By Willem Kline
It was an ironically lovely summer day when my Aunt died this year. I was at my friend’s house, the air was crisp, the room we were in was stuffy. I just woke up from a post video game binge and got the call from my mother that one of my family members had lost her fight with cancer. We didn’t know she had cancer until she died. It was tough, life seemed to move in slow motion after that. We lost others as time flew on: artists, family members, friends, nothing ever seemed to let up this year.
When we stare death in the face we tend to think not of how scary the other side might be, but how much there was still left to do. How much time we could’ve spent with those we loved. How much shelter we could’ve given to those who needed it so desperately.
The world is a cold, unforgiving place, surrounded by brief, exploding moments of happiness. We as humans have found ways to really gather that happiness into great piles of conscious acceptance, but at the end of the day we are constantly getting closer to the final tick on an ominous clock.
One of my favorite things my aunt ever said before she died was how much she dug the most recent Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories. She thought it was a masterpiece, told me that it was probably even in her top 10 of all time. As a diehard music fan, and a diehard Daft Punk fan, that made me extremely ecstatic. My aunt was one of the many people who got me into the cynical, heartwarming sides of the humor present in my writing and my performing, the reason for my love of so many interesting TV shows and movies, and the reason we as kids continued to grow up rather peacefully while she babysat us and whipped us into shape while my mom was at work.
Below is a compilation of songs gathered from myself and some others that have helped us cope with the life and death of beloved family and friends, and other contributing artists who died this year who left an impact on the world greater than any school lesson we may ever attend. I dedicate the following playlist to not only my aunt Angel, but the countless others who have died this year and or are struggling with the concept of death.
I leave you all with the lyrics of one my Aunt’s favorite songs off of that Daft Punk album: Touch, which was sung by the extremely talented Paul Williams.
“A room within a room
A door behind a door
Touch, where do you lead?
I need something more
Tell me what you see,
I need something more.”
Though her time on this Earth is up, I can still hear her in all the music I listen to.
Rest in Peace, Angel. You’ve finally found something more.
The List of Songs:
Animal Collective- Derek
The Antlers- Wake
The Antlers- Two
Childish Gambino- iii: life: the Biggest Troll
The Cure- A Chain of Flowers
Daft Punk- Touch
David Bowie- Lazarus
DJ Shadow- Midnight in a Perfect World
Earl Sweatshirt- Grief
Explosions in the Sky- It’s Natural to be Afraid
Elton John- I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself
Flying Lotus- Never Catch Me
Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Sleep
Gorillaz- Tomorrow Comes Today
Johnny Cash/Nine Inch Nails- Hurt
Kendrick Lamar- Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst
The Killers- Smile Like You Mean It
LCD Soundsystem- Someone Great
Local Natives- Airplanes
Liars- Can’t Hear Well
Massive Attack- Teardrop
MGMT- Time to Pretend
Modest Mouse- Edit the Sad Parts
Neutral Milk Hotel- Holland,1945
Pink Floyd- Eclipse
The Polyphonic Spree/Nirvana- Lithium
Porcupine Tree- Time Flies
Purity Ring- Lofticries
Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork
Sisyphus- I Won’t Be Afraid
The Smashing Pumpkins- Disarm
The Strokes- Under Cover Of Darkness
Sufjan Stevens- Fourth of July
Sun Kil Moon- Carissa
Swans- Song for a Warrior
Tame Impala- The Moment
Tears for Fears- Mad World
The The- The Sinking Feeling
The The- This is the Day
Thundercat- Hard Times/Song for the Dead
Willem Kline, from Belvidere, Illinois is a first year student here at Illinois College, pursuing a double major in English and Theatre with an undecided minor. Willem is a newbie to The Rambler roster, a member of the IC Wind Ensemble, and avid pursuer and connoisseur of anything artsy-fartsy.