An unfortunate trigger warning before I even start the countdown: this is about to dive deep into my childhood traumas of not having the power over my parent’s musical tastes while road tripping, doing household chores… or otherwise! One particular time I remember being on a road trip with my Mom in the West Coast of Finland. I was having the time of my teenage life but my Mom was tired and didn’t let me blast some good old hard rock tunes into the hot and humid summer air! But no worries, I am going to have my moment in the van soon…
Bon Jovi – Runaway
Honestly, there’s no other possible way to start this list with. When I was approximately 12 years old, I had to go to my local school by bike. Because I was a poor kid, I didn’t even have an iPod but a recycled mp3-player that had accidentally dropped into my Dad’s bag on a scouting trip to Lapland. (Sorry if you’re reading this, whoever you may be, but dude… You had a pretty shitty sense of music. I’m just saying. Farting soundtrack of old Finnish comedy shows is not counted as music. Don’t pretend not to know what I mean cause I know you do.) Anyway, my sister erased the memory and filled it with songs of two of my favourite bands at the time: Bon Jovi and Scorpions. Thus, I had like 20 different songs to choose from when I was very reluctantly biking my way into school in the crisp spring air. And is there a more relevant teen rebel song than ‘Runaway’… I don’t think so!
Death Proof – Kate Nash
Oh, Kate Nash and the most fantastic Change In Style with the album Girl Talk in 2013 or something like that. I remember that the majority of the comments and opinions on social media weren’t very delighted but I was sold from the moment I started to wonder why is she all of a sudden screaming after all the sweet and innocent indie-lullabys of 2007. It cleared out to be a post-modern feminism taking influences of the whole 90’s Riot Grrrrl movement. And I loved it. Perfect background music when driving the winding small country roads in my home village, being annoyed by the responsibility of picking up my Granny from her boyfriends house (I mean, Grandfather-friend if you know what I mean). The light-weighed Toyota I was driving used to literally fly on top of the road!
Jeremy – Pearl Jam
And then, the upcoming sense of freedom of the last summer that I lived with my parents in my childhood home. Far away from even the centre of a small Finnish town, I was packing and getting ready to leave the nest for good in order to pursue my dream of studying Environmental Science at the University. At that time, I was really into popular grunge bands which I was listening to day and night before my first independent backpacking trip to the States. Seattle (as well as the other parts of the West Coast) was shining particularly bright on my list.
Dosed – Red Hot Chili Peppers
After moving to Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, I got into my first Serious Relationship with a pretty okay fellow who was a couple of years my senior. We used to party hard at a times, having this song on the playlist. Even though I don’t drink alcohol pretty much at all these days, this song still brings good memories on my mind. No regrets, so to speak! The melody represents youth, experimentations and freedom – themes that are still present in my life, just in different forms that they used to. (Hence the constant posts about vanlife dreams, I guess.)
Bless the Child – Nightwish
If you have never before heard about this metal band, you should most definitely check them out. I don’t want to brag, but we Finns are pretty good with this particular genre. (The overwhelming darkness and coldness in the long winter months plus general heavy-drinking helps to compose music about depression and fantasy.) I used to listen to the album ‘Century Child’ when we were travelling nearby St. Petersburg last March. This track has captured that particular sense of movement in the cold but sunny spring night forever.
Fleetwood Mac – I’m So Afraid
You can confirm this from my travel companion but every god damn time it’s my turn to drive after returning from Russia, I tune into the record of my favourite band and sing along while turning our way into one of the South-East highways leading back to Helsinki. The nostalgia linked to this particular song originates from a summer a couple of years back when I first started my activism in the local group of my old home town. After working in a vegan cafe and transporting all the kitchen ware back to our chairpersons place, I used to turn the volume up when I was driving back home in the middle of the night. The lyrics resonate with the feeling of being afraid as a young person to try to change the world, build a career, pay the student loan, have decent relationships… Even though the night is beautiful, you are still running away from those worries cause nothing can be changed – at least not in an instance.
Yeah, it’s not indie, it’s not all contemporary, it’s definitely not all independent. And that’s fine by me. We all have our weird tastes even though most of us is scared to admit it – especially on social media these days.
And now for the grand reveal: I even do listen to Trisha Paytas sometimes.