Music & Places

Way back in the day, this used to be a music blog. Somewhere along the line I caught some dang feelings and that kind of took over, so let’s take a minute to go back to my ROOTS.

I often find myself dividing my life into chapters, and most often, there is a soundtrack to each chapter. This year, the chapters are the different places I’ve been and while the year isn’t over, I don’t have plans to go anywhere new until next year. So here’s my 2016 in music.
January/February | Blue River, BC
This one is probably the least difinitive chapter, just because I don’t remember the year starting I only remember being cold from October until I left in February. Time does not exist in Blue River. Anyways, the artist I chose for this chapter is Troye Sivan, specifically his debut Blue Neighbourhood. I listened to that album SO MUCH and a lot of the songs remind me of drinking tea on the couch in the Jailhouse.
Some favourites: Heaven, Youth, Suburbia

January/February | Jasper, AB
We took several weekend snowboard trips to Jasper and I spent many hours in the backseat of my housemates’ car half asleep (or fully asleep) blasting Knuckle Puck’s album Copacetic. There’s just something about the blistering cold that makes me wanna listen to loud and angsty music while cuddling snowboards. Ah, just thinking about it makes my toes numb.
Some favourites: Evergreen, Stationary, Poison Pen Letter

March | Hamilton, ON
A song by Candy Hearts was on one of my Spotify Discover Weekly playlists way back in March and I fell in love. This whole bubblegum punk rock pop situation is eerything I’ve ever wanted. This artist bled into a lot of other months (picture me strutting through the London Underground listening to Matchbox Car) but I think that Hamilton was mostly All The Ways You Let Me Down. I love that album SO MUCH!!
Some favourites: I Miss You (the song that Spotify blessed me with), Coffee With My Friends, All The Ways You Let Me Down

March | Montreal, QC
Before I got to Montreal I had just downloaded a bunch of new music in anticipation for the 23 hour train ride I’d be taking to Halifax, and I found myself listening to Alessia Cara’s Know-It-All on REPEAT. I hadn’t really heard any of the songs before downloading the album, I had just heard a lot of great things and now every song reminds me of walking uphill for hours on end. I also have a memory of myself waiting in line at the planetarium listening to Seventeen like 4 times in a row. I also texted my younger sister and asked her if Alessia Cara was cool and she said yes so I am teen approved! Well, by now they’ve most definitely moved on but there was a brief time where I was listening to popular music!
Some favourites: Seventeen, I’m Yours, Wild Things

March/April | Halifax, NS
I’ve got 2 albums/artists for this place, but I was there for 10 days so I think that’s fair. First is Wet’s Don’t You album. I spent a lot of miserable rainy days listening to this album and this album only, whether it be sitting in bed at my airbnb reading, or braving the wind and walking downtown.
Some favourites: Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl, Small And Silver, All The Ways
Second is Stories For Monday by The Summer Set. This album was released while I was in Halifax and I went into an HMV on release day crossing my fingers and they actually had it! I spent the rest of the trip listening to this both in order and shuffled and LOVING IT. I really love The Summer Set and I was in need of some more upbeat music (sorry, Wet, but you were bringing me down). I remember switching airbnb’s for my last night in Halifax to this cute apartment downtown, blasting this album and dancing around in my underwear while making microwave Kraft Dinner. It was amazing.
Some favourites: All Downhill From Here, Jean Jacket, Change Your Mind

April | Manchester, UK
Manchester is a very cool city. Way too cool for me. I went into a record shop while I was there and picked up their “Best of 2015” countdown magazine, hoping to enlighten myself on some ultra cool music. While I hadn’t heard of 99% of the music they featured, Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit was on the list somewhere and I clung to the familiar name. Before my record store escapade, I had heard a couple of her songs back in Blue River and thought, OK, at least I am cool by association then, if I know people who listen to music that Manchester deems good. And thus my love for Courtney Barnett began properly. I thought I was hot shit walking through Arndale Mall and all over the city listening to this album. It was a moment, and it’s still going on. I will forever feel cool walking down the sidewalk if I’m listening to Courtney Barnett.
Some favourites: Elevator Operator, Debbie Downer, Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party

Edinburgh, UK:
When I got to Edinburgh, I was getting a bit sick of the playlists I had on my phone, so I decided to go into my iTunes purchases and revisit Astoria by Marianas Trench. This album is perfect for walking down cobble streets at sunset and pretending your life is a movie. So perfect.
Some favourites: Burning Up, Astoria, Shut Up And Kiss Me

London, UK:
For London, I don’t have an artist or an album, just one song. And that song is Swooner by The Zolas. I first heard this song on the radio while I was home in Hamilton and added it to my monthly playlist but for some reason, for me, London was Swooner. That was always the first song I’d listen to when I put my headphones in because it was fun to walk to and got me ready to face those mean London streets.

Brighton, UK:
Brighton is also only 1 song for me. Side note: each of my stops in the UK was only 2 days long, so like, I’m not pressed that I only have one song. I was still listening to a lot of Courtney Barnett and Candy Hearts. Anyways, Brighton’s song is Hell No by Ingrid Michaelson – a song that I would have been singing along to had I not been staying in a shared hostel dorm. It’s a great song.

Cardiff, UK:
Pierre by Ryn Weaver. Another Discover Weekly find, and though I ended up listening to the whole album afterwards, I only really liked this song. It now reminds me of sunny afternoons wandering around parks and tree-lined streets.

May | Vancouver, BC:
I spent a little over 2 weeks in Vancouver in September, but in May it was all about The Avett Brothers. I was sat in the restaurant below my hostel eating my free breakfast and whatever station they had on played Live And Die and I just felt so at peace.

May/June/July/August | Tofino, BC:
My life and mind and music was all over the place while I was living in Tofino so I am going to share my favourite album that came out while I was there: California by Blink 182. It’s fantastic. I need to get my hands on a physical copy of this one. I really needed these angsty songs about beaches and nice weather and not feeling at home because that’s what Tofino was for me.
Some favourites: Home Is Such A Lonely Place, San Diego, California

September/October | Victoria, BC:
The Arkells’ newest album Morning Report came out a little while before I left Tofino but I’ve been listening to it a lot recently now that it’s colder, it always fits the scene of me staring out of the bus windows at my rainy city any given day.
Some favourites: Come Back Home, Hung Up, Round And Round

An an honourable mention to an album that has bled into many different cities throughout this past year:
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep… | Some favourites: Paris, A Change Of Heart, Loving Someone

Xo, Rachel


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