Echo-pella: Songs to Feel Nostalgic To

Imagine that you’re in a store- may it be picking out clothes or scanning through the chip aisle in a grocery store and suddenly, Katy Perry’s Roar crackles through the store speakers. More often than not, most people would be washed over with memories from their childhood or past with the mental imagine being more vivid the more enjoyable the song. For me I get brought back to sharing a computer with my sister laughing at Wassabi Productions rendition of the song with Rolanda’s beautiful face flashing across the screen. Good times. 

Well, it turns out that there may actually be an explanation for this phenomenon! In a study where the brain was mapped when music from the BillBoard Top 100 was played for subjects who had recently suffered brain damage as well as ones who had not. They were then told to write down songs that were familiar to them, whether they enjoyed it and the memory associated. Interestingly enough, it was one of the patients who had suffered from brain damage that had the highest number of recorded MEAMS (music-evoked autobiographical memories).  

From the study it was found that regions of the brain associated with memories as well as emotions would respond to music that was familiar subsequently triggering said autobiographical memories. Other than songs that evoked MEAMS were songs that the subjects felt positively to and had a sense of familiarity towards. 

For this month’s Echo-pella, we asked you for songs that evoked nostalgia for you and once more curated a “Top five” list along with a Spotify Playlist of all the tunes that sent you on a blast to the past. Let’s just get into it!

5. Moves Like Jagger- Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera 

At number 5 we have Moves Like Jagger. A song written and performed by Maroon 5 with the special appearance of Christina Aguilera was released in 2011 as a part of the band’s album Hands All Over. A song mostly about a guy trying his best to impress a girl saying how he has gots those “MoooOoooOOooves like Jagger.” comparing himself to the lead singer of Rolling Stones. You see the gif. He does have those moves. The song garners praise for being “new”, “danceable” and “funky” meanwhile as it was a huge step out of the comfort zone for Maroon 5, lead singer Adam Levine has this to say, 

“It was one of those songs that was definitely a risk; it’s a bold statement. We’ve never really released a song like that. But it’s exciting to do something different, do something new. I’m just happy everyone likes it.”  

While Moves Like Jagger was nominated for multiple awards, it only won one. On the other hand it topped the charts for number one on the 5th of October 2011 but only managed to stay on for a mere 5 days . 

Most of us would remember it for its iconic whistle in the opening, its heavy beats and of course the memorable chorus of those incredible moves. I personally think that most people would attribute this bop to the go to song played at primary school dance performances or even the tune you would belt as a kid while prancing around your makeshift dance parties with your friends. 

4. Rude- Magic!

Moving on to number four! Rude by Magic! was honestly a song that I had not heard in a long time so it is safe to say that it really brought me back. Released in 2014 the song was apparently based on the news that appeared based on a fight he had with his girlfriend that he was in an unhealthy relationship with in which they were described as “being rude” to each other. The song itself however heavily contrasts the underlying “dark vibe” that it is supposed to express. The upbeat reggae that plays in the beginning as we follow a man presumably asking for the father of his lover for his blessings only to be rejected. Personally I placed this song in here solely based on the MEAMS that it triggered. I vaguely remember a friend of mine in primary school telling me that that’s what my future partner would sing to my dad and asked how I would feel about it. To this day I am still unsure. There is also the iconic line that has come from this song, “Why you gotta be so rude?” making itself the favoured response we had as a kid to sing out- come on admit it you still do it too. 

3. Good Time- Owl City and Carly Rae Japsen 

Ah yes, the King and Queen of throwbacks the makers of iconic bangers such as Call Me Maybe and Fireflies. Released in 2012 and written by Adam Young alongside Matt Thiessen as well as Brian Lee this collaboration was a part of Owl City’s album The Midsummer Station. Good Time is a song that gives makes you feel just that- like you are having a good time. Its upbeat cheery tempo along with lyrics such as, “Woke up on the right side of the bed, what’s up with this Prince song inside my head?” It is not a song that you have to think too hard about, it’s just there to bring you joy and light up that face of yours. When I was writing this I was on a call with some friends and one of them asked me what I was working on to which I replied, “Just writing about the song Good Time” and they replied, “LOL me before college.” It really made me think about all the good times that we had as kids and how free of worry we were before truly understanding the way of the world. It’s also a great song to remind us that sometimes, it’s alright to take some breaks and enjoy ourselves (by going into the woods and dancing with friends- if you’re vaccinated of course.)

2. Grenade- Bruno Mars 

I won’t lie when I say that I was conflicted between Grenade and Good Time when choosing second place. But I finally relented when I remembered how frequently this song was played on the car radio. Grenade made its appearance in Bruno Mars debut album Doo Wop and the Hooligans which in of in itseif contains other memorable songs from Talking to the Moon to Marry you as well as Lazy Song. This song tells a tale of heartbreak with the singer wondering why his love isn’t reciprocated even though he is willing to go miles and miles for his love interest. The song just screams puppy love and the naivety that comes with it. While slightly dark, Bruno Mars iconic singing style compliments this ode to heartbreak beautifully. It makes me think of all the times childhood love/romance just did not work out and the questioning that came after. On the other end of the spectrum it also reminds me of the lengths that I am willing to go for people that have stayed by my side all these years. However, if you don’t want to look at it that way- I realised that a lot of people that remembered this song think of the times they spent on road trips on a sunny day with the cars whizzing past the blue backdrop of the sky and the words flirting through the cars speakers. A calmness that is hard to find nowadays.

1. We Are Young- fun.

Finally at number one we have We Are Young. Now the reason why this song is here is because it truly is one of the core memories that I have stored in this brain of mine as I remember so vividly sitting in a small room and watching one of my first youtube videos. It was a guy singing the acapella of We Are Young. Released in 2012 featuring singer Janelle Monáe, We are Young made an appearance in the album Some Nights. Similar to Grenade, songs from the album such as Carry on, Stars, and well- Some Nights may just ring some bells. The song managed to make its way onto the screens of the people making it a viral hit in the 2010s. One of the most memorable instances was Season 3, Episode 8 of the television series Glee- “Hold On To Sixteen ”   which most of us would remember. With its catchy lyrics and fantastic beats it’s no wonder that the song managed to reach Number one in charts across the world. Other than that, it seems to transcend time itself with its first line “Give me a second I need to get my story straight.” becoming somewhat of a meme. This song makes you think about living in the moment while as kids we probably never really cherished the times we had when we were young. But now- who’s to stop us? 

With that there’s our top 5 songs of this month! If you would like to listen to more throwback songs we have compiled all the suggestions into a playlist that you could check out! 

Link to our Spotify playlist: Echo-pella: songs to feel nostalgic to 

Have songs you would like featured in our next Echo-Pella playlist? Head on over to our Instagram to find out how!

By Saoussan Mokraoui

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