Thursday, September 1, 2016

Traveling--going to different places, vacationing with my family--is a meaningful time for me. Purposely removing myself from the culture I live in and immersing myself in a different one makes me remember things more vividly. While pictures and videos capture moments effectively and outline all the details that I don’t remember, music fills in the lines and colors everything in.

Music makes me feel and recall details that I wouldn’t otherwise remember. It brings back memories and sensations, some of which I keep to myself, but others that I want to share with other people. Since I’m the kind of person who listens to certain songs over and over again until I get tired of them (yeah, I’m that person), typically, when I’m traveling, I listen to the same songs, which automatically attaches them, in my mind, to the place that I’m visiting and how I feel when I’m visiting it.
I was thinking about the trips that I’ve been on and the places I’ve been to and the people I’ve met, and I decided to make five six-song playlists--you’ve already seen one of them, if you were with me in March. Some of them I listened to while I was actually visiting the places, and others just remind me of those places in particular. So here we go--Korea, Hawaii, Chicago, Czech Republic, and England.

Summer before sophomore year. I was unaware that I would be spending the rest of my summer in SAT class, so I was feeling pretty good about myself. Pop was my MAiN thing (looking back, my old playlist was pretty bad. Like, I had Meghan Trainor on it?!?!?!???!!!).
I remember, right before we left on the airplane, I added almost the entire Frozen soundtrack because I wanted to listen to it. (??/?!!!????!!!!) I mean, the Frozen soundtrack is pretty good, but seriously, old Rachel?? Like for realz??

But anyway.

“Absolutely Final Goodbye,” by Christina Grimmie
(this is an ANTHEM, man. But RIP Grimmie :(.)

“Double Rainbow,” by Katy Perry
(Katy Perry is a beast. I still like her)

“Lights,” by Ellie Goulding
(this is a decent song)

“Take on the World,” by Sabrina Carpenter & Rowan Blanchard
(this was RIGHT when the pilot for Girl Meets World came out on the Watch Disney Channel app, and it started my two-year-long obsession with Girl Meets World that ended this July, officially)

“Melodies,” by Madison Beer
(I couldn’t sleep the night after we got back, because I’d slept thirteen hours the night before and NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH SLEEP and so I spent most of it listening to music, and Madison Beer was someone I just randomly stumbled upon on Spotify. This song is so freaking catchy, man.)

“When Will My Life Begin” by Mandy Moore
(from the Tangled soundtrack. It’s just super sunny and such a good song and it’s great)

I had to hunt down these songs because I don’t have super strong feelings associated with Hawaii. I just remember that it was a lot of fun and really sunny and there were a lot of Asians and, like, shave ice. But I was still in my pop-only phase, but THIS time I moved on to IGGY AZALEA (??!!3sd;ofi9e939###!!!), so apologies!!!!!!!

“Unbelievable” by Owl City feat. Hanson
(so catchy and nOSTALGIc I would listen to this at the end of SAT class while waiting for my mom to pick me up. And yes, I did SAT class two summers in a row. It was terrible. Don’t judge me.)

“Trouble” by Iggy Azalea feat. Jennifer Hudson
(*cringes* I wanted to be like one of the cool kids and listen to Iggy Azalea because this was the summer that “Fancy” was all the rage except I didn’t want to listen to it because it had bad words in it so I settled on “Trouble” but APOINBAEHGH my music taste was so thumbs down lol but actually the music in 2014 was super cringey so I don’t really blame myself)

“Shrug” by Christina Grimmie
(my loyalty to Grimmie is everlasting.)

“I Can Feel It” by Hey Violet
(I always have one super upbeat lovey dovey song that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. This is it. You can scream this song at the top of your lungs with the windows down with your friends while you’re all single and wistful for those summery teenage romances that don’t exist)

“Cops” by Social Club Misfits
(i LOVE SOCIAL CLUB///one of the songs on this playlist that I don’t regret)

“Boneless” by Steve Aoki
(aka Rachel tries to dip into EDM because some guys at youth group convinced her to. I actually still listen to Steve Aoki, lol. s/o to the homies Josiah, Jesse, and Lucas)

Okay so this happened during my Google Play Music phase (which will ever live down into infamy), so I threw together this playlist (it was formerly known as Brick-a-Brack, for my Chicago series that will also ever live down into infamy) while trying to listen to it as little as possible so I could avoid the ads (Spotify is only worth it if you have Premium). But anyway, this is a super moody playlist and I’m not going to describe it to you because I don’t really have any particular attachment to these songs. Chicago was a very muddled period in my life. All I remember from it is that I liked it, I ate a lot of deep-dish pizza, and I wrote a DBQ (basically, an essay) in the hotel bathroom at 10 pm because everyone else was asleep).

