The annual flurry of Spotify Wrapped year-end lists and genre leanings dropped last week, and like your zodiac chart, these categorizations have come to mean something for multiple generations who rely on Spotify for most of their music.

One addition to Spotify Wrapped this year that generated a ton of chatter online was the "Your Sound Town."  This was not assigned to everyone — you only saw Your Sound Town if your tastes matched up with some level of commonality with those of a particular city, as observed in Spotify data.

For instance, fans of SZA, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Frank Ocean might have gotten Berkeley as their Sound Town, no matter where they actually live.

Spotify says there were 1,300 Sound Towns categorized, but we know that some of the more popular ones tended to be college towns — Spotify even tweeted that Berkeley listeners had a lot of affinity with those in Cambridge, MA (home to MIT and Harvard) and Burlington, VT (home to the University of Vermont).

And many observed, anecdotally in tweets, it seemed like a lot of LGBTQ people were assigned to one of those three towns — and specifically, many gay men got Berkeley.

Eugene, Oregon and Portland, Oregon came up for some as well — the latter seemed more associated with folk and neo-folk? — and as some Redditors observed, people in the UK and Europe were assigned things like Provo, UT and Savannah, GA.

"Many cities around the world are highlighted in the experience, but we’ve seen fans around the world make a select few the talk of the town since 2023 Wrapped debuted," Spotify said in a blog post.

I, personally, got San Francisco, and I live in San Francisco, which seems like it was a rarer outcome. We don't know what the top ten for San Francisco listeners was, but Axios reported last week that the SF top ten included SZA, Drake, and Peso Pluma, and Taylor Swift was the top artist. My "Your Sound Town" slide simply said that I and other San Franciscans listened to DRAMA, NEIL FRANCES, and Franc Moody more than most.

This was mine

It was reported widely last week that San Luis Obispo — home to Cal Poly — was one of the most popular results, and as you can imagine, the town's tourism bureau was all over that. A full 0.8% of users who were assigned a Sound Town were assigned to San Luis Obispo, compared to 0.3% for Berkeley.

The San Luis Obispo artist mix appears to include Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, The Backseat Lovers, TV Girl, The 1975, Phoebe Bridgers, PinkPantheress, The Strokes, Still Woozy, boygenius, and Tyler, The Creator.

Some users weren't assigned a Sound Town if their tastes didn't really match one. As CNet explains, "To be eligible for a Sound Town, you have to have at least three top artists who 'over-index' in a particular city, meaning that they have a larger-than-average presence there."

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín issued a statement in response to Berkeley's seeming popularity as a Sound Town, saying, "Berkeley is an internationally recognized hub for culture and the arts, and generations of musicians across a wide range of genres have found support and inspiration in our uniquely vibrant community. We’re a University Town, a foodie paradise, a hub for innovation and a safe haven for counter culture – and now apparently we’re a Sound Town. It just goes to show the positive power of music and its ability to bring people together around the world."

The Top 10 for Berkeley:

  1. “Kill Bill” by SZA
  2. “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” by Ice Spice, PinkPantheress
  3. “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift
  4. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus
  5. “OMG” by NewJeans
  6. “Ditto” by NewJeans
  7. “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift
  8. “Pink + White” by Frank Ocean
  9. “Ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine”
  10. “Low” by SZA

Compare that to the Top 10 for Cambridge, and you can see the similarity:

  1. “Kill Bill” by SZA
  2. “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift
  3. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus
  4. “Last Night” by Morgan Wallen
  5. “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift
  6. “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan
  7. “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” by Ice Spice, PinkPantheress
  8. “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo
  9. “As It Was” by Harry Styles
  10. “Calm Down” by Rema, Selena Gomez