What I Was Listening To:
This playlist is a collection of music that I brought along with me around my two weeks in Europe, doing as the Romans do; driving around Italy, under the Tuscan sun; walking along Las Ramblas in Barcelona; and freezing in Paris. This is arranged chronologically, in order of the countries on my itinerary: Italy, then Spain, then France.
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- “I See You,” Jutty Ranx
When I travel, I try to make it a point to switch on the radio to have a peek into what the locals are listening to. I didn’t even have to try with this one — I heard this song all over Italy. It was the first song I heard when I got off the plane, and it was everywhere else after that.
- “Designer Drug,” Mayer Hawthorne
I’m no party girl, but this song was such an integral part of my European trip, and for all of 2013, for that matter. Mayer Hawthorne released it on April 1, just a couple of days before my birthday (as a perfectly-timed, kind of early birthday present for me, I’d like to believe). I was getting ready to shower in our Donnini villa when I first heard it, and all it took was one listen to that bass line to get me hooked. I don’t normally store music on my iPhone, but I couldn’t update my iPod at the time, so I put a few music downloading apps to the test, and had it on loop for two damn weeks, straight. I danced a lot in the shower, to be honest. To this, and to “I See You” (see above).
And this song just makes me feel so. Damn. Sassy! I distinctly remember really feeling it as I was walking down Las Ramblas, incidentally with my red lipstick, leather boots, and trench coat on, along with a pursed-lips/smizing-eyes look on my face that Tyra Banks would have been proud of, but all my face was, was freezing to death. A group of very handsome Spanish boys curtsied, and parted like the red sea to let me through. They were being funny, and I felt like an idiot, but a very beautiful idiot. Haha!
Yeah, my confidence shot up in 2013 because of this song. Try it!
- “Begin Again,” Taylor Swift
I’m no Swiftie, but this was my first Taylor Swift song. And this matters because, although its music video was set in Paris, I was sat in the backseat of our rental cars, watching the Italian countryside roll by, thinking about a boy, when this song meant something to me. With matching tears.
No shame in my game.
- Led Zeppelin, “Since I’ve Been Loving You (Live, Celebration Day)”
The week prior to my European trip, I managed to squeeze in an impromptu overnighter to Singapore to see Robert Plant perform. Clearly, I was still on a Robert Plant/Led Zeppelin high, and I had been listening to the Celebration Day live recordings quite heavily. So, the residue was strong on this one. Also, the previously-mentioned boy is a Led Zeppelin fan, and they were one of the things that we bonded over.
Lastly, I found a quaint little music bookstore in Las Ramblas, from which I bought a copy of the Celebration Day live recordings music sheets. Music sheets, son! Someday, I’ll get my John Paul Jones on.
- Big Mama, “Hot Blues”
Big Mama is a Barcelona-based blues artist. I believe Spain could be hotter, warmer, than it was when I was there, and I’m looking forward to getting to see that.
- Friendly Fires, “Show Me Lights”
Although I doubt that this track was written with Paris in mind (I think it’s about a friend showing them around Detroit?), I had always imagine that this would be the song that I would see the Parisian lights to. And it was. I made it so.
- Friendly Fires, “Paris (Aeroplane Remix, feat. Au Revoir Simone)”
This one, on the other hand, clearly did have Paris in mind, so obviously this would make it to my playlist. Either this one, or the album version works, except that I thought this would be a smoother buffer to the cold, springtime weather; what was on the album may work better during the summer.
- Deftones, “Minerva”
- Jewel, “Jupiter (Swallow The Moon)”
These are here as a tribute to the beautiful marble ladies that I marvelled at, at the Louvre: Minerva, and Venus de Milo.