I feel like I say this every month, but you guys…March was seriously brimming with so much musical goodness. Why did I think only featuring five was a good idea? My top choices this month all skew a bit more pop-sounding, other than one solid rock song.
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Happy International Women’s Day! What better way to celebrate than with a little dash of empowerment in the form of a playlist. As we have seen in recent movements, today in 2018 this is just as important of a day than ever to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women. For more information and resources visit their website. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress for a call-to-action in gender parity.
I know a playlist isn’t a easy, fix-it solution, but good music keeps spirits up and can be a mechanism for pushing people forward as we all continue on with the good work needing to be done.
To all the amazing women…
- Who came before us to make life what it is today
- That raised the current generations to be fierce and independent and to know their voice is worthy
- Supporting all women on their achievements and dreams
- Raising future generations of amazing women who will keep breaking down boundaries
- Told they can’t express themselves in the way that feels right to them
- Speaking up and fighting for change every day
I raise my glass to all of you and have more gratitude than I could ever express.
The Women’s Empowerment Playlist is only a small selection of the songs I could’ve included. The original working playlist before I parsed it down had over 60 songs. Let me tell you, it was incredibly hard to not include them all, but I didn’t know if people would actually find a four-hour long playlist useful.
I decided to instead go for a more upbeat, pop driven focus. The vibe I was going for when I was listening is one that gets me amped up and want to take on the patriarchy basically. It’s 25 songs all about loving yourself, being your biggest fan, and not taking anybody’s shit. Most songs are from 2010s, not that those classic jams (Man! I Feel Like A Woman!, Respect, No Scrubs, I’m Every Woman…and so on) aren’t incredibly important and worthy songs to still bop out to today.
What do you hope can change for future generations of women?
P.S. – Like many women, my mom is one of my biggest influences, but there’s one unique connection we share through music.
Until next time,
I have to admit, February was a difficult month to only pick my top 5 songs to show off. That doesn’t mean it was lacking, rather there were so many quality songs I thoroughly loved. You may have seen my sneak peek Tweet yesterday with me exclaiming just how good this playlist was. After a lot of pondering, I think I am satisfied with the chosen ones. Let’s see if you agree.
1) Make Me Feel – Janelle Monáe
Can we talk about how much of a bop this song is? When Janelle Monáe announced her upcoming album Dirty Computer with an accompanying visual album, I knew we were in for a good time. “Make Me Feel” has raucous keyboards, staccato rhythmic guitars, and all the funk that her former mentor Prince would’ve provided. It’s a super sensual and sexy song, that is also fun to dance to. Bonus: Tessa Thompson makes an appearrance in the music video.
2) 1950 – King Princess
King Princess is a 19 year old new artist whose first debut is to launch Mark Ronson’s new label Zelig. Her music is self-produced, self-written, and self-playing of all the instruments. Talk about talent. There’s a reason why she’s one to watch and already getting plenty of buzz. “1950” is soft and airy, but has a bittersweet quality to it that almost feels haunting at times.
3) Come Wander With Me – Brian Fallon
Formerly the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, Fallon is known for his lyrical prowess. “Come and Wander With Me” is a reflection of a broken relationship full of fragility and strength. This song is Fallon at his best with quality introspective rock. (Any Butch Walker fans out there? This is a song for you to check out in particular.)
4) Saturdays – Twin Shadows (Featuring HAIM)
“Saturdays” is a perfect song encompassing all possible vibes of it’s namesake. There’s a pulsating guitar layered on the shimmering vocals that create a unique mystique. With clear 80s influences, this song manages to pay homage without feeling vintage. A solid pop song that has widespread appeal to both indie and mainstream audiences.
5) Pray For Me – The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar
Black Panther soundtrack does it again! “Pray for Me” is a track that is meant to reveal the internal monologue of the film’s protagonist King T’Challa. A strong bass line runs throughout the contemporary electric sound and propels it forward. The two rappers fuse together two different styles in one epic combination. (PS: If you haven’t listened to this entire soundtrack and enjoy rap, r&b, and hip-hop…it is a MUST.)
Honorable Mention: “Want You Back” – 5 Seconds of Summer. There was a summer a few years ago when 5SOS was in One Direction’s touring pocket and I found myself a pretty hardcore fan of these guys. Then, they went out on their own and the appeal was quickly diminished due to their repeatedly problematic nature. (Even if their debut album was great.) Here we are years later when I thought I was good and clear of them and they pull me back in with a great song. I don’t think I’ll ever stan them like I did once upon a time, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find me jamming to their new album when it is released.
The February playlist below contains 40 tracks. It even has a few never-before seen on my playlist surprises thanks to the K-Pop focus during the recent Olympics. (Bonus points if you can point out any of the three songs I became obsessed with due to figure skating last week.)
