My Playlist for the New Year

We are at the end of the first day of 2019, so I thought that now would be a great time to share some of my favorite music for entering a new year. For all of the songs in one pin-able graphic, scroll to the bottom of this post!

1.) “Only Time” by Enya

Even though this song was a meme for a brief period of time, it still is one of the most timeless pieces of 21st century music (pun completely intended). Everything from the vocalizations to the beautiful Alto II lines to the modulation at 2:24 makes this song as stunning as ever.

“Who knows? Only time.”

2.) “Salvation” by Gabrielle Aplin

Gabrielle Aplin’s breathy vocals and incorporation of bold string and horn sections with the song’s piano-driven harmony is just the amount of beauty to capture the spirit of winter.

“You are the snowstorm; I’m purified… and let the band play out as I’m making my way home again. Glorious, we transcend into a psychedelic silhouette.”

3.) “Healer” by Kari Jobe

Whenever I’m going through it, this song always puts me in a calm(er) mindset. The lyrics are great ones to keep in mind if you are anxious at all about the coming year.

“You hold my every moment. You calm my raging seas. You walk with me through fire and heal all my disease. I trust in You. Lord, I trust in You… nothing is impossible for You. You hold my world in Your hands.”

4.) “Wasted” by Carrie Underwood

From Carrie Underwood’s very first album, this is a beautiful song about how short and precious life is.

“I don’t want to keep on wishing; missing the still of the morning, the color of the night.”

5.) “Hope is What We Crave” by For KING & COUNTRY

This is a remake of the duo’s song from their first album of same name, Crave. This one is a little bit more uplifting and changes some of the lyrics, making it perfect for the hopeful spirit of the new year.

“To live, to die, to lose, to get, to rise above, to love again.”

6.) “Shake it Out” by Florence + The Machine

“I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart.”

7.) “Light it Up” by For KING & COUNTRY

“Yes, it can be a beautiful morning.”

8.) “Gravel to Tempo” by Hayley Kiyoko

This song is about a teenage Hayley prior to coming out as lesbian. Although I am fairly straight, this is still a song that I find encouraging for anyone trying to understand themselves better in the coming year.

“I don’t feel adequate thinking I’m a monster in disguise. We’ve gone down every list, stuck but I have got to begin to resist. Caught up with the fact that life will be dark… I’ll do this my way… I gotta be on my own.”

9.) “On and On” by Chasen

“I’ve tried my way; it always ends up being a mistake, but You’re right when You say that You set the time for the plans You’ve made… so I’m here, I’m waiting, because I believe… I know that Your love is strong. It goes on and on and on and on.”

10.) “I’ll Be Your Breeze” by Andrew Belle

If you listen to this song and then one from one of his more current albums, you will be shocked that it is the same songwriter. All of his albums are good, but this old EP always has a special place in my heart.

“I know we all play our part in this thing. We’ve all got a song we were put here to sing.”

11.) “Growing Pains” by Deas Vail

Deas Vail is one of my favorite bands from the time I was a preteen, and this is at least in my top five of favorite songs of theirs. It has everything– a beautiful mirroring of piano and violin solos, pumped-up percussion, and thought-provoking lyrics.

“Pages turn and then unfold to show us where we’ve been as the signs along the road to lead us home again.”

12.) “Go Do” by Jonsi

“We can always know that we can do everything. Go do.”

13.) “Let ’em Say” by Lizzo and Caroline Smith

“Let ’em say what they’re gonna say. They’re gonna feel what they gonna feel.”

14.) “Dance in the Graveyards” by Delta Rae

This is not supposed to be ominous or anything; I promise that it’s an uplifting song.

“I don’t want to rest in peace; I want to dance in joy… and while I’m alive, I don’t wanna be alone.”

15.) “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot

I would also like to suggest Jayesslee’s cover, which is what I usually listen to. It can be found on Spotify.

“Move like today never happened before.”

16.) “Love Out Loud” by Jaci Velasquez

“Take His love to the streets, show compassion to a soul in need… the touch is loving more than words; it’s reaching out for all to see the Light that shines through me.”

17.) “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship

While I am honestly mostly attracted to this song’s bassline, it still has such a powerful message. Also, fun fact, my friend knows this in sign language.

