fall/winter music mood

Sharing music has always been one of my favorite things to do. Anyone who has me on Instagram or Snapchat knows that I post multiple songs I’m listening to every day. Music is so important to me because in the end it’s just another form of writing and art, except maybe it’s even more prominent because I use music to fill up every quiet moment of my life, reflecting and taking place of my own thoughts. The type of music we listen to says something about our personalities, our moods, what’s going on in our lives. I don’t just share songs because I think they sound good, I share them because they mean something to me or they relate to my life. In the past I used to rely completely on other people to share music with me, but lately I’ve been really interested in finding my own music and liking songs for my own interpretation of them. Songs are no longer facets of other people to me, they are little pieces of myself. If you listen to the songs I post all the time, maybe you know a little bit about me. Here’s a list of some of the music I’ve been obsessed with lately and how it makes me feel.

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Delta – Mumford and Sons

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This album probably couldn’t have been released at a better day, minute, or second of my life. The Friday morning after the first snow of the year, way too hungover, I lay in bed honestly feeling like shit about myself. I had gotten too drunk the night before as a result of holding off and suppressing too many things that were bothering me; like an intoxicated stupor was the only way to face them. So that morning, the snow reflected my mood– I was stuck, frozen in place, snowed in by my own misery.

For some reason, I always remember the first snow of every year being particularly tumultuous days in my life. I could have lied in bed all day, but then I got a notification on my phone that this album was available– I had forgotten about pre-downloading it, didn’t even know what day it was being released. But at that notification, I knew it was time for me to get up, get in the shower and stop feeling fucking sorry for myself. So I packed my bags and I left. I put this album on repeat and got on 88 and I drove two hours in the on-and-off sleet to visit my best friend in Oneonta.

Listening to Mumford and Sons has always been nostalgic for me, I’ve listened to them as long as I can remember listening to music at all. I saw them live a couple years ago at SPAC, a much more blissful kind of drunk, banjo-strumming summer memory with the same best friend, and it was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. Their previous album Wilder Mind gives me memories of this concert, of road trips and mountain views and happy times. As I drove down 88, the hills and bumps and sleet and the constant beating of my windshield wipers made it feel like I was being pushed back, like I could so easily pull over and give up, but I didn’t. The faint view of snow-covered mountains all around me and the new album blasting promised me that there would be always be new songs and new memories to come if I just kept driving. So I did.

I’m obsessed with basically every song on this album, but my current favorites include: Delta, October Sky, Picture You, and The Wild.

 

Moodna, Once with Grace – Gus Dapperton

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Gus Dapperton’s music makes me feel nostalgic in a much different way. His music brings me backward to a time before I was alive, giving me a strange sense of homesickness for a place I’ve never even been. I remember when I first heard Gus Dapperton: my brother was driving me to work over the summer because I didn’t have a car, and he told me he had to show me this guy’s music because he knew I’d like it. Turns out, he was right, and I’ve been listening to Gus’s music on REPEAT ever since. Even stranger, I ended up Google searching him, and it turns out he’s actually from Warwick NY where a couple of my good friends are from and he literally graduated high school with them. In a lot of Gus’s interviews, he talks about how where he grew up affected the way he creates his music, so I feel like having visited Warwick and knowing the exact little town he’s from I can understand his music a little more.

I’ve been really into old movies lately since I’ve been taking a Hitchcock class, and I feel like something about old movies is what Gus’s music makes you feel– it’s a strange sort of comfort being brought back into the past. Gus’s newest song World Class Cinema kind of plays exactly into this idea.

A bunch of my other favorites by Gus include: Moodna Once with Grace, I’m Just Snacking, Gum Toe and Sole, Faceless, Amadelle with Love, and Miss Glum & The Pursuit of Falling

 

Business – Catfish and the Bottlemen

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Okay, yes. We all know that Catfish is my favorite band every damn day of the year and I beg them to release new music on all forms of social media quite often. But the thing about Catfish that makes them so special to me is that in my mind they’re all my own. I don’t really know many people who listen to them nor do I often share their songs with my friends. But to me this is because this band is so authentically me; no other music really says “Emma” like Catfish does. I truly found Catfish all on my own; I happened to be playing EQX radio a couple years ago when “Kathleen” came on and I thought it sounded kind of cool so I went back on their website later to see what the name of the song they were playing was. I looked up some more of their songs and became immediately obsessed.

