Breathe Out, Tune In: Spiraling while the açai melts into soup

Various song titles are surrounded by orange and blue dots, multicolored music notes, and red swirls.
(Asya Lyubavina • The Student Life)

To listen along to the playlist, click here.

Cross-campus dining is back, but with that comes lines. I don’t like lines. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, though. Sometimes I cannot possibly piece together a half-decent meal from just the salad bar. When that happens, I begrudgingly trudge over to the shortest line and plug in my earbuds. From close observation, however, I happen to know that many of you are not as line-averse as me. Some of you even wait 30 minutes for the best meal Malott has to offer — a pre-made, half-melted açai bowl. For you, I have created this playlist. 

The playlist is meant to be played in order so that the songs reflect the progression of your mental state. To add another layer, I decided to make the playlist entirely covers. For the cherry on top, they are all songs originally performed by men, now covered by women. I don’t have an explanation why — it just felt right. So please, join me on this musical journey as we inch forward in line.

“I’m Not In Love” by Kelsey Lu — Take a deep breath. Let your heart rate slow to the beat of the song. Gaze around. Enjoy the people-watching. Let your thoughts wander. You’re going to be here for a while. Might as well settle in and enjoy it. Oh, and don’t be alarmed when it gets to the bridge — those are not people whispering around you — it’s part of the song. 

“Do I Wanna Know?” by CHVRCHES — You are not in a crowded dining hall. You are in a coming-of-age ’80s TV show — or something like that. I know the song is not from the ’80s, but the synth makes it close enough, right? Embrace it. Bob your head. Look around wistfully. 

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (feat. Miley Cyrus & Moby)” by The Flaming Lips — You are Lucy. You are in the sky. With diamonds. Let the euphoria take over as the beat drop and spaceship sounds blow out your headphones. Through the brash instrumentals, you can barely make out Miley Cyrus’ signature raspy voice, just like you can barely make out a whiff of the meal that awaits you.

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by Britney Spears — By now your patience is probably running out. That’s okay. Britney’s here to commiserate. She gets it. Your satisfaction is coming soon, in the form of food, hopefully. This is the cover you never knew you needed. But you do, you need it so badly, especially in this line. It’s the epitome of a whiny Y2K pop diva in the best way possible. The Rolling Stones could never.

“Where Is My Mind?” by Tkay Maidza — At this point you’ve been waiting for roughly 20 minutes. You’ve been floating in and out of reality. You may even be questioning your sanity. Why, in your right mind, would you willingly wait this long for a meal? Too late to turn back now. Relish in Tkay Maidza’s electropop take on the classic Pixies song.

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Cusimo & Co. Radio Remix” by Charlotte Summer, Some Stranger — This is when the delirium sets in. Chaos, even. Dance around in your mind with this uplifting banger to remind you that your dedication will be worth it. I think this song came to me in a vision. I also can’t find anything about this mysterious Charlotte Summer. It’s quite an amazing song though, almost indescribable. You’ll just have to listen to it for yourself.

“With a Little Help From My Friends” by Shoshana Bean, Grace Potter — You’re almost there. You can taste it. Not literally. Now is the time to lean on the people in front and behind you in line. Strike up a conversation. “Long line, huh?” will usually do the trick. If that doesn’t work, try forcing an AirPod into your line neighbor’s ear and asking them what they think of this jazzy cover.

“Dancing in the Dark” by Faye Webster — You’ve reached the front of the line. Finally. It’s all a blur from there. Somehow you emerge, food on your plate. You look around for friends to sit with, but they are nowhere to be found. You manage to stagger to an open seat and start eating. It tastes good. But not as good as you remember. You gaze wistfully out the window as Faye Webster’s voice floats through your ears. Surely next time you wait 30 minutes for food it’ll be worth it, right? Right?!

Hannah Weaver SC ’24 has been making playlists since before Spotify existed and before she knew better than to put “Whistle” by Flo Rida on her 10th birthday playlist.

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