After three years of doing homework during lunch, my freshman-year lunch periods were a rather strange experience for me. Not only had I missed most of the inside jokes that were repeated time and time again, but I was also confounded by the music blaring out of my friends’ MacBook Pro’s as they scarfed down their sandwiches.
My isolation had resulted in a complete lack of understanding of my friends’ music.
Throughout middle school I was what some would call mainstream. I listened to Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and all the other major pop icons featured on the radio 24/7. This is also when my love for Justin Bieber blossomed.
So you can imagine my surprise when I first heard Mumford & Sons in the frosh quad and realized that my companions actually liked it!
I was used to loud bass and fake singing. It was strange to hear the strumming of banjos instead of the deafening shuffle of electronic synthesizers.
That night I went home and, after some intensive work on a troublesome math problem, looked Mumford & Sons up on iTunes. I listened to the clips of their music and decided that my friends must be crazy. Who would willingly listen to that stuff?
A few months later it was time for the Grammys, and who should be nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song? My long-forgotten annoyance, Mumford & Sons.
Then, my mother, clueless about my aversion to such music, bought their album, Sigh No More.
At long last we had met again. And it was with a feeling of apprehension that I listened to at least the first song of their album.
I’m glad I did. Even though I was hesitant at first, I eventually started playing their tracks more and more until they were on my 25 Most Played playlist.
While I still listen to Rihanna and am unashamed to classify myself as a Belieber, I have broadened my horizons to include this exotic (for me) new genre to my collection.
Happily I bought and listened to Mumford & Sons’ newest album, Babel, and I eagerly await their next album.
However, I am still mainstream. In fact, many of my self-proclaimed hipster friends have now deemed Mumford & Sons too popular for their cultured ears.
Now that the majority of my school lunches have once again been filled with English essays and problem sets, I am on my own when it comes to my music.
While I still absorb the heated arguments over different artists through a weird form of lunchtime osmosis, my musical diversity has faltered.
Most laugh at my feeble attempts to discover my own indie band. My best discovery as of now is Norah Jones and her album Little Broken Hearts. And the only reason I found Little Broken Hearts was, once again, through my mother.
Nevertheless, I recommend any of the songs on this album, especially “4 Broken Hearts” and “She’s 22.”
Even if you’ve heard them before and disliked them, why not try again? Embrace your inner hipster (kind of!) and try something new.