Defined My Younger Years – #fivesongsthat

In #fivesongsthat, Features, HOME, MUSIC by Sam Prance

#fivesongsthat is a feature in which someone selects and discusses fives songs that…do something collectively. Political, personal, perhaps a mixture of the two – it encourages people to consider what certain tracks might represent when placed together. That and it gives us a chance to indulge in some great music.

The inspiration for this post came on what was a rather dull evening. My laptop was and still is in a fragile state and I fear that downloading any new music would push it over the edge. Hence I spent the evening listening to my extremely outdated iTunes library. But what struck me was how these old songs could flood my brain with vivid memories and emotions. We’re all shaped by the artists we love when we’re growing up, so here are my five songs that changed my life.

1. Hummer – Foals

When I was 15, ‘Hummer’ by Foals featured on an advert for the television show: ‘Skins’. This, in turn, pretty much sent me into an obsession with the band and all things ‘indie’. I listened to the song on repeat, and when I could convince my Mum I was asleep, I’d secretly stay up and watch ‘Skins’. Like many teens who watched the first series of the show, I desired nothing more than to be as ‘cool’ as the cast.

So with my Foals ‘Antidotes’ album in hand (quite literally in hand after purchasing the physical cd) and my skinny jeans and vintage cardigan on, I thought of myself as quite the ‘indie’ kid. It’s really embarrassing now to even think that – I die a little inside when people use that word. But all jokes aside, this song defined my teenage years. For me, it represents the shift away from mainstream music and fashion, towards a culture that embraced being different.

2. You Don’t Know Me – Armand van Helden

Older siblings can be so influential in defining our music tastes.

My Brother is twelve years older than me and had a bedroom covered with Spice Girls posters – as a result, I too LOVED the Spice Girls. But as his music taste improved (thank god) he bought all of the Ministry of Sound compilations that were eventually passed down to me. So at 11 years old, I was carefully crafting dance routines in my bedroom to ‘You Don’t Know Me’.

At this point the song hadn’t really changed my life and I had no clue what genre it even was, but I loved it. Fast forward ten years – I’m at a house night and the DJ has just dropped this banger and I feel the need to tell everyone that this is ‘MY’ song. It only took ten years to figure out that it was house music, but now I could dance to this in a club rather than my bedroom. People are always claiming a song is ‘their song’ or ‘their jam’ – but honestly guys this is MY song.

3. This Modern Love – Bloc Party

One of the worst things is when a break up effectively ‘ruins’ a song or a band. This definitely happened with ‘This Modern Love’, along with every other Bloc Party song when I was 18. My ex and I had broken up, and this song was tied to too many memories. Luckily, I stopped being a soppy, pathetic mess and realised that it was totally ridiculous to stop liking a band because of a boy.

The lyric ‘Do you wanna come over and kill some time?’ essentially defines what I miss about being in a relationship. Sometimes, yes sometimes it would be nice to sit in bed with a guy while listening to these deep lyrics, eating crisps, possibly spooning and to switch off from the world.

This is what is so powerful about music, it can evoke a vivid emotion or memory which takes you right back to a time gone by – try not to torture yourself though.

4. More Than Me – Eliphino

So far, each anecdote has exposed an embarrassing tale, so I might as well continue the trend! The first time I heard this song, I was in my second year at university. I didn’t know the name of the song or the DJ, so I made my friends replay every song they had played that night until they found it. After hearing it once more, I pretty much made the decision that I loved house music (this was prior to my discovery of course that ‘You Don’t Know Me’ was considered house music and I wasn’t stumbling on to something new here…).

After this point, university nights out were spent in dirty clubs, listening to cool DJs and drinking Red Stripe. Today I still love house music but this song takes me all the way back to when I discovered a new scene, one which made my university experience unforgettable.

5. Independent Women, Pt.1 – Destiny’s Child

Finally, nearly every girl at one time in their life has tragically cried into a tub of ice cream or a cheesecake, and declared that they are the real life Bridget Jones (I do this on a bi-weekly basis).

However, sometimes us girls are tired of crying over a boy or our lack of prospects, and instead we choose to be a diva. We play our most sassy Destiny’s Child playlist on full volume, and tell ourselves that we ‘got this’ on our own. For me, listening to Independent Woman is the first step after deciding that yes, life can be rubbish, but a young girl like me can handle it.

I’m in no way claiming that Destiny’s Child were feminist icons or perfect role models, but if this song can encourage me to ‘depend on no-one else to give you what you want’ then, hell I’m all for it.

Nicole Louis

Nicole Louis is a 22 year old graduate who now works in Marketing. She loves garage classics and tapas – you’ll find her with a glass of sangria, reading her star signs and meticulously planning her weekends.

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