That One Song That’s On All Your Playlists

As I drove with a friend one Saturday morning, “Sour Candy” by Melt started playing. “Wasn’t this song on your May playlist?” my friend asked me, knowing we were currently listening to October’s playlist (I make monthly playlists…ask me about them). I couldn’t help but laugh because, yes. This song was on my May playlist. And June. And July. And August. And literally every other playlist I had made since I heard the song for the first time, months ago.  

We all have it. That one song that we never get tired of hearing and can always play on repeat. Every time we listen we find something new to love. Experimenting with new music is FUN (shout-out to Discover Weekly on Spotify), but the blend of old and new is my favorite part of any playlist.  

For me, the song that I will always add to every playlist is “Sour Candy” by Melt. When not just one, but two of my best friends came to me on separate occasions, telling me that I needed to listen to this song, I knew it would stick with me for a while. I’m from Southern California, and live in a city with lots of hills. Not Seattle hills, that are really steep and scarily easy to hydroplane on, but rolling hills that twist and turn, and make for the best night drives. Every time I hear “Sour Candy” I am immediately transported to summertime, driving through these hills. This visceral memory instantly puts me in a good mood – even as I am stuck in traffic on Mercer, or walking to class in the rain, I listen to this song and imagine myself in the California sun. In that moment, I feel like I’m home again.  

I knew I wasn’t alone in my thinking, so I decided to turn to a friend and ask what her song-on-every-playlist was. For my roommate, Kat Thorne, it’s “Jerry” by Inner Wave. She described how every time she listens to the song, waves of nostalgia engulf her. When she’s happy, the song makes her happier, and when she’s sad, it can always lighten her mood. Kat is one of the lucky ones – she got the opportunity to hear such a significant song live. Listening to Inner Wave explain their creative process for “Jerry” adds yet another layer of depth and meaning for her – knowing this background makes Kat love the song even more. 

I think Kat perfectly captured what makes these songs special; they go deeper than just the playlists. For Kat, this nostalgia is wrapped up in self-reflection; she noted that the lyrics hit home for her when she needed them most. Yet, this song could also just be a happy, light hearted mood lifter (get you a song that can do BOTH). I feel the same way about “Sour Candy.”

 Your repeating song says a lot about you. “Sour Candy” says I’m colorful and playful. It says I am loud and jazzy and at times, I long for the past. Lyrics like “Trying to remember all the songs we like to play / ‘Cause those lazy afternoons don’t some so frequently these days / Oh, it’s been so long / And I cannot help but wonder / Are you ever coming home?” create a nostalgic tone that is so familiar, I can’t help but keep going back for that warm feeling inside. So, I will keep putting “Sour Candy” on all my playlists, until I can find another song that strikes the same chord in me. I’ll keep them on repeat as my life soundtrack.

By: Analyn Grasz