Settings that promote the use of headphones within a horde of strangers provide the perfect scenario to live life with a killer soundtrack. Personally, airports seem to be the most reliable fount of these personal crowd-sourced anthems, as the process of concluding an arduous airborne journey is invigorating on a fairly consistent basis. After getting off the plane, exiting the cabin doors and entering the congested terminal, I’d like to imagine I’m the featured newcomer as I strut through that flock of people-watching travelers. The only variables in this situation are the unexplored airports that I walk into and the song choice that the gods of music shuffling choose for me. I can only hope that those shuffling deities choose a song that has a steady beat to walk to, making my imagined “cool guy” walk that much cooler.

Elizabeth Lowell Boland, otherwise known as Lowell, provided the soundtrack to my most recent trip through that airport runway. The percussion is perfect for such a venture, coinciding with the typical step by step pace of someone with a purposeful airport stride that says “I’m on my way somewhere, and I’m going there in self-described style.” The lyrics and remaining instrumentals give off a bit of a pretentious high-school vibe, but that snobby, stiff-lipped look is kind of what I’m going for. Similarly, Lowell’s request to “give her a beat” and eventual follow-up inquiry asking “Where’d the beat go?” were cute at first, but the repeated call for the ladder puts her exhibitionist adolescent attitude on full display. At the same time, the grandiosity of the whole thing makes for a better experience on the listener’s part, and I can only hope that the gods of shuffle pick a song with a similarly lofty mantra the next time I walk through an unfamiliar crowd.