Music and places

Much like certain thoughts being tied to places, I’ll often tie music to places. Here’s some notable moments, places and their soundtracks:

  • Anything in Return (2013) by Toro y Moi. I used to listen to this album driving out to Bolinas Ridge while I was home from college on winter and spring breaks. I’d play this album and race up Fairfax-Bolinas road way too fast, then watch the sunset over the Pacific. The next day I’d get on a plane and fly back to Pennsylvania.

A melancholy moment

  • Boo Boo (2017) by Toro y Moi. Like Anything in Return, I had a kind of ritual with this album. I’d listen to it as I was flying from Pittsburgh back to the Bay Area, and would start playing it right as we crossed the Nevada-California border. The same soundtrack would play as we flew over the Sierra, foothills, valley, delta, and bay.

One of the last tracks on the album was likely playing as I took this taxiing in at SFO

  • Cop Lights from Light as Leaving (2019) by Orchid Mantis. I randomly decided one day to take a day trip up to the area in the Sierra my family and I usually spend the summer. I’d never seen it in the winter and wanted to explore. So I got up early one morning and drove across the valley and up the mountain, finding myself alone around a very quiet and still Ice House Reservoir. On the way back I tuned into Davis’ radio station and this song came on as the sun lowered in the sky. There was something very meditative about that moment, and the day.

Near Ice House on my day trip

  • Everyone’s Invited (2018) by Sports. One of many albums I strongly associate with my time in Omaha. I’d listen to this as I watched the sun set over the interstate.

  • Thinking of a Place from A Deeper Understanding (2017) by The War on Drugs. I was listening to The War on Drugs as I drove across Pennsylvannia to my partner’s house in Virginia. I was leaving college for good; I’d packed up my stuff in the car and said goodbye to my friends. As I was driving through the Appalachians I was feeling a poignant mix of nostalgia and excitement, memories of the past four years and uncertainty for the time ahead. It was a beautiful drive.