My Second Semester in Songs

Well, everyone, my second semester of college is complete.

It is quite hard for me to believe that this semester is already over; it feels as though I was just writing about last semester, while waiting for Saturday Night Live to start after my trip to the city, of course. Nevertheless, I am honestly grateful for the enlightening experiences this semester granted me. Just as with my first semester of college, many songs became associated with my classes and general happenings. Therefore, in order to reflect on this semester of mine to a greater extent, I would like to compile those songs and share them with you all. Please enjoy!

By the way, there will inevitably be some songs in this post that I already mentioned in my “Monthly Monday Music Melange” series, but I hope to describe them in a somewhat different way, in addition to including some songs that have gone unmentioned.


“Such Things” by Saintseneca

The first song I mention must be this track by the wonderful group Saintseneca, which is the song I listened to while on my way to my first class of the semester. As a result, “Such Things” reminds me of my speech class, and its energy and existential lyrics are still admired by yours truly.

“Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith

Yes, my friends, I am including the iconic song “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith on this list. I clearly have great taste in music. I was actually reminded of this song the day of my first speech performance, and I found it to be such a fun confidence-booster that I ended up listening to it before every speech of mine. It should be made clear by this entire post that that I love traditions…

“Nuestra Canción (feat Vicente García)” by Monsieur Periné

The video above is the entire Tiny Desk Concert performed by Monsieur Periné, as the video is what drew me to the incredible group. I watched this performance, and listened to their song “Nuestra Canción (feat Vicente García)” especially, a multitude of times before speech class; thus, the association between the entire group and the class is rather impermeable at this point.

“The Wire” by HAIM

I finally started listening to HAIM fairly early in the semester, and soon, their performances became pre-class staples for me (most of my classes started in the afternoon). Whether I had a large exam the next day or a speech to perform in a couple of hours, watching the amazing group perform gave me the confidence boost I needed to achieve my goals.

“Oh Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)” by Sufjan Stevens

Oh, Sufjan Stevens…I continue to be somewhat obsessed with you and your music. I listened to much of the discography of Sufjan Stevens throughout this entire semester (Illinois is still my favorite album), but this song in particular is one that I found myself listening to a lot while studying. Furthermore, I am fairly certain that I listened to this fantastic song about Detroit, Michigan before every astronomy exam I took. I just really love Sufjan Stevens, okay?

“Use It” by The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers is another band that I finally got around to listening to during this semester, after hearing positive remarks about the band for years. I soon was hooked on the group’s power-pop music, and “Use It” is a song that eventually became strongly associated with my astronomy class. I listened to the track while preparing for a presentation and on my way to class for said presentation, and its energy kept me going throughout the process.

“Sleep the Clock Around” by Belle and Sebastian

Once again, after hearing about Belle and Sebastian for years, I took the time to dig through some of the discography of the band. I found their music to be great to listen to while doing schoolwork, as it struck a balance between being interesting and not too distracting. Therefore, I enjoyed listening to songs like “Sleep the Clock Around” throughout the bulk of the semester.

“Hey Mami” by Sylvan Esso

“Hey Mami,” a fantastic album opener, is a song that when listened to, distinctly reminds me of frantically revising a speech of mine after class one day. I had just started to dig deeper through the duo’s music, since I had enjoyed their singles so much, and playing this song while updating my speech before my presentation a couple of days later basically kept me sane. Thanks, Sylvan Esso!

“Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers

Here it is: the song that represents my spring break. Yes, I first heard the song on one of my last days of the week, but I still knew that it was perfect for the occasion. Consequently, “Don’t Take the Money” does not necessarily represent any of my classes in my mind, but its reminder of fun times in the city over spring break (for extra credit, of course) makes it worthy of inclusion on this list.

“No Cities to Love” by Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney is really a band that I listened to throughout the semester in order to boost my confidence, especially during the weeks around spring break. Research, essays, and projects galore, you say? No problem; I had powerful Sleater-Kinney songs, like “No Cities to Love,” to keep me going.

