When associate news editor Amy Palmer asked me to write her iEdit, I saw it as a chance to write a non-sports story and a way to get out of my comfort zone. How hard could it be to write about somebody’s playlist?
Little did I realize that I know nothing about any of the songs on Amy’s playlist. And that’s nothing against Amy—I’m fully aware that my music knowledge is not up to par by any means.
Before I listened to the playlist, one comment from Amy kept running through my mind.
“It’s very depressing,” she said to me with a laugh.
I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant—until I finally took a listen.
The playlist kicks off with “Sidelines” by Phoebe Bridgers and “ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine.
Bridgers’ tune starts with a slow, soothing beat, but it picks up toward the end. “Ceilings” gives off a similar vibe, and I soon understood what Amy meant by “depressing.”
It wasn’t that the words in the songs were necessarily depressing (though they may have been), but when I said my music knowledge wasn’t up to par, I also meant that I don’t really process words when I listen to songs. I base my opinion of a song off what it sounds like.
“The Night We Met” by Lord Huron continued the depressing vibes, but it also made me feel nostalgic—not for any particular moment, but it made me wonder if Amy had one that makes her like this song.
This is the point when I remembered that these songs fall under the “sad girl” category. It’s ironic to me because whenever I see Amy she seems to be so happy and charismatic—unlike her playlist.
“Video Games” by Lana Del Rey was more upbeat, and listening to it gave me a little energy. Sabrina Carpenter’s “Tornado Warnings” amplified that feeling with its pop features, but it hung onto sprinkles of the sad girl vibes.
“Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa” by FINNEAS first had me thinking I was headed back into the sad girl vibes, but its cool, calm, and collected ending proved me wrong.
“Girl” by Jukebox The Ghost may very well be my favorite song on Amy’s playlist. I could see Amy listening to it for main character vibes— specifically a montage in a movie where that character has just won at something in life.
The ghost on the album cover for “Girl” drew me to Amy’s playlist cover image of Kermit the Frog, a nice reminder to appreciate music in a lighthearted way.
When I saw Amy’s final song, Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” I didn’t know what to expect. I’m pretty sure the longest song I had previously listened to was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” so I had high expectations for this finale.
I soon realized, though, that I actually recognized this song. I recalled seeing on social media about a year ago that Swift had released an extremely long song about her failed relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal—who just happens to be my favorite actor.
The song was, well, long, and I couldn’t keep the thought of “I wonder what Jake is thinking” out of mind throughout the 10 minutes of listening.
While I was a bit worried at first, Amy’s playlist introduced me to a new genre of music that I began to appreciate more with each song. The clash between depressing and happy vibes has me wondering which side Amy appreciates more, or if it’s the blend between the two that makes music so special for her.