Anyone who knows me — who really knows me — knows that my Spotify repertoire is extensive. That may initially sound like a boast: Look at me with my broad musical taste & wealth of musical knowledge!

It’s not. What it actually means is that I tend to make playlists on the regular. They usually constitute complete changes in general “vibe” to go along with the infinite combinations of moods that I experience in a day, a week, a month — you get it. Some are public, some are private, but ALL are essential components of a well-soundtracked life. I’ve found that this applies doubly so now that I’m in London: study abroad has essentially turned me into a heap of mixed feelings that changes in composition daily. Today I’ve decided to give you a li’l sample of three of my most-played playlists on Spotify since I got to London, each of which has a very different “vibe” (I keep putting it in quotation marks because I truly don’t think I’m cool enough to use the word casually) from the other. When I was younger I — no joke — used to fantasize about being a DJ, so this is probably about as close as I’ll ever get to achieving that dream. Bear with me!

Playlist 1: The Essential “Pals” Playlist


ICYMI, JHU_Emily and I are real-life pals — it’s crazy, because we never feature each other in our blogs. Ever. In the two weeks leading up to my first departure from the U.S., Ebo sent me this collaborative playlist for us to add to whilst I was in London (re: big ben) and she was fighting the good fight back at home (re: balti). The three emojis pictured are our signature, for no other reason than that we happen to use them a freakish amount in our text conversations. What’s the “vibe” of this playlist, you may ask? Let’s just say it’s got everything from ABBA to Florence + The Machine to Solange to Phoenix, so I’ll say this: I listen to it when I’m in a good mood, especially when I’m making the 20 minute walk to school. A quality day-starter!

A personal favorite of mine that JHU_Emily added:


Playlist 2: On The Grind (in a Cinematic Way though)


I started this playlist in September of my freshman year, and it’s since grown to be about six hours in length. I LOVE MOVIE SCORES, I REALLY DO. Studying in London, however, requires a very specific swatch of this playlist solely devoted to: Philip Glass, Thomas Newman, and Dustin O’Halloran, on repeat, every day I’m doing homework. The three of them have composed some of my favorite movie scores of all time. When I’m sitting in the big law reading room trying to feel as present as possible and leave freshman year Gilman times behind, tracks like this do an especially good job of making the workload feel purposeful and new. The “vibe” is: VERY CHEESY, VERY CONTEMPLATIVE, BUT VERY USEFUL.

Playlist 3: You’re Here, and You Have Many Feelings About This


“Li’l Baby Sun Emoji ; Scholastic Books Emoji”, as I call it, is something I made a few days after I first arrived in London. I was still sorting through the whole idea of my human self being on an entirely different continent for the next three months, and while parts of me were definitely excited, other parts of my brain hadn’t exactly finished processing. I used this playlist to make the experience feel as real as possible: you could call it my “London, Fall 2016” playlist, but for me, the emojis speak more profoundly to my general “vibe” here. It may be nearing the end of its playability for a while; I tend to pull the plug when I sense some favorite songs risk being overplayed, because I’m a True Professional. Before I make something new to encapsulate the last half of term, here are two tracks I could probably never get tired of.

DISCLAIMER: The video’s weird, but the song is so good! It’s rejuvenating and true and pure, and has some of my favorite auditory components: choppy piano chord progressions, drums that sound like a heart beat, and echo-y effects. It always feels very “walking around in London, and you’re deep in your feelings, but only you know it.” Y’know?

I loved Beach House long before I came to Baltimore, and considering that they’re from there, you can bet they’ve been the soundtrack to a lot of campus walks / slow bus rides back at Hopkins. They might even be my favorite band, which is saying something, because I always vowed it was impossible for me to choose a favorite band. This song is very “woah” and has a knack for waking me up to the weirdness and coolness of being in London for the semester, especially when I’m just wandering around a new neighborhood on my own. Good stuff.