Fifty Shades of Grey is a hotly debated topic that I have absolutely no desire to dive into. But I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks. And even I can’t deny how good the Fifty Shades soundtrack is. It’s almost too good. A part of me kind of wishes there had been fifty tracks on it. Continuity, people…
Let me break it down for you: I love good music and creating playlists that match a mood or a feeling. The Fifty Shades Soundtrack delivers mellow, broody, and sultry sounds. It almost sounds like (dare I say) grey looks. From Ellie Goulding and Sia to The Weeknd and Beyoncé, it’s hard to find any tracks I don’t enjoy. If you’re not so sure, give a couple of underrated tracks a listen. My current on-repeats are “I Know You” by Skylar Grey and “I’m On Fire” by AWOLNATION.
We made it to the end of the year. And just think about how much great music we’ve been able to listen to all year. So this month is kind of a mish mash of things I’ve been really into. My favorite artist at the moment is Walk The Moon. I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to get into their music, but WOW am I glad I finally am. Their new album Talking Is Hard is incredible. Between their pop anthem, “Shut Up And Dance,” and their slower jams, like “Aquaman,” you’ll find something you love. If you’re not convinced, go see them live. I guarantee that’ll change your mind.
The best radio station in Chicago put on their second ever Christmas concert and the lineup this year was beyond even my wildest dream: Meg Myers, Vance Joy, KONGOS, and Walk The Moon. I mean. Really? You expect me to have a pulse at the end of that show? So you’ll find some of my favorite tracks by those artists scattered throughout this playlist too. Other than that, I’ve been jamming to “Uptown Funk” and “Moneygrabber” like its nobody’s business. And when I’m not listening to Walk The Moon, I’m listening to the few Christmas songs that don’t drive me crazy (you’ll find those in this list too).
I really can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us, music-wise. I mean, new Fall Out Boy, new All Time Low, new Marianas Trench, new Imagine Dragons??? The list goes on. And I’m just sitting here waiting as patiently as I can. I suggest you stay tuned.
Til then, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!
Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk
Fitz and The Tantrums – MoneyGrabber
Walk the Moon – Jenny
Nick Jonas – Avalanche
Walk the Moon – Avalanche
Meg Myers – Heart Heart Head
Vance Joy – From Afar
Chris Cornell – Scream
Josh Ramsay – Baby Please Come Home
The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
Andrew Belle – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
All Time Low – Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass
Honeyhoney – Punk Kid
Weezer – Da Vinci
Nick Jonas – Jealous – Remix
Vance Joy – Georgia
Walk the Moon – Aquaman
Miley Cyrus – Drive
Taylor Swift – I Know Places
Ella Henderson – Ghost
It’s that time of year where I begin daydreaming about summer nights. And that means this playlist is almost entirely country (oops?). The country station has been a frequent friend of mine while stuck in traffic lately, so it’s been great timing for so many artists to be hitting the airwaves. Between Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice, and Brad Paisley, I think I’ve got that genre covered for a while.
Now, this is groundbreaking news coming from me: I had a bit of a revelation that Taylor Swift is a pretty good songwriter. She even earned herself two spots below! (You’re welcome, TSwift) … so 1989 is a great album. I gotta give her that. I gave her a chance and I think she finally delivered with an album that everybody will get hooked on. Speaking of pop music, I sprinkled in some Kat Dahlia, Sara Bareilles, and Imagine Dragons, plus two awesome indie tracks (“Trainwreck 1979” and “Hymnals”). Recipe for a perfect pre-winter playlist.
Now, bring on the turkey so we can get back to sunshine and summer….
