Just thought I’d share with you guys what I’ve been listening to lately, and some of my favorites that I’ll be listening to forever…
So. Here goes. Click on the album covers to see my comments.
WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY:
I finally listened to Florence + The Machine’s “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” in its entirety and I have to say that it’s genius and sonically wonderful. I need to listen again and again (if I ever get the time) to just take it all in.
Natalie Royal, a Nashville/North Carolina singer-songwriter I’ve been in love with since I met her at a Belmont University preview day four years ago. I know every word to her album “Savor,” and I awaited the March 11th release of “Harbinger” with great excitement (though I couldn’t download it until I got back to school on the 14th). It’s different than “Savor” but it’s still brilliant. Her vocals are just exquisite and, once again, I need to keep listening just to catch all of the lyrics.
I’ve also been jamming to Adele’s “25” for, like, four months now. I know, I’m basic. I’m even more basic because I love “Hello” and “All I Ask,” but I probably can’t choose a favorite on the album. I’m amazed at the low notes on “Million Years Ago” and the string section on “Love in the Dark” makes me cry and “Water Under the Bridge” is just infectious.
WHAT I’LL LISTEN TO FOREVER AND ALWAYS: (some of my all-time favorites)
I have so many memories associated with this song. (I like the acoustic version best but Avicii’s is still pretty cool.) First, I spent the entire first semester of my college career humming along (and dancing a little but ONLY in private because I don’t actually dance) to this song when Avicii’s version came on the radio every 10 minutes (it seemed). I felt like the lyrics were totally appropriate for that point in my life. Then, when I won the GRAMMY Amplifier competition, I had the chance to hear Aloe Blacc sing this song from five feet away. That’s still the best version I’ve ever heard. Standing right by the stage and scream-singing along with my best friend beside me, that’s when I thought, “It doesn’t matter if winning this competition brings me fame or success or does anything for my career at all. It doesn’t even matter if I have an artist career. I’m just glad I’m here, and I know I just want to be in the business that brings this type of experience to everyone.” Yeah, I want to write songs that matter. I want to write songs like this one–simple and appealing, but when someone with frazzled nerves and a tear-stained face jumps into their car and turns on the radio, it can mean the world to them. My most recent experience involving this song was halfway around the world. It was our last night in Perm, Russia, and some of us had run through the fountains about a dozen times (like the cool adults we are) and were completely soaked. Three of us Americans caught a ride back to our hotel with our friend Katya and her parents. The six of us were stuffed into this medium-sized vehicle and her parents didn’t speak English and we felt awful about how we were soaking their car seats but, then, “Wake Me Up” came on the radio. Katya’s mom cranked it up when she figured out that we knew this song. Suddenly, we were all singing along and it was magical and wonderful and the perfect ending to a perfect night.
I am still very upset that Ben didn’t sing this when I saw him live in October of 2014. I am also very upset that he came back to Oxford during the busiest week of my life and I didn’t get to see him. ANYWAY. Basically, I adore Ben Rector (like every other stereotypical college girl) and I think his social media presence/tactics are genius and this song is one of my favorites of his. It was my alarm tone for over a year (the opening lyrics are “There are days when I wake up…”). It’s an anthem for those of us who have grown up (at least a little) and think, “Where has the time gone? When did I become this person?” and I feel like, little by little, I feel more and more like this, whether it’s good or bad or something in between.
I have always known about Jackson Browne (because of my dad’s Eagles albums) but I never really listened to his stuff until a guitar lesson last year. I fell in love with “In the Shape of a Heart” and the genius songwriting and it’s probably one of my favorites, but I have to go with “Running on Empty” as my favorite Jackson Browne song. I bought this weird album at Fred’s that had different versions of several of his songs, most of them recorded live or in hotel rooms or even on the tour bus. I listened to “Running on Empty” for the first time and immediately loved the piano part, and I was drawn in by the lyrics. Recently, I took a drive by myself to watch the sunset (Delta sunsets, y’all. Wow). I must have listened to that song 10 times in a row and I just kept singing the line, “I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels.” IT’S JUST SO TRUE.
I GET TO SEE BILLY JOEL IN CONCERT THIS WEEK OH MY GOSH I AM SO EXCITED IT’S GONNA BE GREAT. Ahem. Anyway, my mom bought “The Essential Billy Joel” for me about four or five years ago, and it changed my life. I’m always amazed at how Billy can change his singing voice depending on the style and feeling of the song, and his songwriting and piano skills are to die for. Gahhhh.
The awesomest (that’s a word) choir director ever took the time to listen to my music and then share some of her favorite artists with me. She introduced me to this song and I immediately fell in love with it. I still have no idea what this song is actually supposed to mean, but it means something different every time I listen to it. I also love the ending, where the ever-cool, ever-strange Regina Spektor imitates the drums with her voice.
Sooooo that’s all I’ve got for now. What are you listening to?