As my previous post mentioned, it’s midterm season. Mine are finished but I still have plenty of other work to do this week. So I decided to do another Vintage Confessions post. This one is a style that I plan on continuing called Soundtrack of My Year. I love connecting music with stories and these posts focus on doing just that. I give a list of some of my favourite songs of the year — some old and some new — and chat about why I’ve connected with them and the role they have played in my year. This one is from 2013 and I still LOVE many of the songs from them. I look forward to seeing what’s on this year’s list but until then, enjoy this little look back.
WARNING: Brace yourself to enter the mind of a 17 year old girl.
So it’s time for a nostalgic walk in the park kinda thing of 2013.
As a musician and just overall music lover, I love connecting music and life. Especially when the music is good and life is just fun. After some thinking, I’ve thought about what songs have really connected with me this year — both with my emotions as well as different life events. These are just a few so basically my top 10 songs of 2013.
(These are in no particular order)
1. The King is Here by Kim Walker-Smith
This song was a big one for me. I started singing this song as a solo at the request of my church music team coordinator. This song also caused my vocal ability to be stretched specifically for that octave jump. While I don’t sing it exactly as Kim does on the record, I still had to work on singing things well so people could understand what I was singing and our church has really connected with this song. It has been a privilege to help bring the presence of God into our worship services. PLUS I got to see Kim sing this song live this year as well which was pretty sweet.
2. Watch Me by Icon For Hire
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that Icon for Hire is one of my fave bands. I was really hoping I was going to get to see them live but alas I didn’t. However, their new record this year was GREAT! I really love the new nu-metal/rapcore sound. As I described her to a friend, Ariel has the potential to be a female Zack de la Rocha (Minus all the angst and swearing and stuff). I really liked this song because I appreciated the idea of being willing to fall and make mistakes — until you get it right. And not only a willingness to get it wrong but to give your all because you feel that you’re making the right decision until you realize hey, maybe this wasn’t the best choice but not apologizing for putting your everything in. As I started a new chapter in my life this year, I really needed to hear this for myself and understand that even though people may wish me ill that it’s okay to do what I need to do and not to be afraid of messing up if I take a step out.
3. Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
Now I LOVE me some Alicia Keys. (And not just cause I often draw comparisons to her early work) I know this song came out in 2012, but I don’t care this song is just… gosh amazing. It’s one of those songs that when you hear it, you think to yourself “Gosh, I wish I wrote that.” (Well at least I do) Like I said in the last song, I did start a new chapter in my life and I’ve been grateful to see God’s faithfulness in keeping me during this time. This song caused me to reflect on the new person that God has enabled me to be and understanding that I don’t have to be dependent on the validation from other people. Plus I think it’s a beautifully written song.
4. Fire and Fury by Skillet
Skillet had a good year this year. Surprisingly, my favourite track off of their new album is in fact this one. I really the different usage of different instruments on the track and the syncopation in the chorus. John and Jen’s vocals also compliment each other really well. I also love the declaration of allowing the love of God to burn so deeply within you that it just comes out and overflows. Just overall a really great song.
5. Dear No One by Tori Kelly
If you don’t know who this amazingly talented young lady is, well now you do and take notice of her because she is going places. Her voice is BEAUTIFUL!!! Literally so sweet and soft and just AHHHHHH! I love her so much. I especially like this song of hers, Dear No One. It seems this year a lot of people have asking me if I have a boyfriend yet. First off, that’s nunya business and second if I did, I sure as heck ain’t gonna tell you! But aside from that, what I really appreciate about this song is that she says that she’s not focusing on being in a relationship. She acknowledges that it would be nice to have someone be there but she knows that her special someone will come along and that he’ll be worth waiting for. Plus she understands that she also can be a unique person to be around. She understands that she likes being by herself and not having to entertain other people. Which is a sentiment I can DEFINITELY connect with. Anyway, I could go on and on about this song but I won’t. I also linked to her live performance on the Ellen show cause this is how I first heard this song and I like it better acoustic.
6. I Stand Alone by Robert Glasper feat. Common and Patrick Stump
This year has been the year of my discovering my love for jazz music; especially this guy. One thing I love the most about him is that he combines different genres of music but it all creates jazz. He’s really revolutionizing the game and helping to make jazz accessible for the young person. This song specifically combines jazz, rap, and alt rock to a degree — with Patrick Stump. The words to this song are really great too. I like the idea of being willing to stand alone even when people are look at you waiting for you to fail. But in order to succeed you have to determine that you will succeed and define what success is for you. Honestly, this whole record is fabulous and worth checking out. (Another suggestion from this record is Jesus Children feat. Lalah Hathaway and Malcolm Jamal-Warner)
7. What You Won’t Do For Love by Bobby Caldwell
So this song didn’t come out in 2013. In fact it came out 1978. But I discovered this song this year so I just had to include it on this list. I first heard this song while shopping with my mom and I immediately fell in love with the groove. But as I began to listen to the words of the song, I realized exactly what he was saying. While I guess he was talking about a woman, I began to think of it not just in that way but also as God being willing to do anything for love. I mean He sent His Son to earth to die for us. If that’s not love then what is. And besides, the song is groovin’ too. This reminds me of my parents, mainly cause they like this song a lot too.
8. Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill
Again, another song that didn’t come out in 2013 but was definitely a big song. In today’s society everything can be so focused on sex and sexuality especially with women in music this year. Instead this is basically encouraging women (and men) to value who they are as people. You know I only say it cause I’m truly genuine, don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem!
9. Something by Snarky Puppy feat. Lalah Hathaway
Now this little gem is just absolutely delightful. I love the feel of this song and the performance of this song is just brilliant. I just discovered the beautiful genius of Lalah Hathaway and she has quickly become one of my favorite voices. She works with Rob Glasper quite a bit and their collaborations are great. And in this song SHE SINGS CHORDS!!! CHORDS PEOPLE!! CHORDS!!! Just sit and marvel.
10. Grow Up by Paramore
And last but certainly not least… One of my favorite bands. Plus I had the chance to see them live this year which was basically one of the highlights of my year. And this song was a really great description of kind of where I was following high school graduation. It was time to grow up and if I had to loose friends then so be it. Plus this was theme for the Paramore tour and the new phase of the band as they also lost two of their members in the last few years. So enjoy.
Anyway, that’s my list for this year. Okay and a bonus song. I must include this one because if I don’t… well I just have to. I love the groove, I love the words. And the idea behind it is that it starts out kind of ironic but comes to be a celebration. I love this song. This has to be my favorite song of the year.
It’s been a good year. I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot and looking forward to what 2014 has to bring.
Until Next Year All
Peace & Harmonies