Album of a Year

Soundtracking twelve months in LA

Stephanie Georgopulos
Human Parts
Published in
22 min readOct 1, 2016

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October 1, 2015. I have a reservation at JFK (or was it LGA?) and a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, no U-turns. I am 29, single for the first time in a long time, freelancing. I have never lived alone. I have never lived anywhere but New York. These are the songs that drowned all of that out ^ in the year that followed.

October

“This Year,” The Mountain Goats

Months before the move, this song sends me to PsychologyToday.com to find a therapist and when I’m all fixed up — fixed up enough — it drives me to the airport. It checks me into the Airbnb on Laveta Terrace and sleeps at the foot of my renta-bed. I am gonna make it/ through this year/ if it kills me on repeat. I text the video to my dad, a guitar player, “Can you learn the chords before Christmas?” (I don’t see my parents for Christmas.)

Only three months left in the calendar year and I can make it, right? I have my doubts. But now, walking down Sunset Boulevard for the first time, all sweaty earbuds and miniature next to home-dotted hills and flamingo-legged trees, now: I’m finally here and I’m thinking every time I breathe there’s a little more Los Angeles in my lungs and so far that’s a good thing and I bet I won’t stop breathing yet — not until 2016, at the very least.

“90210,” The Courtneys

Leaking nervous energy from the tailpipe of a car that doesn’t belong to me and please, no open flames. The people I’m with have Potential and I want them to like me but it’s eleven a.m. on a Saturday and I’m salty and sober and just so freaking new, some brassy-ass bone-clean penny, no grime in my grooves yet. But California doesn’t care, won’t humor my anxiety. The mountains won’t allow it. The skunked air won’t allow it. We’re driving to the track to bet on horses; the windows are down and my skin and nerves are almost blue when here comes “90210” to untie the knots in my chest. I Shazam it from the backseat, covert; there’s something…

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Stephanie Georgopulos
Human Parts

creator & former editor-in-chief of human parts. west coast good witch. student of people. find me: stephgeorgopulos.com