Music. The first love of my life. I started playing music when I was 6 years old when I began piano lessons with the same teacher my mother had when she was young. I then branched out into singing, joining choirs and getting vocal lessons. Music is a way for me to express myself and I find it very easy to connect to songs and the lyrics in them. I’m also a sucker for a good instrumental and a quality arrangement.
I recently found out that according to various researchers, the music you listen to at age 14 shapes your personality, world view and future music taste. I listened to many different genres and artists when I was 14. It’s an age where you’re exposed to so many new things and for me, I was exposed to songs other than the Top 40.
So, here are just a few of the albums that I listened to when I was younger and still often listen to today.
Death of a Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco
This album was released at the beginning of my emo/punk phase. This was my first introduction to Panic! and I couldn’t have gotten hooked quicker. Brendon Urie’s vocals mixed with the lyrics of the songs and instrumentals quickly became a staple on my playlist. It will always hold a special place in my heart for the fact my friend and I listened to it on the bus home from school every day. We obviously sang along, and we obviously got the weirdest looks from everyone else on the bus.
I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet unaware of it – The 1975
My ex-boyfriend introduced me to The 1975 and it’s the only thing I will ever remotely begin to thank him for. This album contains some of my favourite songs by the band and gives me so many happy memories of days spent with my friends. It was also the album that got me through my breakup with my aforementioned ex-boyfriend and it has gotten me through many things much tougher than that. I still listen to The 1975 every single day without fail and still cry to Somebody Else whenever the smallest inconvenience occurs.
Sing Street Soundtrack
I don’t know if it was just my school or if it happened in everyone else’s, but this movie and soundtrack totally took over the place. Going to school in inner city Dublin when this album was at the height of its popularity was an experience. The music just captured everything that was great about being young and living in Dublin which is something I will never forget. This soundtrack came out during a difficult time in my life, and it brought my friends and I extremely close together. I have many fond memories of running through the school halls singing songs from this album as we were hunted down for wearing denim jackets in school buildings.
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
It wouldn’t be my list if I didn’t include this album. While it was released many moons before I was born, I still have such a wonderful connection to the music and songs from this album. The story of how this album came to be has always fascinated me and when I realised one of my best friends also loved it, I knew I had to listen to it. Rumours consists of a million and one classic hits This album helped us bond even more than we already had and gave us lots of fun during our dreaded Gaisce hike.
The Stranger – Billy Joel
This is also an album that was released way before I was born but is honestly in my top 10 albums of all time. Anyone who knows me well knows my obsession with Billy Joel and this is by far my favourite album of his. My mother introduced me to this album when I was 13 when we were on a roadtrip to visit my grandfather. You may say that this is the main reason for my adoration of this album, but I genuinely don’t think I will ever be able to describe the feelings I get when listening to these songs. I love Billy Joel’s voice more than anything and his talent for instrumentation and arrangement is honestly unparalleled. Only The Good Die Young and Vienna are my personal favourites.
At the end of the day, music is universal. It can heal, empower and emote. So go on and perform your fifth world tour in your bedroom mirror at 3am. Just send me tickets next time.