“Brunch” and “Williamsburg” are two New York City things lots of people who have nothing better to argue about get irrationally passionate over. There was a time [he said, scratching his long and tangled gray beard] when “Williamsburg” was used synonymously with “hipster,” then the neighborhood changed, became scary to Omar from The Wire, got less weird, got more condos, and now when you say the word Williamsburg, it conjures up images of the neighborhood’s transition into becoming the new Soho.
So I’m not sure what scene is even meant to be invoked by calling a Spotify playlist “Williamsburg Brunch” any more, but it’s definitely a hit: The playlist, made by an arm of Sony, has more than 8,400 followers, a huge number that even President Obama’s playlists can’t match.
The playlist, spotted by by our friend Virginia Smith of BrickUnderground, is described as “The ultimate Brunch playlist with delicious indie, electro & pop featuring Jeff Buckley and Radiohead.” The four-hour list also includes Animal Collective, Chairlift, MGMT, Hoodie Allen, Foster the People and one Justin Timberlake song (“Senorita”).
It’s a product of Filtr, a third-party playlist-creating site owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Filtr describes itself as “the world’s leading third party playlist service with over 16 million playlist followers across music services like Spotify, Deezer and YouTube.”
None of Filtr’s other playlists are as place-specific: Most have generic names like “Throwback Thursday” and “Indie Vibes” (which has a Red Hot Chili Peppers song on it, for some reason?).
Compare those 8,400 followers to President Obama’s: His Official Inauguration Playlist only has 4,900 followers; Michelle’s Workout Mix has 5,200. Granted he doesn’t update his Spotify very much because he’s busy running the free world, and hiding all the good national secrets in the floorboards just in case the election goes to shit in November.
There's a "Williamsburg brunch" playlist on Spotify and it has thousands of followers. Can we put them all on a watch list?
— Virginia K. Smith (@vksmith) June 23, 2016
Just saw a Williamsburg Brunch playlist on Spotify and am now switching to Tidal.
— Kevin Church 🖖🏻 (@Kevin_Church) April 13, 2016
Draw whatever conclusions you like out of this but the song choice seems a little off. Remember: Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” was the No. 1 song in the nabe last year.
— Astrid Taran (@astridtaran) February 25, 2016