In the months after my discovery of this band, I would watch live videos of them at music festivals and concerts and dream of seeing them one day, but I thought it was super unlikely they’d be near me anytime soon. So, probably one of the happiest moments of my life was when they announced their tour and that they’d be coming to my own hometown. It was so crazy to see this band that I love come all the way from England and stop into the shitty little concert hall 10 minutes from my house. I selfishly felt like they were doing it all for me. I sang every damn lyric at the top of my lungs as if me and Van McCann were doing a personal duet and no one else was in the room at all. Man, does that feel good.

I think the way that listening to Catfish makes me feel is how you feel when you’re at the bar and it’s a little too cold out but you need to get some air so you go outside and maybe you smoke a cigarette or you talk to someone you recognize. Or maybe you’re outside all alone and suddenly you feel hyper-aware of your loneliness when the cold makes your nose start to go numb. Kind of like you’re in limbo. I feel like a lot of their songs are about being in limbo, about being lost in life or in relationships and trying to figure shit out the best you can but you don’t know where you’re really supposed to go next. I was just talking to a friend the other day about how college kind of feels like being in limbo in this sense. There’s not much you’re really supposed to be doing, but lots of things you could be doing, so the result is just a whole fuck ton of confusion from everyone. I feel like Catfish’s music does a good job of embodying this feeling of my college years, of some strange space of unavailability between youth and adulthood.

I ridiculously love literally every Catfish song, but some of my die-hard favorites include: Business (this is #1 by far wow), Cocoon, Sidewinder, 7, and Fallout.

 

First Time – Seven Lions

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Those who know me well know that for a while now I’ve been super into EDM music. Before, I always stuck to alternative, indie, and some pop punk, so EDM was entirely new to me when my friend Katelyn introduced me to it. She always told me about music festivals she would go to, and how the music would just make her feel so ridiculously happy whenever she listened to it. The more I’ve gotten into EDM, I completely understand her. What I love the most about it is while some of the songs have some amazing vocals, some of the other ones don’t at all. It’s just the music you feel and you aren’t being told by words what you’re supposed to think or feel about it, you just come up with its meaning all on your own. I think there’s something pretty blissful in that, not being told how you’re supposed to feel.

Katelyn and I had planned to go to my first EDM show, Seven Lions, in November. She ended up not being able to go, but I figured I would go anyways with a couple other friends. I’d been listening to his songs on repeat for a couple of weeks, but what was amazing about the show was it didn’t even matter that I knew the songs. We ended up getting right near the front since it was a pretty small crowd (wild because Seven Lions sells out venues like Red Rocks), and I don’t think I’ve ever let my body go so loose before in my life. It was a really energetic yet very calming feeling being there and letting it all go. I remembered tearing up a little bit because the feeling of being at a show like that is truly unbelievable. I texted Katelyn afterward and told her my life was changed a little bit that night. I think what it meant to me most was that in a world of stress, anxiety, and negativity, moments of pure bliss can still exist. Listening to EDM just makes me feel more positive all the time because it gives me reminders of those little moments of true happiness.

My all-time favorite song by Seven Lions is First Time, but I also love Strangers, Don’t Leave, and Where I Won’t Be Found.

 

If you liked this post or u dig any of the same music as me let me know, we can be friends 😉

xoxo,

emma

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This Is Not an Apology Post

Every time I don’t post on this blog for a while I find myself apologizing for it. I get on streaks of inspiration where I post a bunch of things for a while and then I give up, I run out of ideas or content that I consider “good enough.” I think my logic is that if I don’t post anything, then at least I can’t get mad at myself for it not being as perfect as I expect it to be.

