Music: The Great Connector

By: Marlee Billiter

Music’s awesome. There’s no other way to put it. Day in and day out, it’s music in my head. It’s the background of my daydreams, my motivation to be productive, the reason I want to stay in my car longer and waste gas even though I have no money to get more. It’s the superior form of connection with yourself, as well as others. Relationships thriving from a love of music are the best types. Two people who love music, all types of it, make the scariest, yet strongest bond. 

I wish I could describe the depth of music as I see it in my head. It creates a deep, comforting feeling, and a head full of colors and vibrations. Each song means something different than the last. Any amount of thoughts, themes, subliminal messages, all can be depicted throughout music. It can be devastating, and it can be beautiful. Scary and bold. Enchanting and fulfilling. Every adjective could be used for music, it just depends on how one perceives it. 

It’s when two people connect through music where I feel that maybe this world isn’t so messed up after all. Just two souls bonding over something simple, yet extremely complicated. From there, it’s the start of a newfound love. I’ve correlated many artists and songs to certain relationships. Maybe it hurt me in the end, but in the moment, I embraced it. My best friend in between eighth grade and sophomore year introduced me to Lil Peep. Maybe not the best artist to exist, but it became something special for us to share. Emo rap was our fix. It became the common theme that bridged us together. In a bad moment we’d play Peep. After something crazy happened, we’d scream to Peep. To this day, I listen to Peep, and I’m reminded of those moments we used to share—pure happiness, just from a rapper. 

I went to the record store about a month ago and bought my grandfather a Roy Orbison CD. I know it’s what he loves as we’ve sung ‘Pretty Woman’ together multiple times. My mom passed down her CD collection to me when I started opening up to more music. I’d flip through the pages and run out saying, “MOM you liked (insert band name)?!” And she’d be like, “Of course I do.” This gave me the realization that I’m not that different from middle-aged adults. I went on to have aux at a party filled with adults 40 and up, and they loved me. 

The first day I hung out with my boyfriend, I got into his car and he was playing ‘My Iron Lung’ by Radiohead. I hadn’t talked to him much before because I was worried he’d be weird. The moment I got into that car, I immediately knew I was done for. Of course this random boy was playing my favorite band. We talked about music so much that night. We shared a common love for many of the same bands, and I truly was glad he’d asked me to hangout. I’m extremely grateful now. Going strong all because I put in more effort to make conversation when I figured out what he listened to. One of my favorite Radiohead albums, In Rainbows has an underrated song in my opinion, “All I Need.” When we were talking about the album, we both immediately brought up “All I Need.” It was a big shake my head moment. I was just thinking, “Oh my God, this boy’s going to ruin my life.” If he does, I’m so scared for that day. I love that song way too much to hear it in such a context, but I know I’ll remember the good times, just like I do with my old friend. 

I’ve never really had great friendships with those who have limited music taste. My dad for starters, he might’ve introduced me to rock, but it never escalated to more than that. The second I got into more genres and would show him, he’d be upset about it. I would be playing Nirvana for a 50-year-old man, and he’s getting upset about it. Everytime he drives, he’s playing the same music on shuffle. It’s just one long playlist of 70’s music that eventually sounds stale and repetitive. I get that John Denver was good, but is there anything else we could listen to? He scolds me for having a wider taste in music than him, and I do the same. There’s also a million other things wrong with that relationship, but our dissonant  music taste does not make it any easier.

Music’s the most fascinating approach to relationships. While you can connect over shared interests, it feels almost evolutionary learning about others’ tastes. Listening to something because you know someone you care about likes it is what makes listening so special. I always feel flattered when I tell someone about music, and they listen to it on their own time— it’s heartwarming to be able to explore what someone may be thinking. The realm of music is like education; we have so many opportunities and we can dip into any to see what our favorite is. When we find out, we look for jobs. Loving a certain genre is like having a job that you adore. When you eventually get tired, it’s fine because there’s so many other jobs out there. This metaphor can be used in so many ways — it’s crazy how much music can relate to real-life situations. 

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