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MIT student blogger Nisha D. '21

my year in music, volume 3 by Nisha D. '21

i am starting to feel very old

well here we are again. those of you have been keeping up with the blogs for many years might remember that i’ve been writing love poems to spotify ever since freshman year. shuli and ankita have also done posts in this style. i like to think that i was their inspiration :,)

i’m not gonna lie – i’ve become a little lazy with my spotify game. i think it’s because i’ve started experiencing choice paralysis with what music i want to listen to. i just have so many playlists for like literally everything that i don’t even know what to listen to anymore. i also think that i’ve just been too down in the dumps because of the quarantine to actually listen to anything new.

embarrassingly enough, i have gotten pretty into the lo-fi hip hop beats to study/relax to playlist, and that is usually what i study to nowadays. RIP having good taste in music.

my one attempt to maintain my playlist game is to save ‘monthly’ playlists that i can just quickly save songs that i like to without thinking about whether they fit the *vibe* of the playlist. that way i can curate them into playlists later if i want. this hasn’t happened yet, but it is still my plan :P

here are the playlists i made this year. they are very boring compared to ones from previous years. this is what aging looks like, folks.

  • running – lol i wonder what this is for :P i actually made this playlist when i was working in LA last summer and was doing no exercise and also eating a ton of office snacks all the time. however, god did not put me on this earth to live in LA, and i couldn’t run more than a mile without feeling like i was going to die of asthma. luckily, this playlist has been put to very good use this quarantine, where i can run for hours in cold new england springs.
  • scenes from an italian restaurant – my boyfriend and i took a trip to switzerland and italy after our internships ended last year :,) imagine sitting in an italian cafe in the evening and having aperitivo, and that is pretty much what this playlist sounds like.
  • Jethro Tull 50th anniversary setlist – exactly what it sounds like
  • Cigarettes After Sex 2019 setlist – also exactly what it sounds like. Cigarettes After Sex is a band to clarify
  • jake and nisha’s soundcloud – songs that my friend jake and i want to learn together to sing together for our soundcloud. whenever we get to do that :(
  • 2019 radio – …songs i listened to in 2019…i told yall i’m getting boring
  • guitar repertoire – i keep forgetting what songs i know on guitar, so i made a list
  • songs to learn – i really should have come up with a more interesting name for this one

before you guys look at my junior year playlist, let’s just look at how enthusiastic freshman year nisha was about making these.

All the songs on it have some specific significance to people I met, adventures I went on, and feelings I felt in first semester. I made the playlist without really thinking through the significance of the songs; I just knew that they were significant to my freshman year in some way. So for this post, I wrote down all the songs and why they mean something to me. It was a very pleasant jog down memory lane and I hope to keep making a playlist for every year that I’m at MIT.

i had so much enthusiasm and so much music to discover :,)

i think that this playlist is a little more on the nose than previous years’ playlists have been. i sort of just add songs when i want to remember a particular moment or experience. as a result, i don’t think there are any really *sad* songs on here. i also just think i’ve stopped listening to music as much, which is sad. i’ll try to get back on that.

