If you ask me what my all around favorite music genre is, anyone who knows me well, know that it’s country. But if you were to ask me what my favorite “music mood” was, I think many more of you would be surprised (Or are just confused by what I just said LOL).
Making playlists is something I’ve been doing for a LONG time. From the beginning when I had an iTunes in middle school I started created playlists and mixed CDs, all revolving around different themes, events and moods. I actually still have a lot of my old mixed CDs in my car and like to pop them in every once in a while for a fun throwback. Anyway, above all, my favorite “music mood” is by far what I’ve always personally called “soul music.” I know that I should probably find a different name, because traditionally “soul music” is associated with jazz, gospel and the blues, but the label has just always stuck with me. So what I am referring to is essentially slower, laid back music, often with a single instrument. Most often, this music isn’t your really passionate love songs or really sad songs, but more of a lighter dose of either of those, or just a bit more lighthearted. And it is always best listened to on a cozy rainy day, or a relaxing, warm sunny day.
When I decided that this was going to be an upcoming feature playlist, it was way too long (hundreds of songs), so I started picking through over the past couple of weeks, and then separated that into two lists. I followed my usual rule and tried to focus on including a big variety of artists, instead of multiple songs from the same artists. Which is SO HARD, considering some of my favorites, like Vance Joy, could have whole albums on here. I’ll also say that, for the most part, I don’t really put country music on a playlist like this. In my mind, that is a different kind of playlist.
The first list that I am saving for later features my all-time favorite self-proclaimed “Soul Music,”… all songs that are permanently on repeat. But today’s post is still pretty great, and since we’ve been having quite a few warm spring rainy days where I live recently, labeling this as my “Rainy Days” playlist was perfect.
I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE. ********
1.Favorite New(ish) Album Untamed – CAM
Friends, I think Cam is the real deal.
I would say it is probably pretty hard to be women in country music, but I really do not think that this is an artist that is going fade away after an album or two. After a short jaunt in contemporary pop, her country debut single “Burning House” was one of the biggest songs on 2015 and its almost a crime that it took me until this past month to check out her whole album. “Hungover on Heartache” is currently my favorite jam off of the record, but I also really like the title track “Untamed,” as well as “Mayday” and “Cold in California.”
Plus by now, I think it goes without saying that I LOVE her hair.
2. Favorite New(ish) Collaboration I’ll Be The Moon by Dierks Bentley ft. Maren Morris
Let’s start off by saying that I have been raving about Maren Morris for months now, and I am just so happy that people are finally starting to know who I am talking about.
ANYWAY… let’s focus a little less on what the song is about and just appreciate how pretty that harmony is. Dierks has a lot of fun songs, but his voice was meant for sexy, soulful tunes. I still remember when he came to my county fair right after his debut album came out. He has always been a staple favorite since then and I would LOVE to see him in concert again someday.
3. Favorite New (to me) Artist or Band Brothers Osborne
This song has been stuck in my head and on my regular playlists for a few months now, so I guess it was about time these guys made it onto a blog post. They have a solid country sound, and are almost a bit folksy at times. Other than their single, I really like “21 Summer” (quickly becoming a new favorite), “American Crazy,”“Rum” and “Down Home.” They are playing on tour nearby in August with Miranda Lambert and Kip Moore, and I am REALLY hoping that I can make it work to go.
4. Jam I Have On Repeat
Keeping Your Head Up – Birdy
Birdy goes into the same category as artists like Sia and Vance Joy, who could sing the alphabet and I would still be obsessed with them. I want to feature every single song these artists have. If you think I’m exaggerating when I put songs into this category, DON’T. I literally mean that at one point I have clicked the repeat button on Spotify multiple times. I love that this particular song of hers is a bit more upbeat than some of my other favorites and I love the lyrics. It’s great in the car and is also on my running playlist.
6. Favorite Spotify List “Legendary”
The playlist description says: “The best of the best. Classics that define the word Legendary are all in this playlist.”
I mean with the Stones, Beatles, CCR, Fleetwood Mac and Queen — just to name a few — I would say this is a pretty solid jam session.
7. #SoulMusic I’m obsessing Over Start a Riot – BANNERS
I heard this on a TV show a while ago and immediately knew it would eventually find its way into this category. I love the artist’s scratchy voice and there is a softness to the song, that pulls on a lot of different emotions #closethipster. I’m a sucker for live acoustic versions, but this one is a bit rough, so I’d encourage you to listen to both.
9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down Wild Things by Alessia Cara
It is funny, how you can hate one from an artist and be obsessed with another. That is how I feel about “Here” (which is REALLY annoying) and this new single. It throws me off a bit that this girl is so young, but this “anthem-like” song is quirky, catchy and has such a rich sound — which I think ties back to the lyrics themselves. It sounds great in the car and obviously has also found a spot on my workout playlist.
10. An Oldie, But a Goodie Today I Started Loving You Again by Merle Haggard
Friends, music lost a legend last week. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but my love for it is rooted in riding shotgun with my Dad and in early morning AM radio stations that would play the outlaws and classics. I was never cut out to be a musician of any kind, but I sometimes wonder if that music was one of the things that helped develop my love for good storytelling. Haggard was one of the best, and certainly influenced so many of the generation of artists to follow him. If I had to choose I would probably say that the song above is my favorite of his, but of course I love other hits like “Mama Tried,”“Workin’ Man Blues,” and “Fightin’ Side of Me,” just to name a few.