Do you have an artist whose music you love, even if you don’t particularly like the artist?
Until next time,
Well, what do ya know? Your girl has some blogging soul left in her. There may be zero of you out there reading this, but I missed getting into the zone and just letting my thoughts run free. So here I am again.
My first post back would of course be on music, gotta stay on brand right? I will admit, when I wasn’t blogging as much last year – I found myself sleeping on some great music. Which dear music deities, please forgive me.
Below you will find my Top 5 Tunes for the month of January (yes, I know I’m more than a few days late, but I promise it’s just as good still) and an extra little somethin’ somethin’ in the form of a playlist of all the songs I discovered and enjoyed during the first 31 days of 2018. Hopefully you can find a few new gems too! (I mean, there’s 47 of songs…the chances are likely there will be at least one.)
1) All the Stars – Kendrick Lamar and Sza
Okay, okay, okay. When it was announced that Kendrick Lamar would be curating/producing the Black Panther soundtrack you KNEW that album was going to be good. Like, sign me up NOW good. Then the first song got released and it was a collaboration with two of the music world’s biggest darlings currently – SZA and Kendrick Lamar himself. Could it get better than this? It’s a beautiful synth-heavy song that combines the talents of the two perfectly. “All the Stars” easily amps up the already high excitement for the movie.
2) Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
I have a confession to make. I have never enjoyed Sufjan Steven’s music much. (I know, it’s a very unpopular opinion.) However, “Mystery of Love” and the other two songs Stevens crafted for Call Me By Your Name may have changed my mind. Have you ever heard music that is so absolutely perfect for it’s usage, it almost becomes breathtaking? “Mystery of Love” is one of those for me. The Oscar nomination is very well deserved. The tone, sound, lyrics…everything compliments the story of Elio and Oliver. “Mystery of Love” adds a layer of narration to the backdrop of somewhere in Northern Italy 1983 in it’s own unique way.
3) My My My! – Troye Sivan
Days before Troye Sivan announced his comeback single, I was pondering aloud what ever happened to him. Creating one heck of a song is what. “My My My!” is a bop, a banger, and a jam all in one. Sivan took his 80s pop meets 00s EDM inspired debut and cranked it up a notch to deliver on his sophomore album too. I could dance in my car, in the club, in my kitchen…I could dance wherever to this song. In those famous words, wig snatched.
4) Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka
Here’s a bit of a throwback for you. “Cold Little Heart” was released in 2016, so it’s not necessarily new – but it’s new to me. While binge watching Big Little Lies on New Year’s Day, I found myself entranced by the opening credits enough to sit through them. Every. Single. Episode. Even though they were on my DVR and I could’ve easily pressed fast forward. It sounds like I wasn’t alone in my love for Kiwanuka’s song. After Big Little Lies premiered, the numbers of people who Shazam’d the song increased massively.
5) IDGAF – Dua Lipa
I am all for powerful feminist and self-love anthems in music. I can’t get enough. Lipa’s “IDGAF” fits that bill to a T. One listen and suddenly you’ll have a list of all those who have done you wrong, imagining yourself driving around town in a nice car and not giving them the time of day. Or, was that just me? Either way, this song exudes confidence and it’s hard to resist feeling the same.
Honorable Mention: “For You” by Rita Ora and Liam Payne. I will be honest, this song didn’t make my Top 5 simply because it’s from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack and I am petty AF. They trilogy consistently had killer soundtracks and it was the hardest thing for me to admit each go around. “For You” is the quintessential ‘lovers’ duet and it’s the best thing either Ora or Payne have put out in ages.
The January playlist found below (let’s be honest, due to my eclectic music tastes probably every playlist on this blog) will be a mixture of everything from Top 40 pop to obscure indie and maybe even a few country and rap songs thrown in between.
What did you find yourself listening to in the first month of 2018?
P.S. – The beginning of the year signifies a resolution for most people to amp up their workouts. Of course, just like how there’s an app for everything – I’ve got a playlist for that.
Until next time,
Better late than never? I had the best of intentions with my Summer 2016 Playlist as you can tell by the Spotify creation date, but then life got in the way. I honestly don’t understand the bloggers that can balance it all. Major kudos if you fall in that group – seriously. Maybe also teach me your ways.
It may be August but these are still the tunes fueling my summer and hopefully my Summer 2016 Playlist can keep you going through these dog days of summer. What does that phrase mean by the way? I’ve always used it and known it refers to the ending of this season, but how did it come about? You can bet I am Googling that now – it’s based on astrology. You learn something new every day.
Funny enough at least a handful of songs in this playlist I was NOT a fan of immediately. A few I even Tweeted my displeasure over. Yet another time where I should’ve learned my lesson that if I announce my dislike of something, chances are likely I’m eventually going to enjoy it. The songs of summer are often so catchy, I can’t resist their charm.
