Okay -- the title of this blog post might be grossly overstated, BUT these are 10 songs that are exceptionally close to my heart. In an effort to be more interactive (let me know what y'all think about this), I made you all a playlist on Spotify to listen to as you read about the 10 songs selected and why they're so important to me. Yes, the playlist is the 10 songs I'm talking about.
Alright, by this point I hope you've clicked on the playlist. But if not, here's your last chance. And now off we go into why these songs are so incredibly spectacular to me. In no particular order...
1. Industry – John McLaughlin
I found this song back at JMU when one of the a capella groups sang it. The lead singer for this song was about to graduate college and had recently come out and then was given this song to sing. The whole song is about fitting in and surviving in the "industry," but it really cross-pollinates to being in college and feeling like you're getting beat down by the real world. With him crying and me having feelings, this song got stuck on repeat for -- like -- forever.
2. Take me to Church – Hozier
Not to play the hipster card, but I knew about him before he was famous. Spotify recently calculated how many bands I knew before they were famous, and I made it shockingly in the first few percents for Hozier. I was in love with Hozier. Well, I still am. I mean really, how cute is it that his painter mom made his album art?! Anyways, this song is what's right with the music industry today. In a sea of meaningless techno beats, unoriginal Taylor Swift shit and other assorted BS, Hozier rises above with not only beautiful and introspective lyrics that play off society's modern issues and religious problems, but does it intertwined with the most soul-wrenchingly gorgeous ideals of love. Plus his voice is a cross between Fergie and Jesus, minus the Fergie part. Yes, I'm in LOVE.
3. Sugar, We’re Going Down – Fall Out Boy
If you know me at all, this will not shock you. I was an angsty teenager back in the day when this song came out. And while I have no idea what the lyrics are about to this day, they spoke to me back then. I wanted to go see them in concert in high school so badly and then they broke up. That was one of the more tragic days of my life until post-grad (college, post-college to put this in better perspective) I finally saw them. My damn teenage heart almost stopped beating when this song started.
4. Hell of an Amen – Brantley Gilbert
I was driving around Richmond once at the beginning of this year, and this song came on, and I burst out into tears. It was embarrassing and terrifying (because I was driving and could hardly see through my tears). I haven't been so emotionally moved by any song probably ever. It definitely didn't help that the first time I heard it was mere weeks after my grandmother's passing. I just couldn't stop myself from making the connection. When we buried her, my dad's coworkers came to do an official sendoff, and it was definitely one hell of an amen for one of the most wonderful people that has roamed this planet.
5. She Will be Loved – Maroon 5
I'm not sure that this was supposed to be an aspirational love song, but to me it was. It's oddly romantic to think that someone can love you even when you're riding the hot mess express. It was one of my island songs* back in the day, and to this day I can jam to it.
*Definition of an island song: If you were to get stuck on an island and can only listen to 3 songs for your time there, what would you pick? Mine are "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5, "The Art of Living" by the Audition, and "Fucking Problems" by A$AP Rocky (you know you'll need a pump up song if you're living on an island alone).
6. California – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
I happened upon this song rather recently via Spotify and ended up with it on repeat for a week straight. I'm not kidding. I listened to it for about 40 hours in one week. The reasons I became obsessed: I really like Ronnie's voice, the beat is upbeat and gets stuck in your head and the lyrics are relatable. It's about thinking you're lost and then finding your way. So that's the story of my life...
7. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
I found this song back in college as part of a playlist entitled, "Songs to Stare at the Ceiling to." It's really the perfect song for those days that you just need to wallow in some sadness. It's just so miserably pretty. Love.
8. The Art of Living – The Audition
I honestly can't tell you why this song is so valuable to me. However, it's an island song, I've listened to it more than any other song in my iTunes and there's never a time I've gotten tired of it. That's about it. Listen to it and if you hate it, keep it to yourself.
9. If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask – Mayday Parade
As you can tell from the length of this song title, the song hails back from my teenage years too. It's angry. It's spiteful. It's metaphorical. It's everything I was back then, and the rage still excites me. I was pissed for a week driving to work a while ago, and every single day I'd listen to this song to get me hyped for the battle that was going to work everyday.
10. Stay a Little Longer – Brothers Osborne
I listen to country music often because they play less commercials than the top 40 station, but I rarely ever get emotionally attached to a song. This is one of the few that made me memorize a few lines so I could then Google it and play it on repeat forever. He has feelings and expresses them. And I die ever time I hear it.
What song is most important to you and why? Tell me in the comments!