11. Work, Work It Out Castle by Halsey
If you have already discovered this song, it is probably because you joined everyone and their mom in using the Shazam app when you heard it on the “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” movie trailer. I am sure that I was not the only one. I have not completely made up my mind on Halsey as a new artist, but this song is SO GOOD. With a dramatic flair and so many layers to its sound, I am dying to see someone choreograph a dance routine to this. (Or can I be 16 again please?) It might be a bit different for what normally goes on workout playlists, but trust me, it works.
12. Making Me Want To Fall In Love Ophelia by The Lumineers
The Lumineers were an instant favorite when their debut album came out. Their entire production is so simple, but unique, and their new single has a light-hearted and sweet melody that I’ve had on repeat lately. Plus the video is just cute.
13. Guilty Listen of The Week Friends by Blake Shelton
I do not actually feel guilty about this one, it just seemed like the right place to put it since it is kind of silly. I LOVE Blake Shelton and this video and song have been cracking me up since my sister shared it last week. I think it is great when artists lend their voice to fun, kid-friendly projects like this.
14. Favorite New(ish) Cover/Remix Stay by Thirty Seconds to Mars (Original by Rihanna)
The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge is my favorite go-to on YouTube for live performances and great covers. This particular cover is actually 2 or 3 years old, but I was showing someone this YouTube channel the other day and it made me think of it. Of all of the covers they feature, this one is probably my favorite. I am a fan of most of Rihanna’s music, but I never really cared for her original version of this song. But Jared Leto man, his version is so good, it is wrong. It really should have been his band’s song to begin with.
I’ve found that most people have pretty strong feelings about Meghan Trainor. You either get her or your can’t stand her. Don’t get me wrong her music can get a bit obnoxious after a while, but I generally like her. But this song…people, it’s some level above annoying.
However, can we take a moment to appreciate her hair. If I wasn’t super snobby about the fact that I’ve never colored my hair, I would go to that color in a heartbeat.
16. Country Pick Dear Music by Bart Crow Band
A country love song to country music?
I didn’t know I needed this song, until I stumbled across it, and now it will probably end up being one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t know that Bart Crow put out a new album last year, so I am excited to check that out. “Wear My Ring” is one of my all-time favorite two-stepping songs, so they are always solid staple when it comes to red dirt music.
This week’s Friday Jam Session, is brought you on a Saturday morning.
..because someone’s Friday ended with an epic five hour nap.
Yeah, I like to live life on the edge.
Anyways, this week’s music is best enjoyed on a quiet, sun-shining morning with a cup of coffee, so as least I’m doing something right. By far my favorite playlist on my iTunes is one that I affectionately refer to as “#SoulMusic.”
I’m a writer and a lover of words, so as a music junkie, I love a set of lyrics that has the power of moving people. Today I’m sharing #SoulMusic that all has a similar sound, but that doesn’t mean that those are the boundaries. On my #SoulMusic playlist I have songs that are happy, sad, inspiring, fast, slow and some that don’t have words. They cover every topic that one can sing about and come from every genre. The one thing that they have in common is that they are songs that move me. My fellow music junkie roommate describe these as “lay-your-head-on-your-computer-speaker-and-be-absorbed-into-the-music” kind of songs.
Yeah, she has an unique way with words.
Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
The Lumineers are one of my newest discoveries and really, their entire album could be considered #SoulMusic. The lead singer has that raw type of voice that convinces you that it only speaks the truth. I particularly love this song not just for its lyrics but because of how the music progresses through the story that it is telling. Plus, the little girl in the video is adorable.
Drops of Jupiter by Train
Either you are laughing at me or raising your eyebrows right now, but either way, most of you can’t help but sing along. And that’s why this song makes the list, because it doesn’t actually make sense. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” What does that even mean??? All I do know is that this song makes me smile…and that the 90’s were weird. Pat Monahan, you are creepy and your shirt clashes with the rugs that you are standing on, but hey, thanks for this song.
Runaway by Mat Kearney
Mat Kearney has a special place in my iTunes partially because he is a fellow Oregonian, and while I actually have no idea where he gets his inspiration for his music, I like to tell myself that it comes from the same things that I love about our home state. For some reason this one reminds me of my mountains and is one of my all-time favorites to play on long drives.
This is The Thing by Fink
I discovered this song on the “Dear John” movie soundtrack (which is a gem in itself.) It’s the only song that I have ever heard from this artist but it is one that I always put on repeat for two main reasons. First it is one that you could drop the vocals and I would love it just as much. I am a sucker for that guitar. Second, it sounds so personal and a little sad. It’s sort of, as if we are getting an inside peek into someone’s inter-monologue.
Daylight by Maroon 5
This is a little bit different for Maroon 5 and I think it’s beautiful. It’s both happy and sad, and the kind of song that you can determine it’s meaning for yourself. They took two different approaches for the music video. I’m featuring the one I like better and you can find the other one by clicking here. Neither of the videos feature the song in it’s original form, so I definitely recommend looking that up as well.
A few other artists that sound like this that I can always count on for some good #SoulMusic are Phillip Phillips, Lifehouse, Bon Iver, Snow Patrol, Augustana, OneRepublic, NEEDTOBREATHE, Goo Goo Dolls, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons and The Fray. In a few weeks I’ll feature a Vol. 2 post and share some #SoulMusic with a different sound.