News & Politics

It’s Time to Confront Our Spotify Wrapped Top 5s

Washingtonian staffers explain the songs they listened to most in 2021

Jennifer Albarracin, web producer

Top song: “Black Sheep (Brie Larson vocal version),” Metric

Why this song?

I first heard it on TikTok and I had to keep listening to it! It’s the perfect song to sing to while driving in the car. It keeps me energized.

Zach Bright, editorial fellow

Top song: “How to Get Physical,” Magdalena Bay

Why this song? 

I just discovered the artist, Magdalena Bay, in January of that year, and I really, really enjoyed them. Some other factors were that they only had one substantial EP at the time, and my number one song happens to be the first track so that might also be why.

You spent nearly 60,000 minutes on Spotify. How did you find so much time to listen to music?

Most of the time it’s really something in the background that helps me put me in the right mood to focus what I’m doing, whether that’s work or cleaning around the house. I think that’s what a good chunk of my listening really comes from.

Rob Brunner, politics and culture editor

Top song: “Robber,” the Weather Station

Why this song? 

Mellow and unsettled, this album (the richly textured “Robber” is the first track) really captured the inside of my brain during what turned out to be an anxious, dream-like year.

Is this list a good reflection of your taste?

I don’t recall listening to that much Cassandra Jenkins. I feel like this is based solely on what I listened to on my phone, which is the place I listen least often.

Sherri Dalphonse, executive editor

Top song: “The Only Living Boy in New York,” Simon & Garfunkel

Why this song? 

Honestly, I don’t know what to say about my Top 5 songs. I have never asked Spotify to play any of those. I like Simon & Garfunkel, don’t get me wrong. But I can think of other songs I have asked for repeatedly by totally different artists, and they are not in the Top 5.

Jason Fontelieu, editorial fellow

A top song: “Kiss Me More,” Doja Cat ft. SZA

Why this song?

“Kiss Me More” was probably what got me through the final months of undergrad. It was just so catchy and fun. I put it on every time I was in a bad mood.

Ann Limpert, executive food editor/critic

Top song: “August,” Taylor Swift

Why this song?

The short answer: I have a five year-old who asks for “salt air” every night when I put her to bed. But I am an unapologetic Swifty (I saw her at Nats Park—pre-kid) and have a special liking for her Jack Antonoff stuff. This brings me right back to the Rehoboth boardwalk circa 1994. I’m serious—I can smell the Dolles, the cans of Beast, the Drakkar Noir. Cheesy, but also kinda special that a song put out this year could nail that feeling of (in my case) decades-old high school nostalgia?

Jacob Raim, director of digital products


Top song: “State of Grace,” Taylor Swift

Why this song?

I assume just cause I restarted Red over and over again. It’s just so enjoyable, and I can listen to it while doing literally anything—working, driving, working out.

Anna Marina Savvidis, photo director

Top song: “Feels Like This,” Maisie Peters

Why this song?

Maisie Peters’ voice. No matter how deep in my feelings I might be dealing with the repercussions of this shitty pandemic, she makes me feel good.

Emma Spainhoward, UX and graphic design specialist

A top song: “Up Granville,” Peach Pit

Why this song? 

Abby Vervaeke, social producer

 Top song: “Champagne Problems,” Taylor Swift

Why this song?

It has a really great bridge.

Most people go for the chorus or verse. I’m pleased to know a person who likes a good bridge.

Miss Swift loves a good bridge.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.