By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
It’s music to my ears
Andrea Gutierrez
Andrea Gutierrez

My first purchase as a salaried worker? A pair of earbuds. Wireless, obviously - but sadly they aren’t Air-Pods because I have a Samsung Galaxy, so I went with the Galaxy Buds to match. (Schools nowadays show zero tolerance towards bullying, unless your child has an Android phone.)

At my office, music is the best way to make work fun and help time fly by. Or swim by, if my next-door neighbors at the Richmond Hill Swim Club are any indication. I save podcasts for the commute so that I can better focus on avoiding potholes and AM radio.

The trendy thing to say amongst the youth is that you listen to “whatever” or that you like all music genres and artists equally. I’ve been guilty of telling this white lie myself, only to have it backfire when my college roommate during my freshman year started playing John Mayer non-stop.

A Spotify account has become a modern staple of the middle-class American, much like a Costco hotdog. But unlike a Costco hotdog, Spotify’s Premium service - the one with no ads between songs - has raised its price, going from $9.99 to $10.99 per month. That’s around seven hotdogs a month in order to bypass commercials specifically targeted towards me with the help of metadata that can help figure out which products will most likely capture my attention (hotdogs).

I know I won’t be winning over any old geezers in Bryan County with this admission, but my Spotify playlists are almost exclusively filled with pop songs. Taylor Swift is one of the bigger names in my music library, with “Lavender Haze” and “You’re On Your Own, Kid” on heavy rotation. (The latter is a very fitting tune for a young woman tasked with running an entire weekly newspaper by herself straight out of college).

But I do try to branch out. Broadway star Reneé Rapp recently released her first studio album Snow Angel which has since become my fall obsession. British indie rock band Wet Leg is perfect for injecting irreverent lyrics and jumpy basslines into my morning chai latte. And on days when I feel sad or lonely, I listen to some old tracks from Colombian music icon Shakira, back when she sounded like an Alanis Morissette wannabe.

There is no denying that the right playlist can put me in the mood to do anything, whether it be laying out pages for the paper, cleaning out my room, or pretending to help my dad out with filing taxes. Music gives me tons of endorphins, a pep in my step. There’s this semi-serious internet phrase called ”main character energy” that describes when someone takes control of their life and starts to act like the star of their own show. As a painfully shy person since childhood, I feel like music helps me out with that confidence I struggle to find consistently. My favorite songs help me to not only connect with others, but with myself.

Some teachers and professors debate the usefulness of their students listening to music while doing schoolwork; you’re not allowed to listen to music in exams anyway, and some kids spend more time making playlists than actually studying.

But I think that music teaches young people an important lesson in life: you can’t judge an album by its cover.

After all, my fellow editor Jeff Whitten listens to jazz. (I know, I’m as shocked as you are!)

Associate editor Andrea Gutierrez will be editor of the Bryan County News in October replacing Jeff Whitten, who is retiring.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters