Smell is the most closely linked sense to memory. This is scientifically proven, being that the olfactory bulb is a part of the limbic system, which is associated with memory. Those of us with a properly functioning olfactory unit can likely reference a smell and a scenario, person, or location that is linked with that particular scent. I have found throughout my life that music is also linked to memory. Although there is not much data to back this claim, I firmly believe music and memory go hand in hand.
There are plenty of songs, albums, and artists that were significant to me at a certain point in time. Any time I hear them, I am brought completely back to the moment in which they were meaningful to me. It doesn’t always have to be a significant memory, as music even reminds me of events as mundane as pulling an all-nighter to study for that Social Issues final my sophomore year of college (Circa Survive’s On Letting Go on repeat all night). However, it is the music that has inspired me, helped me get through a rough time, or was the soundtrack to my happiest experiences that really makes me relive those moments in the present day, reinvigorating the emotions I experienced during those times.
This is an awesome and awe-inspiring component of one’s relationship with music: it is as if music becomes a part of you. Whether it reminds you of laying on a beach somewhere, being with a past lover, going through a breakup, or raging at a concert with your friends, the music you were listening to during these experiences will serve as a time machine for the rest of your life.
For your listening pleasure, I’ve included some of my time machine tracks ;) - two songs that remind me of great times in high school with my best friends (T-Pain’s “I’m Sprung” and “I Wanna Be Your Lady” by The Diplomats feat. Nicole Wray). I also have attached The Cure’s “Pictures of You,” which helped me during a heartbreak (they literally are the cure. Disintegration is the best album ever), and “Goliath” by The Mars Volta, which I saw them perform live at The Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO (best concert of my LIFE. Put that venue on your bucket list). Finally, I would like to share “This is How it Goes” by Goldfish with you, which my friends and I were blasting as we drove down the Pacific Coast on Route 101, watching a beautiful sunset change the sky to the most scenic and aesthetically pleasing blues, purples, oranges, and pinks I have ever been lucky enough to witness in nature.