A Senior’s Playlist. . . Nostalgia, Transcendence, Memory, Goodbye

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Nothing in the world is more important to me than music. In my opinion, sharing music is one of the purest forms of connection that two people can make… there’s something about the poetry of lyrics mixed with the heartbeat of a rhythm that can make you feel something indescribable.

I make a LOT of playlists… an outrageous amount really. I swear there is some order in the madness. This year especially I have been consumed in music. I didn’t fully realize the extent of my passion until I was faced with writing my college essay. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t GET it. I wasn’t satisfied with any of my four, separate, convoluted essays. It was only after I gave up and got on a plane to California that I realized music was the only topic I could even imagine writing about.

Here’s a taste of my essay:

“This October, I went to see Rainbow Kitten Surprise in concert. The entire experience was indescribable, but I will try my best. I had a moment of utter self awareness where I truly realized that the ‘little voice inside my head’ (me, essentially) existed in every individual around me. I was surrounded by hundreds of these feeling, questioning beings and we were all focused on this spectacular expression of raw emotion that was physically and figuratively moving us. I had to remind myself to breathe.

“After contemplation, I came to the conclusion that this could be considered a religious experience… or at least a transcendent one. I reflected over the entirety of my life and decided this was not my only ‘divine’ encounter. It’s a matter of labeling; this phenomenon is more ambiguous than visions or deep voices speaking to you from the heavens. Something as simple as a song can make you reconsider your perspective of the world and yourself.”

This paper was a revelation for me. It changed the way I think and talk about music. It made the music I already loved even more impactful. I’m listening to Rainbow Kitten Surprise at this very moment!

When I was faced with this week’s (last week’s… let’s be honest) article, I realized I wanted to make a playlist. This playlist is for the students of the Academy. I do not share my music lightly, but I figure if you’re reading the Tritonian you must be worthy. (Warning: these songs are not necessarily clean and do not necessarily fit a “theme” or genre, except for the fact that they all have personal meaning to me.) Without further ado…

  1. “Cocaine Jesus” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise: Do not worry. This song has nothing to do with cocaine. This was the first RKS song I ever heard (if you haven’t gathered by now, RKS is my favorite band). I ended up writing my philosophy IA based around this song and even spray painted the title in a secret location. (shh) I bequeath this song to you, dear reader! Use it wisely.
  2. “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine: This is springtime in a song!
  3. “Forrest Gump” – Frank Ocean: This song is what it feels like to fall in love in high school.
  4. “Tomorrow” by Jorja Smith: I first heard this song sitting in the backseat while my LITTLE SISTER drove AND got aux. I was impressed.
  5. “Sisyphus” by Andrew Bird: Mr. Gray showed my philosophy class this song… “Did he raise both fists and say to ‘to hell with this’??!!!???”
  6. “Life Round Here” by James Blake/Chance the Rapper: Although this song is about Chicago, it makes me think of Green Bay. Life round here is a life like no other, and “it ain’t been round here in a minute.”
  7. “Die Young” by Max Frost: This is a cheerful song for angsty moments.
  8. “To Noise Making (Sing) by Hozier: I’m a horrible singer but that definitely doesn’t stop me. Remember, “you don’t have to sing it nice, but, honey, sing it strong!”
  9. “Real Friends” by Kanye West: The title says it all.
  10. “Ghost Town” by Kanye West: This song was THE song of summer 2018. I sang it at the top of my lungs, anytime, anywhere, with anyone. “I FEEL KIND OF FREE.”
  11. “Growing Up” by Run River North: I found this song in the giant philosophy workbook, so it seems only right that I pass it on. This song is senior year. Graduation. Nostalgia. Memory. Goodbye.