My desire for perfection has always been one of my biggest motivators and also one of my biggest setbacks in my life. Anxiety has a lot to do with it; I feel the need to perfect many aspects of my life so that I don’t feel like everything is spiraling out of control away from me. I can’t function if my room isn’t clean, I can’t leave the house if my outfit isn’t exactly how I envisioned it, I can’t hand in a project if it’s not what I consider my best work.

Today in my Writing and Rhetoric class I got my first paper back for a grade. At the bottom, my professor wrote “You have a beautiful prose style… very reader friendly… I’d wager you end up in a writing intensive profession. Some of this reads like professional, magazine worthy, writing.” I started to tear up right there in class. I’ll admit when I handed it in, I thought I would do pretty well on the paper. I’d spent many hours editing little details, going into his office hours to ask him questions about it, making sure everything was perfect as I thought I could make it.

But the thing is, what I forgot until I got his comments back is that I actually do know how to write, and that I like to write. I’d been so caught up in the little details and trying to tweak the paper for a good grade that I forgot about something I couldn’t change even if I tried, my voice. And to hear that my professor admired my writing for my voice and my style meant so much to me. I don’t think he ever could have known that my ultimate dream goal is to write for a magazine, but he thought to comment that that was where I belong anyways. In the end, I can’t “perfect” being truly passionate about something, I can’t fake my voice, and not everything is about getting a good grade. The fact that my professor recognized from just my style of writing where I belong in this world made me realize so much about my life lately and made me want to start writing this blog post.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in what everyone else wants. In school, it’s what my professor wants so that I can get a good grade. With my blog, I worry about what all of you want to see too. I get worried that no one’s going to read what I write or care about what I have to say, so I put pretty photos because everyone responds well to that. I love photography and it’s an art form I’ve been learning about and becoming more interested in, but not everything I care about is having a nice Instagram feed. In the end, I love aesthetically pleasing things and fashion but what I truly love to do is write. Maybe this is why I never post on my blog, because even though a blog is supposed to be a platform for writing, it’s turned into a social media all in itself. All because of this, I feel bad about actually putting words onto my blog because I don’t want to annoy people with them. Isn’t that a little fucked up? All because I’m worried about what other people think of me, I’ve forgotten about my voice.

I obviously love social media and I love posting photos on Instagram, but it distracts everyone (including myself) from a lot of meaningful things in life. Posting on social media rewards us with immediate satisfaction, people like it and the likes pop up on our screen and they’re quantified by numbers, hundreds of likes that are supposed to determine the “worth” of this picture. But what’s it worth if we don’t really care about it? Even if no one reads what I write, I care more that I write something beautiful or meaningful than I care about those half-assed photos thrown up on my blog or Instagram because that’s what everyone else wants to see (mind you, some of my photos are not half-assed, they take a lot of creative effort, but certainly some of them are and a lot of things that other people post just for “likes” are).

In the same vein, I’ve truly been feeling down lately. Nothing has felt like it’s been going right in my life. It goes back to that feeling of anxiety; all of this bullshit has been happening around me that is out of my control and I let it get to me because I can’t do anything about it. I get so lost in this shit, this drama and negativity, but in perspective it’s all absolutely meaningless. Like a half-assed social media post, maybe everyone else cares about it or at least they act like they care about it, but I need to remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t. It’s when I let myself get caught up in these things that I feel the worst, because it means I’ve lost track of what’s important to me, and I forget all about my voice.

I know sometimes I see things differently than other people do. Colors speak to me in ways I sometimes can’t describe. Today I decided to take a minute to myself in the midst of this whole funk I’ve been in and I went out with one of my best friends to get breakfast. It was a strangely beautiful 80 degree October day, and when I looked around I saw all the colors around me in my life matching up with each other. I saw everything in a blue and yellow tint, my favorite colors together, everywhere I looked. I thought to myself, Wow everything looks pretty today maybe that’s a sign that everything is going to be better for me. I realize now that maybe everything seemed to match because I was finally, finally taking a second to remember what’s actually important to me. My entire perspective on life was so fucked because I had lost my own voice, been out of my own frame of mind, until I sorted things out and finally all the colors I saw were in harmony with each other.

