Sometimes, you can go about your day, playing music, doing your thing, when all of a sudden, you are reminded of that memory whenever you hear that song again. It could be a bad memory that ruins a song or artist for you completely, but other times, it brings an overwhelming amount of joy when you hear any part of that song. This week, I wanted to know what that good song was for our Music Directors, and the memory associated with it.
MEGAN: Campfire by Satellite Stories
When I was in high school there was a really steep road a couple minutes away from my house. At the time it was the outskirts of town, pretty secluded. Now that area is filled up with hundreds of houses. This song reminds me of what it used to be like. There wasn’t much to do as a teenager in Tri Cities, Washington. But one thing we could do is drive down that steep road, open the sunroof, and roll the windows down. We would put the car in neutral and just let gravity and the wind push us down the hill. One of the first times we had done this my friend had just recently found the song Campfire. When the chorus began we would start to go down the hill. After the first time doing it to that song we used that song every time we did it. The road is now far too busy with other cars for myself or bored teens to use it for this purpose. But whenever I hear this song I catch a glimpse of my underdeveloped neighborhood, the laughs we shared, and the wind rushing through my hair.
Austin: Beautiful Day by LEN
This song I tell you. My 6 year old self, and my sister at 9 would listen to this song on repeat from the split headphones of our shared CD player in the back of our father’s ’99 F-150, until we had the bars memorized and we could imitate I as well as our tenor’s would allow. My sister bought the CD, “You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush” primarily for the song “Steal My Sunshine“, but this album provided more than one hit as the collection of tracks are all bangers. Or at least they were to my 6 year old sensibilities, and continue to be through the power of nostalgia. “Ohhhhhh what a beautiful day“, indeed.
DAVIS: EL CHAPO BY THE GAME/SKRILLEX
This was the theme song to a young, dumb, and adventurous Davis. I remember countless nights where my good friend and I would drive downtown to the bars to hit the pool tables and double down on some shots. At the bars, we would always hit the jukebox as fast as possible to play “EL CHAPO” and try to get the hole bar bumpin’. More often than not, every patron in the place would be arms around another, taking shots and going hard with us.
ASHLYN: KARMA CHAMELEON BY CULTURE CLUB
My mom used to play this song in the car for me when I was little, and I apparently sang along in a very specific way. Everytime we hear this song, she makes sure to sing it in the way I used to do when I was really little. Knowing this song makes her happy really just makes me feel happy. I don’t think it would be possible for me to ever hear this song and not instantly be reminded of how excited she gets, as well as her voice in my head singing along to it like a little kid. Culture Club will always remind me of my mom, but Karma Chameleon more than the rest.
Dayton: IT was a good dAY BY ICE CUBE
For starters, this song makes a good memory every time I listen to it. I mean c’mon, if Ice Cube said it was a good day, then it’s a good day. The first time I heard it was in the car, with the windows down, on the freeway back home in California. My older brothers and their friends were in the car and all started to sing along “Just waking up in the morning gotta thank god, I don’t know but today seems kinda odd…” I looked it up as soon as we got home and learned every verse. Not only has it become a core memory, but for those 4 minutes and 20 seconds, I get main character energy every time.
ANGELA: THE ONLY WAY I KNOW BY JASON ALDEAN
This song brings back memories of adventures with my mom. I remember one specific night, her and I were driving home as the sun was setting over the wheat fields near our house. Dust was flying as we made our way down winding dirt roads, singing every word of this song. It takes me back to simpler times; living in the Midwest, and never worrying about anything. The lyrics also remind me of my mom’s hard working, never-say-die personality. It’s something I’ve always admired about her, and hope to someday adopt in my own life.
GARY: KA HUILA WAI BY ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO’OLE
It was riding in the passenger seat of my dad’s old, rickety ‘93 Nissan pickup that I would routinely listen to Big Iz‘s sophomore album, Facing Future, while rumbling up and down puddle-ridden Poulsbo streets that gleamed in the sun and smelled of a fresh spring day. As a young child at the time, it is among my earliest memories of music, and every time I hear the song it returns me to that time of life, when the world seemed so new and mysterious, and it didn’t matter if I understood the music or not, because I knew that I liked it and that was more than enough for me. Perhaps we should all take inspiration from childlike wonder more often.
ZEKE: WHO’D HAVE KNOWN BY LILY ALLEN
In the early 2000s, Lily Allen became famous for her angry breakup anthems with lyrics like “At first, when I see you cry / Yeah, it makes me smile.” This song contrasts pretty starkly with all of them. Rather than wishing the worst on a past lover, she reveals a surprisingly intimate look at the beginning stages of a relationship. Her usual powerful drums and distorted guitar are replaced with electric piano, complementing her words “Who’d have known, when you flash up on my phone I no longer feel alone.” To me, this song emphasizes the magic of the quiet moments people share. Whenever I listen to it I remember the first time I heard it while hanging out with my sister. Early in the morning, she would be putting on makeup while getting ready for high school, and I would sit with her listening to the music playing on her phone. Who’d Have Known reminds me of how much my sister means to me. Without her, my taste in music would probably be completely different.
RYAN: WOMAN BY LITTLE SIMZ
“Woman” is an upbeat track from London based hip hop artist Little Simz. It’s off her latest project “Sometimes I Might be Introvert“, and the entire album was the soundtrack of my summer. Every time I hear this track takes it me back to driving around Seattle with my friends during that time. There’s not an overly complicated reason why this happens, I think I was just really happy during this time. It’s not necessarily a specific memory, more of a feeling that I get when listening to this track. If you’ve never listened to this album, I highly recommend you do so.
ISAK: HIGHWAY TUNE BY GRETA VAN FLEET
Picture this right? It is summer and this song had just released and I am driving on the highway with the windows down. That is my memory attached to Highway Tune. That day as well was the same day that my job in agriculture had ended and I was about to go on vacation. So after a long day of working, I just remember this song instantly lifting up my spirits. I didn’t have a working mp3 player at the time and my local rock radio station is the one that said it was released a few months ago and started working its way up the charts. Anyways, that is my memory and feel free to put your pedal to the metal. I highly recommend it.
CADEN: PUMPED UP KICKS BY FOSTER THE PEOPLE
This song triggers a lot of good memories for me as a kid. For starters, the album Torches that this song is on, was my first ever CD. So I have tons of memories of me jamming out to this song for hours. Not only that this song was heavily used in the skateboarding scene, it would appear in all kinds of skate videos online. Overall I think this song has stuck with me over the years due to all the memories I have attached to it.
JUSTIN: JUMP IN THE LINE BY HARRY BELAFONTE
Jump in the Line is a raucous calypso song made popular by being featured in the movie adaptation of Beetlejuice. However, the reason this song brings me such good memories is because whenever I’d drive to pick up my friends in high school we would blare this song as loud as possible. For that reason this song is very nostalgic for me.
BEN: BOYS FROM OKLAHOMA BY CROSS CANADIAN RAGWEED
This song reminds me of long car rides with my mom growing up. My first mixtape I received had Boys from Oklahoma as track 3 and I’d request it over and over on roadtrips. Although i didn’t know the meaning of the lyrics as a kid, thinking of 6 year old me singing a song about “rollin’ your joints all wrong” brings a smile to my face today.