June finds me in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on my first trip to the continent. I have less than a month left here in Africa before I return to DC to work and study for the rest of the summer, and the time is bound to pass quickly. Over the last couple of weeks, I have regularly found myself missing amenities like hot showers and air conditioning, but when I weigh the comforts of home with all that I have left to experience here, it’s clear to me that I’m in the right place.
Internet is pretty spotty here and some issues with my phone company prevented me from being able to use my Tanzanian SIM card to access the data package I purchased (thanks, AT&T!). But the occasional hot spot has allowed me to stay up-to-date on some recent musical releases from Lorde, Joywave, alt-J, and Bleachers, among others. This playlist has been on repeat as I’ve traveled around Tanzania, from my morning walks to class to the long ferry ride to Zanzibar. It’s a mix of melancholy, optimism, and scuzziness, which has thus far defined my travel experiences.
[Disclaimer: I realize that I might be the only music critic bold enough to recommend alt-J’s objectively absurd “Hit Me Like That Snare.” Yes, the lyrics are completely ridiculous. But the overwrought campiness reminds me of Rocky Horror, and I love Rocky Horror.]