Music has been my constant lifelong companion. It’s not just an artform, but more like an actual entity in my life, a constantly changing personality to accomdate me and be my best friend. Music is as much a part of me as my own organs. It’s not only an external substance to consume and take into me, but it also has a source within me and flows outwards.
That being said, I felt like sharing the songs that have gotten me thru this crazy year. I don’t know about the rest of you, but 2017 was about as intense as it gets. Music was one of the few constants I had to help pull me through.
These songs are listed in roughly the chronological order of when I listened to them the most. Some of these are songs that I’ve loved for years, and some are new ones I’ve discovered. All of them have helped me process and accept different issues I’ve wrestled with this year.
If you want to skip the commentary and go straight to the playlist, click here.
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
My husband and I began the year listening to Chris Stapleton on repeat, and he’s become one of my favorite artists. He’s just sooo sooo good. He’s an amazing song-writer with a voice that makes me want to dissolve and explode at the same time. I love this song, despite having zero affinity for alcohol.
White Houses – Vanessa Carlton
I’m in love with both the song and the video. I can’t necessarily relate with the content of the song, but I do relate with the overall feeling. It’s a song about growing up, and I’ve had to do a lot of that this past year. I especially love watching Carlton dance. In my wildest dreams, I too can dance like she does.
Round Here – Counting Crows
This song is super depressing, so it fits me well. I also listened to “Anna Begins” a lot.
River of Dreams – Billy Joel
Billy Joel is one of those artists who, despite being a self-proclaimed athiest, has some profoundly spiritual songs. River of Dreams is a song that has continued to find me at every turn this past year.
Joel is, hands-down, one of my all-time favorite songwriters/musicians. The man is pure genius.
Invitation – Molly Skaggs
I started listening to Molly Skaggs this spring. She has some really beautiful songs, and this is one of my favorites. At the timeI found this song, it felt very comforting and inspiring.
Pieces – Amanda Cook / Bethel Worship
This song really got to me. “Mercy” (Amanda Cook) is another good one, but “Pieces” is my favorite.
Always – Switchfoot
I was inspired to listen to this song in the wee early hours of my birthday this year. It became my birthday anthem. I’ve always loved Jon Foreman’s writing style, he’s always been a huge inspiration for me.
Fire Away – Chris Stapleton
When I first saw the video for this song, I couldn’t stand it. It was just so depressing. But I think it’s because it hits too close to home. I can now watch it without wanting to tear my eyes away, without trying to disengage from the story, because it’s more or less my story. I’ve never come close to self-harm/suicide, but I definitely understand the desire. And I also understand the love of a man who won’t ever give up. This song is a reminder that my husband loves me no matter what.
Hallelujah – me
Ok, so I threw in a video of myself singing one of my favorite songs. I’m still trying to figure out who originally wrote this song… Leonard Cohen? Did Jeff Buckley write some new verses? Someone, PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME. Anyway, “Hallelujah” has become a rather famous and much-covered song in recent years. It was already well-known before, but I feel like it’s becoming more popular lately. Although I’ve always loved this song, it never had much personal significance for me until this year. I feel like I understand the lyrics now and the intent with which the song was written. My favorite line of the song is, “Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”
You Know Where To Find Me – Imogen Heap
I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this song, but I am sooo glad I did. This is one of the most beautiful and unique songs I’ve ever heard, and ranks somewhere around number two of my favorite songs. Imogen Heap is talented beyond description and I’ve really enjoyed listening to her music this year. I listened to this song on repeat for a while, which is definitely saying something because I hate listening to a song over and over again. From what I understand, she actually wrote this song about the river Thames where she frequently goes to reflect and recharge. The song is from the river’s perspective, and you can see the river throughout the video.
Me The Machine – Imogen Heap
Another amazing piece by Imogen. This video shows her Mi.Mu gloves that she now uses to perform with. It’s pretty mind-blowing how far technology has advanced. To learn more about these gloves, click here.
Laughing With – Regina Spektor
The lyrics of this song can sort of smack you across the face if you’re not prepared.
Eet – Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor is another one of my favorite artists. I love how she basically uses her voice as an instrument. I’ve found a lot of inspiration in her work.
Roar – Katy Perry
This is actually kind of funny… I don’t listen to much pop music (or anything on the radio for that matter) and I’ve never really cared for Katy Perry. But this song kept showing up in my YouTube feed and after listening to it a few times, I realized I actually liked it. And kid you not, every time I watch this video and she roars at the tiger, I get chills through my whole body. Every single time.
