My 2019 Soundtrack

It’s that time again!

For 2017 I shared about every single song I connected with that year. That was way too much to do again for 2018 so I just shared about the albums I loved that year. And now for this year, I’m just going to share the highlights… the songs I loved and connected with the most.

To hear ALL (53) of the songs I loved this year, visit my 2019 playlist on Spotify.

To skip my commentary and just listen to the tunes, here’s my highlights on Spotify and YouTube.

Let’s begin!

Hush, Hush – Nicole Nordeman

I shared this song on Facebook after I discovered it. It has incredibly deep personal meaning for me, particularly in the light of losing my daughter years ago. It’s a beautiful glimpse into the reality that God is in everything, even the dark painful stuff. God is still there.

Medicine Man – Bobby McFerrin

After listening to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, Spotify sent me to McFerrin’s album Medicine Man and I was so caught in this music I listened to that album all the time. The title track is my favorite. One of these days I should really learn the lyrics because I always find myself wanting to sing it but my mouth keeps stumbling over itself like an idiot because I don’t have the words memorized. This song makes me want to move. It makes me want to dance. It makes me want to grab heaven and spread it all over the earth. I find this song embodies the entire album. This is medicine music to heal the soul.

Younger Now – Miley Cyrus

I discovered this song a month before I turned 30. It felt like my new personal anthem. I get this song. I totally get it.

Annie – Vanessa Carlton

I debated whether or not to share this song with you all. It highlights the creep factor of my life, contemplations of the afterlife and the dead and if/how the deceased still affect us. This is an older song I was already familiar with, but revisiting it allowed me the space to process a lot of feelings and questions I had. I came out of it with much more peace.

Flavor – Maren Morris

I fell in love with Maren Morris’ album Girl last spring and guuuurrl let me tell you, it’s gooood. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, a message of self-confidence I try to embody. It’s not always easy to stand out, but I’m sure as hell not gonna be happy cramming myself into a box.

Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves

Oh Kacey. I have loved her since the beginning. Her Grammy award winning album Golden Hour continues to speak to me and give me all those good vibes I’m desperate for. Rainbow magically played in my head this past summer to rescue me from a sudden and terrible depression.I wrote a post about it on my creative blog, and is the inspiration for going crazy on creating fiber rainbows.

Jericho – Ruston Kelly

It was an intense evening when Spotify started playing on shuffle and I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the voice of Ruston Kelly. I was instantly brought back to 2009 and the music of a local musician named Blake Reams. His voice and music got to me in such a particularly direct way, and hearing Ruston Kelly gave me the exact same feeling again. I have the hardest time describing it, but it clutches at my heart and overwhelms me (and the harmonica! Ooohh the harmonica!!!). It’s so heart-breakingly good and honest. I listen to Ruston Kelly very sparingly because his music is honestly too triggering for regular consumption. But it’s so good. So good. And then I discovered he’s the man Kacey Musgraves married and I’m all falling apart over such a beautiful pair.

If anyone is friends with Blake Reams, please tell him I said hi (not sure if he remembers me) and that I’ve never forgotten his beautiful music and voice.

Awakening – Amanda Lindsay Cook

This song took a few listens before integrating into my system. At first the music video sorta threw me off, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize myself in this entire production. The “split personality”, hall of mirrors, and going into the woods are the highlights for me. This entire work of art (music, lyric, visual) speaks to me on such a deep level. It feels very accurate and true to my own experience. It brings me deep comfort and even joy to be able to witness my own experience being reflected back at me.

False God – Taylor Swift

Yeah, I listened to Swift’s new album Lover a lot upon its release. It’s a pretty good album. This particular song is bloody brilliant. I will always be irritated that she can write such amazing songs (given that she’s not a great singer or terribly impressive musician). It’s called jealousyyyyy.

Side note… I keep joking that I’m waiting for Taylor Swift to have some spiritual breakdown/awakening, travel to India for awhile, become enlightened, write an incredibly spiritual album of music that no one gets, it’s a total dud and doesn’t sell well, and she goes back to writing songs of dysfunctional relationships to make money again. Hahahaha. In all seriousness though, I do wish that Taylor could move into a more spiritual place because I’m fascinated with the idea of how her songwriting would change and what she could produce. But, maybe that’s just not her life’s deal and I can accept that.

Orpheus – Sara Bareilles

I initially took notice of this song because of the reference to Orpheus, a character in Greek mythology that I feel a very strong connection to. I honestly don’t think the reference makes perfect sense in this song, which slightly irritates me. BUT this song has become one of my favorite songs of all time. It is so relatable for me in my existential wrestlings and depression. I listened to this song on repeat many times this autumn, both audibly and in my head. It was a great source of comfort and hope for me and helped pull me through some rough days. I don’t remember the last time a song had such a profound influence on me.

I can’t believe I’m just now discovering the amazing talent of Sara Bareilles. I highly recommend her album Amidst the Chaos.

Curious Part 1, and Curious Part 2 – John Reuben :

These two songs aren’t on YouTube so you’ll have to check them out on Spotify. John Reuben has been a HUGE inspiration to me since I bought his album The Boy vs. The Cynic when I was 16 (I really bought it because Matt Thiessen of Relient K appeared on a track, but I ended up falling in love with the entire album). He’s so real and passionate and always questions the teachings and culture of Evangelicalism. I honestly can’t tell if he’s a Christian anymore and I don’t care. I just love that he makes honest music. His last album Reubonic really hits home for me. The “Curious” tracks really speak to me about my life’s purpose and search for meaning.

Happy – P!nk

I went the last 17 years or so not paying any attention to P!nk. Last year I fell in love with her song “Just Give Me a Reason” (a duet with someone I can’t remember), but still didn’t listen to her any further. But a couple months ago on YouTube I stumbled upon a track she did with Chris Stapleton (whose voice and vibe I basically worship) and was immediately intrigued to see her latest album was titled “Hurts 2B Human”. I decided to check it out and fell in love immediately. The entire album is reflective of someone who is unapologeticly herself, both fragile and incredibly strong. Honest. Over and over again that is what I crave: honest music that is messy and yet beautiful. P!nk is certainly honest. And her voice is crazy amazing!! It’s hard to pick favorites from this album but “Happy” is probably the most relatable for me.

Sigh No More – Audrey Assad

This is actually a cover of a Mumford & Sons song. I didn’t know that when I first listened to it.

The story goes that one night I awoke with that particular feeling I get when I know something important is about to happen. After nursing the baby, I decided I needed to listen to some music, so I popped in my earbuds and settled on Audrey Assad. I discovered she released a winter/Christmas album and so I played that. I quickly became lost in my own thoughts, which had recently revolved around my struggle with the supposed unconditional love of God and his son Jesus. And suddenly I found myself addressing Jesus in my head saying that an apology would go a long way for me to trust him again (don’t lecture me on my blasphemous heresies, Jesus and I have history and I’m just giving an honest account of a tiny portion of it). And then about 10 seconds later, my attention was suddenly jarred back to the music as I heard Audrey singing, “Im sorry, I’m sorry,” and I was like WHAAATTT. I went back and listened to this entire song, crying. It spoke to the exact issues I’d been wrestling with. This is not the first time Audrey’s angelic voice has acted as some divine response to me. Her music has been some of the most healing of my life and perhaps one of these days I’ll share more about it.

God is Still Here – JJ Heller

This song is so me, and brings me comfort. I also love how the whole song is basically variations of the same chord, as if that steady bass note depicts the steadfastness and eternal presence of God.

***

It is interesting to note that I began and ended this post with songs about how God is always here, in the midst of everything. God is the eternal melody of the universe singing in every atom of existence.

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