Varsity conducted a survey to find out what Cambridge students have been listening to Tianyu Liu

Before the long-anticipated 2023 Wrapped is released on your favourite streaming service, and you desperately try to avoid the topic on your group chat, why not be nosy and take a look at what the student body has been listening to these past six months? We have compiled your responses to our music survey, given them a visual representation (see below), and offered our brutal feedback. If you feel like your favourite (or least-favourite) artist has not been included, feel free to complain. We just can't promise that we'll apologise!

Cambridge's favourite artists

Taylor Swift: Swifties, I heard that you recently lobbied to welcome Mother Taylor to Brazil by projecting onto Christ the Redeemer. I'm a little scared of your willpower and organisation. Unsurprisingly, 2023 was Taylor’s year. Big up CUTSAS.

Olivia Rodrigo: Aw, someone is trying to experience the high-school romance that they missed out on for being a teacher’s pet and avoiding social interactions before uni. Loved GUTS.

Lana Del Rey: Lana’s melancholic melodies are the perfect companion for misty, introspective walks by the River Cam, pondering the meaning of life, love and your last lecture. Try not to fall in and drown whilst ‘…Ocean Blvd’ is playing.

Mitski: Is this because of TikTok or do you just need a motherly voice to help you cry it all out?

Noah Kahan: Noah who? Oh right, the one you listen to when you’re trying to impress your indie friends. “You’ve probably never heard of him...”

The Beatles: Because nothing screams “I have an eclectic taste in music” like adding The Beatles to your playlist. Ground-breaking.

Radiohead: Are you also constantly shifting between making fun of Radiohead fans and being one? We’ve all been there.

Phoebe Bridgers: Phoebe’s songs are like an emotional weighted blanket for the soul, perfect for questioning your life choices, your degree and what happened after you downed that bottle of wine last formal. Also, smashing a guitar is apparently a relatable student budget activity now.

Big Thief: Listening to Big Thief is like wearing a vintage coat that you claim you bought at a thrift shop but actually ordered online for triple the price. It’s all about maintaining that effortlessly cool, slightly obscure persona amidst a sea of mainstream peers.

David Bowie: Bowie is the embodiment of every Cambridge student trying to find themselves. One day you’re Ziggy Stardust, the next you’re Screaming Lord Byron. Nevertheless, I know you're all waiting to stumble upon a "who are you listening to right now" TikTok and be the crush of everyone in the comments.

The most overrated artists according to Cambridge students

46.4% of respondents felt that Taylor Swift was overratedTiany Liu

Taylor Swift: Taylor tops the list again, toggling between treasured and tiresome. She’s the musical equivalent of a required reading list – essential for some, eye-roll-inducing for others.

Drake: Duh. Please stop hyping up For All the Dogs.

Harry Styles: Does anyone listen to anything from Harry except As it Was from 2023? Overrated? More like forgotten.

Ice Spice: Two-hit wonder? Probably.

Arctic Monkeys: It’s the recurring theme of a previously "indie" band becoming too popular for their original fans. Still, Arctic Monkeys are one of the only "live bands" still on the charts, overrated or not.


Mountain View

The cult of Taylor Swift (and why we keep worshipping at her altar)

Ariana Grande: Who didn’t like Yours Truly (Tenth Anniversary Edition) in 2023? Personally, I think Ariana is just in her reflective era instead of her hitting-the top-note-a-human-ear-can-hear era.

Olivia Rodrigo: Once you get popular, you are bound to receive hate. Many have complained that Olivia is too "pop". It’s debatable whether she deserves six Grammys this year.

Justin Bieber: Does anyone even rate him nowadays?

Kanye West: Not sure if overrated is the right word. Perhaps insane fits better.

Jvke: I think Jvke is actually alright, apart from maybe his kindergarten-level lyrics, questionable live performances, and how much he milks out of his songs on TikTok.