Music is a time machine. It transports us to specific periods – even exact moments – in our lives. There’s a song from Bon Iver that will always remind me of the drive to the vet last year, when I said goodbye to my dog, Claude. The Kings of Convenience have a few tunes that bump my reality back a few years to a particular memory in 2005: driving to the library on a gorgeous autumn day, leaves skimming the asphalt. I even remember which book I checked out.
You get the idea.
I think music is pretty fantastic that way. Sure, people are always talking about how much they love music. But we forget that it can be more than just harmonious notes and catchy choruses. Music is my time machine. And today I traveled back to the unripened age of 16 as I blasted The Used and Taking Back Sunday from my headphones at work. And yes, I continued the journey from my car with a much-needed spin of Brand New’s first album. It was freeing. It was needed.
But it’s nice to be back.
I often think about a line from Woody Allen’s latest movie, Midnight in Paris. One of the characters, a pretentious snob whom the audience quickly grows to dislike, states: “Nostalgia is denial. Denial of the painful present.”
And isn’t that true? It’s easy for me to cling to past memories when I want to forget about whatever struggles I’m currently dealing with. I’m the queen of romanticizing details, too, which makes nostalgia a greater trap than it should be. Music is one way I can relive a certain time frame without feeling the need to dwell. Besides, more exceptional albums are released each year anyway. Beach House’s Bloom is the most recent proof of that.
Thanks for reading.