The next trend in music — and we need it

Heather Larson
4 min readMar 17, 2021

I am always listening for new music and fell HARD for Mitchell Tenpenny’s “Bucket List.” It got me to thinkin’. (When you listen to country music, you don’t think, you “get to thinkin’” or I didn’t work in country music for a spell).


We are about to hear a constant stream of HAPPY, uptempo music like this. The reason behind it has nothing to do with the fact that summer song 2021 contenders are about to battle for listener bandwidth. I could be wrong; the industry has changed and songs are breaking on Tik Tok now — not charts.

Let me explain why I think I’m right:

The oldest hit music theory in the book is that downtempo music climbs the charts during an economic upturn while we get the uptempo happy stuff like Tenpenny during an economic downturn. The 90s were a great economic time — and we worshipped Curt Cobain. Heading into the 00s, we were blasting Britney Spears and boy bands.

If my new read from James Rickards is to be believed, we are headed into a Great Depression post-COVID. So it’s easy to predict that the happiest songs of our lives are about to come out.

Charts used to mean something to the music-consuming public — and to a music nerd like me. But I also used to torrent off Napster and use dirty headphones at the listening stations of Tower Records, too. The music industry has splintered into so many different directions, I’d have to spend a day aggregating data — which everyone extrapolates anyway. (I’m about to extrapolate some myself if you keep reading).

Charts aside, historical culture trends like this just may stay.

The harder times get, the more we need music. With the world set to reopen now (my own county just lifted all restrictions) we need music to match what’s about to be the biggest party atmosphere of all time. We need the soundtrack to the times ahead — which will, no doubt, feel like an endless spring break to make up for the lost time of 2020.

Heather Larson

Hi 👋 I’m Heather Larson! I’m data-driven content writer coming from traditional media. I’m a veteran broadcaster, radio personality, and journalist.

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