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The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: What The Daily Tar Heel sounded like this summer

adrian odj.jpg
Photo courtesy of Adrian Tillman.

How many playlists go unused?

Think about it. All the playlists in your library, mine, the world’s — so many of them get listened to once, twice, then forgotten about. Sometimes they’re for really specific moods, or one-time occasions. Sometimes they’re made for people who just never listen. Sometimes, you just forget the playlist exists.

We had a playlist like that this summer. 

A mashup of everyone’s “summer song picks” — we made a fun, genre-crossing, hours-long playlist that we were convinced we’d play as our background music. Every editor chose some songs they felt would bring a spark of life to our upstairs brick-walled office.

And then we immediately forgot it existed.

We didn’t forget about the playlist because we didn’t listen to music — the office had tunes playing off of someone’s desktop more days than not. It wasn’t that the playlist itself sucked — we each enjoyed a ton of the songs represented.

The reason that original playlist faded into the back of our minds was simple: we discovered the songs that actually soundtracked our summer. 

At the beginning of the summer, there was no way we would have been able to predict where the next couple months would take us. If you told me in May that our summer would feature coverage of a national championship, grass in Kenan Stadium, multiple U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the burning of a beloved restaurant AND the presence of Martin Luther King III in Chapel Hill? I would have laughed at you. 

Looking back, though, each one of those things fits right into the bizarre and beautiful time we have had covering the news for you all. 

Each moment feels like a scene from a movie — wildly unique, yet all tied together by our shared experiences between these Franklin Street walls.

Our end-of-summer playlist is, in a word, diverse: it contains songs by everyone from Noah Kahan to Tyga, from Queen to Redveil to Dolly Parton.

Each song is tied to a memory, something connecting the people working in this office to the time they’ve spent here: the familiar “womp-womp-waaa” of “Taste” was an office in-joke, the guitar strums of The Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again” were a constant presence in summer editor-in-chief Caitlyn Yaede’s headphones and Revenue and Growth Director Collin Pruitt and I had a lengthy music conversation all stemming from the lax beat of Aaron May’s “I’m Good Luv, Enjoy.”

Together, this playlist encapsulates a summer's worth of muggy afternoons, walks around campus, rounds of Geoguessr and whiteboard drawings. Every time I get nostalgic about slideshow nights, beer cheese or arguments about Filet-o-Fishes, I know this playlist will bring me right back to summer at The Daily Tar Heel.

A ton of playlists go unused. This one, though? Not a chance.


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