The Invasion of Break-Up Music

When I went through my first break-up where I couldn’t sort out my emotions, I was really into the Arctic Monkeys album AM. The songs really resonated with me. But, as things spiraled out of my hands, the entire album began to take on a tone of helplessness and depression. Every time I’d go to listen to that album I’d remember all of my mistakes, all the coulda-shoulda-woulda’s, and it’d bring me down.

I’d recently discovered a new band and their breakout album, both titled Royal Blood. The angry lyrics and almost-traumatic groove helped me work through my feelings and move on.

About a year later, the Coldplay Album A Head Full of Dreams came out. As a guitarist, I was stunned by the clean tone and the artful mixing. I sat down and worked into learning part of the album. At the same time, things started heating up with a co-worker of mine. Once again, it went south, although it was truly out of my hands this time. She’d been bouncing between the guys at work, leaving me feeling used and betrayed. In a moment of Deja Vu, I found myself listening to Royal Blood again, the album almost a form of therapy at that point.

Now, with Christmas rolling around, I’ve been jarred into realizing another musical association: old-timey Christmas tunes make me really sad. I don’t understand it, and it doesn’t make much sense, but, every time I hear a pre-1950s Christmas song, I want to cry. It’s the strangest, most illogical reaction I have to anything and it has persisted for as long as I can remember. Sadly, for this particular issue, I don’t have an anti-venom album to get me through the day.

I can’t say much about that, but what I can say is this: music is extremely important to us. It both defines and shapes our mood, takes and gives emotions, tells and writes stories, helps save and return memories. Sometimes, on a rainy day, it helps us feel exactly what we need to feel, be it happiness, sadness, or something in-between. Music is more than artful sound: it’s a part of human memory and emotion. I’m not sure who I’d be without music, but there’s one thing I can say for sure: I more than I’d be without it.