Miranda Lee Richards

Deep within catacombs underneath Starbucks world headquarters in Seattle’s Space Needle, researchers have finally isolated the correct sequence required to fabricate music that will stimulate customers to not only upgrade their lattes and mochas from “Tall” to “Grande” and possibly even to “Venti,” but will motivate said consumers to purchase baked goods and overpriced tchotchkes, too. Researchers knew the proper ingredients—a grainy, waif-like female voice; “rootsy” stringed instruments; vaguely lysergic “betcha mom and dad were total hippies” lyrics; frighteningly overreaching production—but until now, their attempts at recreating the alchemy of Jewel fell short of the Marky Mark. Still, manufacturing tomorrow’s stars is not child’s play, and Starbucks’ colleagues at Team Virgin have risen to the challenge, as Richards’ cover of the Stones’ “Dandelion” is particularly astute. Science marches on!