Best Spotify playlists: from easy-listening to celebrity curations
Discover a host of great tracks, curated by the experts.
There's much more to Spotify playlists than Discover Weekly and your annual listening round-up.
Spotify makes some great genre playlists, handy if you want to try out something you might not normally listen to. And there are endless playlists made by people, or bands, of note too.
If you want to get out of your rut, one way to do so is to try on someone else's.
UPDATE: We've added a couple great playlists to our best Spotify playlists list. If we have missed off your fave, then let us know below.
We’ve picked out some of the best Spotify playlists out there: some put together by big-name artists themselves, some curated by producers or those outside the industry, all worth your time.
However, we've focused on playlists that are deliberately curated and static, which take you on a musical journey of sorts. Upvote your favourite and submit your own playlist suggestions at the bottom.
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Best Spotify playlists
1. James Acaster – One Playlist of LushnessView now at Spotify
Comedian James Acaster’s book Perfect Sound Whatever goes in-depth on some of the best music of 2016 and 2017, so it would be a shame if he couldn’t curate a good playlist. Thankfully, with One Playlist of Lushness, we know there’s little to worry about. It’s an eclectic mix, with artists ranging from Childish Gambino to Modern Baseball, demonstrating he’s put a lot of thought into this rather than just bunging stuff together.
2. Frank Ocean - BlondedView now at Spotify
Frank Ocean has often shied away from the limelight, certainly in comparison to other artists of his profile, so this Spotify playlist feels like as big a glimpse into his musical mind as we might get. Ocean’s multitude of influences shine through in his music, and when you see a journey from Noname to Lou Reed and from Gil Scott-Heron to George Michael, the direction he takes on albums Blonde and Channel Orange begins to make a bit more sense.
3. Lorde – Homemade DynamiteView now at Spotify
It might be named after one of her songs, but this playlist created by pop prodigy Lorde has a whole lot more to it. With a blend of electronic, hip hop, classic older tunes and tracks from some of the biggest talents of this generation, you can get a good feel for the musical thought processes behind her album Melodrama and beyond.
4. Caribou — The Longest MixtapeView now at Spotify
With more than 1000 songs, this playlist from Caribou’s Dan Snaith will give you a different listening experience every time you dip in. You’re encouraged to play it on shuffle, ensuring you’re treated to different intricacies of going from one track into the next, and while Caribou claim otherwise, we wouldn’t put it past Snaith to have tested each transition individually before committing to the list. For fans of… pretty much any genre, really, as a 1000-track mix would suggest.
5. Four Tet — Four TetView now at Spotify
When Donald Trump announced plans to ban immigration from certain countries, it felt as though some very specific choices were made. So, in response, Four Tet opted to listen to heaps of music by artists from those countries and those countries only. The result is a stunning playlist featuring bands and soloists who you might not have come across otherwise, with some of the best talents from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and more.
6. Danny L Harle – HUGE PlaylistView now at Spotify
Producer Danny L Harle started compiling this playlist in 2016 and has grown it month on month to the point that, if you wanted, you could fill up a full 24 hours with his selections. Get prepared for synths, bangers, and synth bangers, both old and new, with some of the 2019 selections including SOPHIE, Tame Impala and Ann Lee.
7. Este Haim – Este PlaylistView now at Spotify
Each of the three Haim sisters has curated a playlist on Spotify, but Este just edges out Danielle and Alana with her selection. You didn’t realise you needed to go from Angel Olsen into Kendrick Lamar, or from The Clash’s Straight to Hell into Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan, but it’s amazing what you can learn from letting someone else take control of the laptop at a house party, and this is no different.
8. Scott Hutchison/David John Weaver – Approximately One Hour of Heavy Drinking With Frightened RabbitView now at Spotify
When Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison died in 2018, alternative music lost not just a great songwriter, but a great appreciator of other people’s music. This playlist, initially compiled for Glasgow bar Bloc+, progresses from (in Hutchison’s own words) belters, then songs you can have a dance to, then the music you can listen to when you’ve become “a maudlin bastard”. David John Weaver, who worked at Bloc+ when the playlist was first devised, shared it with Hutchison’s friends and fans so his words can live on.
9. Crate Diggers AnonymousListen on Spotify now
Spotify has curated a ton of playlists but this one is the best by far. It's probably the most random playlist in this list as it is a selection of hidden gems uncovered by LP lovers. That means the idea of genre goes out of the window, replaced with bloody good music. Brilliant stuff.
10. Future Islands - Songs to Drive toView now at Spotify
Future Islands’s made-in-2017 playlist offers almost eight hours of tracks that would work perfectly as the background to a road trip. While it starts off with tracks whose titles sound like driving tunes, it quickly diverts off that slightly cheesy highway to journey through decades and genres freely. And it’s peppered with a few Future Islands bangers for good measure.
11. BOPSView now at Spotify
Because a playlist from the 44th President of the United States is just what any self-respecting music fan needs. Originally unleashed on Twitter by Obama himself, this playlist has been transferred onto Spotify - and added to - by a kind soul who knows just how important music news like this really is. An eclectic playlist featuring tracks from Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones alongside more contemporary cuts from the likes of Shawn Mendes and Beyonce, this is one that's well worth hitting subscribe on.
12. Golden Age Hip-HopListen to now on Spotify
This incredible selection of 90s hip-hop is one of the best we have heard on Spotify. If you are into everything from Gang Starr to Snoop Dogg, this is the track selection for you. There's even some oddities peppered in, including the incredibly filthy Onyx and Das Efx.
13. AltarListen now on Spotify
Another cracking playlist curated by Spotify. Altar i about alternative electronic and really is the best of what's being listened to right now. You'll find the likes of Floating Points, Burial and Arca, among a mix of up and coming DJs.
14. Phoebe Bridgers - Catch me InsideView now at Spotify
This playlists gives you an idea of what singer-songwriter sensation Phoebe Bridgers has on in her headphones. Or at least what was on her rotation back in 2020 and 2021, when the last songs were added to this popular playlist. Includes a lot of songwriting-forwards acts from Bob Dylan to Elliot Smith to Arlo Parks.
15. Social Distancing DistortionListen on Spotify now
The National's Matt Berninger did the world a massive favor when it went into lockdown, he created a fantastic playlist of music for us all to listen to. This is one we still come back to regularly, even though we are all out and about now, with the likes of The Magnetic Fields and Scott Walker on board to soothe the soul.
16. Lil Nas X - The Panera Panini PlaylistView now on Spotify
The Old Town Road singer loves a panini - so much so, he's decided to release a song and subsequent playlist (in conjunction with a bread brand) about the food stuff. A tad on the self-indulgent side - featuring four of his own tracks - this playlist additionally features cuts from blink-182, Harry Styles and HAIM. The word eclectic comes to mind.
17. Mixmag – The History of Grime in 100 TracksView now at Spotify
Whether you’re relatively new to grime or a loyalist who’s glad to see the genre earning the respect it’s been due for years, this will tick some boxes to you. Going from the early 21st century through to 2017, Mixmag’s playlist covers mainstays of the genre like Wiley and Kano, plus those like Stormzy and AJ Tracey who have formed part of grime’s more mainstream breakthrough in the 2010s.