For the record: Back to basics

Music columnist Meghan LeVota on the year ahead

By Meghan LeVota | Aug. 21, 2013

Tags: Music


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My name is Meghan LeVota, and I am an ex-music major and future music journalist. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I started singing classically when I was eight years old, as a part of a children’s choir alongside the Kansas City Symphony. Later in life, I was involved in various district choirs, chamber choirs and operas, and I participated in state-level choir and voice conventions.

I love singing with others because music has the ability to connect people in a way that words cannot. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical way music does this. I view it as a form of universal communication — evidence of an unparalleled bond that us humans are much too stupid to figure out. Instead, we just listen in awe.

A vocal performance degree is very time-consuming and difficult to achieve. You have to be 100 percent confident and committed to singing classically for the rest of your life. I tried this out my first semester alongside a journalism degree, and I quickly learned that my uncertain career goals combined with my growing passion for the whole world around me was much too stressful to handle. So I dropped my music degree; what I loved was becoming merely a chore.

But when I close my eyes and envision who I really am in my essence, music is always there. I know that music is a part of me and will be with me for the rest of my life. No degree or certificate could ever change that in me. I still wish to make music whenever I get the chance; I participate in MU’s choral program and Show-Me Opera workshop. I also enjoy jamming with my fellow musical friends and roommates and uploading YouTube videos in my free time.

With my growing interest in journalism, I figure nothing at all could be more perfect for me than music journalism. There is no better way to add my passions together and keep what I love in my life. As often as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone have been knocking on my door, I am more than excited to have the opportunity to write for MOVE this coming year. There are so many great things going on in the music industry. For example, technology is changing how easily we access music, and genres and popular styles are rapidly evolving.

I, personally, have explored music in a much deeper way within the past two years through the resources technology has given me. Though I used to simply enjoy the songs I heard on the radio, I now go out of my way to seek the songs that I love. The joy of the Internet has allowed me to discover my love for a variety of music I never would have heard of otherwise, as well as helped me find my own subgenre niche. I discovered that I, Meghan LeVota, am obsessed with dream pop. I thoroughly enjoy the trippy-but-chill stylings of bands such as Tame Impala as I walk around campus. I also am obsessed with “Feel it All Around” by Washed Out, as it's basically the dream pop theme song (not to mention the actual theme song to my favorite TV show ever, “Portlandia”).

So far, 2013 has been a great year for music, and hopefully it will finish just as strong, giving music columnists like me a lot to talk about. The year started off right with the Local Natives’ second studio album, Hummingbird, This sophomore success story stayed true to its roots with afro-pop harmonies and drum driven melodies.

Later in the year, Iron and Wine released Ghost on Ghost — folky, easy listening great for a rainy day. Starfucker’s Miracle Mile: an album that hints at the psychedelic rock era, with trippy distortion and syncopations. Wild Nothing‘s Empty Estate: an electro pop compilation complete with instrumental and dance songs, each track seamlessly running into the next.

Last but not least, Portugal. The Man’s Evil Friends: head-bangin’ indie rock you can’t help but sing along to. I can’t wait to see what else is in store and share my thoughts and my passion with you along the way!

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