So you’ve got your vaccine booked in, you’ve picked a weather appropriate, easy arm access outfit and now you’re on the search for a rocking playlist to soundtrack your vaccination. And that’s where we might be able to help… After the release of the out of touch playlist curated by Secretary of Culture, Oliver Dowden, we’ve handpicked seven celebrity curated playlists you’ll actually want to get vaccinated to. 

If you’re wondering what Dowden playlist we’re on about, let us explain…

Last week saw the vaccination centres across England open up for 25-29 year olds (which has since opened up to 23+), and along with the news, came Dowden’s playlist, a 54-tracked Spotfiy playlist designed to get the younger generation starting their vaccine journey.

Dowden tweeted: “So many great moments in life are celebrated through music, so get ready for the jab and soundtrack your vaccine journey with this playlist. All adults aged 25 and over can book their vaccine from tomorrow! Have a listen.” 

Sure, anything that promotes the importance of getting vaccinated is well intended, but after the last year and a half that’s left musicians and the music industry on its knees with little financial support, it’s easy to see why the backlash has been far from friendly.

After Dowden tweeted the Spotify link, Twitter users came for him. And so did many of the biggest names in the media. One user said, “Ermm read the room @OliverDowden. If only the government could have seen the value of music and musicians this last year… huge lack of support and so many of us #excluded from any help since the pandemic began.  Glad you’ve done a playlist though 👍👍👍 #ExcludedUK”

So many great moments in life are celebrated through music, so get ready for the jab and soundtrack your vaccine journey with this playlist. - Dowden

Different big newspaper publications have also had their fair share to say, expressing that the playlist itself isn’t aimed at the younger generation at all. Sure, it might have the occasional modern track but it’s largely filled with tracks more suited to those in their mid forties. Ed Potton from The Telegraph even went as far as saying, “This is music for a fiftysomething’s weekend barbecue” and not those aged 25-29. 

If you too are wanting to soundtrack your vaccination with something a little more suited, here are seven celebrity curated playlists that might just help…

Barack Obama – Barack Obama’s 2020 Summer Playlist

The release of Barack Obama’s summer mixtape has become a bit of a global phenomenon since first releasing his favourite tunes back in 2015. Now five years later, fans, supporters and lovers of the former US president eagerly await every year, and when his 2020 playlist dropped back in August, it did not disappoint. 

Rest well knowing Obama gets his groove on to Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Rhianna and Drake. We cannot wait to see what will feature in his Summer 2021 playlist.

Charli XCX – the motherf**king future: the nocturne edit 

One for pushing the boundaries on style, music and what it means to be a female in the music industry, Charli XCX never holds back. Last year she rewrote the rules of music, writing, recording and producing an album, how i’m feeling now, during lockdown and entirely at home. Once you’ve finished listening to the album in full, dive into her playlist. It’s a short twenty-song playlist but boasts artists of the same techno-pop ilk as Charli.

Phoebe Bridgers – catch me inside

American singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, defined by her dream-life storytelling and emotive vocals, has curated a five hour playlist perfect for long drives (although we can’t do many of those at the moment), having on in the background to your next study/work session or just getting your groove on in the living room.

Listen to everyone from Fenne Lily to Pinegrove, Elliott Smith to Bright Eyes.

The Japanese House – one 

One for fans of 1975, The Japanese House is the solo project of Amber Bain, heavily known for her synthy sounds and heavily autotuned, reverb vocals. Tune into her eclectic Spotify playlist ‘one’ and be prepared for a wild ride. It’s a very random mix but it doesn’t feel thrown together at all and somehow just works. Expect to be listening to Our Girl one minute and Whitney Houston in the next. Other random queue combinations include Wolf Alice to Radiohead, The Beatles to The National, and Vampire Weekend to The Mamas & The Papas.

The National – Minimal Moods with Bryce Dessner of The National

For those in need of a little concentration sesh, tune into Minimal Moods with Bryce Dessner of The National. It’s a curated mix of his own wood and strings tunes, slotted alongside piano melodies, soft guitars and one epic forty-minute number to finish off the playlist. 

For those who don’t know Dessner, he’s one of the masterminds behind Taylor Swift’s latest lockdown release, Folklore.

Este Haim – Este Playlist on haimtheband

All three of the Haim sisters released a playlist of their favourite grooves, but we picked our Este’s because it’s pumping with hits. Originally curated back in 2013, it’s certainly aged well. Dance the weekend away to Adina Howard, Phoenix and Cat Power.

Laura Marling – Guitar Heroes

Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Laura Marling, known for her soft, folk sound, curated the ultimate lockdown playlist back in April dedicated to true guitar heroes. It’s exactly the type of playlist you’d want to pop on in the background of a dinner party with friends (post-lockdown of course) or slowly dance the Sunday afternoon away, gin and tonic in hand. Filled with guitar driven favourites, expect everything from Chet Atkins and Dolly Parton’s ‘Do I Ever Cross Your Mind’, Joni Mitchell’s ‘The Circle Game’ and Marika Hackman’s ‘Drown’.


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