This idea was borrowed from my friend Sheridan over at Five Awesome Things. She posted a birthday playlist of songs that had moved her over the past year (don’t have to be released in the past year, just songs that were important to you). It sounded like such a cool idea that I wanted to join in on the fun. So, in no particular order, here are the 9 (in honor of my 29th birthday) songs that were most important to me in the last year.
1. Indaco by Ludovico Einaudi
I discovered Ludovico Einaudi a few years ago, but I was reminded of his existence by KUSC, which I listen to on the way to work. He had taken all 10 spots on the iTunes Classical chart recently, and I so liked the piece they played on the radio that I downloaded it immediately. It reminds me of a (much much much) more restrained Keith Jarrett. There’s always improv piano music in my house, and this sounds so very similar to it.
2. Thousand Eyes by Of Monsters and Men
When the trailer for Jessica Jones came out, I had to go Google what song it used right away. I knew the show was going to be very personally important to me, and the song just resonated so much. After looking up the band’s information, I realized that I somehow keep being drawn to Icelandic music groups. I have no idea why.
“I’ll be the calm / I will be quiet / Stripped to the bone / I wait / No, I’ll be a stone / I’ll be the hunter / A tower that casts a shade”
3. Try by Tyler Ward (cover, original by P!nk)
Found, as many good covers are, through Grey’s Anatomy. I loved the original by P!nk, but I hadn’t thought about it in awhile until I heard this cover. Lyrics are always really important to me, and I love every word in this track.
“Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame / Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned / But just because it burns, doesn’t mean you’re gonna die / You gotta get up and try, and try, and try”
4. Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Who hasn’t heard this song this year? This is my “turn it up loud in the car and play the final drum breakdown on the steering wheel” song.
“And all those things I didn’t say / Wrecking balls inside my brain / I will scream them loud tonight / Can you hear my voice this time?”
5. Ghost Town by Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert’s new album was a little hit-or-miss for me, but the sound of this song was just so catchy and the lyrics were amazing. Such a perfect “drive cynically through Hollywood at night” song.
“Died last night in my dreams / Walking the streets / Of some old ghost town / I tried to believe / In God and James Dean / But Hollywood sold out”
6. Here by Alessia Cara
This song is, and I quote the artist, “about everyone who secretly hates parties.” Ever wondered what it’s like to be an introvert at a party? THIS.
“I’m sorry if I seem uninterested / Or I’m not listenin’ or I’m indifferent / Truly, I ain’t got no business here / But since my friends are here / I just came to kick it but really / I would rather be at home all by myself not in this room / With people who don’t even care about my well-being”
7. Take Me To Church by Hozier
Again, everyone heard this song. But it’s incredibly beautiful.
“In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene / Only then I am human / Only then I am clean”
8. Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578 by Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. for orchestra by Leopold Stokowski)
I bashed Bach for a long time, because his music sounded mechanical and all the same to me. But since I started listening to classical music on my commute, I’ve actually gained a lot of appreciation for his music and the mathematical complexity it holds. This is one of my favorite Bach pieces that I heard this year. The huge ending just kills me.
9. To Be Alone by Hozier
Another Hozier song to close out the list. I just love the dirty bluesy sound of this piece.
“Never feel too good in crowd / With folks around, when they’re playing / The anthems of rape culture loud / Crude and proud creatures baying”