Adrienne Murr ’25 reflects on the experiences of her winter at Dartmouth through her music playlist.
As everybody struggles to craft the cleverest 22W(ittiest) caption for their end of term photo dump, I’ll be honey my 22W Spotify playlist in lieu of the traditional Instagram post. A carefully curated, digital mixtape encapsulates the blissful chaos of my 22W better than any mirror selfie or photographed pancake platter ever could.
Music is nostalgia. Cue Natasha Bedingfield and I’m back in my Pre-K ballet carpool, scrambling to collect rogue bobby pins from the carpet of Randy’s mini van. BROCKHAMPTON transports me to seventh grade bat mitzvah pre-games, guzzling down kombucha mocktails to the obscenities of rap music. Play Bob Dylan and I’m cruising across the Golden Gate Bridge in Karsen’s convertible, hair sticking to my lip gloss, soaking in those final fateful moments of being a high school senior.
The best songs evoke the best memories. They transcend time. They disrupt the mundanity of everyday life. They displace you. Ten years from now, Wilco will bring me back to Tuck Drive, dodging puddles en route to Anonymous Hall. Sam Cooke will forever be reminiscent of the two hour trek to Polly’s Pancake Parlor, where the syrup was sweet but the aux was sweeter. Truth be told, I have no idea which songs will hold sentimental value in a decade from now; my 22W playlist is just a best guess.
22W was a fever dream. Between testing positive for COVID-19 on the Friday of Winter Carnival (I am not, in fact, built different) only to recover and then immediately succumb to the resurgence of frat flu, this term slipped past my numb little fingers in a flurry of snow, snot and lukewarm keystone. Throughout it all, music was there. My first Writing 5 essay was an analysis of a Flume song. Valentine’s Day was spent slurping curry sitting criss-cross applesauce on the carpet while listening to Nat King Cole on vinyl. As I write this article in Sanborn, the silky lyrics of Beach House waltz into my ears.
My 22W playlist is a frenzied compilation of the songs that made my first east coast winter a little more bearable. If 21F was upbeat indie and smooth jazz, 22W is her cooler, albeit depressed older sister. It memorializes my Simon and Garfunkel era and comprises the soundtrack to my identity crisis. My playlists do not merely record my favorite songs. They monumentalize states of being.
Without further ado, I present to you Adrienne Murr’s top picks for 22W:
“Telescope,” Cage the Elephant
For optimal enjoyment: restless in your dorm, treading through inclement weather, second guessing the viability of a humanities major. I’ll admit it, this song is emo, but so is winter! Let us not disillusion ourselves, winter in Hanover is desolate and abrasive. Blasting The Beach Boys as I trudge across dirty, icy slush will only amplify my misery. By embracing the melancholy of negative ten degree weather with sad music, I can celebrate winter for all of its bleakness. Telescope allowed me to bask in the glow of February. Bonus points for “In my bones/I feel cold” literally being a lyric in the song. Cage the Elephant gets it. Telescope encompasses the loneliness and aimlessness of growing up in as comforting a way as is possible for an alt rock song.
“Over and Over,” Beach House
For optimal enjoyment: dark cold nights, star gazing, studying in the Tower Room, before bed. This song sparkles. It is a seven minute contemporary lullaby, evocative of inner peace and equilibrium. To maximize its soft spoken euphoria, listen to Over and Over outside on a brisk night. This song single handedly sponsored my late night walks back to the River cluster. Beach House’s “Once Twice Melody” album is enchanted and ethereal and has been an absolute staple to my 22W. Give it a listen. (I wanted to make a pun about listening to this song Over and Over but I didn’t. May the record reflect.)
“Something Good,” Alt J
For optimal enjoyment: working out, walking to class, 24/7 this song never misses. I am convinced this song is perfect. Maybe it’s the twang of the folk guitar or the steady percussion of the drums, but “Something Good” is more than just good, it’s great. Despite having listened to this song for the first time in Hanover, it makes me homesick for the West Coast — homesick in a productive, happy way. If you ever see me grinning stupidly to myself in passing, I’m probably listening to this song.
“April Come She Will,” Simon and Garfunkel
For optimal enjoyment: aimless drives, early morning walks to KAF, introspective coach rides. Fog, latte foam, and cinnamon. Simon and Garfunkel exist for chilly winter mornings. Don’t listen to their music passively, or it will lose its charm. “April Come She Will” is an acoustic anthem for cold winter days when you need to be reminded that spring is around the corner. The lyrics of this song read like poetry in the most endearing way. I recommend the entire “Sounds of Silence” album as it is a work of art.
You can find my full 22W playlist here.