What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time? How far back would you go? Personally, there are a lot of things I would do, including going back about four years and telling myself not to create a music playlist for my first year of college.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed throwing together my annual playlists to summarize each year of my college experience. But it’s hard.
First of all, I have the memory of a goldfish and can hardly remember what I did yesterday, let alone what music I listened to several months ago. Second, I usually get about five songs in before I start struggling. There are always a few that jump out at me, but the second half takes some extra thought.
In spite of those challenges, I felt it would be wrong not to finish out this tradition with one last playlist. So without further ado, I present the soundtrack for my senior year.
(Don’t forget, you can listen to the whole thing on Spotify)
1) Polaris – NateWantsToBattle
I sat down to write this and told myself I can have one nerd song on the playlist. There are a couple I was torn between, but NateWantsToBattle’s cover of this opening theme from My Hero Academia was one of my favorite jams from the past school year. There isn’t any deeper meaning here, it was just a really catchy song.
I also binged through the entire series during the school year, so there’s that too.
2) Chemical – The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada has always been a hit or miss kind of band for me – I like some of their music, but not everything. That being said, “Chemical” was making its rounds as a radio single last fall, and it struck a chord with me (pun unintended). It’s a brutally honest song, but in a way that makes you feel seen.
3) Step Out – Attalus
I don’t actually remember how I became reunited with this song again – I must have put my phone on shuffle or something. Anyway, the last few lines of the song are some of my favorite lyrics of all time, and they encouraged me a lot while I was going through some challenges at school.
4) King of Sorrow – August Burns Red
I’ll be honest, I don’t usually listen to August Burns Red for their lyrics. I mean, they’re amazing songwriters, but I usually pay more attention to other elements of the song. With “King of Sorrow” though, the words in the bridge just hit me out of nowhere one day. I’ve definitely started to appreciate the lyrics of their songs more since.
5) Until The Night’s Gone – Graceful Closure
This is not my genre at all, but “Until the Night’s Gone” is a good, catchy song. It’s got nice “driving home late at night” vibes. I’m not really sure what else to say about it, but I think the amount of time I spent listening to this song is enough to give it a place on this list.
6) Love Is a Fast Song – Copeland
I bought Copeland’s album In Motion from a used book sale on a whim. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first, but “Love Is a Fast Song” stuck out to me and became one of the tracks I blared out of my speakers on my commute to and from my internship. It’s a song that “soars” – something about it just makes you feel warm inside.
7) Setting Sail, Coming Home – Darren Korb
“Setting Sail, Coming Home,” is the end credits theme from the game Bastion, which I finished way back in March. The final section of Bastion was the most challenging, both in terms of gameplay and story, and reaching the conclusion was one of the most satisfying gaming experiences I’ve had in a while. So, naturally, this song made it onto my “most played” list this year.
8) Breaking the Mirror – Fit For A King
The night before I was to leave my campus for 4 weeks (which turned into the rest of the semester), Fit For A King released this single. I don’t really know how to describe the feeling that it gave me. The song doesn’t really relate to the situation at all, and yet, hearing it was somehow hopeful. It was a reminder that there were still good, beautiful things in the world.
9) Level of Concern – Twenty One Pilots
I’ve followed Twenty One Pilots for some time now, but it’s been a while since I really connected to a song like “Level of Concern.” Sure, it’s catchy, but there’s more to it than that. I’m not really sure how to describe it – TOP tends to be a bit abstract, which is good, but “Level of Concern” just feels grounded to me. It doesn’t try to be more than it needs to be.
10) It Is Well – Then It Ends
I’m usually on the fence about rock bands or similar styles of music covering worship songs, but in this case, it worked. “It Is Well” literally came out of nowhere from a band I had never heard of, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear someone had arranged a “harder” cover without being cheesy. I know not everyone might feel the same way, but for me, it was like hearing someone speak in my own language.
11) Said Too Much – Anberlin
There isn’t a deeper meaning here. I received Devotion by Anberlin as a birthday gift. I really like this song. That’s all I got here.
12) The Decree – Lacey Sturm
It is fitting that Lacey Sturm’s album Life Screams would be released in 2016 so that I could include “Impossible” on my freshman year soundtrack, and that she would release a new single, “The Decree” in time for me to include it on my senior year playlist. Lacey still remains one of my favorite artists, and I’m glad I could carry her music with me all through my college years.
What songs summarize the last few months for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Until next time!