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8 Albums I Loved in College

January 26, 2021 in Daily, Lifestyle, List
Rebecca Jones-Howe College Party

I never often talk about the music that got me through life, so I thought it’d start where it really meant a lot: my college days. I only spent 1.5 years of my life in college before I decided to quit in favour of writing part-time, but I still have myself a decent collection of albums from that time. So here are 8 albums from my ill-fated college days.

Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better

This album came out in September of 2005, but I didn’t buy a copy until January of 2006, which technically was my “gap year” that I took to pretend to be a writer. Mostly depressing, this year consisted of me waking up late and drinking an entire pot of coffee while cruising the internet, but that’s pretty much what the full-time writing gig consists of, anyway. You Could Have It So Much Better at least made those early winter months much more thrilling. It’s first single, “Do You Want To” meant everything to me. During that time I published one story in a fledgling online magazine and it meant the world to me. I flaunted this feat when I finally DID enter college in the fall of 2006.

I even referenced this album in my Patreon-exclusive story, Modern Ruins.

FAVE TRACKS: “The Fallen”, “Do You Want To”, “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”, “Fade Together”


Emily Haines – Knives Don’t Have Your Back

This album came out in fall of 2006, which when I started college. It quickly became a somber soundtrack for all those days that I’d walk around campus with my iPod, going from class to class and then from school over to work.

Days quickly became exhausting, but I do particularly remember one afternoon I had off, shortly after I’d purchased my very first laptop and I took it to the park and wrote under one of the trees that I used to play under as a kid. “Reading in Bed” in particular really brings me back to that very specific moment when I felt very author-like and like weird person legit.

FAVE TRACKS: Our Hell, Dr. Blind, Detective Daughter, The Lottery, Reading in Bed


Feist – The Reminder

Remember that addictive Feist song that dominated the world in the era of iPods? Because I still like that song, despite not knowing what the hell it’s about. I like to joke that a part of being a Canadian is trying to figure out what the fuck a Feist song is about.

Anyway, I listened to this album A LOT after I’d moved out of my parents’ house and lived that brutal life of school, then work, then walking home late at night wanting to die. I’d consdier The Reminder my first “college album”. It got me through a lot of that, specifically the song “Past in Present”. And we can either love or hate “1234” with every fibre of our being, but there’s no denying that “My Moon My Man” is easily the best song on the album.

FAVE TRACKS: My Moon My Man, The Water, Past in Present, 1234, Brandy Alexander


Peaches – Impeach My Bush

I listened to Peaches on and off in high school. At the time her music was a bit too edgy for me. I started college in the dying day of the Bush era, which really made me question a lot of my own Christian indoctrination. Then Impeach My Bush came out, and hey, this album was kind of momentous in my feminism and my self-esteem, honestly. It was both accessible (“Downtown”) but also classic electroclash Peaches sleazy (“Stick it to the Pimp”). This album kind of helped college me get in touch with adult me.

I’ll never not love “Slippery Dick”, btw.

FAVE TRACKS: Boys Wanna Be Her, Downtown, Tent in Your Pants, Slippery Dick


Tiga – Sexor

For whatever reason back in 2007 I was determined to listen to Last Gang Records’ ENTIRE catalogue of music. It wasn’t that big of a catalogue but they were basically pioneers of great Canadian music at the time, launching the careers of Death From Above 1979, Metric, Crystal Castles and the like. So yeah, I was determined to get in at the beginning. One of my favourite listens became Tiga’s Sexor, which I listened to frequently in the summer of 2007 when my sister and I moved out of my parents’ house and into our first apartment.

It was a summer of fun and parties and feeling like the most reckless adult of all time. “You Gonna Want Me” made every college party mix I made. Like party mix as in a CD, which is kind of weird to think back that I used to waste time burning CD’s.

FAVE TRACKS: You Gonna Want Me, Far From Home, High School, Good As Gold, Brothers


Scissor Sisters – Ta-Dah

When my former friend moved in with some of her newly-acquired college friends into a run-down 70s house uptown, it quickly became the party house for our little gang of aimless young adults. The landlord barely took care of the place. It had no floors and various drafts in the doors and windows. It wasn’t all that hospitable but it made for great parties because it didn’t matter how messy the place got. During those days, Scissors Sisters’ single “Don’t Feel Like Dancing” was EVERYFUCKINGWHERE and I absolutely hated the song and the band. But when that song came on, everybody danced.

It wasn’t until we had a little road trip to pick up a used car that my friend was buying in the nearby town of Penticton that our new friend Jason played both Scissor Sisters albums on the way that my opinion of the band finally changed. Their music was fun and got people together. Not to mention its ties to the LGBTQ+ community, of which I found myself befriending on a regular basis. I quickly found myself becoming an ally.

FAVE TRACKS: I Don’t Feel Like Dancin, She’s My Man, Kiss You Off, Ooh


Bat For Lashes – Fur & Gold

I used to follow this blog of obscure things back in the early aughts. They shared toys and novelties and fun videos online and stuff. One of these videos was the music video for Bat for Lashes’ “What’s A Girl to Do?”, and well, then I found a brand new artist to devour with all my might.

This was the album that marked the beginning of the end of my college days, however. I only did one full year of college. In second year, things changed and my original intention of going into journalism faded from mind. All I wanted was to write fiction, and Fur and Gold kind of led me further down that path with its witchy vibe and haunting songs.

I listened to “Sad Eyes” a lot while writing stories for my Creative Writing class.

FAVE TRACKS: “The Fallen”, “Do You Want To”, “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”, “Fade Together”


The Birthday Massacre – Walking with Strangers

I discovered The Birthday Massacre in high school and it felt like I found myself a home in music. This album came out in fall of 2007, which was also the fall of my time in college. At that point in time, I found a new love of writing. I went to my Creative Writing class with eagerness and uh, quickly stopped going to all of my other classes.

This proved to be a difficult time of life because quitting college in a time when everyone was telling Millennials to GO TO FUCKING COLLEGE TO GET A GOOD JOB, I was scared. But all I cared about was writing. My retail job gave me enough money to support myself.

So I said “Goodnight” to college and I wrote. And this album proved to be the soundtrack for everything I wrote at the time. None of it was good, but that’s beside the point.

FAVE TRACKS: Kill the Lights, Goodnight, Falling Down, Remember Me, To Die For

Considering that I only spent 1.5 years in college, I hope you enjoyed my musical blast from the past. These albums meant a lot to me and helped me become an adult, and occasionally I’ll pop one in (or just search it on Spotify) and remember those days.

College was kind of pointless for me but there definitely is a truth to the weird friendships you make in those days. I didn’t make a ton of new friends in college but I met my husband there and befriended many in the LGBTQ+ community there, and that was a pivotal time that ultimately led me to being a retail worker with a novel that will hopefully find a publisher soon.

What are some of the albums you listened to in college? Give me some nostalgia, (or make me feel really young or old) in the comments!

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Rebecca

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her blog at rebeccajoneshowe.com.

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I'm Rebecca Jones-Howe, a neo-noir writer and author of the short story collection, VILE MEN. My work has been featured in [PANK], Pulp Modern and Punchnel's, among other magazines. This site houses my writing profile and my blog, which features posts on writing, fashion, lifestyle + more. Want more?

- RJH

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