One thing I love almost as much as being a mom and cooking is music. It lifts my spirits, soothes my soul and helps me to forget about myself. I love finding new and fun music and artists. I love listening to someone I have never heard before and falling in love with their voice or song. It is one of life's small pleasures but a true one, a rare gift and something that reminds me to enjoy all the little things.
I was a child of the 80's, a synthesized pop princess who was raised on power ballads and rock anthems. I moved less than gracefully in my teen years to angst filled alternative music, a la Nirvana and, of course, my first love, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam ("Jeremy" still makes my heart beat a little faster). I also delved into 60's and 70's classic rock. Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, the Stones and the like rocked my world and helped me to appreciate music on a new level. The frustrated angry music was eventually replaced by Rap and Hip-Hop, although if I am being honest that was mostly due to friends and outside influences, not what I really wanted to listen to. My college days were filled with bedroom indie and my eyes were opened to many new genres. I loved going to see little known bands play and visiting our university ballroom where bands would grace us with their stylings. I was all about learning and music was no exception. I even dabbled in country music here and there, although it never really stuck. I listened to the sickly sweet, overly produced radio pop and the basement-recorded EP's that barely made it out to anyone other than the artists 5 friends. I was a sponge and sucked it all up. Now I am a woman in her mid-30's who knows that music feeds my soul. It gives me a reason to get excited and brings that little pick me up that anyone who stays at home with young kids understands that we NEED!
I thought I would share with you some of my recent favourites. Things others have introduced me to and things I have found along my way. Most of them are of the indie pop variety, the kind of music that has interesting lyrics mostly written by the artist and music that is off the beaten path but sticks in your head and in your heart. I love the slow soothing ballads and haunting melodies that chase me in my dreams and are the soundtrack to my life. Some days I think of myself like a character on Dawson's Creek with young unknown artists singing in the background, infusing drama and meaning into the everyday and sometimes boring moments. Am I the only one who does this? Really? Okay. Moving on.
In no apparent order:
Wakey!Wakey! They have great piano backgrounds to all of their songs. Their songs are reminiscent of the angst filled songs of my youth, yet done so much better. They are upbeat with great instruments and the vocal blends are wonderful.
Joshua Radin. His voice is soothing and beautiful. His songs are melodious and make you think of the ones you love. He is a romantic and playful. LOVE.
Ingrid Michaelson. She is haunting, slow, methodic, dramatic, coffee shop piano and guitars. The above song is one of my faves of hers (it has a LONG intro but worth it in the end) but she is just so wonderful I can listen to her all day. I know she has been around for a while but I just feel like she does not get enough love.
The Boxer Rebellion. Dallin and my new favourite band. They are chilling, haunting, brilliant and so worth downloading a whole album. They are a great mix of sounds that leaves you wanting more. We discovered them while watching a really TERRIBLE movie but finding TBR was a very redeeming bonus!
Jack and White. A few years ago I caved and watched American Idol. I know, I know but this one season was pretty good and there were some decent talents. One such was a gorgeous young girl named Brooke White. Piano playing, indie pop singing, hippie styling music that was just magic. She has teemed up with Jack Matranga and while she sings the majority of the lead vocals, Night after Night is a great mix of them both. They are fun and very retro in sound. A great weekend pick-me-up and perfect at only $2.99 for their short albums!
Iron and Wine. If you can forgive the fact that the video mentions the Twilight movies above (which have awesome soundtracks and I mean that in every sincerity - it is the one thing they got right) you are in for a gem. I&W is the stage name of one Sam Beam, a talented singer songwriter whose lovely melodies and chilling songs leave me feeling so very mellow and craving more. I often first hear music through movies and TV shows and this was a good discovery from a movie many, many years ago. I&W continues to inspire me and make me happy.
Speaking of discovering music through movies, the Shins. They will change your life. Listen to them if you haven't already.
Pete Yorn. An oldie but a goodie. His voice makes me swoon a bit. I love his gruff sound and the slight twang in his voice, the catchy tunes, the lyrics, the use of instruments like a harmonica and the likes, he had me at Hello.
Lenka. Last but certainly not least. She is talented, beautiful, and so very catchy. Her springy pop stylings will lift your mood and make you smile. She is perfect for listening while you clean or cook or drive or really any time you want a little pick me up.
This is not to give hugs and kisses to my old favourites: The Killers, Death Cab, Muse, Coldplay, The Smiths, Jason Mraz, Keane, Modest Mouse, and Adele. Because who could forget about Adele?!? I never get tired of listening to that girl sing!!!