Towards the end of my trip, I found myself sitting on the chair outside the front of the hostel, listening to music and watching people go by, as I was becoming increasingly aware that soon enough I would be back in Britain.
Despite being unaware of how much needless hassle I would encounter in my native country, I was still pretty down about the eventuality that was coming. The music helped, as it always does, and so here are twenty of the songs that I’ve been listening to that have partially embodied my time in America.
Main Playlist. Part One.
England – The National. The first video I’m going to put down is actually a commercial; in part because seeing this commercial a lot on the first few days of the travel is what drew me to the song and strengthened my idea to be a travel writer, and in part because the piano playing is the best part of the song altogether.
Riptide – Vance Joy. I’ve always thought of this as a general feel good song. At least, I did do before I watched that video. Jeez. Anyway, this helped build my anticipation, due to my ignorance as to how dark they intended for it to be.
Counting Stars – OneRepublic. The anticipation was continuing to build. A track that I had been listening to before I got to America; it made the plane journey a tad more bearable, and got me hyped for my three weeks away.
All of Me – John Legend. Big city life. Sitting on the Metro, travelling from Oakland to San Francisco. It became a routine, and reminded me of living in London again. This was the start of my trip, getting to know America, the city of San Francisco, its people, and all their ‘perfect imperfections’.
Lost in my Mind – The Head and the Heart. It’s always fun trying new things. I’d become comfortable in this new country, and was content to just wander aimlessly and find everything I could.
Budapest – George Erza. New experiences. New friends. The hustle and bustle of the city.
Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men. This playlist is telling a story, and no song is more dramatic and rich in its telling of the tale than this one. This is the end of part one.
Main Playlist. Part Two.
Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. So we’re sitting round the table, drinking beer, each choosing a song to play, and this comes on. I haven’t heard it in years. I’m already two weeks into my holiday, but this is my first night at the hostel. It signals the start of my second part of my trip, and perhaps the beginning of my true travelling experience. It’s easily my most listened to song on my playlist.
Fake Empire – The National. Five twenty-somethings driving through a scenic forest atop a mountain after a day of exploring. Like something out of a movie. Long-distance shots follow the car as it twists and turns around bends and past spectacular views. This song playing in the background. No one talks. They just sit back and take it all in.
What I Got – Sublime. Paired with Fake Empire. Still on the drive, but people are no longer content to just sit back and listen. The three Americans start rapping along. They love it.
Let Her Go – Passenger. Staying in hostels, you meet some great people. But whenever you meet great people, there are always those that stand out to you more than others. I’d only call it a crush in the most basic of ways; someone who I thought was funny and attractive, and would have liked to get to know more, but alas; the journey had to end some time.
Ho Hey – The Lumineers. But don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a soppy post about a girl. No, although there are a few love songs on here, cringe-y as it may be, many of these make me think more about the country and the experience of travelling as a whole.
Mykonos – Fleet Foxes. Ever seen Due Date? I knew as soon as I saw it that when I eventually made it to the Grand Canyon, this would be the song that I thought of. And I was right. I was with others, so I thought it would be too rude to whack in my headphones, but regardless, I could hear the song just as clearly in my mind.
Many of Horror – BIffy Clyro. The Grand Canyon marked my last day of the trip, it’s been a good few weeks. I’ve got no more money or plans, but it’s definitely been worth it.
Skinny Love – Bon Iver. This was the end; I didn’t add this on until the last few days.
Demons – Imagine Dragons. I’ve never actually watched the music video for this before. Put’s things in perspective.
Human – The Killers. Regardless, back in Britain, I needed something to pick up my spirits, especially after the events of the last post. Goddammit Mobilephonesdirect.
Down in the Valley – The Head and the Heart. Makes sense I suppose, back in the valley. ‘These are the places I will always go’, but that won’t stop me from setting off again next chance I get.
Ghost – Ella Henderson. This kept on creeping into my various playlists; I think I added it by accident and then started to like it.
We Are One (Ole Ola) – Pitbull, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. Not quite fitting with the rest of the playlist, but when I started my journey I was subscribed to the Top 100 Songs on Spotify playlist, and as such, became rather familiar with this track.
It reminded me of one of my last trips overseas; Morrocco. The hotel we stayed at played Pitbull and J-Lo’s last hit to excess, and it became somewhat of a theme tune to my holiday. Coincidental timing then.
Plus y’know; the world cup was on throughout my stay in America, so it’s fitting.