Music to my ears: 22 W in a playlist

Adrienne Murr ’25 looks back on her winter experiences in Dartmouth through her music playlist.

by Adrienne Murr | 03/09/22 02:05

While everyone is scrambling to create the 22W (smartest) caption for their end of term photo dump, I’m going to narrow down my 22W Spotify playlist instead of the traditional Instagram post. A carefully curated digital mixtape encapsulates the happy mayhem of my 22W better than any mirror selfie or photographed pancake platter ever could.

Music is nostalgia. Cue Natasha Bedingfield and I’m back in my pre-K ballet carpool, rushing to pick up rogue hairpins from the carpet of Randy’s minivan. BROCKHAMPTON transports me to seventh grade bat mitzvah pre-games, gulping down mocktails of kombucha to the obscenities of rap music. Play Bob Dylan and I cross the Golden Gate Bridge in Karsen’s convertible, my hair stuck to my lip gloss, soaking up those fateful last moments of being a high school student.

The best songs evoke the best memories. They transcend time. They disrupt the banality of everyday life. They move you. Ten years from now, Wilco will take me back to Tuck Drive, dodging puddles en route to Anonymous Hall. Sam Cooke will forever remember the two-hour hike to Polly’s Pancake Parlor, where the syrup was sweet but the aux was sweeter. Truth be told, I have no idea which songs will have sentimental value a decade from now; my 22W playlist is just a best guess.

22W was a fever dream. Between testing positive for COVID-19 on the Friday of Winter Carnival (I’m not, in fact, built any different) to recovering and then immediately succumbing to the resurgence of fraternal flu, that term slipped through my numb little fingers in a flurry of snow, snot, and warm keystone. Throughout it all, the music was there. My first attempt at Writing 5 was an analysis of a Flume song. Valentine’s Day was spent sipping curry sitting on the carpet with criss-cross applesauce while listening to Nat King Cole on vinyl. As I write this article in Sanborn, the silky lyrics of Beach House waltz in my ears.

My 22W playlist is a frenetic compilation of the songs that made my first winter on the east coast a little more bearable. If 21F was upbeat indie and smooth jazz, 22W is its cooler, albeit depressed, older sister. It commemorates my Simon and Garfunkel days and is the soundtrack to my identity crisis. My playlists don’t just save my favorite songs. They monumentalize states of being.

Without further ado, I present to you Adrienne Murr’s favorites for 22W:

“Telescope”, Cage the Elephant

For optimal enjoyment: restless in your dorm, weathering the weather, guessing the viability of a humanities major. I admit it, this song is emo, but so is winter! Let’s face it, winter in Hanover is desolate and abrasive. Blowing up the Beach Boys as I plod through dirty, icy slush will only amplify my misery. By embracing the melancholy of negative ten degree weather with sad music, I can celebrate winter in all its gloom. The telescope allowed me to bask in the gloom of February. Bonus points for “In my bones/I feel cold” literally being a lyric in the song. Cage the elephant gets it. Telescope encompasses the loneliness and purposelessness of growing up in as heartwarming a way as an alt-rock song could possibly be.

“Again and Again”, Beach House

For optimal enjoyment: dark and cold nights, stargazing, study in the Tower Room, before bed. This song sparkles. It is a contemporary seven-minute lullaby, evocative of inner peace and balance. To maximize its sweet euphoria, listen to Over and Over outside on a rough night. This song alone sponsored my late night walks to the river band. Beach House’s “Once Twice Melody” album is enchanting and ethereal and has been an absolute staple of my 22W. Listen to him. (I wanted to make a pun on listening to that song Over and Over but I didn’t. May the record reflect.)

“Something Good”, Alt J

For optimal enjoyment: working out, walking to class, 24/7, this song never fails. I am convinced that this song is perfect. It may be the sound of folk guitar or the steady percussion of drums, but “Something Good” is more than good, it’s awesome. Although I first heard this song in Hannover, it makes me homesick for the west coast – homesick in a productive and happy way. If you ever see me giggling by the way, I’m probably listening to this song.

“April She Will”, Simon and Garfunkel

For optimal enjoyment: aimless journeys, morning walks to KAF, introspective coach rides. Fog, latte mousse and cinnamon. Simon and Garfunkel exist for chilly winter mornings. Don’t passively listen to their music, otherwise it will lose its charm. “April Come She Will” is an acoustic anthem for cold winter days when you have to remember that spring is just around the corner. The lyrics of this song read like poetry in the most endearing way. I recommend the whole “Sounds of Silence” album because it’s a work of art.

You can find my complete 22W playlist here.