Jasper Jams: Signing Off

by Gabriella DePinho, Senior Writer

I’ve been writing (and co-writing) this column since February of my freshman year. The idea to write it started in Lee 306, when my roommate Ireland and I were upset to see Lorde’s “Melodrama” album get snubbed at the Grammys. The idea for Jasper Jams is not wholly mine or unique. During the years of 2013-2014, the column was invented and written by a former Editor-in-Chief, Sean Sonnemann, who is also my future brother-in-law. With his permission, my frustration at the Recording Academy, my desire to create unique digital-only content as a Web editor and permission from then Editor-in-Chief, Taylor Brethauer, I set out to revive Jasper Jams as a bi-weekly online exclusive column. Since then, this column exploded in popularity within the staff. Arts & Entertainment editors decided to bring it to print and other fabulous writers began working on it with me.

This is an easy column to skip over without so much as glancing at it. It is just me (and other writers) giving song rec- ommendations and sharing little stories from our lives. It’s not hard hitting news or spe- cial features, but it is a chance to connect the arts to ongoing social issues, point your eyes to new artists with meaningful messages or often underrepre- sented identities and give the music lovers of The Quad a thing to congregate around.

What started out as a sim- ple way for me to contribute something new in my job as a Web Editor, has become my baby. I’m so proud of this col- umn and I love it to death. But now, with graduation just a few weeks away, it’s time for me to say goodbye. I can’t wait to see what becomes of this column and I know it’s in good hands. For now, I bid my farewell and I set you off with the songs that helped me get through college and keep me excited about the future.

Supercut – Lorde

I had to add this song to this playlist in homage of the album that motivated me to start this column. “Melodrama” was the album I listened to all summer leading up to freshman year of college and the album friends and I put on for each other post-disappointing dating ex- periences. Lorde’s tour for this album was the first concer t I went to in college. I love the whole album, but selected this one track because it encapsulates everything I love about the album — the sounds, the lyrics and the infinite emotion.

Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen

This song came to college with me from high school. Jepsen’s 2015 album “Emotion” is an incredible pop album and often is highly overlooked. I’ve fallen in and out of love with it, listening to it constantly and then not at all. For me, picking a song off of it really captures parts of my freshman and soph- omore years, and especially the time I spent as an orientation leader, as I used to listen to it as I set up the check-in table at 6:30 in the morning on orienta- tion days.

I Know A Place – MUNA

I listened to a lot of music during March to June of 2020 — the early days of quarantine. I listened to music as I baked, stared at the wall, went for runs, stared at the wall more, journaled and showered. I was so sad about losing out on part of my college experience, so sad for how many people were (and are still) dying, so scared of the unknown and so tired of the new and very privileged monotony of life. I needed music to occupy my time and to hope- fully encourage me to move my body and move forward. This song was one of many that I obsessively listened to and it captures a feeling of being down and trying to move through it.

You Are Enough – Sleeping At Last

College came with it’s fair share of ups and downs and its good days and bad days. It wasn’t always easy to get through but relying on friends and calling up family at home, I was able to get through it, and seeing that music is such a huge part of my life, it helped me through as well. I had a playlist called “you are human you are allowed to feel” and it was full of songs I listened to when I was sad, and while many of them were also sad, I had this one on there too. Even when I was stressed or sad, I knew I needed a song to motivate me to keep me looking ahead and this was that song.

Dancing In The Street – Stephen Day

While this song is about be- ing in love, to me, it sounds like a love song to the city whose streets you’re dancing in. I’ve found — through anecdotes, movies, friends and more — that it can be easy to conflate being in love with New York City with being in love with someone you’ve met in the city. I love that tension and duality and while this is a love song, it’s a song I listen to that reminds me of how much I love being in the city – and to think, I almost went to college in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania.

Kites – Scott Helman

Some of my favorite mem- ories with friends in college were nights we spent on the quad, tossing around a frisbee, listening to music, talking and laughing and swatting away mosquitos. I have one distinct memory of being in control of the aux one night and this song coming on as we were goofing off. It’s funny that this song and that moment sticks out so much to me, considering I don’t often listen to this song, but some- thing about that moment was just so memorable. Anyway, I’ll miss my time on the quad with friends the most.

Summer – The Hunna

I’ve added songs from The Hunna to playlists over the years. Their song “She’s Casual” was the song I listened to for all of the fall semester of my junior year. Since I’ve added that song to playlists before, I’ve de- cided to add my most recent fa- vorite song of theirs. I’m grateful to my friend and roommate Camryn for introducing me to this band, and all of the other wonderful music recommendations she’s given me over the years.

Like 1999 – Valley

I found Valley in college as they opened for a band I went to see with my junior year roommates. Rachel had a chemistry test the next day and brought her notes to study before the show began, and Gabby and Cam didn’t know the band we were seeing super well. It was truly a highlight of junior year for me. I chose this track of theirs because a big portion of Valley’s brand is nostalgia which this song per- fectly encapsulates and as I’m feeling nostalgic right now, it felt fitting.

Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) – Taylor Swift

Swift’s music has been a constant in my life. Since I entered college she has released 5 albums — four brand new ones and one re-recording. When Swift released this track from the rerecording of “Fearless,” I was instantly hooked, but I also had to stop and laugh. This song expressed everything I once felt when I was a teenager and upon hearing it, I immediately texted two friends and said “if I had had this at 17, I would have been a wreck to it” and they laughed and agreed with me. Swift’s music will always be part of my life soundtrack and it’s pretty easy to map my life onto it, which is neat and therefore, makes it a necessary addition to this playlist.

Seventeen – sjowgren

This is another song that’s followed me from high school to college. While I’m well past the age of 17 — and all of the joys and miseries that come with it — I still love this song so much. It reminds me of getting my license, summer nights, silly times with friends I met at 14 who I’m still close with and dancing like a fool. Whenever I was feeling nostalgic during college, I’d put it on and it made me feel close to dear friends who were in Boston and Troy, NY while I was in the Bronx.

Future – Paramore

I’ll fully admit, I stole this as a playlist closer from a playlist I was gifted from a friend at the end of high school. However, I can’t think of a better song to send me on my way. It’s about looking ahead and not looking back. I can’t say I’ll never look back — I know I will — but it won’t be in a way that’s holding me back, it’ll be in appreciation and love and fondness. And those are good things. I’m writ- ing my goodbye. I’m writing my future — and it’s looking bright.