“Who the Son sets free… is free indeed. I’m a child of God, yes I am!”

18.) “God is Able” by Hillsong Worship

“Greater than all we seek, greater than all we ask. He has done great things.”

19.) “Easy” by the Commodores

This is, quite literally, an easy-going song about just letting go of others’ expectations and kind of just doing your own thing. It also has a beautiful (yet brief) modulation at 2:40. That eight-second interlude is actually my favorite part, although the guitar solo is obviously a close second.

I believe that this song carries an energy that all of us should carry into 2019 and the rest of our lives.

“I wanna be free, just me.”


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Summer Music Challenge: My Oldest Friend

This installment will be about someone I’d rather forget about.

music challenge

I am fortunate to not have had too many falling outs with friends. I don’t have many enemies, either. Even the people I’m on bad terms with aren’t worth me writing a blog post about. However, even though I don’t straight-up hate anyone, there are a few friendships I wish hadn’t ended. I’ve had a few that fizzled out with time, and I wonder that with just a little more effort, maybe they could have been saved.

I present to you “My Oldest Friend” by Andrew Belle from his album, The Ladder.

Don’t wanna sound ridiculous
But I think you know I’m sick of this
And I kind of think that we can bend, do you?
I’ll try to be a better friend to you
You know I miss you in my life
And I kind of think I realize
That I was only looking out for me
Instead of getting you the help you need

Oh, who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am
Barely listening to my oldest, my oldest friend?
Oh, my oldest, my oldest friend

I’ve given one, you’ve taken two
But this medicine has followed you
From the eastern coast and back again
So, I tell you once but not again
That I only miss you in my life
And I hope you finally realize
That I’m only looking out for you
When I’m not afraid to see this through

Oh, who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am
Barely listening to my oldest, my oldest friend?
Oh, my oldest, my oldest friend

So, wanna sound ridiculous?
‘Cause I think you know I’m sick of this
And I kind of think that we can bend, do you?
I’ll try to be a better friend to you
You know I miss you in my life
And I kind of think I realize
That I was only looking out for me
Instead of getting you the help that you need, but…

This song is giving off some “How to Save a Life” deja vu. I think the main storyline is that it’s about a friend who is addicted to drugs, hence the “This medicine has followed you” lyric. Belle alternates between statements of “I’m only looking out for you” and “I was only looking out for me,” which represents the inner turmoil anyone who has lost a friend due to addiction or other vices can relate to. You’re constantly torn between thinking you did everything you could and blaming yourself for something you could not have possibly known better about.

It relates to my life (thankfully, not in that way… for the most part), because there is blame on both sides. In every friendship of mine that has failed, there is a recurring pattern of me not paying enough attention to their needs, and them having a total disregard for mine.

The lyric “Who do I think I am, barely listening…” especially relates to me. I don’t know if this is true or not, as I have never been friends with myself, but I feel like I do more talking than listening. Which, someone who is not close with me would be confused by this statement, because I’m a rather reserved individual. However, in my close friendships I am very outspoken. I love to make my friends laugh. I love to share stories (very dramatic ones, if I do say so myself). And you can tell I love to ramble on because look at how long this blog post is.

I just don’t feel like I listen enough. There is one specific friend of mine who doesn’t really tell me much about herself. I have noticed in recent months that perhaps she prefers to divert the conversation from her life back to mine, and maybe I’m not completely selfish. But I still feel like I am. I feel like I’ve failed her in some way. And while we’re still friends, she is starting to pull away from pretty much all of her friends. Including me. I’m scared that I’m not fighting to keep this friendship.

On the other hand, there’s the lyric: “I’ve given one, you’ve taken two.” This applies to many other failed relationships I’ve had. None romantic. I think quite a few people will be able to relate to being taken advantage of; you give someone one thing and before you know it, they just keep taking. And so you try to be patient with them. You try to be a better friend to them.

But sometimes, even if you miss their presence in your life, you are no longer friends for a reason. It is easy to think back on the good times and think that the end was a mistake. But sometimes, there is too much damage on both sides. Sometimes, the best decision both parties can make is to move on.