Throwback Thursday: Sarah McLachlan

Every time I need a good cry, I put on Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 album Surfacing. This album makes me cry for two reasons: 1) it was the last gift I received from a beloved Grandfather and 2) the track “Full of Grace” was used on the WB show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While the latter may seem absurd, I urge you to remember the effect of popular culture on malleable teen girls (and boys, for that matter). Also I’m not alone in this: YouTube is aplenty with “heartbreaking” video montages that play out to that particular track. While I don’t tear up over the plot of Buffy, I do wax nostalgic for a time spent in a rambling ranch home under the umbrella of an upper middle-class childhood–sheltered and untroubled.

I spent countless hours playing each and every track from Surfacing on the piano, and pretending to be much more worldly, pulling the “epic suffering” of my “tortured” teen existence through my fingertips onto the ivories. This, however, means nothing if the album cannot grow with me in order to remain relevant; Surfacing absolutely has. My favorite tracks then are not my favorite now, and I find new meaning in those I routinely skipped before. For this reason this Throwback Thursday’s topic with always be present as well as past–in constant motion with its listener.


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