Wide Awake – Katy Perry
I’m particularly attracted to this video. The first time I saw it, I was on my way to the bathroom to take a shower, and I froze when I looked at the tv and saw the vines in the video growing on the wall leading to a door. The image was very similiar to a profound vision I’d had a few months earlier, so I stood there and watched the whole video. I ended up crying when I got in the shower afterwards, an emotional response I wasn’t prepared for and didn’t fully understand. I think it was the first time I truly recognized the significance of personal power, and that I’d spent so many years deferring my power to everyone and everything else.
Say It Anyway – Rosi Golan
I first came across Rosi Golan in 2009. I bought her album “The Drifter and the Gypsy” from iTunes, and it’s continually been a favorite of mine. I love the way she writes, and this song really hits home. It’s about saying what needs to be said, even when it hurts.
Heart’s A Mess – Gotye
I never heard any of Gotye’s music until this year, with the exception of Adam Lavigne’s cover of “Somebody that I Used to Know”. I REALLY like his guy’s music. For me personally, I find this video distracts from the actual song. But I know a lot of people really like it and I’m not going to argue with that. This is one of those songs that puts into words exactly what I’m feeling.
Love – Sixpence None the Richer
This is a long-time favorite of mine, and it came back to me this past autumn. One of these days I’ll get around to blogging about the significance of it because it was pretty impressive how this song showed up for me.
Poison & Wine – The Civil Wars
Music so good, hurts so bad.
Save Me – Gotye
This music/video combo is perfect. It’s just so good, I don’t have words.
Dawn – me
Although I wrote this for someone else, I feel that I also wrote it for me. It’s nice to think that perhaps my struggles will give rise to the sun someday.
Daisy – Switchfoot
Another long-time favorite. It’s a hard lesson to learn that I haven’t come close to grasping.
Ironic – Alanis Morissette
Does it seem weird to be bringing up this 90’s classic? I was only vaguely familiar with this song until a few months ago. I looked it up and soon discovered why it’s a classic. This song is awesome because it’s soooo relatable. By the way, it actually did rain on my wedding day… haha.
I’m With You – Avril Lavigne
My inner 14 year old came out this year. This was one of my favorite songs back then. I’ve been doing a lot of time traveling this year, and this song is one of the surest ways to do so.
Hopeless Romantic – Michelle Branch
I lost touch with Michelle Branch years ago. I was a big fan of hers when her first two albums came out, and then I must have forgotten about her. I recently came across this song and it’s impossible not to love… because… hopeless romantic… aaahahahaha (I make the worst puns).
Creep – Michelle Branch
This is actually a cover of a Radiohead song. I’ve never listened to Radiohead, and if that makes me uncool, then so be it. But I really dig Michelle’s cover of this song. It’s uncomfortably relatable, hahaha.
Boy vs. Cynic – John Reuben
I bought John Reuben’s album “Boy vs. the Cynic” when it was released in 2005. It was one of the most influencial albums I’ve consumed, having a profound affect on my own songwriting and the way I saw the world. This song in particular has finally come home for me this year. I didn’t exactly understand it years ago, but I totally relate with it now.
Empty – Ray Lamontagne
This song punched me in the gut in 2009 and keeps punching me over and over again. When I’m looking for a beating, I listen to it.
Can’t Go Back – Rosi Golan
Little Big Town did a cover of this song a few years ago, but I prefer Rosi’s original.
You Are In Love – Taylor Swift
This may come as a shock to those who know me as someone who more or less detests the music of Taylor Swift. But I have to admit… I totally love her 1989 album. I think all the potential I knew she had as a songwriter just exploded with 1989. That being said, I pretty much hate her new album. But for one shining in moment in time, with an album dedicated to our birth year, I made peace with Taylor Swift. This particular song just hits me in a good place. I love the sound, and the lyrics are growing on me (just like love does, apparently). Do yourself a favor and listen to this with headphones. It’s amazing.
Hallelujah – Alicia Keys
Um, did she write this song for me??? The very words and phrases she sings in this song are the ones I’ve been feeling/saying for the past couple months. Seems fitting to end the year with this song which more or less sums up my journey of 2017.
If you have any interest in hearing a few badly phone-recorded songs of mine, check out my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/gracelucille