How is it possible that an album I’ve never heard before can make me so nostalgic?

This past month I’ve been listening the heck out of The Graduate’s Anhedonia. As soon as I started the album, “Sit and Sink” grabbed me by the hand and started running me down the street. As soon as the rhythm guitar kicked in on the next track, “I Survived”, I was violently launched back into the middle of 2005. No, really, I got goosebumps and felt like I was reuniting with an old, familiar friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. Except, again, I’ve never listened to this album before. Which brings us back to HOW?

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No answers exist for that question, really. The Graduate is just One of Those Bands. I first gave them a listen… gosh, maybe five years ago, just in time for them to announce that they were going on indefinite hiatus. (I have this history of getting hooked on bands that are either dead or dying. Remind me to tell you about it some time.) Back then, I’d only ever listened to their second full-length, Only Every Time. I don’t know why I never explored backwards into their catalogue, but that was a mistake. Which I somewhat rectified 41 minutes and 57 seconds after first hitting play, when I promptly dropped some money into their Bandcamp. I personally believe that when a collection of music causes you to vibrate at your natural frequency, you give the creator(s) your money, PRONTO.

Speaking of vibrating, I was driving to Louisville with the volume cranked way up on some Veil of Maya. (My car’s sound system is THE BEST, especially for staying alert on road trips. Or accidentally hitting 95 on the interstate.) I’ve never been a huge Veil of Maya fan. They’re technically talented and all that, but their music has never jived with me. Not too long ago, my boyfriend dropped one of latest releases, “Teleute”, into my life. I surprisingly enjoyed it, but that appreciation does not nearly reach the extent of my love for “Phoenix”. I listened to it approximately 900 times while zipping through Kentucky. I contemplated how potentially perfect it would be on an infinite loop, alternated with Born of Osiris’s “Recreate” – which I also tend to listen to multiple times in a row.

It turns out that my gravitation towards this new album has a reasonable basis. (Incidentally, it’s called Matriarchy and has tracks named after powerful women in mythology, how cool is that.) Veil of Maya recently changed up a few things, including bringing on a new lead singer (no, that is not Jason from Letlive. singing on “Mikasa”, don’t be silly) and making different choices in their songwriting. I approve.

In the last month, my musical forays have been successful, but my attempts to happily feed myself, not so much. A few months ago I started taking an NDRI that has been completely screwing with my appetite, which is a pretty devastating life change for a self-proclaimed Eatasaurus Rex. Everything I’ve been eating has made me feel a little gross afterwards, and trying to buy and cook a variety of foods in an attempt to figure out what the heck I can eat has been extremely problematic. I’m a grad student with limited time and money, who also doesn’t do well running on fumes.

But, thanks to the horrors of Buzzfeed, I was reminded of this fantastic recipe for bacon-cheddar cauliflower chowder from a blog called Iowa Girl Eats. And amazingly, it doesn’t make my stomach turn, and I haven’t gotten tired of eating it daily… yet. It’s also great for strength training, as it contains ~15g of protein in every serving. Perfect.

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I tend to fiddle with recipes and never fix them quite as they are called for, so my substitutions include: not bothering with the roux, swapping in broccoflower (it was a buck cheaper) and turkey bacon, supplementing with a cup of quinoa, and dumping in a whole mess of Trader Joe’s Habanero Hot Sauce. Oh yeah, and once I didn’t have any celery, so I chopped up a handful of power greens (kale, spinach, chard).

In short, May: immersion in turn-of-the-century feelings thanks to a dead band, and an all-in-one meal that hopefully will power me through my impending month of school insanity.


feature image (unedited) credit: Max Bashirov

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