Music is one of the best things to be passed down. For this month’s playlist, we shared songs recommended to us by the people we love.
“First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes
A while ago, my boyfriend Eryn made me an 11 hour playlist consisting of 159 of his favorite songs. “First Day of My Life” was one of my favorite songs on the playlist. I had heard it before, but I think listening to it with him was sort of like a full circle moment for me. I remember sitting on the couch of his apartment watching him pack up his stuff to move and listening to the vinyl play softly in the background. After I told him how much I liked the song he took out his phone to show me the music video.
“Girl” by Destiny’s Child
My parents were huge R&B fans when I was growing up. My mom in particular loved listening to Keyshia Cole, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, among many others. But my favorite by far was Destiny’s Child. I remember watching the music video for “Say My Name” and thinking it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. For me, “Girl” is an anthem about female friendship and being there for eachother. My mom knew exactly what she was doing when she put me on.
“Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar
I was roughly 14 years old in an English lesson, creating a presentation focused on music and out of the blue, my teacher recommended me this song. It’s impacted my music taste ever since as, understandably so, at 14 years old, I didn’t have much of a personality. This song opened my eyes up to the wider world of music and how much more there was to explore. I’d argue that musically the song is perfect. Flying Lotus’ production emulsifies with Kendrick Lamar’s poetic justice to create one of the greatest songs ever made.
“Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
At 18 years old, I was working as a chef at a Tapas restaurant. Now, music was very important for harmony in the team as it kept us going and would be played during prep and service. The song was shown to me by my former Head Chef whilst cleaning and I hold it as one of the greatest Hip Hop songs ever made. The song explores death and how we’ll see others at the ‘Crossroads’. It’s a very poignant song and something that plays each time during monumental parts of my life that revolve around departure.
“Take On Me” by a-ha
When I was around 13, my mom had made a comment about how the music video for “Take On Me” was her favorite music video of all time. When I told her I had never seen it, she quickly pulled it up on YouTube and we watched it together. This song is just an instant mood-lifter, with its recognizable synths and the lead singer hitting that unearthly high note in the chorus. It encapsulates everything from the 80’s, but has only gotten better with time.
“Work Song” by Hozier
I was around 16 when Hozier came out with his debut album. A friend of mine had suggested I listen to “Work Song,” and I’ve been a fan ever since. The song is powerful, as the lyrics talk about love so strong not even death is strong enough to separate the lovers. “Work Song” perfectly showcases how Hozier’s folk influences, vivid imagery, and references to religion sets him apart from other artists.
“Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous
This song was recommended to me by an online friend I was relatively close with when we were both around 14 years old. He told me that this song, and the whole album, reminded him of me. I thought it was such a sweet gesture. He thought about me, even when we weren’t talking. I still listen to this song and think of him, and how it made him think of me. We don’t talk anymore, but we had our time together growing up, and I will always appreciate his friendship. We’ll always have this song.
“Some Guys Have All the Luck” by Rod Stewart
When I was younger, my dad and I would stay up some nights and take turns picking music videos to watch together. I would show him videos for more modern songs that I liked (this is how my dad became a One Direction fan, but that’s another story), and he would show me videos for songs from his youth. One of these songs was Some Guys Have All the Luck. I had never heard this song before, but I liked it. Just last year, my dad and I ended up going to a Rod Stewart concert together, and we heard this song performed live. This song reminds me of a lot of fond memories with my dad.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
My dad was an avid Elvis listener for as long as I could remember. As a child I would wake up in the middle of the night hearing him blast “Can’t Help Falling in Love” from the living room. He would sit on the couch and watch old videos of Elvis performing that song live. He was always tender hearted by that song and I wondered why he loved it so much. He taught me how to ballroom dance to that song, actually. He would make me follow his footsteps as if I would actually need to know how to ballroom dance in the future. But it’s sweet how much he loved the song, he said that song is equivalent to how much he loves me. The song, or any Elvis song really reminds me of barefoot ballroom dancing with my dad as a kid.
“Fantasy” by Mariah Carey
My mom was in love with Mariah Carey when I was a child. After listening to Thai bop after Thai bop, she finally switched the car radio to a CD that she had purchased herself. Imagine my nine-year-old’s face when I heard that she started blasting Mariah Carey out of nowhere. The song was “Fantasy” and it was so, so, so catchy that I began to memorize the lyrics before I knew it. My mom still loves Mariah Carey, and now when I drive her around and the song comes up, she’s the one that gets surprised. It takes her back when that song comes on, just like how it takes me back.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Once my sister and I were done forcing our parents to play Disney Princess soundtracks, they had the opportunity to finally play their own music again. When my dad would drive us to and from L.A., he sought out loud, energetic music that could keep him awake on the four hour drive. He introduced me to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, and of course, Nirvana. He would tell me all about Kurt Cobain and how great of a musician he was. Last summer, we had the opportunity to visit an exhibition dedicated to Nirvana at the Museum of Pop Culture, and he absolutely loved it. This song reminds me of how much of my music taste can be attributed to my dad, and those long car rides where I would watch the desert fly by while the radio blasted.
“Pretty Girl” by Clairo
This song was recommended to me by none other than Kindergarten’s co-editor in chief and my best friend, Kleigh. She played it during our senior year of high school as she drove us out of the school parking lot. It is such a fun and catchy song, and I loved it immediately. The song reminds me of Kleigh, but more specifically that period of time during our friendship. It was full of boba runs, watching movies, and of course, driving around listening to Clairo.
“Backyard Boy” by Claire Rosinkranz
This song was recommended to me by one of my best friends, and it became one of the carefully selected songs for our curated traveling/trips playlist. I will forever be thankful to my friend for introducing me to this song because it has become the theme song for my early morning walks to school. This song has a youthful beat that reminds me of long car rides, road trips, and days when I don’t have to care about anything but the present moment.
“Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
I remember when my brother first introduced me to Avril’s music and how I immediately became obsessed with her. This song is special because it makes me think back to a period of my childhood when my brother and I were inseparable, right before I moved to the US. This song also reminds me of my punk-pop obsession era when I had long side bangs, only wore black outfits, and felt so different from the other girls.