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Spotify Data Reveals Portland's Good And Bad Taste In Music


When you think of the sounds of Portland, what comes to mind? If you thought of acoustic, indie folk, you’re not too far off.

Some data digging from music streaming company Spotify found that Portlanders prefer music with some guitar action and gravitate toward laid back, dreamy, acoustic, folk-rock and organic — is anyone surprised? The company said the City of Roses “kind of does sound like a misty, rainy place with strong coffee.”

“We never know what the data’s going to show until we look, I went with my gut feeling that Portlanders would be into some interesting music,” said Eliot Van Buskirk, a Spotify data storyteller and editor, in an email. “It turns out they are, or at least I thought so.”

But while Portland prefers these genres, the city’s most streamed songs are all Top 40 hits, like Fatty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” Jason Derulo’s “Want To Want Me,” and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon.

Portlanders have some pride in their homegrown music. The most popular Rose City-based musicians and bands include Elliott Smith, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Decemberists.

Portland is the first city the music streaming service has released the data dump of listening habits.

The music streaming service found that our fair city shares music tastes with the likes of Vicenza, Italy, Bergen Norway, and Oxford, Great Britain, among other cities. Our only American (soul) sister city is Salt Lake City.

“It’s been amazing to watch so many US cities transform, but they still each have their own distinct flavor, and Portland’s sounds pretty good to my ear,” wrote Van Buskirk.

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