The Summer 2016 Playlist is a mixture of pop, indie rock, rap, and even a few country tunes thrown in. What I’m trying to say is that there will be something for everyone. Satisfaction guaranteed.
If I had to crown the ultimate song of summer, I would easily say Justin Timberlake is the reigning king. Change the dial to any radio station and before long, “Can’t Stop This Feeling” will be all over the airwaves. The Troll movie isn’t even in trailer form, but the soundtrack is already a winner.
What’s your go-to song of summer?
P.S. – Or, maybe you’re over summer and wishing for fall. Don’t worry, I’ve got your playlist needs covered too.
Until next time,
I know when the calendars flip to January 1st, for many people their new year’s resolutions are some variation of get in better shape, get fit, lose weight…yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been there. For me, it never lasted long. Instead I’ve realized I’ve slowly had to prioritize my health instead of a quick momentary goal because it was a new year. However, there is never a time like now to start planning for these goals, when everywhere you look there’s tips, deals, and support on an individual’s fitness.
Part of that journey has been learning to truly enjoy doing things that impact me positively. I now look forward to my trips to the gym and it is all about figuring out what works best for me. How did I do it? The answer may come as a surprise to all of you. One of my favorite ways to get excited for those scheduled workout times is to always have a fresh and lively playlist.
May I present the New Year, New You: Workout Playlist. There’s no genre or theme here. Just twenty-five top notch songs to kick your butt into gear. These are all new additions to my workout playlists that have inspired me and I hope they’ll do the same for you.
Make sure to save the playlist to your Spotify account for you to easily listen next time you head to the gym.
What’s your favorite recent song to get into the zone while working out?
P.S. – If you’re real into workout playlists that are themed, I have your back with my indie-filled pump up jams.
Until next time,
Fall has gotten a bit of a bad rep recently. It’s been labeled everything from basic to overdone. I don’t care. I love fall. I will ALWAYS love fall. Between summers with too fair of skin to ever enjoy the season fully (lobster alert) or the Minnesota winters where temps can reach -50 degrees Fahrenheit with a windchill, I was bound to be all for the fall season. Bring it on.
I know it seems like fall started ages ago based on the pumpkin flavored everything influx that started in August, but it’s actually today. I know, my mind was blown too. The autumn equinox marks the first official day of the season and this is when I finally allow myself to fully give in to the fall mindset. Give me all the oversized jumpers, pretty colors to photograph, and endless hot beverages of choice to drink now. Yes please.
Are you a fall person? If you are, boy do I have a treat for you today. Introducing Cozy Up: The Fall Playlist!
I wouldn’t be me and we wouldn’t be celebrating my favorite season without a superb playlist to accompany it. Time to bask in the comfort and contentment that the fall radiates, with music that goes hand in hand. I’m basically giving you a musical sweater that wraps you up in coziness, where can you get a better deal than that?
What is your choice song for fall?
P.S. – For all you lovelies living south of the equator, don’t worry I’ve got you covered too. Check out my Hello! Spring playlist for those warmer days or if you’re just in the mood for for sunshine in a playlist.
Until next time,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day (tomorrow)! After having lived in one of the most Irish cities in the United States for the last few years I’ve learned that even if you yourself may not have any Irish roots, it’s still a celebratory day full of beer, dancing, and good music. I even learned that the Twin Cities wind up as no. 3 and no. 10 Guinness beer drinking cities. I’m bummed that I can’t celebrate it to it’s full extent this year but am still looking forward to enjoying the day and rocking a bit of a green ensemble, maybe even drinking a green beer too. However, I wouldn’t be me if I still couldn’t incorporate music into it.
I present you the Irish Roots Playlist! A collection of the best musicians and bands that were born and raised in the wonderful country of Ireland! Some of these you may have known, some may be surprises to learn native countries. For instance did you know Dropkick Murphys were American? I didn’t! (Or that Flogging Molly only has ONE actual Irish member.) The most Irish sounding musical acts many think of are frauds. Okay, not really, but you get my point.
It’s a bit of an odd playlist I’ll admit, not your typical one you’d expect for St. Patrick’s Day either. There’s no theme or mood, other than WHOO HOO IRISH PRIDE! Which I guess in itself is a good enough theme.
- Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2 (Dublin)
- Breathless – The Corrs (Dundalk)
- Work Song – Hozier (Bray)
- Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor (Glenagleary)
- Only Time – Enya (Gweedore)
- Through the Dark – One Direction (Niall Horan is from Mullingar)
- What About Us – The Saturdays (Una Healy is from Thurles)
- Zombie – The Cranberries (Limerick)
- High Hopes – Kodaline (Dublin)
- Jump – Girls Aloud (Nadine Coyle is from Derry)
- Gotta Tell You – Samantha Mumba (Dublin)
- Nobody Knows – Boyzone (Dublin)
- Into the Mystic – Van Morrison (Belfast)
- Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard (Ballymun)
- We Own the Night – The Wanted (Siva Kaneswaran is from Blanchardstown)
- Before the Worst – The Script (Dublin)
- Teenage Kicks – The Undertones (Derry)
- C’est La Vie – B*Witched (Dublin)
- The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy (Dublin)
- Open Your Eyes – Snow Patrol (4/5 members are from Bangor, Derry, and Belfast)
- Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club (Bangor)
- World of Our Own – Westlife (Dublin)
- I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats (Dublin)
- If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly (Dave King is from Dublin)
Celebrate safely! Just remember green beer comes back up that way too. I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day 2015! Cheers and happy listening!
What is your favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
P.S. – Work off all the extra calories from the delicious food and drink you celebrated with using the indie rock workout playlist.
Until next time,
In the last few days I’ve felt a burst of creative inspiration. I’m not quite sure where it came from, but I’ll gladly take it. After the draining two weeks before that, it was much needed. It’s nice to feel the urge where I want to write creatively again after shoving it aside for real life.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it publicly on this blog since those dark days when I first started blogging but I’ve always dreamed of publishing professionally. In university I was the kid who signed up for too many writing classes, the kid who constantly had a notebook full of scribbles, and the kid who would turn a simple seven page story assignment into a sixty-page mini book simply because I got into it. True story. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised as I was actually limited in elementary school on how many books I could send to the professional binder each week. It’s easy to say writing has always been a passion of mine.
It’s also not surprising to anybody who knows me even the slightest to guess that paired with my writing time is always good music playing in the background. Gasp, what a shocker right? I figured with my recent writing spree, I should share some of those tunes I find myself using the most in a writing playlist. I seem to gravitate towards more emotional and soft music while writing. I didn’t even realize there was a bit of an overall depressing tone in the majority of the songs I’ve been using until I was putting together this post. Good for those gritty scenes right? I’m going to say I enjoy these songs particularly because it sets a more relaxed atmosphere. That and I don’t want to get up and dance with them while getting into writing, that’s too distracting. I do still find myself singing along though. Oops.
There’s no purposeful set up in the way these songs are arranged. They’re just kind of there. It’s not like my workout playlists where I set it in stages. I tried to select a mixture of old/new and various genres when putting together this playlist.
Even if you don’t like music while writing, hopefully you’ll find at least a few new good tunes to enjoy!
Want to learn more about why I love using music as a writing tool? Check out the 5 reasons I gave when I guest posted over at Kate the (Almost) Great last month.
Do you have a favorite song or artist to listen to while working? What inspires you?
P.S. – For a whole new different vibe, check out the indie rock work out playlist!
Until next time,
I’ll be honest I had another post entirely planned for today. However, life gets in the way sometimes. If you couldn’t tell from my general lack of presence this week online, it has been a few busy days in my life that includes getting ready for the first out of town hockey tournament of the year this weekend. That being said, my originally planned post will be rolled out Monday (hint: band-aids not groupies) and I’ll finally respond to everybody’s lovely comments. In the mean time I decided to treat everyone to a playlist. I’m the queen of various playlists, I have over 100 between iTunes and Spotify. I’ve shared some on the blog here before and they’ve been popular, so I’ve had a few planned lined up for the blog.
This is my Indie Workout Playlist. I’ve had many people ask me what my favorite workout songs are and I can never answer because I have 12 work out playlists of various genres and types. Yes, I counted. (What? I love playlists.) This is only a handful of my indie focused songs, coming in at 16 songs and barely under an hour. Warm up, in the groove, and cool down are all included. Perfect for a good workout. Which I figured was a good thing since it’s January and everybody including your grandmother has the resolution to get in shape, so ace music is a necessity.
The only caveat I have is my work out of choice is running so many of my selected songs are very beat focused.
Indie Workout Playlist Vol. 1
1. Icarus – Bastille
2. Cough Cough – Everything Everything
3. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John
4. Different Colors – Walk the Moon
5. Pumpin Blood – NONONO
6. Don’t Save Me – HAIM
7. Your Body is A Weapon – The Wombats
8. Finger Back – Vampire Weekend
9. Crown on the Ground – Sleigh Bells
10. What Doesn’t Kill You – Jake Bugg
11. R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys
12. What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club
13. Anybody – Bad Things
14. Kids – MGMT
15. On the Fence – Milo Green
16. It Gets Better – The Preatures
Would playlists be helpful in another format? 8Tracks? YouTube? I want to make sure as many people as possible can listen to and use my playlists if wanted!
What’s your favorite song to work out to? Do you have a genre you find yourself in consistently?
P.S. – Check out some of my other previous playlists to get you moving and grooving.
Until next time,