In the years before supermarkets had their own dedicated radio stations, there was something uniquely beautiful and cursed about the musical selection played over the PA systems for hours on end. Where else would you hear Fireflies by Owl City followed directly with Shannon Noll‘s Lift? That’s just the chaotic good energy you’d get on a trip to Coles with mum on a Tuesday after school.
While the years of being able to fit in the little seat in the shopping trolley might be well behind us (unless you’re some kind of contortionist), the music that soundtracked the times when you’d be hanging off the cart begging mum for those mixed packs of tiny cereal boxes have been preserved for time eternal. Or at least until streaming isn’t the way to listen to music anymore.
Some absolute rogue unit named Arizona has crafted a Spotify playlist of hundreds of songs that give me the same feeling as hooning around the aisles trying to find the toy section or sneaking off to the lolly aisle did.
The collection of tracks, aptly titled shopping at coles with your mum in the late 2000s holds nearly 700 songs and goes for well over 24 hours, and features the likes of Michael Bublé, Taio Cruz, Faker, P!NK, Timbaland, and Bob Sinclair. Sit there and tell me Love Generation doesn’t whip you back to summer in about 2006 when everyone smelt of Reef tanning oil and we were making sure the weekly shop included a trip to the newsagents to buy the latest Dolly/Girlfriend/Tracks magazine.
As someone who actually worked for Coles in the late 2000s and then well into the 2010s, I can tell you this playlist is accurate as fuck – the only thing missing is the sudden recurrence of One Direction‘s What Makes You Beautiful from that time they were giving away thousands of tickets. If this commercial (which was flogged to death on the PA) doesn’t give you some kind of nostalgic whiplash, I’m so jealous of you.
But back to the good shit, these quintessential Spotify playlists were crafted to slingshot your memory back to certain moments of the Australian experience as a kid. Not only has this legend made one specifically for the Coles late-00s shopping experience, they’ve also pulled together versions for when you’d wind up in Woolies instead (decidedly more easy listening/mum rock artists like The Beatles, Colbie Caillat, and Maroon 5), or the times you’d convince your parents to let you duck into Supré (both in the 2000s and then again in the 2010s).
To really round out the experience I’m going to go roll myself around in a trolley surrounded by bottles of cordial and bags of lunchbox sized Smiths chippies and make my housemates routinely give me slices of devon to snack on while I listen to these very specific, niche playlists. Ahh, bliss.