Eric Church – Talladega
Taylor Swift – Bad Blood
Death From Above 1979 – Trainwreck 1979
Florida Georgia Line – Dirt
HAERTS – Wings
Parmalee – Close Your Eyes
Kat Dahlia – Crazy
Brad Paisley – Perfect Storm
Bebe Rexha – I Can’t Stop Drinking About You
Lee Brice – Love Like Crazy
Sara Bareilles – Gonna Get over You
Thomas Rhett – Make Me Wanna
Imagine Dragons – I Bet My Life
Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat
Taylor Swift – Style
Grizfolk – Hymnals
I don’t know if there are many feelings I enjoy quite as much as the wet, golden chill of October. You know the one. It could be 1 in the afternoon, but the sky looks angry, the wind whips around you, and you can almost feel the green liveliness of the leaves slipping away. This is my favorite month to build a soundtrack to.
This playlist is full of swooping melodies, strings, and haunting voices. My favorite. But I also had to include a hefty amount of Yellowcard, since they released their album Lift A Sail on October 7th. These guys have been at it for a long time, but I’m convinced they can do no wrong. Between the Yellowcard, you’ll find a little indie pop (Bleachers’ “Rollercoaster”), a dash of eerie Meg Myers, a pinch of Andrew McMahon (“High Dive,” one of the most noteworthy tracks off his newly released album), a little Hozier and Neulore, and of course Bastille. I saw them play at Aragon Ballroom this month and they absolutely blew me away. Their songs, “Oblivion” and “Laughter Lines” have always been my favorite, but after hearing them played live, I love them even more. And they sound like October.
Happy Halloween and happy listening!
Yellowcard – Convocation
Bleachers – Rollercoaster
Meg Myers – The Morning After
Neulore – In The Orchard
Yellowcard – Transmission Home
Lily & Madeleine – Things I’ll Later Lose
Steve Aoki – Back to Earth
Yellowcard – Make Me So
Neulore – Shadow of a Man
Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods (yes, I know. I can’t believe I’m listening to her either.)
Yellowcard – Lift a Sail
Bastille – Oblivion
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – High Dive
Yellowcard – MSK
Maddie & Tae – Girl In A Country Song
Hozier – Like Real People Do
Nevertheless – When I’m Alone
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were
Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
Bastille – Laughter Lines
September! How did it arrive and slip by so quickly? This month, I’ve been listening to Vance Joy’s new album, Dream Your Life Away, non-stop. Can you blame me? He is so much more than just “Riptide.” It seems like my mind was on Australia, because I found myself drawn to a band I’d never heard of before: Sheppard. This six-piece indie pop group is from Brisbane and they’ve got a sound that everybody needs to hear. Be sure to check out their single, “Geronimo.” And once you’re sold, check out the rest of their EP.
A few other notable discoveries include Scotland’s very own Twin Atlantic (is there anything better than a vocalist whose accent shines through?), Meg Myers (“Desire” is dark, sexy, and sure to get your heart racing), Hozier (“Take Me To Church” is going to haunt the radiowaves soon), and Ella Henderson (“Ghost” is a pop anthem with a chorus bound to get stuck in your head). Plus an honorable mention to Fall Out Boy for releasing their new single, “Centuries.” I’m positive FOB can do no wrong!
Enjoy this month’s playlist and let me know what you’re listening to!
Twin Atlantic – Hold On
Cobra Starship – Never Been In Love (feat. Icona Pop)
Fitz and The Tantrums – Fools Gold
Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know
Echosmith – Cool Kids
Lewis Watson – stay
Fall Out Boy – Centuries
Meg Myers – Desire
Meg Myers – Go
Vance Joy – From Afar
Vance Joy – Mess Is Mine
Hozier – Take Me To Church
Sheppard – Geronimo
Sheppard – Something’s Missing
Ella Henderson – Ghost
Ben Howard – End Of The Affair
Turin Brakes – Feeling Oblivion
Whitley – The Life I Keep
Sweet August. Bittersweet August. The month of last-chances for the summer. The month that always manages to fly by, even when you try to savor every minute. This month was a slow one for music, but one of my favorite discoveries from 2014 released their album on the 5th– and thank goodness for that. The Wind And The Wave is a folky, alternative, gritty, country duo. In short: the perfect August band.
