The nice weather outside has got me thinking about summers of years past. Here’s what I was listening to this past week.
Empty Estate – Wild Nothing (2013)
I don’t feel like working so I’ll tell you a story.
It’s the summer of 2013, I’ve just graduated college, and I’m living in Allston for a few months around the corner from a few of my closest friends. It’s a summer of change, working my first real professional job (well, internship) downtown, preparing to maybe going to grad school, but preferably trying to get a full time job. I remember nights in front of the TV, watching Bar Rescue or sports with my roommate, parking myself in front of the portable air conditioner, or going up the stairs to our roof to beat the heat, and drinking way too many cans of flavored Red Bull.
At that point, I already know that I’ve said my final goodbyes to more than a few people who I’ll probably never see again, but for my close group of friends who were moving out at the end of that summer, it felt like a final hoorah. Somewhere between all that was going on – the unknown future, the nights outside, the days in front of a computer with an iced coffee, the early evenings on the roof – were drugs. There was pot and alcohol. There were fruit tart edibles. There were oil dabs with balloon lanterns. There was molly. There were mushrooms. It’s not like I hadn’t done drugs before (or that I wouldn’t do them again), it’s just that this was the summer where all of that was intersecting in my life at once.
The most vivid memories I have with my drug use at that time were with the mushrooms. One of the times, I was listening to this EP, Wild Nothing’s Empty Estate, and just got lost staring into my phone at the album artwork for more time than I’d probably care to say. I remember so clearly that the artwork shifted and had depth. It was almost like I could reach into it and lift the different layers. My time with mushrooms ended shortly after a bad trip, and that summer ended with me saying goodbye to nearly all my friends and the neighborhood I had known, moving across the city for whatever was going to come my way.
Viral Tracks: Ride, A Dancing Shell, Ocean Repeating (Big Eyed Girl)
Young the Giant – Young the Giant (2011)
I still don’t feel like working, so here’s another story.
The Summer of 2015 sticks out to me as a good summer. The previous two summers before that had been filled with a lot of stress, but by the time this particular summer came along, things had been mostly sorted out.
I was living in Mission Hill with three guys who I now consider to be my closest friends, and though I had been living at that apartment for a while, that summer was the first real one where I could be around and be in the moment. The music I listened to that summer reflects that carefree freedom – upbeat, sunny, hazy and warm. It reminds me of nights on the roof, football in the parking lot, getting high, staying up late, stealing slices of cheese (Burke will never know), and getting pizza (slice-a-ronis) around the corner. These were good times, and I wish they could have lasted a lot longer than they did.
Viral Tracks: 12 Fingers, Guns Out, I Got
Float Along – Fill Your Lungs
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (2013)
So what’s in store for this summer? Will it be one that I remember forever with fondness, or one that I’d choose to forget? Well, I know that summer’s arrival was sudden – the back half of April and all of May flew by, and now, warm weather, shorts, and being outside are all on the table (kinda).
I hope that this summer is a good one. I know I’m not the only one who needs a break.
I’ve been writing about the music that I’ve been listening to for the past 10 weeks, and to me, this feels like the end of the Coronavirus series. It doesn’t mean the end of the virus. We’re still living in a “new normal” – masks, working from home, and social distancing, but, things are looking up (for now) and hopefully they’ll stay on that same track. But, summer feels like it could be a new start. I’m looking forward to getting out more, spending time with friends, taking trips and driving in the car with the windows down. I’ve enjoyed this time writing about the music that has gotten me through these tough times, and I’ll still try to write regularly, just maybe not in this format.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get a haircut.
Viral Tracks: Head On/Pill, I’m Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman, Pop In My Step