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Melodrama to 25: A love letter to summer

By in Culture

Music is a powerful thing that evokes both vivid memories and strong emotions. I am sure many of us have a soundtrack for the summer that’s fading like our cut-off denim. The perfect playlist should perfectly capture the feeling of the season.

I have been cultivating the perfect summer playlist. “Springsteen” by Eric Church has been a staple for years now. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo is a relatively new addition. But, I hadn’t found the perfect summer album that I could put on in my car and feel like I was living my best summer life. That changed when I found Melodrama, Lorde’s sophomore album.

Lorde’s Melodrama

I mean, the opening lines to the fourth track, “The Louvre,” is “Well, summer slipped us underneath her tongue.” I moved up to the lake for July and August, and listened to it on the way to work one day when it hit me — this is the perfect summer album.

With lyrics like “Dancing with our shoes off / Know I think you’re awesome, right?” the whole album really feels like it should be playing in the background of a late night at a music festival or the beach.

Summer is the time when people drink too much, go out, and fall in love with someone for five minutes, a weekend, or a month. This album encapsulates that like nothing I’ve ever heard before. In “Perfect Places,” Lorde sings, “I’m 19 and I’m on fire / But when we’re dancing I’m alright,” and if that isn’t a summer vibe, I don’t know what is.

From music festivals trips to living at the lake, summer 2019 was the definition of me living my best summer life. Some of my favourite memories were made this summer, and when I remember them, it’ll be to the soundtrack of Melodrama. Even if it wasn’t playing at the time, it’s the music that makes me feel the kind of summer I’ve had.

If you are also working on curating a perfect summer playlist for next year, adding “Homemade Dynamite,” “The Louvre,” “Hard Feelings/Loveless”, and “Perfect Places” from Melodrama would be an excellent place to start. On the other hand, these could be incorporated into a nice winter playlist.

Adele’s 25

A lot of people get sad in the winter. It’s dark, cold, we’re back in school and it often feels like it will never end. But sometimes you just need an album to cry to and 25 by Adele provides just that. By the end of last winter, I was listening to the album so much that one of my friends had to ask if I was okay. “When We Were Young” and “A Million Years Ago” are songs designed for reminiscing.

As someone with mental health issues, winter is really hard for me and I spend a lot of winters thinking about better times. These songs provide a somewhat bittersweet outlet for these feelings of nostalgia. Melodrama paints a vivid picture of late nights and summer love, while 25 shows us the bleaker side of life.

25 picks up where Melodrama leaves off, painting a picture of what happens after all that ends. It is not as bright or fun, but it’s real and raw. The album, almost in its entirety, is a bittersweet reminder of what used to be.

The mental imagery from both albums perfectly fits its respective season. Summer is bright, beautiful and full of possibilities. Winter is dark, grey and never ending. Melodrama shows us the idea of the perfect summer while 25 is much more subdued, like winter. It paints a bleak picture, but a real one nonetheless.

Diefenbaker Lake
A photo of the Diefenbaker Lake in July, 2019.

Amber Adrian-Jackson

Album covers supplied by Republic Records (Melodrama) and XL Recordings (25)

Photo: Erin Matthews / Opinions Editor

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