“My Oh My” by Punch Brothers

I went through a bit of a progressive bluegrass phase after spring break, as one does, and this song is essentially what started my love for the genre. Immediately after hearing “My Oh My” on the Friday afternoon of a gorgeous weekend, I was aware that I was about to fall into a rabbit hole of this wonderful, and sort of soothing, music (which I did).

“Elsie” by Nickel Creek

Yes, I am including another song that Chis Thile is a part of (because he is amazing). While listening to the newest album by the fantastic group entitled Nickel Creek, I absolutely fell in love with “Elsie.” Even upon my first listen, I found the song to be so comforting and nostalgic to me. Consequently, I depended on this song as a bit of a comfort blanket while I was working on my end-of-semester preparations, especially for my English class. “Elsie” is also great to listen to while taking walks outside, by the way.

“Smaller Than My Mother” by Overcoats

I believe I have referenced Overcoats in a few of my music-related blog posts at this point, and for good reason. The duo, who adorably met in college and bonded over music, became a kind of inspiration for me, and I still love their new album, Young. I remember when I first listened to this song, “Smaller Than My Mother,” one night, soon after the album was released, and how it soon became a track that I could not stop listening to. In fact, I listened to Young as a whole many times around the time of its release, which happened to often be before my English class met; no wonder this song reminds me of the Wikipedia project so much!

“Hard Times” by Paramore

Who knew that during my second semester of college, I would be tempted to go through another emo phase? I am only sort of kidding, by the way. “Hard Times” is a song that really grew on me over time. Let me just say that the dichotomy between the fun of the song’s musicality and the melancholy of its lyrics is one that I really appreciated while working on my many assignments, especially the aforementioned English project.

“Just Dancing” by Sylvan Esso

Please welcome, once again, Sylvan Esso to this post. The duo’s new album, What Now, was released late in the semester, and I truly loved it (and still do). Although “Song” was my early favorite, “Just Dancing” is so infectious and clever that it crept up on me and became one of my new favorites on the entire album. Soon after the album was released, I listened to “Just Dancing” while essentially running across campus after a meeting with a professor, so that memory is now strongly associated with this song. I actually do not mind that this freneticism is now a part of the song to me; that feeling seems to be quite fitting for the track, to be honest.

“Don’t Let it Get to You” by ROSTAM

I started listening to Rostam Batmanglij’s solo music toward the end of the semester, and I really was intrigued by his songs, especially “Don’t Let it Get to You.” The song now reminds me of going to campus on a day in which I did not have any classes, and taking the time to meet with a professor to get some questions answered. Such fun!

“Trampoline” by Kero Kero Bonito

When I first heard music by Kero Kero Bonito just a few weeks ago, I was so fascinated by the conscious and clever naïveté of their songs. After being skeptical of their music, and upon further thought and digestion of their creations, I started to really appreciate them. In fact, their music, and especially the incredibly fun song “Trampoline,” inserted some joy and motivation into my life as a student, which was becoming a bit overwhelming due to the depth of my work to be done; their songs now remind me of my front office operations class in particular.

“Impossible Soul” by Sufjan Stevens

My perpetual Sufjan Stevens phase was further apparent when I basically threw myself into his incredible album entitled Age of Adz late in the semester. The extremely long song entitled “Impossible Soul” not only represented my pattern of indulgent writing at the time, but also inspired me to handle the rest of the semester and my final exams; I could not stop listening to part four of the lengthy song for this reason.

“Crash Years” by The New Pornographers

Here is yet another beloved song by the Canadian power-pop group wonderfully titled The New Pornographers. I really was invested in the group during the last couple of weeks of the semester, and “Crash Years” sort of became my “end of the semester song.” Yes, I did listen to it after I finished my last final exam, because I am essentially a cliché of a person.


Well, I hope you all enjoyed this overview of my entire semester! I discovered a lot of new music (or at least music that was new to me) throughout the past sixteen weeks, and I hope that my joyful discoveries, both musical and non-musical, will only continue for the semesters to come! Admittedly, I am quite nervous about the future, but I know that I can, and will, make it through; we can do it together, my friends! So, just as with last semester, here is to an enlightening and successful future.

Also, if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know; I am always open to new music!

-Stephanie

 

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