By Eva James
Nothing baffles me more than an indifference to music. People who don’t turn to their headphones on their way home for counsel, that don’t confess through a sing in the shower or a shake in their bedroom. Those that don’t lose themselves in the prayer of movement through smoke and lights on the dance floor. And I don’t mean to be preachy – but seriously, PEOPLE, convert!!!
Music brings sanctuary when it seems the university “experience” is not all it’s cracked up to be. It forms a communal protest against or solitary escape from alienation and anxiety, feelings which are tightly bound up with growing up. It can mark memories: crystallising the euphoric or exorcising the painful, splintering back through time in a way that is often healing.
It could be the song that gets you peeling your eyes open in the morning, or the song at the end of a long day in the library that helps to halt the brain from going a thousand. Perhaps it is the song that reminds you of the good times, and just for a couple of minutes you can be there again, and anywhere but at your desk.
To celebrate the ups as well as the downs of this university year as it comes to an end, I have asked a few of the Lippy Team to pick one song that has “saved” them this year and why.
Year 4: Music.
Song: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire.
How it saved me: I spent my year abroad in Montreal, and suffered from some serious post-summer blues when I got back to Leeds to first start my final year and dissertation. This song is my go-to every time I feel even a little bit sad because it brings me right back to a road trip that me and 5 friends took at the end of our year in Canada. It was so perfect, spending every day driving on beautiful mountain roads with my closest friends with no worries at all, and this song was introduced by one of them during the trip. As soon as the song starts I’m transported back to the best year of my life and one of the best weeks of that entire year. It’s such a perfect escape from any kind of sadness.
Arts & Culture Editor
Year 4: French and English Literature.
Song: Chef (2014) film soundtrack.
How it saved me: The Chef film soundtrack has been my go-to playlist this year when the grim weather and university stress has got me feeling blue. The soundtrack, with its mix of Latin Boogaloo, New Orleans’ funk and West Coast pop, instantly brightens my mood. I couldn’t choose one song, but I particularly love Hot 8 Brass Band’s rendition of Sexual Healing, Mi Swing Es Tropical by Quantic and Nickodemus, and West Coast Poplock by Ronnie Hudson and Street People.
Year 2: Sociology
Song: NANA – Cap.9: Concepción by Rosalía
How it saved me: Recently, I played this song in need of becoming grounded again. Songs often save me in that sense, allowing me to come back to myself after I’ve been exposed to circumstances that somehow get the best of me. What’s interesting about this one, though, is that it was less about motivating me again, but rather reminding me of all that I am. Rosalia’s angelic voice emanates absolute purity, and it centred me back into the realms of my existence beyond “doing”. It is profoundly significant to me for it helped heal a wound that has always been there, reminding me of the divinity within life’s cycle, of all the things we do “right” and “wrong” and how they are all beautiful. Like a lullaby, this song made my heart feel warm.
Year 1: Journalism
Song: The Trouble with Men by The Wedding Present
How it saved me: The Wedding Present have always had a way with words; writing about the brutality of love seemed hard enough, but writing about your own infidelity is something else, even for them. A song in which frontman Gedge takes full ownership of his own wrongdoings, The Trouble with Men doesn’t condone infidelity, but it does talk about it openly. Phenomenal lyrics without the fancy footwork of metaphors and comparisons, it’s the sheer brutality of love that Gedge presents that grounds anyone who listens to it, making even the most musically unaffected feel something. It’s rare to find a record this honest, and I think most will struggle to ever again after giving it a listen.
Aiden Alexander Wynn
Year 1 MA: International Journalism
Song: Tuesday by Hippo Campus
How it saved me: I love university. But there inevitably reaches a point every year where I burn myself out, and everything – deadlines, readings, social life, mental illness – completely get on top of me. During these times, when every day can feel exhausting, I need a song that will soothe me, make me smile, and put me in the mindset that the new day I’ve started is one that I may just end up calling “the best day of my life”.
Year 3: History
Song: S.O.S. by The Jonas Brothers
How it saved me: This may seem like a sick joke, but it’s not. During the peak of dissertation stress I ironically listened to this song and then somehow found myself blasting it out all day. It was weirdly a great stress reliever and perfectly captured my emotions towards my work.
Featured Image Credits: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2011/arcade-fire-sprawl-ii-mountain-beyond-mountains/