By: Caitlin Marsilii
When walking around, I always seem to find music within people, places, and things typically deemed unmusical. Hikes through the woods inspire lyrics in my head. Certain friends I have remind me of playlists and songs, and even times in my past resonate with certain genres of music. I truly believe that music can suspend through so many outlets especially when it comes to speaking through places, cities, and towns, so I have taken it upon myself to create this series: City in Sound.
Every week, I aim to travel to a new “city” and truly explore its unique vibe. Inspired by the sounds of the city, I will create and share a playlist that will be on Spotify as well as featuring a play-through of each city in sound on 91.3 WVUD, Mondays from 4:30 to 5:00 PM. No genre, artist, song, etc. is off limits for the list. It is simply an eclectic mix.
City in Sound: Newark, Delaware.
There’s not much explaining to do for Newark, assuming the majority of readers are students or at least familiar with it. In my eyes, Newark, overall, captures several different, sectionalized vibes that make up the University. South Campus feels refreshing and modernized. North Campus, nestled away in the woods of White Clay, feels much calmer and slower, while main campus feels like a mix of the old and the new. To me, main campus feels like the heart of Newark’s sound (though an honorable mention would have to be Main Street). It is a mix of new memories and old memories…new and old experiences. Newark to me sounds like change…
Blood Under My Belt – The Drums: This song was a first-year anthem for me here at UD. It reminds of 100-degree days in the dorms worried, confused, and swarming around the window for air, yet also the bittersweet, final day spent packing in my freshman year dorm. This song is the perfect example of how one thing can provoke such opposite emotions and outcomes — something many of us face throughout college. The classic indie vibes from this song paired with the guitar remind me of nostalgia in the days of discovering the alt/indie scene along with the nostalgia of freshman year. It really captures the early “summer” vibes that tend to linger around campus until mid-October.
Cappuccino City – Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever: This song is very much about the disillusionment of initial expectations and perspectives. Once again, I feel this is very representative of the college experience. We all have a sort of disillusionment in college of what it should be academically, creatively, socially, etc., but what we expect is never how it actually is, and the experience of one is never the same of another. This song reminds me of this overall disillusionment and how we all share in that same experience. It’s continuous, rolling drums remind me of the constant busyness and challenges faced during the semesters and that are found in the streets of Newark. Its tone conveys the sense that it is forever bustling and that of the potential growth as the song builds and builds. At the same time, it has no sense of real urgency and commits the listener to a very calm state, almost as if to match that of coffee house music. It is an interesting mix between the two. All of this on top of the fact that we are all pretty much jacked up on coffee when in Newark sold me on the song as fitting for this collection.
Red Eyes – The War on Drugs: If you ever get a chance, drive around Newark at night with the windows down blasting this song. It is a beautiful combination of echoes, saxophone, guitars, and lyricism. It reminds me of the chaotic serenity and the sense of energy that can be felt on nights walking (or driving or skating or biking…) around Newark, specifically with all the “festivities” of the weekends. Almost a dream-like song, it captures the feelings of letting go of your normal, everyday self and unleashing this new version of yourself come night. I say this in the sense of partying, but it can also apply to other random things like food runs to Main St., sprinting through “introvert field”, and/or stargazing in your hammock with your freshly prepared sub from the P.O.D. Red Eyes is like an anthem to all those weird, vivid moments you have that are so uniquely Newark.
Here in Spirit – Jim James: As any local to the area knows, Newark becomes close to a ghost town once the students leave for break. Not to say there still aren’t people here, just that it significantly dies down. This song, to me, embodies the lingering spirit of the students and the hustle found in the fall and the spring. Additionally, this song can speak for the past generations of students, now alumni, and for locals, it can speak for the memories of times in Newark before the college experience with other Delawareans who may be out of state now. It is a constant shift and rebuilding that Newark must balance between the seasons and the people creating the town at the time. Though, it can always be said that no matter the group or population in Newark, they leave a unique mark on Newark and Newark on them.
Library Magic – The Head and the Heart: Finally, this song is one that sums up those special, secret spots on campus that feel like your own and being able to spend hours at a time there. For me, this can be setting up my blanket at the top of the reservoir at sunset, studying in the windowsills of Gore while rain falls outside, or just being lucky enough to find a spot in Morris during finals week. Newark is lucky enough to embody both Main Street and White Clay within it, so the potential for finding such spots are endless and diverse. Some of my favorite moments are just observing Newark from these spots and taking time to really slow down my day. They are some of those uneventful, yet extremely memorable moments that will stick with me forever.
Below is the link to the Spotify playlist of the week: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/28jGunSaf2Y9tFoHVTOKiK?si=utuNnapwSP2pkqv81VmlMA