Journaling by listening

In last Friday’s speedpost, I promised a post about the band Lamp, one of my favorite discoveries of last year (technically 2021, but it was late 2021). My feelings about Lamp’s music are colored by nostalgia of the type I wrote about in my nostalgia post. I had a really vibrant experience of life at the time I started listening to them, and it resonates in me again whenever I listen to them.

I think Lamp’s music is well-suited to this nostalgia. In order form this kind of association with a certain period of your life, music needs to do two things. It needs to fit the feeling of the time in some way, and it needs to be able to become the “soundtrack of your life”, so to speak.

My favorite albums are ゆめ (Yume), 恋人へ (Koibito e) (pictured), and 木洩陽通りにて (Komorebi Doori Nite)

Lamp’s music is a really good fit with the joy and hope I was feeling at the time I first listened to them. I’ve thought before that Lamp’s music feels like good music to fall in love to. If I end up doing that sometime, the music might take on a new life and meaning to me.

You might initially get into certain music because it feels right to you at a certain time. But once you start listening, the music starts influencing you and makes its own contribution to the feeling of the time. Once Lamp became the soundtrack of my life, the feeling of the time became distinctively “Lamp-shaped”. In this way, “fitting the feeling of the time” feels kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy eventually.

So what makes Lamp a good life-soundtrack? Lamp’s music is interesting and rich, but above all, easy on the ears. The listenability means I could listen to them a lot, in different contexts, and not tire of it. They also have catchy melodies that stretch over varied harmonic phrases, which is a great recipe for getting stuck in my head, in a good way. Listenability and catchiness are the keys to music becoming the soundtrack of your life.

When preparing to write this post, I remembered that I once thought to myself, “Lamp is good music for storing feelings in”. The above paragraphs are all a line of reasoning that emerged from this thought, which feels more accurate in its original form. I value this kind of music you can store feelings in, because I approach music listening as a kind of journaling.

I’ve never been able to establish a consistent habit of written journaling.* But I think there are other things I do that serve the same purpose as a journal, which is to say they allow me to revisit past times and build up a meaningful sense of continuity in my life story. Listening to music is one (perhaps the main one) of my unwritten journaling practices. Listening to the same music over and over again is how I store the feelings of a time, so I can return to the time anytime I return to the music.

Have you listened to Lamp? Did their music seem good to you for storing feelings in? Do you journal by listening to music? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​

* besides this blog :)