086 (UP) +199 plays
8. The Smiths 1042 (DOWN) +3 plays
9. Radiohead 991 (UP) NEW ENTRY
10. Elbow 961 (DOWN) +23 plays

Compared with the changes year on year, this year is the one that has had the least number of changes to my all time top ten. Only one new artist, Radiohead, appears compared to last year at the expense of Arab Strap, who have dropped to 14 over all with 891 plays, a change of +38 plays. An intersting statistic is that Boards of Canada added 815 plays this year alone, almost as many as Elbow have scrobbled since 2006, which is quite something. This is because a) they released a new album and b) I finally got a hold of the last album of theirs that I was missing. But it's mostly because of a). Tomorrow's Harvest is absolutely my favourite album so far this year.

If I assume that I scrobbled 15000 plays in the year, Boards of Canada makes up 5.4% of that alone, which is quite something.

Just missing out on the tenth spot is Deftones, which are sitting with 949 plays, only one album's play through off being in the top ten. They'll probably be there next year.

Another final note is The Smiths. As I noted in 2011 The Smiths were only played between 2010 and 2011 65 times. In 2011 to 2012 it was zero plays all year. This year, they managed three. And yet, since 2010 and over four posts, they've still managed to keep onto their top-ten spot, which shows how far ahead they once were.

Top Ten Albums of All Time
1. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi 575
2. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children 534
3. The Walkmen - You and Me 521
4. The XX - xx 488
5. The Phantom Band - The Wants 433
6. Wild Beasts - Smother 427
7. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 388
8. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest 356
9. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights 341
10. The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead 337

Okay, so this chart, like last year, is really only here for posterity. It does highlight how influential Tomorrow's Harvest is - 356 plays in the last year is pretty good, but that's all time. And... the album was released... 73 days ago. So that's 356 plays in 73 days, or just under five tracks played every single day. That's insane.

Top Ten Artists (from the last 12 months)
1. Boards of Canada 815
2. Deftones 329
3. Tim Hecker 240
4. Mogwai 199
5. Local Natives 196
[6. Snow Patrol 195 (See Note Below)]
6. Tycho 188
7. Errors 182
8. Jimmy Eat World 181
9. My Bloody Valentine 176
10. Travis 176

Note: Snow Patrol was an error a few weeks ago:


This is, as always, a bit more representative of my musical tastes than the all-time list. It's notable to see the number of Deftones, Tim Hecker and Mogwai scrobbles here, all related to new albums released (Koi No Yokan and Les Revenants OST, and for Tim Hecker, the purchase of a new album by him). Also worth noting, I guess, is that Local Natives' score has been boosted by Connie being a big fan of the album too, much in the same way that Wild Beats' were boosted in the same way.

So what about the past six months?

Top Ten Artists (from the past six months)
1. Boards of Canada 712
2. Local Natives 193
[3. Snow Patrol 191]
3. Mogwai 133
4. Queens of the Stone Age 124
5. Jimmy Eat World 101
6. Brand New 99
7. Tim Hecker 93
8. The National 93
9. Vampire Weekend 93
10. Conquering Animal Sound 90

Of those, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 8, 9 and 10 are all new albums released in the past few months. In that bunch there's only one interesting one to note - Brand New, who haven't released an album since Daisy in 2009 but I have been listening to their 2006 album The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me a lot because it's a beast.

Wrap Up
Some final thoughts - this might not be interesting to you, but it is to me and I am a fan of looking at these metrics and seeing where my listening has gone. I don't stay aware of the listening at the time, but when ever I start to write these posts I do look back, have a think, and wonder if the charts are a reflection of what I have been listening to. As other years have stated, the six and 12 month charts are far more interesting, not weighted down by the past.

It is intersting to note that outside of the 600+ plays extra that Boards of Canada racked up in the last six months, I have been listening to a lot of new stuff that won't be captured here, such as Loscil, Apparat, Talvihorros, and many many more - these are electronic artists. Actually, Loscil appears at 17th place (past six months) with 71 plays, and others such was When Saints Go Machine, Fuck Buttons, Jon Hopkins and Applescal appear further down the list with numbers higher than 60 plays.

I enjoy writing these, and I hope someone likes reading them.