EPOCHS OF MY LIFE, AS CHRONICLED BY TRANSFORMATIVE ALBUMS

  1. Youth and self-discovery: VETIVER, "Thing of the Past"
    None of my friends listened to this album, but it served as a touchstone for my dad and me during every kid's most difficult years. Listening to this album today reminds me of being dropped off in the carpool lane, school uniforms, and mandatory chapel on Thursdays.
  2. The death of my grandfather: AMOS LEE, "Supply and Demand"
    If suffering, hope, happiness, light, joy, pain, and rebirth could sound like something, it would be the songs of this album.
  3. High school: RAY LAMONTAGNE, "Gossip in the Grain"
    Songs from this album remind me of the excitement of a new environment, the unbearable heat of an Arizona August, and the afternoons spent hiking with new friends in the desert.
  4. Family road trips in the American Southwest: BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS, "Live at the Fillmore"
    The arid, hot breeze of New Mexico desert would roll through the windows and softly buzz behind the songs of this album. Hearing this music reminds me of KOA campgrounds, rattlesnakes, and starry night skies.
  5. College at Rice University: DAWES, "Stories Don't End"
    The height of my introspective, overly self-aware, isolation phase. Spent a lot of time journaling and painting to the ballads of this album.
  6. Summers in San Francisco: TANLINES, "Settings"
    Evening strolls through Golden Gate Park, weekend drives through the Muir Woods, and work commutes on BART were supplemented with the songs off this album. Every time I hear it, I am nostalgic for life in one of my favorite cities.
  7. Living in Madrid: BAHAMAS, "Bahamas is Afie"
    My headphones were constantly blasting this album as I took the metro to and from La Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Every time I hear a song off this album I am reminded of tapas, balmy sunsets from the rooftops of downtown, and Spanish political activism.
  8. Newfound adulthood (present): ALABAMA SHAKES, "Sound & Color"
    Trying to navigate the intricacies of independence, accomplishment, and trust is difficult. The songs off this album always remind me of my transition from adolescence to adulthood, and my journey from self-doubt to self-love.