Back in the moment

Written about
13th April 2019

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Isn't it powerful how easily a song can take you back to one time of your life? Most of my song nostalgia takes me back to dance floors at uni, car trips with my best friend or the finite playlist I'd made for one of my travels.

It always strikes me that I barely remember what I ate for dinner through the week, or what outfit I wore yesterday. But, my mind holds the capability to take me back through the years, recreating exact moments that were the surrounds of a CD soundtrack.

My headphones are usually filled with the radio or Spotify, but when I have a moment to get in the zone, I go back to iTunes, the nostalgia vault. I don't think I've downloaded new music on there for around five years (correction: it was Ariana in 2016) and the stock goes back to my early teens. There are of course plenty of albums on there that I've barely listened to, but if I sort by most played, it's like an aural walk down memory lane.

For me, music can define or enhance my mood. It can uplift, it can be melancholy, or it can take me back to such a specific moment, which is where I'll rediscover an old favourite artist or go on a musical binge.

I'm writing this while stumbling through my iTunes catalogue. I've already had a solo dance around the living room, nailed the lyrics to Christina and The Audition, but the songs blaring out at the moment are some of the strongest music memories, instantly transporting me back.

Taylor Swift's Red. The defining album of my third year of uni. Not from a personal reaction to the lyrics or a fan girl moment for Taylor. Each of the songs have a slightly different conversational memory of whatever was the drama at the time. I spent hours and hours driving around Newcastle with my best friend and this was the musical backdrop. We knew every single word and sang along as best we could. These songs make me smile with nostalgia, make my eyes well-up with the good memories they hold and take me straight back to 2012/2013 in the first few beats.

Spotify UK seem to continuously nail the Throwback Thursday lists each week, repeatedly throwing songs into my ears that I had completely forgotten about. Kaci's Paradise that I performed a dance routine to in year five, Mis-Teeq's All I Want that I played on repeat when I got their album for Christmas, Arctic Monkey's AM album that I played in full every single day for a month (no exaggeration) when it was first released.

Music transports, it enhances the moment (for good or bad) and it's more powerful than so many allow it to be. I'm currently in the zone, lost in a ton of music-triggered memories, so I'm feeling particularly passionate to the power of music.

Take a moment, lock yourself into some headphones - or should you have the luxury, turn your speakers loud - and discover the old favourite, the forgotten music. Take yourself back in the moment.