Girl, Put Your Records On

Tell me your favorite song!

The origin of my favorite music is rooted in a garage sale.

There I was in the middle of summer, not going to waterparks or hanging by a poolside, but rather organizing my mom's garage sale. After the divorce, we had to save up whatever money we could to prepare for the big move to Florida. My mom focused on packing all the junk in the basement while I took the role of selling all our items (she was a horrible saleswoman). While negotiating back and forth like a crazy car sales worker, I was able to sell a lot of our unnecessary belongings. Towards the end of the sale, we were desperate. My mom was telling me to sell just about anything not vital, even if it had sentimental value. I watched strangers carry away items I had known my whole life to be part of my home. Finally, my mom brings out a big box of vinyls. Although we did not have a record player, my mother seemed to have collected a decent range of "old fashion" music. I saw her grief as she insisted I sell them. As she continued her work inside, I decided to spare the vinyls. As if I was the Grinch on Christmas Eve, I secretly stuffed the vinyls in my boyfriend's house for safekeeping.

Fast forward a few months, the holidays are here! My mother and I are moved into our new apartment, which of course is decorated to the brim in festive decor. My mother always made any place feel like home. The sun breaks through the windows Christmas morning and I'm filled with excitement, not to receive gifts, but give the most special one! I shoved two big heavy boxes in front of her, one the vinyls and the other a brand new record player. With tears in her eyes, she was stunned to see her beloved vinyls back. The rest is history filled with beautiful music.

Those vinyls were mostly Italian classics and Christmas tunes. Some may chuckle at the thought that Italian music could be motivational or help with concentration. However, I'm a prime example that it does just that.

Instead of listening to fast paced music, I find comfort in soft, slow melodies. Perhaps it's the calming voice of Dean Martin that fills me with ease or perhaps its the poetic style of pianist Nat King Cole. Part of me thinks of slow dancing every time, as if the task at hand was a dance in itself. Each step should be thoughtful and purposeful.

My favorite slower, softer songs:

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley

L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole

Luck Be A Lady by Frank Sinatra

If you want a bit more of a pick-me-up paced songs:

Ain't That A Kick In The Head by Dean Martin

Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield

Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darin

These songs have gotten me through long roadtrips, everyday work grinding, and all my college late-night essay writings. With my mind already running a million miles per minute with tasks and deadlines, I need something to leisurely motivate me. No, this playlist isn't going to be your next EDM favorites, but it will keep your mind at ease and focused.

Vinyls can offer an entirely different way of absorbing music. Records enhance appreciation for music and the long process it takes to produce the final version. With advanced technology, musicians are heavily underappreciated as downloads and streams become the norm. Vinyls are physical pieces of art that lets fans cherish albums' purposeful track list straight through as well as taking moments to carefully flip it to the other side. That simple act gently reminds the listener to take a break. Too many times I'll work for hours without a break. Vinyls are the best timers ever.

To this day, I support artists I admire by purchasing vinyls for our record player. Buy a record player, buy vinyls of your favorite artists, and experience music in a whole new way. Dance in your kitchen to Nat King Cole. Let Dean Martin serenade you. Inspiration and concentration doesn't have to be explosions of noise, but rather a burning amber of tunes that centers you.

My "Old Love" Playlist.

Angelica Pasquali
Angelica Pasquali
Read next: Jay Z: From Worst to Best
Angelica Pasquali

Hi there, I'm Angelica!

I'm a professional photographer and climate activist based in New Jersey. By combing art and activism, I create powerful visuals that influence and educate people on global issues. Eco IG: @jellysavestheworld

See all posts by Angelica Pasquali