I cannot speak of my poetry or writing process without first acknowledging the impact music has had on their conception. If anything, music is the driving force behind everything I do or wish to do. Music feels like an extension of myself in many ways—a ledge to lean on when I am weary, a space to curl myself into when the world gets too large, and a stronghold against the raging storm within me that only seems to stir in the hours between midnight and 4a.m.
Music has always given voice to the choking roar within me that has always felt powerful yet small against the backdrop of shame and doubt. Yet there is something ironically beautiful in finding one's truth in the lyrics and melodies of a stranger's—sometimes others can put into words what we feel when we ourselves may not know what these feelings are.
Choir and musical theatre granted me the privilege to use music to expose myself under the cloak of performance. The tears were real, yet no one was the wiser; everything appeared well-rehearsed and choreographed, the emotion palpable but planned. Performance allowed me to be at my most honest by commanding me to play a character. I have learned long ago that my life is blooming with contradictions.
I cannot write poetry or prose hiding unde a fabricated persona. Every poem, every stanza, and every line is tinged with truth and the sorrow and joy that comes with it. It is cathartic and terrifying to write your truths as your own self versus that of a character, yet I am beginning to learn how to do so. I am beginning to learn how to be myself as myself. And music is helping me every step of the way.
I am confident I am not alone in my sentiments about the power of music. It is through this confidence and assertion that music has both therapeutic and creative purposes that we at L'Éphémère Review have decided to curate and publish monthly playlists on the first of each month.
Each playlist aims to represent what each month means to the staff—which songs encompass the freedom of summer? The melancholia of November? The listlessness of February or the renewal of spring? We wish to publish playlists that will not only aid in the creative flows of our readers, but to also offer a means of renewal, healing, inspiration, and validation.
A warm cup of tea of a dreary November day, an inner calm against the tumultuous rains.
Each playlist is curated by our music coordinator Benjamin Napelee with cover art and publication by EIC Kanika Lawton. All playlists will be uploaded on the first of their respected months both on the website and on our 8tracks, which can be found here. As well, two tracklists will appear in all future issues of the journal. If you have any song suggestions for upcoming playlists, please email us at email@example.com or comment below.
We cannot wait to release our first playlist for November, titled WANDERING. Look out for it very soon.
KANIKA LAWTON is a student and poet from Vancouver, Canada. She is currently studying Psychology and Film Studies at the University of British Columbia. She was a Gold and Silver Key recipient at the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, has been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Rambutan Literary, and Red Queen Literary Magazine, and currently serves as a visual arts editor for Venus Magazine. She tweets at @honeyveined and her website can be found here.