The early voting period has passed, so if you’re one of the roughly 1.5 million Texans who waits until Election Day to cast a ballot, early voting returns suggest you may be in for a bit of a wait at the polls. While you can spend the time chatting with your fellow citizens about matters of local interest (how ’bout that six-game Texans winning streak?), or anxiously refreshing FiveThirtyEight on your phone to see if your preferred party is poised to gain or maintain power, you don’t have to do so without musical accompaniment.
Spotify, which is based in Sweden but is the most popular music streaming service in the U.S., created a playlist, “Get vocal, Texas!” to offer encouragement to voters in the run-up to the election. The list, which was published last week in time for the final five days of early voting, features a number of tunes that might not be considered traditionally Texan—there’s no Willie, no Bun B, no Miranda Lambert, no Beyoncé—but which, according to the advanced algorithm that dictates musical taste in 2018, is popular among Texans who use Spotify right now.
As such, the 20-song, 64-minute playlist is relatively light on actual Texans—Travis Scott is well represented, with songs from Astroworld making up 15 percent of the list, while underground Houston rappers Joe Weed, J.D. Arthur, and K.C. Hunt each get a track—instead favoring songs that Texans apparently listen to at a slightly higher rate than do listeners in other states. Hence, Texans get Maluma’s “Mala Mia,” Atlanta rapper Russ’s “Losin Control,” and Louisiana Christian vocalist Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” (The list for California, meanwhile, gets two different Travis Scott songs, Russ’s “Missin You Crazy,” and swerves with Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener.”)
It’s kind of a random collection of tracks, in other words, but voting is important, so if Spotify wants to deploy its algorithm in the effort to get more voices heard in Texas, doing so with an assortment of songs linked only by some magic computer math isn’t the worst idea we’ve ever heard. At the very least, it probably means something to the small-time Houston rappers who’ve found themselves alongside Travis Scott in unwittingly encouraging people to perform their civic duty.