In an unexpected move, Disney recently released a playlist featuring lofi versions of some of its popular film songs. Color me intrigued.
As you may be gathering now, I consider myself a purveyor of all things Disney. But, I am also very much selective about my music, especially the music I use when focusing on work or writing. When I saw this playlist on Spotify, I couldn’t help my piqued interest. So, on a rainy day I put in my headphones and turned on the playlist as I worked. But before I delve into my review, here are a few liner notes:
The playlist consists of the following tracks:
- Hakuna Matata
- How Far I’ll Go
- Go the Distance
- Into the Unknown
- A Whole New Word
- Un Poco Loco
- Almost There
- I Just Can’t Wait to Be King
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me
- Under the Sea
Purple Cat appears to be the lead artist (at least on Spotify), but there are several other contributors (most of which have sizable streams) including: Epona, Hippo Dreams, Jazzinuf, Krynoze, Kupla, Otesla, Philanthrope, eevee, and mommy. Note that “Disney Lofi” is listed along with the respective artist for each track, but there is no separate artist profile for Disney Lofi.
My Thoughts On the Music: I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Despite being a huge Disney fan, I was skeptical: how exactly would songs akin to show tunes translate to the lofi setting? The answer is surprisingly well. As a frequent writer (for my day job and this blog), I turn to what I consider my tried-and-true playlist consisting of electronic, synthy music. No lyrics, no chorus, just sounds that can help me focus on my tasks. And this playlist for the most part does that.
But, a small part of me couldn’t stop associating the chill beats with the original songs, and therefore the associated films. This is not a bad thing, it just means it may impact how often I return to this playlist to actually focus. As for the music itself, it’s serviceable, if not a targeted take on lofi. The instrumentation relies on the twang of a nostalgic guitar, which bathes the songs in golden feeling. Drum machines work in the background, nudging the songs along without overpowering the main melody. The occasional piano offers just enough treacle. Perhaps most impressive is the consistency of the sound: each of the original songs are sonically and lyrically distinct, yet this playlist maintains a consistent, bedroom pop feel. The songs mostly reminded me of a relaxing day at the beach, though I’m not sure if that’s due to the inclusion of Under the Sea and How Far I’ll Go, or because these types of beats typically accompany travel videos on YouTube and Instagram.
Regardless, I enjoyed the playlist. My favorite so far is Go the Distance, which feels fresh and versatile, sliding between its soundtrack origins and a minimalist vibe. I Just Can’t Wait to Be King is another early favorite for its mid-tempo, optimistic energy.
Also, it’s worth noting that, as a parent, this playlist provides a unique proposition: a Disney soundtrack that could endure repeated listening, especially during long drives. (Not that we don’t enjoy listening to the Frozen and Encanto soundtracks on repeat: it’s just that this may be calm enough to allow us to relax while the kids sleep.)
I think this an interesting, intentional move by Disney. There is clearly an audience for the lofi aesthetic, and Disney seems eager to capitalize on the strength of Spotify’s playlist popularity. I’m looking forward to learning whether this playlist will get updated. Who knows? Maybe we will get differing playlists based on each member of the Sensational Six? (I should probably stop giving away free ideas.) But let’s be real: Daisy’s playlist would slap.
Have you checked out the playlist yet? Any favorites? Check it out on Spotify, or wherever you stream your music.