2016 in Music
My memories are chronicled by music.
When I hear a song—for fun, let's say it's Sugar We're Goin Down by Fall Out Boy—I'm immediately transported back to a specific time and place in my life, in this instance. In the case of Fall Out Boy, I'm back in middle school driving around with my sister and her (ex) boyfriend. I'd never listened to much punk/pop-punk until that point, but when Sugar We're Goin Down came on the radio, I was instantly hooked.
Music has always been a huge part of my life, so it's no surprise that it's such a memory trigger for me. I sang in the choir and played alto sax and piano in school. My favorite way to pass the time was driving around, playing my favorite songs on repeat. I'd take the long way home just to have more time to sing along.
So, it comes as no surprise that I love making playlists (man, I wish I could still burn CDs, but alas, my MacBook doesn't have a CD drive). They're a unique way to freeze a point in time; if I go back to, say, fall of 2014, those playlists are pretty "emo" because I had recently broken up with a boyfriend. Listening to summer 2010's playlists is so bittersweet; it was the last summer I spent at home before moving to Lansing for college, the last time I felt like a kid.
2016 was a pretty special year, full of ups and downs as life seems to go. I mean, I started it by road tripping to Maine (through Canada) to watch the first sunrise of the year in Acadia National Park. I took a birthday trip to San Francisco with my best friend, Claire. Um, I met Pum Lefebure at the HOW Design Conference!!! River City MRKT hired me to design their marketing materials, which was the start of feeling confident about my work (they even let me design these cute little hand-stamped notebooks to sell at the market). I met these three baby raccoons that my dad saved from the side of the road and helped rehabilitate back to nature. I got to "captain" a sailboat again, the first time in so many years. I was lucky enough to watch the sun set on Lake Superior, my favorite place in the world. I helped my aunt kickstart her new bookmaking business, styling photographs and creating a website for her. My (amazing) boyfriend surprised me one morning by telling me we were going to see ADELE that night. I adopted a new cat, named Charlie (Stiles is still unsure of what to make of her). I designed my friend and co-worker's wedding suite—can't wait to watch them say "I do" in January! I'm still more upset than I can describe about the election results, but I think I'm handling it pretty well. I drove to Iowa to interview for my dream job and made the hardest decision I've probably ever had to make by turning it down. On a whim, I made 200 thank you cards one night and distributed them around town in random places, reminding people to be thankful and sharing that gratitude with others. I was added to the new Creative Lady Directory, where I'm in some amazing company. But maybe the best part was this: I got to watch my nephew grow up (too quickly). He's walking and making all sorts of cute sounds, learning how to be a human. I love him beyond words.
Here are the top thirty songs of my year. It's a mixed bag, guaranteed to be most enjoyed by yours truly, but I hope you can find a few new songs/artists to add to your mix.
I'm upside down, I'm inside out
1. All We Got – Chance The Rapper
2. Edge of Town – Middle Kids
3. Make You Better – The Decemberists
4. All We Ever Knew – The Head and the Heart
5. Friend (Lover) – Evenings
6. Say It (feat. Tove Lo) – Flume
7. Television – You Won’t
8. Clay – HANA
9. In Now and Then – Cataldo
10. 29 #Strafford APTS – Bon Iver
11. I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore – Lucy Dacus
12. Calvary – Chris Bathgate
13. Everything Is Embarrassing – Sky Ferreira
14. On Hold – The xx
15. Someone That Loves You – HONNE, Izzy Bizu
16. Shut Up Kiss Me – Angel Olsen
17. I Need A Forest Fire – James Blake, Bon Iver
18. Golden Days – Whitney
19. Magnets – Disclosure, Lorde
20. White Ferrari – Frank Ocean
21. We Will Live for Ages – Hjaltalín
22. Lookers – The Menzingers
23. Answer – Phantogram
24. Cranes in the Sky – Solange
25. Life Itself – Glass Animals
26. Friends (feat. Bon Iver) Francis and the Lights
27. Everybody Does – Julien Baker
28. Depression – Courtney Barnett
29. Fuck It and Whatever – The Echo-Friendly
30. Closer – The Chainsmokers