Hannah Lorenzo ’24
During the lazy days of summer, I found myself daydreaming a summer love story. In a musical sense, at least. It might have stemmed from the plethora of lovey-dovey OSTs from K-dramas, coupled with my habit to match romance songs to novels that I binge-read this summer. All the while, I pretend I am these main characters, humming along to the songs which turn the ideals of love into journeys of self-understanding and freeing imagination.
The music behind the love stories is my favorite part, from its melodies that capture the ever-changing moods of romance to the lyrics that make corny one-liners sound much better. So, I turned up my Spotify playlist filled with songs representing all stages of such a love story. Here is a mini playlist that creates just one of the summer romance daydreams right from the first lyric, voiced by a diverse set of artists who implement cinematic-worthy soundtracks to the silly crush interactions, vulnerable moments of trust, and the moving-ons.
Stage 1: “From The Start” by Laufey
Laufey is an Icelandic-Chinese artist known for her smooth vocals and songs that take you back to Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz era. Many of her songs echo the timeless jazz vibes that are perfect for cozying up on the couch with a romance novel in hand. “From The Start” starts this love story with a confession to a new love, despite them not feeling the same way. This song feels timid yet bold, as one may feel by shyly expressing their held-back feelings for the first time and accepting the possibility of love’s rejection. The lyric, “Don’t you notice how I get quiet when there’s no one else around?” visualizes those little tells of a crush as well as the frustrations of being unseen by someone who takes up your inner mirror. Hopefully, your significant other gets the hint and truly sees you.
Stage 2: “Someday” by Max Drazen
Max Drazen takes us to stage 2 if the confession succeeds and the feelings are reciprocated. His rise as a pop singer is supported by his steady vocals and ability to depict relatable love stories through his powerful song collection. “Someday” represents both the rush of youthful love and pause of self-reflection. It’s the subtle shifts of the eyes toward each other and the constant smiling. It is the feeling of connecting to your kindred spirit, bonding on this plane of timelessness and hope. Drazen sings, “I wanna be who you need me, how you perceive me,” which tests the balanced scales of love for oneself and your significant other. This stage determines the leap of trust for acceptance and devotion within the relationship.
Stage 3: “Forever Right Now” by Conor Matthews
“Forever Right Now” exemplifies Conor Matthews’s impressive harmonies and melodies that are perfect to listen to while driving underneath the starlit sky. This song is the epitome of a romance movie soundtrack, especially when played during the montage scene of a couple walking through the park, lying on the grass, and contemplating their future together. “I wish I could freeze this moment right here next to you” is my favorite lyric in the song, which symbolizes the valuable peace of being in each other’s presence and the shared role of being the main characters of their shared life story.
Stage 4: “Not Me It’s You” by Grace Kinstler
Ending on a lower note, Grace Kinstler’s “Not Me It’s You” demonstrates her clear runs and the break-up stage. Though this song is more on the lines of breaking up with a friend, I relate this to the eventual transition from partner, ex-partner, friend, to ex-friend. The lyric, “How you gonna lean on my shoulder? But when I’m fallin’, you don’t show up,” resonates with the issue of a disappointing relationship, when the cheesy one-liners go stale and the clock breaks the timeless feeling. Some of these imagined love stories are quick to rise and fall, but teach us about the challenging reality of love. This, of course, is not the very last stage of love for the main character. So, I bask in the lovey-dovey, cringe-worthy, and thought-provoking scenes playing in my head and rearrange my playlist that sings of an unfinished love story. After all, love stories are boring without a complex plot and a good soundtrack.