The Albums That Are A Part Of Me

Even though I have zero musical talent, I love music. I would say that I spend more time than s the average person listening to music. Music is an experience for me all its own. It accompanies me home in my headphones. It is my study buddy that can keep me focused, or causes a dance party study break. It affects my mood, bringing me up on the worst day or reminding me of lower times on good days. I don’t know where this strong reaction to music has come from, but it enriches my life.

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with my music, reacquainting myself with songs in my library I have forgotten recently. The year is coming to a close, and in the midst of the nostalgia, I was hit with overwhelming memories associated with this music — where it has seen me go and where it has taken me.

Despite being completely musically incompetent, I have a lot of friends who are incredibly musically talented. A few years ago, one of my friends was talking about the art of an album and how it is basically sacrilegious to listen to an album out of order and that’s why she doesn’t really like making or listening to playlists. I didn’t get it since I love making playlists, but ever since, I have not been able to think of albums the same way again.

On this note, I wanted to write an ode of sorts to the albums I hold near and dear to my heart, like a thank you card to the music that has shaped me and my life.


Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid, oh, Ingrid. She came into my life my sophomore year of high school from my friend Amanda, and I have never been the same. I have seen her in concert twice, both times wonderful memories and experiences. I never had a favorite album of hers until I recently listened to Everybody and then listened to nothing else for the rest of the day. It became my go-to study album for the rest of the week, and I am not going back.

Favorite songs: I love pretty much this entire album but one song, but I think my favorites are Sort Of, Are We There Yet and Locked Up. I have also always loved The Chain, which I have become re-acquainted with since I introduced it to my roommate Tracy and now we both love it.


A Creature I Don’t Know by Laura Marling

My friend Emily shared Laura Marling with me our freshman year, I think, and I have not been able to stop listening to her since. I admit, she has a pretty unique sound that isn’t to everyone’s taste. However, I love her tone, her soul, and her spirit. I love the way her albums flow from one song to the next so beautifully, and even how one album to the next of hers flow together as well.

Favorite songs: Sophia and All My Rage. Back to back. I cry inside every time. Sophia is my song that goes on repeat when a day is horrible and I feel horrible. I roll with the evolution of the sound and break.


Dodie Clark

Okay, this isn’t an album, but this artist has been beyond important to me and my life recently. I discovered Dodie’s Youtube channel last summer, I believe. I fell totally in love. Her voice is beautiful, both in her covers and in her original music.  She is so talented and brilliant and we are the same age, and it freaks me out that she is doing such cool things at my age. Her original songs… kill me. I have a number of favorites, but they always tear right at my heartstrings and bring me to tears. She is also a queen of harmonies, and it breaks me every time. I am obsessed, so I had to share the wealth.

Favorite songs: How do I CHOOSE? Definitely Sick of Losing Soulmates. It is one of her most recent songs and I nearly started crying. I wasn’t in the best place mentally, and it completely broke my heart and I listened to it nonstop for four days last semester. Also One for the Road is one of the most empowering songs in my life, and I am obsessed with it.

As far as covers go, this mashup Can’t Feel My Superbass is one of my favorite things in the world. I still listen to it once a day. Also, this cover of Love Yourself by Justin Bieber brings me so much joy.Honorable mention to She for being my first obsession of her music and also striking a chord with my life and soul.


Is There Anybody Out There? by A Great Big World

This song is the album of my summer between freshman and sophomore years at Kenyon. My friend and I were driving up to work at camp for the summer, and she had this new album she wanted to share. I proceeded to borrow the CD and share it with anyone else in whose car I found myself and we all were obsessed. I hear this album and think of long drives, mountain roads, blue skies, and dry desert air. Hair blowing in the wind, and headed home for the first time in a long time.


Favorite songs: This is the New Year was the first song from here I heard when it was performed on Glee. It was my favorite number of that season because there was so much joy and excitement and life in the entire scene. Rockstar for me is the epitome of a good start to an album. It has the perfect build that leads into what else is to come. Everyone is Gay is gold. Please listen to it.


Red by Taylor Swift

Picking a favorite T Swift album is hard. I joined the bandwagon rather late as a fan of hers, but here I am and I haven’t turned back. I remember having a crush on a boy sophomore year of high school, getting turned down and listening to Taylor Swift for weeks because her songs finally made sense to my hurting heart. Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift’s music has seen me through a lot. Once I thought about which album I would turn to first, my album choice became clear: Red.


Favorite songs: State of Grace is beautiful. Red is the perfect title song for me. Holy Ground always makes me want to dance and sing at the top of my lungs, which is my core T Swift experience.


England Keep My Bones by Frank Turner

I had never heard of Frank Turner until I decided spontaneously one day with two of my friends freshman year that we should all go to a music festival, Boston Calling, together over the summer. Emily was already going, and Amy and I really wanted to go, so basically we did and it was epic. Frank Turner’s was one of the best performance of the weekend. It was fun and exciting and sexy. It made me want to dance and jump up and down to be in tune with the music. I couldn’t stop smiling now that I had discovered this incredible new artist. This is one of my album for when I need to rock out and if perhaps I need to get a little angry.

This one’s to Emily and Amy, to the memories of Boston Calling 2014, and to blasting Frank Turner in the car as we drove around bits of Massachusetts and got ice cream.


Favorite songs: One of the reasons I love Frank Turner so much is because of the strength of narrative in his music. I am Disappeared and Redemption are easily the most listened to songs from this album for me. They break my heart. I Still Believe and If Ever I Stray are the more optimistic, empowering songs I love from this album. They make me feel happy, like I conquer anything in the world.


Babel by Mumford and Sons

This album. Oh man, this album. This album will forever have my soul. This is the album that sparked the idea for this article, for two weeks ago in a stupor of stress, nerves, and heightened emotions, I nearly started crying listening to Babel. We have come a long way together. I remember listening to Sigh No More for the first time in 2012, and not really understanding the hype around Mumford and Sons. And then I heard Babel. I remember screaming at 11PM on a Sunday when they won Album of the Year. This album was the first album that I listened to and loved every single song in a very long time. And seeing them live this past summer was one of the highlights of my life.


Favorite songs: Babel is another title song that is just perfect for the album and starts the album off in the right direction. Similar to Laura Marling, I love the way the songs of this album flow into each other, especially between Babel and Whispers in the Dark. It hits me every time. Lover of the Light is my favorite song of theirs, perhaps ever, though Ditmas from Wilder Mind is slowly approaching this place. I think that both have remarkable music videos, so highly suggest checking out both of them and watching the videos. Not With Haste is everything. If you’ve seen Brave, a slightly different version is in the credits, but I think I prefer theirs alone.


Thanks for the memories, my loves and my friends. Let’s see where we go next.

Image credits: Amazon, Wikipedia