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Tech + Life

The Experience Playlist: Mating + Dating

A Spotify playlist of songs about dating and technology, robot love, and babies — featuring Thomas Dolby, Death Cab for Cutie, Stevie Wonder, and more.

By Erick Trickey

When we created this Experience Playlist for our Mating + Dating issue, we set a ground rule. Rather than choose from the entire universe of love songs, which make up probably half of all music, we turned to lyrics that cross love with science and technology. Like our stories this month, our playlist travels the entire progression of dating and mating: from first meeting to relationships and sex, then on to marriage and babies.

We begin with the greatest of scientific love songs, “She Blinded Me With Science,” the 1982 hit by Thomas Dolby, about a mad scientist distracted from his tubes and wires by a beautiful lab assistant. To show solidarity with daters trying to connect despite the pandemic, we offer John Mayer’s “Split Screen Sadness,” from his second album, released in 2003. “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab For Cutie, from 2007, echoes the across-the-ocean romance-turned-marriage story in this month’s issue, in which our writer gives advice on how to keep a socially-distanced relationship going.

Our article about people who fall in love with chatbots inspired our string of songs about love and robots, including the Flaming Lips’ “One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21,” about a robot capable of feeling love, and Swedish singer Robyn’s reminder that “fembots have feelings too.” Our songs about babies begin with “Test Tube Baby/Shoot’m Down” by Morphine, sung from the point of view of the baby. We realize that Britney Spears’ “Oh, baby, baby” lines in “Oops!… I Did It Again” aren’t literally about a baby, but we still thought the song a good fit with our future-of-technology theme thanks to its video, in which an astronaut discovers a dancing Britney on Mars. Our playlist ends with a classic parental love song for a baby: Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”

Listen to the playlist as you read this month’s stories about the future of dating, mating, weddings, pregnancy, and childbirth.

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