Music has long served as a go-to conversation piece for me.
It has created friendships with people who I thought I’d have nothing in common with and strengthened connections with people who would later become my closest pals.
Even throughout history, music has served numerous purposes — the most important to me being its exceptional ability to bring people together. Sharing what a given piece of music means to you gives others a glimpse into the multitude of individual experiences that you associate it with.
James Murphy, frontman of cornerstone dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem, touched on this idea during a recent interview conducted by Justin Strauss.
“…it was not cool to like The Smiths at this time. There was a period where you didn’t want to admit to it, and we both admitted it. ‘I was really a big Smiths fan.’ ‘Me too, I was a really a big Smiths fan.’
And so, we had a lot more in common than we’d thought. And as we worked, there was sort of a mutuality of what we liked and what we cared about, and what we were angry about, and what we disagreed with, and all that sort of stuff.”
Murphy is referring to his initial befriending of Tim Goldsworthy, whom he would later establish an entire record label with. Despite not clicking initially, something as simple as having a soft spot for Morrissey is all it took to bring them together.
Musical interest often involves more than just the music itself. One sound can be associated with countless emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
Certain times in our lives can have a piece of music forever attached to it. I have a fond memory of a beach trip I took with many of my closest friends before we went our separate ways to attend college. To me, French Kick’s final album, Swimming, embodies the spirit of that day perfectly. Swimming is an album that disguises feelings of loss, uncertainty, and heartbreak with an upbeat, light-hearted indie pop sound.
Although the trip was meant to be one final hurrah as summer came to an end, it felt like the changing of the seasons was the smallest of the transformations I was about to endure.
“Oh, keep laughing, maybe we’ll never know what comes after if we say so long for now.”
Mimicking the song “With the Fishes,” my friends and I played in the waves until the sun no longer permitted us to do so. I was young and carefree, despite not knowing what would come after. I was intent on making the most of that experience before I began the next chapter of my life.
“I don’t know if it’s easier to run or let things roll and begin again.”
My precious high school heart was slowly being broken as I felt myself falling out of love with my girlfriend of numerous years. To me, “All Our Weekends” reminds me of drifting apart. It reminds me of misunderstanding. It reminds me of not being on the same page, wanting to do something about it, and wondering if that’s really something you should do. It reminds me of my young world crashing down as I realized my high school sweetheart wasn’t the one.
Numerous albums carry emotions along with them similarly to Swimming, and I hope that when I talk about those albums with others, the music isn’t the only thing that I’m able to communicate.
Instead of just showing others a piece of music we’re really into, I think we could all benefit from sharing a little piece of ourselves, too.
Drew Morrison is a Cal Poly Environmental Management junior and a KCPR staff member. He wrote the article, created the graphic, and took the photos.