I left my class after getting my paper back from my professor and started my walk back to my house. There’s a walkway I take lined with trees. At the moment, they’re all the most beautiful tint of yellow I’ve ever seen, juxtaposed next to the oddly bright blue October sky. And now I remember, they were the same color when I took the photos for my first blog post ever in front of them.
How nice it is to let the colors match up for once.

As I write this, I’m getting worried maybe there isn’t a point to what I’m saying. I’m encouraging myself to stop this worrying because maybe the point isn’t that there’s a point. The point is just that I’m writing. I’m doing what I love and expressing how I feel and remembering my voice, not because it’s what I think everyone else wants. So here I am, not apologizing for not posting on my blog enough. It won’t always be like this, but for now perfection isn’t on my mind. What’s on my mind is the blue and yellows.

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s i x t e e n

-2016-

Um, first of all… sorry I haven’t posted in over a month. I really lost track of time ever since going back to school from Thanksgiving break. Anyone who’s in college understands, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is just absolute grind time. So, I found my time/energy/creativity completely devoted to wrapping up my classes and finals. Then once I got back home I really didn’t feel like staring at a computer screen for a couple weeks, so I just took a break from the blog thing. No worries, I’ll start to post more regularly again now!

(sorry this post is a lot of text and no pictures, I have a lot of recent pictures from this year but not ones from the beginning of 2016 since my phone broke so I figured I just wouldn’t really put pictures at all)

I wanted to write a little something to wrap up my year of 2016. I feel like the general consensus for this year is that it sucked and everyone wants it to end ASAP. I can’t say I agree. I think 2016 has been one of the best years of my life for many reasons, but it’s also definitely time for me to move along to 2017 too. I don’t really believe in resolutions or “new year, new me” but if the new year is an excuse for me to leave some things behind in 2016 I think I’ll take advantage of it.

I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to forget this year. I’ve changed so much more as a person than I ever thought I could in such a short period of time. I honestly feel like I’ve accomplished so much and I’ve done a complete 360 (for the better) within this past year. When I think back on the year, for some reason I always think to a tarot card reading that I received during the summer. I went to get this reading right in the middle of everything changing around for me, and it really reassured me that I was moving in the right direction for my life. This was a 3 card reading, so she split it into past, present, and future. Looking back on it, I see these as representing the beginning, middle, and end of 2016.
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The picture above are the three cards that I pulled- III of cups, the world, and judgement. The tarot card reader (her name is Ashley, she’s the best) first told me that the world- the “present” where I was at the time of the reading- is practically the best card you can get. She said it meant that I felt whole, like everything had finally come together, and I finally felt complete and fulfilled, at the peak of happiness and it was just like everything was going right in my life. I agreed completely. I hadn’t really ever been so happy before, and everything was going so great for me that summer. Everything was right, the world was mine.

She then said that the III of cups card- my past- symbolized that there were things holding me back in the past. I was stuck or held behind by people, places, and ideas that weren’t truly inspiring me. The three birds represented those things that were stopping me from reaching my full potential (the world). I look at this card as the beginning of 2016. I felt held back by a lot of old people, old ideas, old places for a long time. I had been dealing with anxiety and stress that made me physically ill, and some of the things I was doing with my life and people I was with at the time weren’t making those things any better. I started out the year as a Biochemistry major, thinking I wanted to transfer to pharmacy school. I didn’t feel like I fit in at Siena but I didn’t know if I would fit in at pharmacy school either. I was sad, uninspired, feeling lonely and stressed out all the time. I didn’t feel like I was going in the right direction with my life. I was consumed by my workload at school, and I didn’t even like it much. I was chasing dreams that weren’t mine, trying to convince myself to be a person I wasn’t. There was no balance in my life, no room for fun or creativity that I was in desperate need of.

