Super Bowl Playlist Battle: New England vs. Washington

nflOn Sunday, over 100 million Americans will gather to see the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLIX.

The people in these places are different, and not just because of which team they back. They also listen to different music. By looking at the music that’s uncommonly popular in one place vs. the other, we can hear the songs that most separate these football strongholds’ musical taste in the form of two playlists:

  • What’s popular in Washington but not in New England
  • What’s popular in New England but not in Washington

These represents each team’s home region as compared against the other, from a music listening perspective. Let’s see how they match up; then you can make your way through the playlists (try Touch Preview if you’re on iOS) for an understanding of how these Super Bowl states listen, compared against each other:

Washington’s Favorite* Songs vs. New England

For starters, a preference for a smooth, slinky electronic sound separates Washington from New England. The top song on our list of songs that are distinctive to Washington against New England (*“favorite vs. New England” is different from being its favorite song outright), is a sophisticated, mellow, slightly funky electronica number from Oxford, England’s Glass Animals. You can hear the same trend further down the list (Phantogram, Purity Ring, Chet Faker, deadmau5, G-Eazy and Devon Baldwin).

Yes, Seahawks superfan Macklemore is on there a lot, starting at #3 (playlist below).

Washington likes its indie rock relative to New England (Young the Giant, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, The Postal Service), while the top pop track in Seahawk’s country that is, conversely, not as big in New England, is “Say My Name (feat. Zyra)” by ODESZA.

Halftime headliner Katy Perry’s smash hit “Roar” made the list, revealing that Washington listens to the song a lot more than New England does. So whichever way the game goes, Seahawks fans will have that to look forward to on Sunday.

Of course, the best way to understand the difference between the music these places are into is to hear it:

Washington’s Favorite Songs vs. New England:


New England’s Favorite* Songs vs. Washington

Across the New England states, we picked up on plenty of country (including Kenny Chesney, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dierks Bentley), older guitar music, and hip-hop getting played relative to in Washington (*this is what we mean by “New England’s favorite songs vs. Washington”), as well as tracks from Latin-American artists (Romeo Santos’ “Odio” the English version of Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando,” and Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida”).

Another big difference is New England’s relative penchant for immortal hits from the ‘90s by Blink 182, Counting Crows, and Third Eye Blind, as well as classics from jam bands Rusted Root and Dave Matthews Band.

Preferred New England rap that’s not played as much in Washington comes from Bobby Shmurda, Nicki Minaj’s collaborations with with Meek Mill and Guetta, J. Cole, Kanye West, Migos, Young Money and Drake and more.

Older “classic rock classics” also skew towards New England — Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run,” The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” and The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

New England’s Favorite Songs vs. Washington:


Image courtesy of NFL/Wikipedia