This is my favorite album ever. This album has special meaning to me because it was the constant background music to my gap year between undergraduate and medical school. Last year was a trying year because the uncertainty of the medical school admission process can be mentally exhausting. You take the MCAT in the spring and submit your application sometime in June. Most people think that means that you find out about where you will be going relatively soon, but that isn’t the case. Interviews don’t start until around September and they can stretch all the way until April. The endless waiting between interviews is the worst. You refresh your email constantly hoping for an email from an admissions committee. You never know when it will come and the tension is nerve-wracking.
These tracks not only set the tone for the long periods of silence, but the interviews as well. These songs are forever linked with early bleary eyed flights in and out of Indianapolis. I would wake up at 3am (my alarm being “Opening Act” listed below), and make my final preparations and pack delicate things like my tie while I played “Doomsday” on my large speaker. After a breakfast of oatmeal followed by a decent helping of trepidation and thought I would walk out to my car and drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis.
Upbeat tracks like “Farnsworth Court” were my favorites while in the city I was interviewing at. In DC (the home of Andrew Bayer), I listened to “Farnsworth Court” as I took the Metro around town. I listened to “Lose Sight” as I briskly walked around Philly in the early morning light. As expensive as it was to hit the interview trail, I am so glad I did it. I learned so much about different cities, and the culture of different medical schools.
On the return flight, I often felt much better about things and the lighter tunes of the album would set the tone. I loved to wait for flights with the sounds of “A Brief Interlude” in my ears. Sitting in an airport terminal alone and far from home can be isolating or exhilarating. It just depends on your perspective, and I found that my musical context, which massively impacts my emotional state, was the key to modulating my mood. This uplifting track was perfect for reflecting on a job well done and how glad I was that I got to travel and experience new cities. I would usually land in Indianapolis at 12am or 1am and put on “Closing Act” for the drive home. You might think I got tired of these songs, but it was important for me to have a ritual and a sense of familiarity as I embarked on on interview.
No album is as consist or masterfully produced, and I love the experimentation and risks that Andrew Bayer takes. I have posted some club oriented tracks from Andrew Bayer before, and in that post I promised to show you the much more interesting side of Andrew Bayer. I don’t usually post entire albums, but I’ve done so here because I think they are all worth listening to, and I would encourage everyone to buy the album. I think this music has the potential to imbed itself in your own memories as well.