Music has always been an integral part of my life. I have fond memories of torturing my neighbours for hours, while belting out the classics from Alanis, Jewel and Kasey Chambers into a mic in my living room. My Dad always hoped that I would one day make his dreams come true by becoming a country music superstar and performing at the CMA’s. Although this isn’t my reality, connecting with music that is fundamentally female and artists that celebrate womanhood is one of the greatest joys of my existence.
True artists have a way of making it feel as though an album was written for/about you. So relatable and raw, that you can feel the debris of your past relationships and experiences flashing through your memory. This all got me thinking about the big moments in my life and the music that forced me to face my truth, put on my big girl panties and figure my shit out. I owe big parts of my sanity, sexual freedom and ability to stand up for myself to my favourite albums, songs and artists. I’ve always found that processing a relationship (whatever stage it happens to be in) can be so much more honest with the help of music so buckle up babes…
Infatuation: Closer – Tegan and Sara
If there is a lady loving lady under the age of 40 who hasn’t made out or had steamy sexy fun times while listening to at least one Tegan and Sara track I will be legitimately shocked. Ahhh… the beginning. All of the anticipation and the sheer thrill of imagining everything that is about to happen. It’s all about stolen glances, grazing lips against skin, romantic dinners and being late for everything because you’re too busy staring into each others eyes or haven’t left the sex cave in weeks. Discovering, touching, kissing, learning and laughing for the very first time with someone new.
You start to find yourself saying creepy and ridiculous things about missing them when they have just popped off to the bathroom. Although you are practically living on top/inside of this person, you can’t shake the feeling that you want to be closer. Your playlists have somehow made a complete u-turn from Sam Smith loneliness and sadness to “Fuck yes! I’m so cute and she’s so cute and we’ll be cute together forever” realness.
Every single happy, upbeat and lust filled song is now a staple because you have managed to figure out a way to tie it into exactly how you are feeling. Trust me when I say that at this stage, your friends are so incredibly done with you, your playlists and your excitement that they have contemplated kicking you right in your lady garden. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been there. We’ve all been there… right?
Love: At Last – Etta James
Anyone who has ever been in love can relate to this song. Suddenly everything in your life makes sense. Just looking at the person you’ve fallen for is enough to send waves surging through you body, or feel like lightning is crashing straight through your skull and finding peace inside of your chest cavity, safe within your beating heart.
Etta’s voice is like velvet; smooth and warm. The words dancing off the tip of her tongue and cascading out into the most beautiful tone and conviction. It forces you to truly believe that you’ve found something worth fighting for. This is the sweet spot, the part where you make promises of forever and hold hopes of an everlasting love. Completeness, admiration, compassion, truth, beauty and everything you’ve ever dreamed of. The idea that the person you have chosen, may very well be ‘The One’.
Betrayal: Sandcastles – Beyoncé
In case you hadn’t heard, Queen Bey is back and we’ve lost our damn minds. ‘Lemonade’ is all killer, absolutely no filler and you can bet your ass that I have had this shit on repeat since it was released on Sunday morning. The bravery, honesty and sheer fucking brilliance of this album has been giving me life. Now, I’ve learned some very powerful lessons from Beyoncé over the years but nothing quite as important as knowing there is no shame in feeling #flawless.
Sandcastles reminds me of the way we give ourselves over to another person, trusting that they will catch us when we fall. However, somewhere along the way, honesty was compromised. Maybe they slept with ‘Becky with the good hair’ instead of remembering they are in a relationship with Beyoncé and shouldn’t be looking for a side chick or worse, maybe they ate the leftover pizza you were saving. Either way, you find yourself questioning every word they have ever said. After discovering their betrayal, you try to promise that you won’t stand for their shenanigans so you pack everything they own and put it in a box to the left.
Then comes the hard part, the fool that tried to break your heart is asking for a second chance. Now you have two choices.
- Nope, you’re having none of that bullshit! Or..
- You decide you can fix/change/love them through whatever the problems are.
I’m yet to experience a relationship personally that could overcome a betrayal of such magnitude. However, any woman who finds the strength to forgive, push through any judgement and manages to come out the other side standing tall in her power is a Queen in my book.
Resentment: You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
If you chose to cut that clown out of your life instead, all power to you! At this stage, you’re not over them but you desperately want to be. Jealousy is probably feeling like the safest place to be. I am guilty of having an unhealthy addiction to social media stalking after breakups. The anger and resentment over a failed relationship can be made so much worse by the sheer sight of an ex love with ‘the new you’.
It is a right of passage to scream “It was a slap in the face, how quickly I was replaced and are you thinking of me when you fuck her?” through a veil of rage while you wait at a set of traffic lights in your car. I’m not suggesting that you should deny yourself this joy but for the love of all things 90’s put down your phone. Stop following, checking, obsessing and sending screen shots to your best friend. It didn’t work out. Anger and resentment is natural but it will make you feel very silly eventually. When the time comes, you’ll wish you didn’t give them the satisfaction of sitting alone in your pity party for so long.
Moving on: Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele
The entire album 25 has been the soundtrack to my year and through all of the tears one song helped me to pick myself up and brush myself off. Seeing someone who you have cared about starting a new relationship is hard, no matter how much time has passed. All of your memories, promises and dreams of your future are wrapped up in someone who you couldn’t imagine ever having to live without. Then here they are, discovering someone else and of course it takes a lot of bravery to separate your emotions from that person but it is necessary. Truthfully wishing them well can feel almost impossible but when you do it, the freedom is so empowering.
When we put our ego, jealousy and defeat aside, love is about being open and fluid with your emotions. Realising that we are all just moments in someone else’s life and when the moment is over, you will actually be okay. New moments, new connections, new lovers, new love. It’s all part of life. There is nothing more beautiful than truly being able to let go of the past and know that someone you have once loved is now discovering newness, a rebirth, another moment with someone else. Trust me when I say that if you want to and only when the time is right, you can feel this with someone new as well. Hopefully the person you were once connected to can see the beauty in that too.