I have a feeling this post is going to be a long one. If it sounds like a load of self-indulgent, sentimental junk, well frankly... it is.
On the 11th I turned 22. Since the weather is unbelievably crap and I have far too much spare time on my hands I decided to listen to my favourite albums of the last few years back to back. I'm talking about albums by Amy Winehouse, Alphabeat, Annie, Bloc Party, Dragonette, Fever Ray, Friendly Fires, Girls Aloud, Goldfrapp, Hot Chip, Klaxons, Ladyhawke, La Roux, LCD Soundsystem, Lily Allen, Little Boots, MGMT, Noisettes, Passion Pit, Robyn, Roisin Murphy, Sugababes, Ting Tings, The xx and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
It jumped out at me that almost all of the albums were released between 2006-09. Some of them sounded quite adventurous, like a blast of fresh air, coming after years of cheesy boybands and girl groups, landfill indie, bland r'n'b and hip hop. I remember seeing the video for With Every Heartbeat on one of the music channels and wondering who the cute girl who looked like a pixie was.
I've always been quite introverted so almost all of my memories are of music in particular places rather than nights out or festivals. One of the best memories is walking around the city centre at 4 on one June morning with my boyfriend at the time for no particular reason (we were both total night owls), dressed like Skins rejects while blaring MGMT's Oracular Spectacular out of this headphone thingy he had while behaving like general twats. There was nobody around to disturb us but I think I'd feel too self-conscious to do it now.
I guess I look back on those three years so warmly because of all the usual changes, first relationships and breakups, college, along with some other less pleasant stuff that I won't get into. Problem is, I seem stuck in 2009. I look at PJ and think "Who the hell are Florrie and Azealia Banks?" I don't want to get to 40 and be like my uncle, who bangs on about how great The Jam and Led Zeppelin were. I don't want to be clinging to The xx and Lily Allen, or constantly reliving that night with my ex, with Electric Feel blaring from his loudspeaker. And it isn't as if these albums are decades old yet I'm almost certain that my 15 year old sister wouldn't think of playing any of them.
I still look forward to new releases but I don't connect with music the same way anymore unless it's music that brings back memories. The lyrics in Words And Music By Saint Etienne hit the nail on the head, and for some stupid reason I feel "over the border" at the age of 22. Does anybody else feel at all similar? Not necessarily about being over the hill at 22, but about connecting music to periods or events in the past, and using that music as a warm blanket, unable to let it go and move on.
Ben and Jerry's time.