  • God of War by Bear McCreary: right before coming back to junior year, it really hit me that…i made it! i made it into the game industry and got to work at a triple A studio! my lifelong dream of working at a game company came true! granted, the internship wasn’t everything i had wanted it to be, but just the experience of being at a triple A studio was something that i enjoyed immensely and am deeply grateful for.
  • Walcott by Vampire Weekend: i remember this moment very clearly – i was listening to this song while sitting at the bus stop waiting for my bus to work. and it really hit me how much i missed my home at East Campus – specifically, walcott lounge on my hall, more commonly known as walounge. it actually made me tear up, and i’m usually not very emotional about these sorts of things.
  • Woh Din by Arjit Singh: my family and some family friends went to see a bollywood film at the beginning of the school year, and i was initially really salty about this because i had a lot of work to do and bollywood movies are usually trash, but this one surprised me by actually being REALLY good and having an amazing message. it really called out indian culture’s propensity to put immense pressure on its kids to pass tests, succeed, and get into good schools, at the cost of their mental health and sometimes even their lives. the soundtrack wasn’t very good, but i put this song on the playlist anyways just to remind myself to watch the movie again sometime.
  • Bouree by Jethro Tull: most of you probably don’t even know who Jethro Tull is lol. Jethro Tull is one of my dad’s favorite rock bands and we saw them in their 50th anniversary concert together! they didn’t sound very good cause the lead singer is REALLY old and his voice has definitely seen better days, but their defining characteristic is that the lead singer also SLAPS on the flute, and he has not lost that skill thankfully. i added this song because i learned it on the flute myself01 the easy parts, not the hard rock parts at some point, so it was fun to hear it live.
  • Furr by Blitzen Trapper: my wolf girl song made it back on the list! except for a different reason this time – it’s the first song my friend jake and i recorded together with his fancy recording equipment! a little bit after this, we started a soundcloud and a singstagram which we are very proud of :) sadly, we can’t play together right now, but hopefully we’ll be able to sing together soon.
  • Señorita by Shawn Mendes (ft. Camila Cabello): first of all, this song slaps. second of all, it’s the song that two of my friends did THE BEST fire spinning performance i’ve EVER seen to, and i’ve seen a lot of really good fire spinning performances. it was so good that it actually felt lewd to watch.
  • Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter: this song started my year long and very intense obsession with Johnny Cash. it started on my hall retreat to new hampshire02 a retreat for everybody else. was sort of just like driving past my house for me over columbus day weekend, where we all watched Walk The Line together. it was sort of a cringy movie, but the music was really good and JOHNNY CASH IS REALLY GOOD.
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love With You by Elvis Presley: the first song on jake and i’s soundcloud and singstagram <3
  • Apocalypse by Cigarettes After Sex: i saw Cigarettes After Sex live at the House of Blues03 an amazing venue if you haven't been ! they were SO good that it was actually just like listening to a recording of them. we also got this really good pizza on the way back.
  • Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon: okay yes i am a weeb, but this song SLAPS. it was my hype song to run to in like 9th grade of high school, and i realized again just how hype it is when i was warming up for a fencing meet that i was really nervous for. also it is just such an intense song, which i appreciate a lot more now that i know japanese. literally the first line of the chorus translates to something along the lines of “the humiliation of being caged in becomes the reason for our counterattack”. THAT is how you get hyped for a sports meet, my friends. also, all of Linked Horizon’s attack on titan theme songs absolutely fucking bang and i would highly recommend checking them all out.
  • Holding Out For a Hero by Bonnie Tyler: i listened to this song literally nonstop when i was flying to and from my onsite with the Google APM program04 i did not pass this onsite, but i am still to this day surprised that i made it that far at all because the program is hyper-competitive . i really do not know why this song really hit, but it made me weirdly emotional. i think it’s because it reminds me of a graduated friend who i really miss.
  • Soldier of Love by Pearl Jam and Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden: i spent ALL of IAP learning these songs on guitar for my boyfriend, who abandoned me during IAP for GTL Israel. in particular, the latter song took me FOREVER to learn. but i did it, and definitely progressed to a new level of guitar learning because of it.
  • Dance of the Clairvoyants by Pearl Jam: this was the first song released from Pearl Jam’s new album Gigaton! my boyfriend and i actually got tickets to see them in concert and had this whole roadtrip to canada planned, but then coronavirus happened :(
  • Vincent by Don McLean: i got really into this song because jake was learning it around this time. it’s a really beautiful song, and if you couldn’t tell, i really miss singing with jake </3
  • It’s The End of the World As We Know It by REM: my friend in the room across from me played this song a lot when we were all kicked out of MIT and were frantically packing all of our possessions into not enough boxes.
  • Holiday by Green Day: on the last few nights that we were at MIT, there were a bunch of random sporadic parties05 tbh more like 10 people trying to get a party going that happened all over campus. i very distinctly remember dancing to this song in the banana lounge with like five other people and then having to book it because we saw the police pull up outside and we had to run.
  • Brodyquest by Lemon Demon and Doctor Worm by They Might Be Giants: these are DUMB songs that were played NONSTOP when i stayed over at my boyfriend’s house for some part of the quarantine. they’re really catchy though
  • Hollow (from “Final Fantasy VII Remake”) by The Versions: this is the first year that the main theme from final fantasy 7 isn’t on my list…but it’s because this song is now technically the main theme from final fantasy 7. the lyrics are super emo but god it is such a good song and i cannot wait to make an emo cover of it
  • The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out To Get Us by Sufjan Stevens: this actually isn’t my song. a friend who i had been pretty close to recently passed away very suddenly, and his boyfriend had posted this song in one of his tributes. it made me feel…very weird, and very sad. i’ve never really had anybody who i knew very well die, and i’m definitely lucky in that way. it just sort of feels bad and awful because i was planning to see this friend before coronavirus hit, and now i never will, and that’s something i can’t quite quantify my feelings about.
  • Hacker by Death Grips06 some 2023s may recognize this album art... : for whatever reason, the beat and energy of this song makes me want to run a million miles. i credit it for some of my very rapid improvement in terms of distance i can run. currently my peak is 9 miles. by the time this post actually gets published it is very likely it will be more
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends by Billie Joe Armstrong (from the One World: Together At Home album specifically): i don’t know why, but upon hearing this particular version of this song, i lost my shit and cried for a while. i think it was the repressed quarantine feelings. i’m not sure. i do have a lot of repressed quarantine feelings that i definitely haven’t dealt with though.

i mentioned that i started using last year at petey’s recommendation (follow me), so i actually have a year of data that i can look back on. it’s interesting because i feel like my top 10 artists haven’t really changed very much over the course of my college life…

nisha's top ten songs of the last year

i feel like my top ten songs do not change very much per year lmao

nisha's top 5 albums of the last year

lol lo fi beats have invaded my albums

nisha's top artists of the last year

i guess i don’t listen to any women

joon also made this DOPE WEBSITE for a final project. to clarify just how dope i find this, this is literally my ideal final project and i’m jealous that joon got to make it07 granted, i am not a god tier programmer, and joon is lol, so i wouldn't have been able to make this in the first place . here’s a visualization of my junior year playlist on the site.

visualization of nisha's playlist on joon's website

i told y’all there wasn’t enough sad content on here. here is visual proof

i think that i’ve lost a lot of motivation to discover new music, mostly because i’ve been saving my motivation for getting through each day and working on my projects. i’ve also lost all of the friends that i make music with, and that has probably been the most demotivating thing of all.

next year, i hope for new beginnings, no quarantines, and being surrounded by friends to sing songs with again. hopefully my final version of this post will be filled with amazing memories and not ones from the great quarantine.

if you feel so inclined, help me listen to more uplifting music by adding to this spotify playlist. i would appreciate it <3

  1. the easy parts, not the hard rock parts back to text
  2. a retreat for everybody else. was sort of just like driving past my house for me back to text
  3. an amazing venue if you haven't been back to text
  4. i did not pass this onsite, but i am still to this day surprised that i made it that far at all because the program is hyper-competitive back to text
  5. tbh more like 10 people trying to get a party going back to text
  6. some 2023s may recognize this album art... back to text
  7. granted, i am not a god tier programmer, and joon is lol, so i wouldn't have been able to make this in the first place back to text