Entertainment

The Hidden Spotify Feature We're Obsessed With Right Now

Published On 06/17/2016 Published On 06/17/2016
man holding iphone 6 playing spotify
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

I could tick off dozens of things I like about Spotify, from its ingeniously curated Discover playlists that pop up every Monday morning, to its weirdly fascinating, personalized year-in-reviews. I use the service every single day, and I just stumbled upon a brilliant, fairly unknown feature hidden right in plain sight.

The option to view lyrics to songs you're currently listening to isn't a new feature. What's new is Spotify's partnership with Genius -- a site that crowd-sources music trivia and interpretations for individual songs. This is a big deal for music fans: now you can watch annotated lyrics for songs as you listen to them -- an experience I liken to a modern-day version of VH1's Pop-Up Video.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

By baking in Genius, Spotify has essentially created a database of song lyrics that also serve as their own Wikipedia pages that give you a whole bunch of intel. For instance, if you're listening to Kanye's latest album The Life of Pablo, you'll get a mix of lyrics and context, whether it's explaining a particular Twitter beef that inspired a certain verse, or some weirdly entertaining anecdotes about him, his life, and his process.

When you play a track, bring the full album art up large on the screen. You'll see a little hint of a black tab peeking out from behind the art that says "Behind the Lyrics" -- slide the album cover down with your finger, and boom.

For now, the feature is only accessible on the latest version of the mobile app -- and it's only on certain tracks (the ones that have annotated lyrics on Genius). So if you don't see the black tab behind the cover art, you're out of luck, but it's still fun to discover them hiding behind your favorite tracks.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist and would like to take this opportunity to revisit the Pop-Up Video for Lisa Loeb's "Stay".

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