You’ll see quite a few of their tracks scattered throughout this playlist. Also keep an eye out for some classic summer jams (“Summer Hair = Forever Young” and “In This Diary”), some mellow tunes (“Live In The Bedroom” and “Welcome Home”), and the only country song I discovered this month (“American Kids”). And no playlist would be complete without a terribly catchy top 40 hit (“Bang Bang” is fun, that’s all there is to it).
Sit back, grab a beer (or, you know, your summer drink-of-choice), and listen to what the last month of summer sounds like. I know I’m not the only one clinging onto it!
The Griswolds – Beware the Dog
Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul
The Dirty Heads – My Sweet Summer
The Wind and The Wave – My Mama Said Be Careful Where You Lay Your Head
Marianas Trench – Pop 101
Tim Moxam – Live in the Bedroom
Young Guns – I Want Out
Birdy – Skinny Love
The Academy Is… – Summer Hair = Forever Young
The All-American Rejects – I Wanna
The Wind and The Wave – Every Other Sunday Morning
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Cecilia And The Satellite
Kenny Chesney – American Kids
Jessie J – Bang Bang
Colony House – Silhouettes
The Ataris – In This Diary
The Wind and The Wave – Raising Hands Raising Hell Raise ’em High
Radical Face – Welcome Home, Son
You know those songs that are inexplicably more enjoyable when you’re wearing shades, the sun is out, and the wind is warm? They’re the songs that make you feel like the sun wants to linger a little longer, like you need to get up and dance around, like you’re in the opening credits of your own romcom/teen romance movie. That’s what I’ve captured in song for Now Playing: July Edition.
I was talking with my best friend-slash-music soulmate-slash favorite Sydney-dweller, Blake, about how we’re constantly moved by how music has such a strong impact on memories. Blake was on a wanderluster’s dream adventure traveling through Europe and like the wonderful musical soulmate he is, came home with loads of songs to tell me about (complete with story of where it was heard). What better way to encapsulate the summer or the adventure of a lifetime than to have a ton of tracks to remind you of it years later?
With that in mind, I threw some older songs and a few favorites from previous Now Playing posts just because they fit my criteria of “the perfect summer song.” The criteria? You just have to feel it when you hear it. I often found myself driving with the windows down and my stereo up with these exact songs. And since July is both the best month of the year and the most summery month of summer, I couldn’t resist. You’re about to hear a lot of happy, energetic, beat-fueled pop (with my signature slow jams sprinkled throughout). Keep an eye out for my absolute most exciting find, Misterwives’ “Reflections.” I still can’t put into words exactly what I love about this song. But maybe that alone says enough.
Without further ado, here’s what I had playing in July. Crank it up and let August rock!
Ed Sheeran – Don’t
Hellogoodbye – Finding Something To Do
The Harmaleighs – Sunflowers
NONONO – Pumpin Blood
Said The Whale – I Love You
The Unlikely Candidates – Follow My Feet
Jason Lancaster – You ‘N’ Me
OneRepublic – Love Runs Out
Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better
Magic! – Rude
Miley Cyrus – FU
Iggy Azalea – Black Widow
Ed Sheeran – Bloodstream
Kacey Musgraves – Keep It To Yourself
Hamilton Leithauser – Alexandra
Holley Maher – Perfect Day
MisterWives – Reflections
Sia – Chandelier
Andrew McMahon – Synesthesia
Matt Nathanson – Wedding Dress
The Wind and The Wave – It’s a Longer Road to California Than I Thought
JUNE WAS SUCH A GREAT MONTH FOR MUSIC THIS YEAR. From Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith to Passenger and Jason Lancaster, let’s call it a music gold mine. This doesn’t happen very often, so I hope you listen with open ears to what I’ve selected—there’s lots to like.
