We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Melody Ouellette, songwriter/vocalist, & guitar player for L.A.Dies, turned in:
#1 – ” Thirst ” by Mary Oliver
This was the first book I’ve read of Mary Oliver‘s, and it’s still my favorite. The connection she makes between nature, humanity, and spirituality in this collection of poems is something that has really stuck with me throughout this year, keeping me mindful and reverent of the beauty in the world around us.
I was really nervous to play this show. We had just come back from tour with Dover and I think we were all pretty sad to see it end. It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety of showing a crowd of people something you made, but it ended up being one of the biggest turn outs we’ve had. I remember looking into the crowd and feeling proud that we had made music that resonated with people–all the work we had put into L.A. Dies felt worth it. We had shared a connection with people and made so many friends that regardless of where we would go with the band, we had made it to that point and I was proud of us.
We recorded in a studio for the first time this year. Going into it we were all apprehensive because we had only ever recorded at home. We were nervous to put ourselves in the vulnerable position of entrusting our idea with people we barely knew, as well as to put our project, and its production, in someone else’s hands. But after eight hours and a trip to Chipotle, all those anxieties subsided, and the music and new friendships we left with that day could not have been recreated without the collaboration and openness of other creative minds.
#4 – Tennis
Even though I moved in with three my closest friends earlier this year, we’ve all been so caught up with working and keeping up with our families that we’re rarely all home at the same time–when we are, I try to convince everyone to play tennis with me. We’re so busy trying to be productive and accomplish whatever task is next on our list, that the time we have for doing things simply because we enjoy them is (increasingly) limited. When we’re playing tennis, all we can do is play tennis, together, present in the moment.
This was the first year I was really excited to vote. I felt more informed and connected to this election than I ever have. Regardless of the stress in the current political climate, as I’m sure everyone, no matter how they see things, has been worn out by our seemingly unending cultural divisions, seeing the voter turn out and the diversity of candidates inspired a hope that we were headed in the right direction.