Looks like Barack Obama discovered Mitski so nothing is sacred

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

In what has become a yearly tradition, President Barack Obama has shared his end-of-year favorite music picks on social media Thursday. The list included, in his words, “a little bit of everything.” The former POTUS’ end-of-year list, as well as his yearly Summer Playlist, always feature an interesting mix of established artists and up and comers.

The list reflects an eclectic taste in music, with selection running the gamut from pop and hip hop to indie rock and reggaeton. The list features stars such as Lizzo (“Rumors” featuring Cardi B) and Lil Nas X (“Montero”) and lesser-known indie icons such as Courtney Barnett (“Write a List of Things To Look Forward To”) and Mitski (“The Only Heartbreaker”). Several of his choices overlapped with Rolling Stones’ top 50 songs of 2021, including “Patria y Vida” by Gente de Zona, MO3 and Morray’s “In My Blood,” Wye Oak’s “It’s Way With Me,” and “Walking at a Downtown Pace” by Parquet Courts.

Of course, as with each time a new list has been made public, some are raising their eyebrows at the diverse mix of artists and wondering whether or not the list is…curated for lack of another term. Mitski, in particular, struck a nerve thanks to her intense fanbase.

It’s totally plausible that Obama has quiet moments of morose reflection with Puberty 2; he has daughters in their twenties, after all. Plus, her breakthrough album, Be the Cowboy, topped plenty of Best of 2018 lists, and the popularity of her music has exploded on TikTok. Still, it can be a hard pill to swallow when the former Commander in Chief discovers your indie darlings. It was already impossible to get Mitski tickets before this.

Much like his, well, interesting choice of The Card Counter as a favorite film of the year, fans note that he may have listened to Mitski, but he didn’t listen to Mitski.

In any case, whether the president is generating the list himself or not, it remains a solid offering of some of the year’s best. The complete list is:

01 Mitski: “The Only Heartbreaker”
02 The War on Drugs: “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” ft. Lucius
03 Mdou Moctar: “Tala Tannam”
04 Adia Victoria: “Magnolia Blues”
05 Durand Jones & The Indications / Aaron Frazer: “Witchoo”
06 Esperanza Spalding: “Formwela 10”
07 Brandi Carlile: “Broken Horses”
08 Genesis Owusu: “Gold Chains”
“9 Little Simz: “Woman” ft. Cleo Sol]
10 Farruko: “Pepas”
11 Spice: “Go Down Deh” “ft. Shaggy and Sean Paul
12 Jon Batiste: “Freedom”
13 Wye Oak: “It’s Way With Me”
14 Nas: “Nobody” ft. Ms. Lauryn Hill
15 Allison Russell: “Nightflyer”
16 Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”
17 Yotuel / Gente de Zona / Descemer Bueno: “Patria y Vida” [ft. Maykel Osorbo and El Funky]
18 Tammy Lakkis: “Notice”
19 Teddy Afro: “Armash”
20 Courtney Barnett: “Write a List of Things to Look Forward To”
21 Aventura / Bad Bunny: “Volví”
22 Isaiah Rashad: “Headshots (4r da Locals)”
23 Yebba: “Boomerang”
24 Mo3 / Morray: “In My Blood”
25 Yendry: “Ya”
26 Lizzo / Cardi B: “Rumors”
27 Parquet Courts: “Walking at Downtown Pace”

Barack Obama’s Favorite Music of 2021 is available on Spotify as a playlist.