One of my dear friends recently made me a Spotify playlist in reflection of something I was experiencing. Of all the conversations, feelings, or revelations I was having, something as simple as a hand-crafted list of songs is what made me feel so elated and connected to myself.
These weren’t even songs I necessarily knew or maybe even liked. They were songs that had once helped her, made her feel happy or sad, or thought I might just dig. The progression of the songs and how they changed took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, and it was a nice reminder that I was not the only person to ever go through anything in this world.
There are two things which really impacted me here. The fact that she realized that sometimes words can’t really express what we’re thinking and that feeling music would maybe be more therapeutic. And that she wanted to share those emotions with me.
Something as simple as clicking a “+” symbol on her phone, naming a list, and sending it to me in a text shifted my whole mood. The fact that she made this playlist for me reminded me of something I used to do a lot, but is a lost art today.
I used to spend all my free time downloading music off Limewire (before it gave my IBM desktop AIDS), getting a collection of bangers, choosing the perfect opening song, and creating a story with the sequence. I used to burn CDs for every occasion, every season, every event in my life. And, I would GIFT these to people. A demonstration of my compassion for them. Maybe I can’t say everything, but this is how I feel – literally about anything and everything.
Even before this, as a kid I remember my dad sitting on our basement floor meticulously clipping together cassette tapes (for the youngin’s reading, this is where you got the term fire mixtape). He would collect all his favourite songs of the year and make summer mixes that we would listen to at the cottage all season long. We still listen to them to this day.
So, you spend all this time cultivating these perfect songs, listening to the tracks on repeat. You create a deep, emotional, maybe obsessive love for them. Send songs to your crushes saying “I think you’d like this,” or “made me think of you” (shout out to Bruno Mars’s “Just the way you are” – you broke a lot of hearts).
Regardless, music is made to be shared. It’s an immersive, collective, unitive experience. Once you’ve bonded over these songs, seeing them live is a completely different experience. I’ve always found seeing my favourite artists in person and with someone that shares the same admiration for them is a spiritual experience (only slightly joking here).
Most of the time, seeing bands live somehow makes me love and appreciate these songs even more. All the emotions I have attached to them come to life while standing in a room with thousands of other people experiencing the same thing. Not to mention the fact that the artists are usually somehow even more incredible live, in which the obsession has now become a worship. Sharing these moments with other people also furthers your bond, creating an experience only you have.
(Post Maggie Rogers concert when her music and vibes caused a spontaneous dance part amongst a crowd of strangers.)
It also attaches memories to the songs, and listening to them afterwards catapults you back into that moment letting you relive it over and over gain. It transforms the song into experience rather than a feeling, making it more alive than ever before.
Music undoubtedly brings people together, and there is no better connector than when two people realize they listen to the same artists – however obscure or famous. It’s the easiest way to understand who they are.
(Sourced from Gfycat)
So share more playlists, share more CDs, share more Youtube videos, share more concerts, share more experiences with people. I promise you won’t regret it.
Feel free to follow me on Spotify and creep what I’m listening to: Macauleybee. I’d love to see what other people are jamming on lately 😊 Share some of your favourite songs or fondest music memories in the comments!
(Featured image sourced from Denver Water Tap)