One enterprising Danish independent Spotify artist has recently released an album titled "Ok Google Play Music," filled with similarly titled tracks targeting Google Assistant music queries like "Hey Google Play Workout Music" and "Hey Google Play Study Music." In all cases, from Christmas to cooking music, the songs are lo-fi ambient handpan and steel tongue drum — at times, paired with soothing water sounds. You can't make this up.
Other albums by the artist, Drumkoon, include "Hey Siri Play Music" and "Hey Alexa Play Music." The titles are all clearly meant to pull in related queries from smart assistants when searching for music. It's a creative strategy, but I'm not sure it actually pays off. Trying to trigger the artist's aggressively titled music from the Google Assistant is actually pretty difficult; I had to use a repetitive command that includes explicit details for the full album or song title, like "Ok Google, Play Ok Google Play Music on Spotify," for the album to play. Still, you've got to respect the hustle, and Drumkoon's Spotify bio is a work of art. The artist has even made a short documentary regarding his music and racism.
This individual case might be funny, but our "smart" digital assistants can actually seem pretty dumb when you're trying to get them to process an abstract command for a certain genre or seasonal music. More than once, my own queries for custom generically named playlists end up triggering an opportunistically titled album instead of the music I expected to hear. And while this particular album may not ultimately be much of a problem, the issue it highlights is real and quite annoying.
At the time of writing, all of the artist's songs that have listed play counts are under 5,000, with 5,581 monthly listeners in total, so the creative titling effort doesn't seem to have paid off just yet. Still, if you end up with ambient handpan music mixed with the sounds of babbling water the next time you ask for Christmas music from your smart speaker, you know what happened.