Breaking things down, we start off very mellow, thanks to the phenomenally sad The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack. From there, add a dash of country (Billy Currington), alternative (Young Rising Sons—this might be my song of the summer), and Aussie indie rock (The Cam Nacson band—thanks Blake!). I got a little friendly with top 40 hits this month, thanks to Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea, but you can’t deny it’s catchy. Rounding things out, I picked two of my favorite tracks off Passenger’s new album, a couple other country favorites, and two of my (current) favorite Jason Lancaster songs. Toward the end of the month, I discovered a band from Chicago, Mighty Fox, who will hopefully do big things. Their new EP is worth checking out.
What are you all listening to this month?
Ed Sheeran – All Of The Stars
Birdy – Tee Shirt
M83 – Wait
The Stationary Set – Close Enough
Billy Currington – We Are Tonight
Young Rising Sons – High
The Cam Nacson Band – No Other Plan
SomeKindaWonderful – Reverse
Ariana Grande – Problem
Ed Sheeran – Sing
MAGIC! – Don’t Kill the Magic
Big Data – Dangerous (feat. Joywave)
Passenger – Golden Leaves
Passenger – Riding To New York
Lady Antebellum – Bartender
Lee Brice – I Don’t Dance
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Rachel Taylor – Porcelain
Jason Lancaster – Change
Jason Lancaster – Hey Jude
Mighty Fox – Wild Ones
Confession: you’re about to find a lot of country on this month’s playlist. I put the blame on warmer weather, weekends in southern Illinois, and Hart of Dixie (if you don’t already watch this, I highly suggest it. Lots of great actors. Quirky, small town in the south, and lots of attractive dudes with accents). Long story short… all of those things bring out the country in me. In between, I have: pinches of Alt/Indie (The Wild Wild, Jasia), Alternative (Slaves, The Cab, Birds of Tokyo), and Pop (no shame, I’m digging Cody Simpson’s new track). Also, there’s one band I HIGHLY suggest. I love everything I’ve heard from them so far. Their name is The Wind And The Wave… their sound is a little alt, a little country, and a lot awesome.
Enjoy! Let me know what you’re all listening to recently. Anyone I should check out?
Brantley Gilbert – Bottoms Up
Tyler Farr – Whiskey in My Water
Passenger – Heart’s On Fire
The Wild Wild – Alright
Jasia – Inverbatim
Slaves – The Fire Down Below
The Wind and The Wave – With Your Two Hands
Summer Heart – I Wanna Go
Perrin Lamb – Little Bit
David Nail – Kiss You Tonight
The Cab – Lock Me Up
Jason Michael Carroll – Meet Me In the Barn
Billy Currington – Let Me Down Easy
Twin Forks – Who’s Looking Out
Keane – Everybody’s Changing
Josh Abbott Band – Touch
Dustin Hatzenbuhler – Nothing Better
Cody Simpson – SURFBOARD
Sam Smith – Lay Me Down
Birds Of Tokyo – The Gap
April in Australia… yep, it’s as good as it sounds. The only thing that sounds better? The playlist I created along the way (ok, that might not be entirely true, but I REALLY love this one). Wherever I went (Cairns, Gold Coast, Alice Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, etc.), I kept track of the music I was hearing around me. It’s a bit of a music journal, if you will, and I think it’s a pretty fun mix: a little indie, a little alt, a little throwback, a little singer/songwriter, a little shameless pop, and a little more. From start to finish, this is what my trip to Australia sounded like:
Of Monsters And Men – Dirty Paws
Man Man – Head On [Hold On To Your Heart]
Ben Lee – Catch My Disease
The Presidents Of The United States Of America – Lump
Huey “Piano” Smith – Don’t You Just Know It?
Gavin DeGraw – Best I Ever Had
Tyrone Wells – Use Somebody (Bonus Track)
Dan Sultan – Under Your Skin
Woodlock – Lemons
Big Hits 2012 – Clouds
Whitley – The Life I Keep
Turin Brakes – Feeling Oblivion
Talisco – Your Wish
Rixton – Me And My Broken Heart
5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
M83 – I Need You
ashray call – voices
Arcade Fire – Wake Up
Dan Croll – Home