If you’ve ever owned an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini or HomePod you’ll be well versed on Apple Music, the Cupertino giant’s built-in answer to music streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. But it's not just for iOS users, Apple Music is available on Android too, as well as Samsung’s most recent smart TVs.
With Apple Music inbuilt on iOS products and clearly expanding into non-Apple branded kit, it's increasingly easy to access and really rather likeable. But what should you listen to?
Answer: one of these great Apple Music playlists. Whether you want to push through that last kilometre to beat your 10K time, focus the mind while working from home or calm yourself before some shut-eye, playlists are a great option. They're also great for finding new tracks, albums and artists of which you might otherwise have been blissfully unaware. Win-win.
With so many of us currently working from home or simply finding more time to discover new music, we've compiled our pick of the best Apple Music playlists. So kick back and relax – or settle in for the day shift. Above all, enjoy.
Top 100 Global
Does exactly what it says on the sleeve and it's updated every single day. If you want to listen to the most streamed songs around the world on any given day, they're all here. When we listened, our mix included Lady Gaga, 6ix9ine, YOASOBI, Dua Lipa, Travis Scott, Kehlani and Lewis Capaldi, but when you hit play, all we can guarantee is that you'll get the most popular tracks across the globe.
"As the agenda moves on, so does the playlist", Apple surmises of this updated-weekly curation, featuring some of the best contemporary rap, grime and hip-hop. Expect anthemic, no-holds-barred tracks from Aitch, Drake, Tion Wayne and Stormzy, interspersed with soulful vocal stylings from Ling Hussle and Lil Mosey. A definitive, often raw, powerful listen.
Home Office DJ
Your office is probably much changed right now, in that it's actually your home. Your colleagues are probably different people, too, which is why this uptempo and easy-going playlist is the one. Let it step in if you're currently going without your regular office DJ; it'll bring you the best in recent pop, R&B, hip-hop, dance and more – thus allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Can you think of anything more likely to see everyone through a productive working day? Neither can we.
Trance & Progressive
Whether you want to feel bathed in sunlight on a blissful morning or cocooned in dark, juicy beats sometime after midnight, this progressive house and trance playlist is ideal for your headphones. Expect hypnotic beats and chest-hitting chord progressions from breakthrough artists (Farius, Kidnap) and old favourites (Armin Van Buuren, Azotti, deadmau5) alike: music to set a troubled mind free after a tough day.
Hosting a Zoom party? Having a (very) exclusive, 'support bubble' night at yours? You've just found the playlist. It's regularly updated by Apple Music editors and features a good dollop of R&B, plenty of hip-hop and 100% stone cold bangers. It's the kind of playlist that'll have your guest quietly pulling out their phone to launch Shazam and discover what song you're playing.
If you're finding it tough to switch off right now, do yourself a favour and let these ambient, unrushed, expansive tracks wash over you before bed. It'll help your brain stop whirring. All are specifically picked to steadily aid deep relaxation at a time when you need it most: right before you go to sleep. With tracks like Levitation Lessons from Soothe My Soul and Sleeping Since Last Year (wouldn't that be nice?) by Alaskan Tapes, you'll be glad you listened to this.
Heart-thumping tracks that might not scream 'running playlist' at first glance, but they surely do the trick. Think alt-J, Tame Impala, HAIM, Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals. Unconventional classics (A-Punk by Vampire Weekend, Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out) feature alongside new alternative upbeat offerings (Sports! by Dream Wife and A Hero's Death, Fontaines D.C.) in this regularly-updated playlist that's all just slightly left of the mainstream dial.
Some of the highest-grossing singles of the past decade have enlisted the services of producers (some of whom ultimately became more famous than the acts themselves) to layer, perfect and shape a relatively simple song into a sure-fire stonking commercial hit. This playlist does not feature those. Here, you'll get an acoustic guitar and a voice, possibly some keys – maybe a drum kit. Think Lewis Capaldi's rendition of Shallow for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge, Jason by Perfume Genius, Niall Horan's Put a Little Love on Me and Haux's Calico.
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