Another month gone, another handful of songs listened to obnoxiously on repeat. Fairly certain that 27% of Spotify listens of these songs are mine.
1. “Halls” - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
“Pouring rain in Tucson, Arizona” is the first line of this song and I happened to hear this song for the first time while it was pouring rain in Tucson, Arizona, so naturally I had no choice but to develop a very strong emotional attachment to it. Returning my rental car the night before I caught a flight at the airport in Tempe, I proceeded to listen to it on repeat, holding in my heart a fondness for the lyric “booked a ticket for tomorrow in Tempe." Judge me not.
“Halls” can be found on the album Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, a wholly satisfactory album, though I think “Halls” to be the strongest song on it. (Fun fact: Andrew McMahon is also the lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin.)
Although you may not have the opportunity to first hear this song while in Tucson, Arizona, my hope is that you’ll develop an emotional attachment to it nonetheless.
2. “UGH!” - The 1975
“UGH!” is such a boogie song despite the fact that it’s about Matty's drug addiction. The latest single from my absolute loves, The 1975, I have listened to it excessively since it was released; the bridge is one that will get stuck in your head for the next decade at the very least.
My heart beats wildly in anticipation for their second album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (what kind of album name IS that, boys?!), to be released on February 26. They played a handful of the new songs at the show I caught a couple of weeks ago; all sounded quite lovely (I would expect nothing less).
This is a band that has my heart, all of it. And my money, too, seeing as I just purchased tickets on a whim yesterday to see them in Ohio this spring. Is this what addiction feels like?
3. “Up&Up” - Coldplay
Admittedly, some of the lyrics on Coldplay’s latest album, A Head Full of Dreams, are rather uninspired to the point that they make you want to put on a song like “Amsterdam” just to remind yourself that at one point, Coldplay could write lyrics worthy of painting across wall art canvas. (I’m allowed to be critical only because I’m a fan; non-fans have absolutely zero merit to speak ill of Coldplay.)
But looking past this slight fault of simpleton lyrics, there are some good songs on the album, like “Up&Up.” ‘Tis my personal favorite, because it’s just so dadgum hopeful and this year assaulted me with the life lesson of just how important hope is when it comes to facing life’s challenges.
“See the forest there in every seed / angels in the marble waiting to be freed”
Y’all, that’s just such a hopeful, optimistic line after a depressed-post-divorce-Ghost-Stories Chris Martin; how can you NOT love it?!
4. "The Boxer" - Mumford & Sons with Jerry Douglas, Paul Simon
I’ve always loved Mumford’s cover of “The Boxer” after a friend put it on a CD for me in high school (related: remember when we used to burn mix CDs for each other?), and I came to re-love it recently. I rather fancy it a smidge more than the original, even.
It can be found on the deluxe edition of Babel.
Related: I’m thoroughly disappointed in myself for not snatching up tickets to their spring Nashville show before it sold out. Life regrets, this and that one time I drank an iced mocha at 5:30 pm.
5. "Where Are You Now" - Mumford & Sons
“Where are you now?” asks Mumf to an old love. “Do you ever think of me, in the quiet, in the crowd?”
What I particularly admire about this song is the poignancy of the question it presents. How many of us, I wonder, keep this question - “where are you now?” - tucked away, unwilling to ask it for fear of the vulnerability that caring about a past severed relationship reveals. I love this about music, how the weighty and oft-hidden questions of our hearts can be brought to light so splendidly when sung to a tune. I suppose that’s just the case with art in general, isn’t it?
This song can also found on the deluxe edition of Babel, following “The Boxer." I actually had no idea this song existed until this week, but now I can’t stop listening to it. TBD what my boss’ opinion is of my choice of listen to this and “The Boxer” on repeat 10 times in a row in our shared office. I can assume he loves it, right?!