the soundtrack to my year

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me songs are like bookmarks in my life. I can associate a song with an event, a feeling, a place, a friend. Songs become attached to my personal timeline, and listening to them can transport me back.

Here are the main songs that have stuck to me this past academic year, what they represent, and what I now feel when I listen to themIMG_7142

  • 33 “GOD” // Bon Iver  –  Just before my first year at uni began. I took walks to ease my anxiety, and listened to this song.
  • Fears // Twin Wild  –  Induction week. I felt I was fitting in.
  • Sour Grapes // John the Ghost  –  a song recommended by a new friend. This makes me think of her.
  • Kindly Now (album) // Keaton Henson  –  this was a new release. I listened to it on the bus home from uni everyday, and would feel a sadness.
  • Cancer // Twenty One Pilots  –  transports me back to the first month of uni, in its entirety – the people, the place, the experiences in their whole. At the time I was feeling some sadness, loneliness, anxiety – so when I listen to this song, I can recall all the hard times at university.
  • Shots // Imagine Dragons  –  lifts home from a uni friend. Feeling supported and cheerful.
  • The Boxer // Simon and Garfunkel  –  car rides up to university every Sunday evening with my dad. This song comforts me.
  • 8 (circle) // Bon Iver  –  listened to this song on repeat. Somewhat comforting, brings me a sense of happiness and belonging.
  • Space Dementia // Muse  –  discovering the full extent of Muse. A long overdue discovery.
  • Listen // Beyonce  –  photography workshop. Singing this in the darkroom with my friends while trying to remove film from a camera. Became a true anthem throughout the year.
  • Absolutely Smitten // Dodie  –  happiness. At the time. Now, a sadness.
  • I Won’t Let You Down // OK GO  –  another recommendation that brings me right back to the early months of uni.
  • XO // Beyonce  –  I liked walking to this song, because my walk became a bit of a strut. I felt a sense of confidence and hope.
  • At Home // Crystal Fighters  –  pushing through to the christmas holidays. In need of a break.
  • Death of a Bachelor // Panic at the Disco  –  christmas dinner at student village. Felt joy and happiness. But now the song is tinged with sadness.
  • Mercy // Muse  –  (Muse rediscovery is still in progress). Given a CD of ‘Drones’. Love it.
  • The Bastards (album) // Radical Face  –  a sense of calm and serenity.
  • Castle on the Hill // Ed Sheehan. It’s new year. Forming closer friendships with coursemates, feeling positive.
  • No One // Alicia Keys  –  singing in the studio.
  • Lights Out, Words Gone // Bombay Bicycle Club  –  a calm and comforting song, used to calm my anxiety.
  • Only the Horses // Scissor Sisters  –  cheerfulness mixed with anxiety. First rediscovered the song when driving out from a depressing doctor’s appointment.
  • Partition // Beyonce  –  more dancing in the studio…
  • You Could Be Happy // Snow Patrol  –  feeling a numbness, confusion, anxiety.
  • Wolves // Rag’n’Bone Man  –  half term, february. Skiing holiday. Battling huge anxiety levels.
  • Landslide // Fleetwood Mac  –  this song has become really important to me. At the time it felt calm and hopeful, but I listened to it amongst anxious feelings.
  • Iron Sky // Paolo Nutini  –  I needed a song to make me feel strong, because in reality I felt hopeless.
  • Razorlight (album) // Razorlight  –  finding comfort in nostalgic tunes from my childhood.
  • Green Light // Lorde  –  I love this song. It made me feel slightly more confident and hopeful again. I’m sad that this song is tinged with my lowest moments, though.
  • Liability // Lorde  –  at the time of it’s release I could really relate to the lyrics. Typical.
  • lippy kids // Elbow  –  the song we listened to as we made photo collages of my grandad, to take to his funeral. A time of huge sadness.
  • Symphony // Clean Bandit  –  struggling through the tough times. this song was on the radio constantly it seemed, on my commutes from home to university.
  • Saturnz Barz // Gorillaz  –  rediscovering Gorillaz, getting into a new style of music. Feeling somewhat numb, but still carrying on.
  • Teardrop // Massive Attack  –  a song played on repeat, to numb my emotions.
  • Stay Awake // London Grammar  –  lonely walks. Trying to climb out of the place I didn’t want to be again.
  • Mehendi Rachi // Mumford and Sons  –  turning back to Mumford and Sons, because their music helped me at my low points in the past. Discovering songs by them I had never heard.
  • Down // Marian Hill  –  coming towards the end of the year, can see the end.
  • I Got You // Leona Lewis  –  the final nostalgic anthem to sing in studio.
  • Fields and Pier // Avriel and the Sequoias  –  it’s almost the end of the final term. This song comforts and calms me through the last bouts of anxiety.
  • Don’t Kill My Vibe (acoustic) // Sigrid  –  a final boost of confidence and happiness to last me to the end of the year. This song, despite me feeling some anxiety at the time, remains associated with happiness.

It occurs to me as I finish writing this that no-one will be able to relate to this set of songs and my emotions in any way, because the songs are all completely random and my feelings throughout the year are unique to me. But I feel like when I listen to these songs in order, I relive the year itself. There have been happy times, but I have also been through my lowest moments in years.

But in the end, I got through it. And as well as the friends I have made, the photos I’ve taken, the memories I have made – these are the songs I will remember it by.



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