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When customers walk into Rumors Chapel Hill, a colorful, eclectic thrift store, they might hear anything from soft indie to death metal playing over the store's speakers, Rumors store manager Juliet Magoon said. 

“It's all over the place, basically, depending on the mood that day,” she said. “I mean, we have so many different aesthetics, aesthetics of people.” 

On Franklin Street, wide varieties of music escape the insides of different storefronts. A student, resident or tourist might wonder who is controlling the music, strolling through Chapel Hill on a sunny afternoon.

Magoon was on aux at Rumors on Thursday and said she was going for more of a chill vibe, playing Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend

But on a busy Saturday, she said Rumors employees might play something with more energy, like death metal, to keep up with the fast pace of the day. 

“We don't really subscribe to just one specific style, I think it’s just whatever you're feeling that day,” she said. “And that's the fun thing about fashion, too. It’s really just whatever you’re in the mood for.” 

At the front of the store behind the cash register, a computer is connected to the aux, where employees take turns playing their own personal playlists.

“You can definitely tell who's opened that day,” she said

At the Chapel Hill location of French pastry and coffee shop Le Macaron, the music on aux also varies depending on who is working

Morgan Watson, an employee at the shop and a UNC senior, said she has recently been in a soul phase.

“My go-to playlist — it's not what I put on here, but it’s the same vibes,” she said. “It's early 2000s, you feel like you're in a movie — kind of easygoing, fun but chill.”

Salma Mourad, another employee, said she plays mellow music like '90s artist Jeff Buckley.

Both Watson and Mourad try to play music that contributes to the “coffee shop” vibe. 

“It’s a place where people can come in, and they're chilling and chatting, but they can also do work and [the music] flows between both,” Watson said. 

At Light Years, a jewelry and gift shop, music is important for the customer experience, employee and UNC student Jordan Sturtz said.

“I love seeing whenever people are in here bopping or even singing along. You'll see sometimes, say it's a dad that's in here with the family, you start hearing him or seeing him tap his legs,” Jonnely Vides, another employee, said. “It's nice, it's fun because then you know that they're enjoying it.” 

On Thursday, Vides played Kali Uchis. She said that recently she has been listening to Kali Uchis' new album “Orquídeas.” Sturtz, on the other hand, has been listening to a lot of soft pop and folk.

Vides said the different music tastes of employees can match the different personalities of people who come into the store.

On Friday, Annagabriela Redding, a barista at 1922 by Carolina Coffee Shop, played Mitski and Amy Winehouse.

She said many 1922 employees were going through breakups at one point, and they frequently played breakup songs on aux. 

“I think, for us, the music represents more [of] who we are than in other places,” she said. “We’re a little less strict about music we play.” 

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Magoon said being less strict about who is on aux can inspire Rumors customers to express themselves and explore their identities. 

“That's why I think it's fun to switch up the playlist a lot, because a lot of times people will hear stuff that they haven't before and be like, 'What is this?'” she said. “'I like this, I wouldn't normally listen to this.' Same with fashion."


@dthlifestyle |