On Sunday evening, as I sat down to listen to metro editor Victor Stefanescu’s iEdit playlist, my phone pinged with a series of texts.
“A note,” Victor typed. “I don’t care about a word in any of those songs. I’m a vibe follower.”
When I first discovered I was writing Victor’s iEdit, I braced myself, expecting a playlist full of Flume, Louis The Child, and EDM songs similar to what a high school boy might blast in his headphones in an attempt to be cool and edgy.
For Victor, who is one of my best friends, EDM is more than just a music genre. It’s a religion.
But instead of the soul-crushing bass and incoherent words that you’d usually find on nauseating EDM beats, the soft flute melody of Nicholas Britell’s “The Lineman – Prelude And Development” eased me into the playlist. The track, from the soundtrack of the 2018 movie VICE, flooded my senses and provided the perfect opener for a playlist that has no thematic, genre, or stylistic connection.
After the symphonic melodies of “The Lineman – Prelude And Development,” his playlist takes a sharp turn in a more expected direction.
Mac Miller’s “Nikes On My Feet,” “Weekend” by Louis The Child and Icona Pop, and EVAN GIIA’s “WESTWORLD” form a holy trinity of songs. All tracks are appropriate choices for any frat party or rave.
In another vibe shift, the smooth, raspy alternative rock sounds of “Sunday Afternoon” by Walking Paradox, Jordan Garcia, and Domenic Haynes provide a brief reprieve before the most intense EDM songs play one after another in the latter half of the playlist.
Though Victor and I have polar opposite tastes in music, I am proud to admit “Sunday Afternoon” is a song I would expect to see in my Spotify Discover Weekly. I’d like to think that all of the Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers I play during The Heights’ weekly production is rubbing off on him.
Victor’s playlist wouldn’t be complete without at least one Flume song. His choice of “Smoke & Retribution” by Flume, Vince Staples, and Kučka is a chaotic and fitting choice, especially considering he has two Spotify playlists entitled “Deviant” and “Intensity.”
Like Victor, who is simultaneously one of the most stable and unhinged people I know, his playlist gave me musical whiplash. And although each song leaves the listener questioning their own sanity, the 10 unrelated tracks somehow come together to create an enjoyable playlist.
I may never self-identify as a “vibe follower,” but, like Victor’s friendship, EDM will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Even when we are thousands of miles apart, the familiar base and incoherent lyrics of Victor’s favorite Flume and Louis The Child songs bring a smile to my face, and that’s a good enough reason for me to add them to my own playlists.