Music is like air to me, it’s on all the time. When I’m happy, sad, anxious, frustrated. There are certain songs that are like a time machine – I turn it on and I’m back in time, at that certain moment, feeling a certain way. Almost like when you smell specific things, and it brings you back. Evergreen trees at Christmas, the smell of the woods after rain, the salt in the air bringing you back under the bridge in South Portland, your first kiss with a guy who you never even saw coming on a hot day in the middle of May. Chlorine bringing me back to my college jobs, lifeguarding for hours and hours as the sun went down, and I was so, so happy.
Feeling The Moment by Feeder. I played it over and over and over again the summer going into my Junior year at college. My family was having a yard sale at our childhood home and I sat outside in my bathing suit and shorts, iPod on and blasting as I watched people come and go, leaving with childhood items and clothing I swore up and down didn’t mean anything to me anymore, but it did. I forgot to put on sunscreen and got the worst sunburn I had gotten in a long time. I stayed up late into the night applying layer after layer of aloe and missing him so much it hurt, even then I was going through this. I remember writing a status on Facebook about needing the ocean and a road trip, the glow of my computer screen lighting up the room in the middle of the night. Him texting me shortly afterwards telling me that visiting him would solve both of those problems, and asking me to please just talk to him for a little while longer.
Hangin’ By a Thread by Jann Arden. Probably the saddest song I have ever heard. This song was played at a dance competition that I competed in when I was seventeen in Boston. A company danced to this song with so much emotion, I sat there and cried and cried because I could literally feel the story they were telling. And every time I play it now, I’m back in that room, in front of that stage, and I’m just as mesmerized now as I was then.
Vanilla Twilight by Owl City. A friend showed me this song in college during a class called Nature of Story which was a complete joke, as our professor was at least 90 years old and taught class with his shirt completely unbuttoned. My friend had just gone through a breakup of her own, and I remember thinking that I had never seen anyone so sad before. “Drenched in vanilla twilight, I’ll sit on my front porch all night, waist deep in thoughts because when I think of you I don’t feel so alone.”
The World Spins Madly On by the Weepies. This is my favorite songs in the whole world for a lot of reasons, and I recommend it to everyone. I first heard this song during an episode of Greek when I was in High School, and during a time when my parents still had dial up internet. It took me weeks of trying to remember the lyrics before I was able to find that song, download it onto my iTunes and play it until I dreamt the lyrics in my sleep.
Use Somebody by Kings of Leon. This song played when I was in my ex boyfriends dorm room collecting my stuff on a warm day in September. I went over to meet and “talk”, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to talk, to hear why he didn’t want to be with me, I just wanted to see him. I was wearing jean capris and a turquoise Hollister shirt, and I’m sure I looked terrible. He was down in the bathroom when this came on, and I was left with his roommate. I’ll never forgot the look he gave me as I stood there listening to this song, like he felt so, so sorry for me.
State of Grace by Taylor Swift. I can’t even put into writing how amazing it was to stand in the middle of the pouring rain at Gillette Stadium, hands in the air, my throat raw, and absolutely screaming the lyrics to this song with thousands of people as the sun went down.
Times Like These by the Foo Fighters. Because don’t we learn to love again during times like these?
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry. Too much vodka, short skirts and tank tops, hair bleached out from the sun and this song on constant repeat. My roommate and I listened to this over and over and over again for months, in the car, at the club, during Thirsty Thursdays on the front porch of our apartment. It was our soundtrack, and will forever take me back to hot, sticky Fall days when I was twenty and reckless and loving everything about life.
Sometimes I’d like to forget these things, but then I think, do I really?