For me, one of the best things about the change in seasons is my yearly music evolution. Each piece of the year holds a different soundtrack; as the months cool and come to a close, the sounds in my life become more reflective and introverted.
During the summer, I listen to Oldies: The Temptations, Beach Boys, Jackie Wilson, and The Crystals. This genre is the playlist of my childhood; I think back on sun-drenched summers in my backyard reading under card table forts and riding bikes like the girls in Now & Then. I reminisce on simpler and better times, of being a carefree kid, and when everything seemed like an elongated summer.
Once the warm weather fades to yellows, oranges, and browns, I begin listening to artists like Fleet Foxes and The Head & the Heart; their echo-y sounds lessen the blow of the season change. Rather than mourning the end of summer, I begin to excitedly anticipate the cooler days and the softer sunrises, to seeing my breath in the morning and stepping on fallen leaves. I have the urge to bundle up in scarves and warm myself with hot drinks. The melodic harmonies and folky choruses cover me in a calm and I long for road trips and crisp walks. They are beautiful things to listen to as the world slowly falls to sleep.
And by the time winter rolls around, I’ve fallen deeply into the sounds of Blackmill, Frou Frou, and Clams Casino. Most are songs I come back to every year; they are time travel capsules that return me to another wintertime, even if it’s only for a few minutes. These travels are the epitome of bittersweet; I’m submerged into a time that imprinted something in me (whether it be joy, heartbreak, or something in between), and when I hear the songs, I’m back there almost instantly. They give me a flutter in my gut that all too quickly morphs into an ache or longing. Perhaps I’m a bit of a masochist that the music this time of year is my favorite. And perhaps I love them so much because the songs don’t fit in any other time of year; none of them do for me, truthfully. Oldies don’t sound the same in the winter just the same way The Sleepy Jackson doesn’t sound right during the summer. They are seasonally categorized playlists that send me to different places but all feel like home.