Casual Cadenza: Music resolutions

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Almost two months have passed since my last column, and it seems 2021 has already appointed its representative track. Exploring the emotional impact of Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single “Driver’s License” would be a heavily relatable topic. However, it wouldn’t exactly be the most original idea, given its record-breaking reception. Either way, “Driver’s License” has become January’s defining song. And with approximately 11 months left of the new year, the question of what 2021 will bring for me music-wise is still up in the air. 

Despite resolutions usually being reserved for large-scale goals like eating healthy, going to the gym more often and being productive at work, the onset of a pandemic has caused most of us to scrap those objectives for later. Personally, the realization that I’m gonna be stuck inside for at least three more months has yet to sink in. Until that epiphany fully strikes and puts me into a perpetual state of dread, I might as well overstimulate my mind with as many activities as possible to distract myself — music included. 

Other than the fact that my most repeated song of the week is “Augustus Gloop” from the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” soundtrack, I wouldn’t say I have a problem with my taste in music at the moment. My winter playlist currently has somewhat of a ‘90s indie theme going on, with “Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith and “Dumb” by Nirvana representing that genre. Other honorable mentions include “Teardrop” by Massive Attack, “Clay Pigeons” by Michael Cera and Ed Sheeran’s newest single, “Afterglow.” 

In my very first column, I mentioned my intention to branch out of my usual musical tendencies, a promise which has continued to remain unfulfilled. It’s not surprising to me, considering my personality revolves around listening to the same five songs everyday. Yet in the current circumstances, daily rituals have quickly shifted into boring procedures and within the past month, I’ve managed to knit an entire cardigan and dye my hair pink. Based on the amount of joy I got from doing both, I figure trying new things isn’t that bad. 

My listening habits aren’t the only aspect I’m planning to focus on either. While it’ll hopefully diversify my selection in music, I think broadening my horizons will bring a lot of benefit toward my writing, which could always use some improvement. Creativity isn’t exactly my strong suit, so generating ideas from the occasional dabbling in classical, jazz, trap and other genres I rarely listen to will definitely do me some good. 

Although I never really meant it to be, Casual Cadenza has essentially become a makeshift music diary. Overall though, I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve come up with so far. I (surprisingly) haven’t run out of ideas and I’m looking forward to seeing whether this project shifts into something I’m proud of or somehow bursts into flames by the end. Optimism aside, being able to incorporate a more personal approach to my work has added some well-needed positivity to an unconventional fall semester. Here’s to doing that again. 

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