It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year (around April 2016) that all this started changing for me. I started meeting some new people and forming new relationships with wonderful friends and I finally started feeling like I was fitting in. The friends I made around this time remain my best friends at school right now, and I love them so much. I finally have a group of people that I feel that I belong with and that really care about me and they want the best for me, and I can’t say I’ve always had friends like that, so I’m forever grateful for them. I decided at this point to forget pharmacy school and stay at Siena, which is a decision I am so thankful for.

As a result of meeting new people, I ended up finally cutting a lot of relationships that hadn’t been good for me for a while. It’s not easy to do this, but I really feel like it was what I had to do to get rid of so many negative aspects of my life. Those birds on the tarot card, that were holding me back, I had to let go. Ashley  told me that is what the “future” card, judgment, symbolized. I was that white bird, flying above all of the others at the bottom of the card that had been holding me back. I didn’t have any guilt in cutting some people out of my life and starting fresh with new things, it just felt right. The new people I was meeting were encouraging me to change my life around for the better.

As summer began, I became more adventurous. I discovered my love for mountains and waterfalls and road trips (Bash Bish s/o to you). I decided to finally switch my major over to English (and got a lot of “I told you so’s” from basically everyone about it). I started making more art. I started loving good music again. I decided to become more dedicated to the club that I am part of at Siena, Her Campus. I started to pursue my love of fashion and art again.
I fell in love with a person, like, really hard. I thought I knew what love was before that, but I quickly realized I really didn’t. This was new, and that’s exciting and scary all at once. I then learned that same love can hurt, A LOT, when things don’t work out in your favor– that came a little later though.

It all happened so quickly, but I had learned so much in a few months. My anxiety was thousands times better. I wasn’t nearly so stressed anymore. I didn’t feel sick every single time I ate anymore. My skin started clearing up after a many-year battle with acne. I was finally bettering myself in almost every way possible, I was happy, and I felt like I was finally being the best me. The world was in my hands for once in my life.

Now the part of 2016 that I’m currently wrapping up- the “future” card in my tarot reading- is the part that’s the most bittersweet. I’ve had to come to terms that even though I don’t feel quite as happy and complete as I did this summer, things are still going in the right direction for me. Maybe I’m not feeling like “the world” anymore, but that doesn’t mean things are going down from there. I’ve faced a lot of ups and downs in the past months and things that I needed to overcome and learn from. I learned that some people and things had come into my life and then they needed to leave too, and that’s hard if they made you happy at one point and you don’t want to let that go. I still have a lot more “letting go” to do in my life, which is really hard sometimes. But I’ve started to really believe that everything happens for a reason, you meet everyone for a reason, and sometimes that reason is to help you realize things about yourself that you wouldn’t have otherwise. And for that I am grateful for every person and place I encounter along the way.

In the past couple months, I realized that switching to an English major with a Writing and Communications minor was the best decision I could have ever made. I went back to Siena this semester as a whole new person, in a good way. I closed up the semester with a 4.0 GPA, which I’m so proud of. I started this blog, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS, and I’m happy with where it’s headed. I’ve become closer to some wonderful friends who I love so dearly and I am so, so grateful to have in my life. I’ve finally learned to have some fun at college with my friends. I got a position I had been dreaming of, Campus Correspondent (kind of like co-president) of Her Campus, and I can’t wait to take that on next year. I’ve become a lot more interested in photography, and I just got a new camera so I’m really excited to learn more about that. I’ve been reading and writing and thinking creatively a lot more.

Most of all, I’ve learned what things are worth keeping in my life and putting effort into and what things aren’t. I realized that I can make my life what I want it to be, I can go wherever I want, be whoever I want, spend my time with whoever I want, and if something isn’t inspiring me, I can just let it go.

thank you 2016 for being pretty cool and especially wild. 2017, please be even cooler and wilder.

(if you actually read this whole thing, PLEASE tell me because you’re the best person ever, and thanks for caring.)

happy new year!

xoxo,

emma

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