You guys have all heard me rant and rave about this trip, but you haven’t heard me talk about the music!! I actually didn’t listen to too much during the time period, because it was so busy, but there are some songs that stick out.

“Weight of the World” by Jon Bellion feat. Blaque Keys
(I listened to Jon Bellion a lot during that time when I was listening to music, but I didn’t listen to this particular song as much. But, in retrospect, I think that this relates to my life a lot more. The one lyric--I don’t hold the weight of the world anymore--is just super illustrative of the mission trip from my perspective, because I was so encouraged by everyone and everything there in a way that I hadn’t been encouraged in a long time.)

“Morning in America” by Jon Bellion
(I LISTENED TO SO MUCH JON BELLION. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. But “Morning in America” is so, so descriptive of suburbia and the area I live in. You have no idea.)

“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
(I held a workshop where I “directed” a bunch of younger girls for a music video of this song. It is literally the CUTEST THING EVER because they were so funny and personable and GAHH it’s great. I’m not saying that because of my directing skills, of which I don’t have any; they were actually the stars of the show, and the whole thing is just hilarious. We listened to that song literally a million times, both while shooting and while editing, and gahh. So funny.)

“Great Night” by Needtobreathe feat. Shovels & Rope
(just a good song that i listened to a lot while we were there. NTB is so good.)

“Blessings” by Chance the Rapper
(CHANCE IS GREAT. His music is so joyful and different and just incredible and both versions of “Blessings” are fantastic.)

“Hand of God” by Jon Bellion
(because you know me. Lol. But this song is one of my favorites. I mean, his entire album is straight fire. Like, literally the entire album. But the choir at the end???????? Please listen to the end. PLEASE LISTEN TO IT. JUST LISTEN TO IT. JUST LISTEN TO IT.)

“Ride” by Twenty One Pilots
(okay, I’ll admit it. I like twenty one pilots, but I’m not part of their crew--or whatever their fans are called--but I can appreciate how influential they are and how influential they will become. And “Ride” is just a good song. It’s great shower music--you can blurt out I’M TAKING MY TIME ON MY RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE and no one will be the wiser)

“All We Got” by Chance the Rapper

“Dollar Bill” by Phoebe Ryan feat. Kid Ink
(Phoebe Ryan is becoming super ultra poppy--I miss her Mine days--but I can still appreciate a good pop song. Even if Kid Ink is featured on it.)

“Wiser” by Madilyn Bailey
(This song is all right. It’s going to be irrelevant to me in a couple of months, but I watch her cover videos on YouTube, and I like what she’s trying to do.)

“Inhale Exhale - ‘15” by Nao
(Okay, so strange story. I was reading the London Evening Standard--the writing irks me, but it was an interesting contrast to American newspaper writing--and one of the articles I read was a review of Nao’s music. And I was like, all right, we’ll give her a try. And she’s good! And she just released an album! I like her R&B vibes, and the beat on this one is really good.)

“Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
(listened to her album while wandering the streets of London. This song was the first one that popped up in my head when I was considering adding one of them to this playlist, though. My weight/body image, like a lot of girls’, is an issue for me, mostly because it’s just harder for me to be active, to control my food intake, and maintain my weight healthily. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve been moving in that direction recently, and it scares me, mostly because I’ve stopped growing and I’m short and I’m only going to gain weight as I get older. After Czech, though, I’d lost a decent amount--when you’re busy, you eat less and you feel the need to eat less--and I was feeling good, but I was still mulling everything over and thinking about it. And this song is so encouraging and soft and just...Gahh. Love Alessia Cara.)


Also, EXCITING NEWS! I had the amazing opportunity to be a contributor to the first-ever issue of Paper Comets, a quarterly e-zine produced by Freckled Minds, which is a teenage girl art society! Check it out HERE--it was so cool getting to work with all of them!

Thank you so much for reading this post!

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