The first Female Friday of 2019 is here, and this Friday’s Music Obsessions, the first Friday Top 5 Music Obsessions of 2019, is 100% women in music. These five women in music are all unique, memorable, and regular players in my daily Music Obsession mindset. I think today is my favorite day this week – music-wise. I can’t seem to get enough of these five women, and these five songs of theirs.
This Friday’s Female Five starts off with Lady Gaga, a singer I’ve been obsessing over ever since seeing her in A Star Is Born last year (my 2018 movie obsession). I’ve always enjoyed her uniqueness and her voice, but I’ve become much more of a fan ever since that film. From Gaga we go to my favorite Sam Phillips song, featured twice in my all-time favorite TV Series, “Gilmore Girls”. Next up are two all-time favorites of mine, Fiona Apple and Tori Amos. Stina Nordenstam’s “Little Star”, from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, finishes up our first Female Friday Top 5 Music Obsessions perfectly with her off-kilter and otherworldly style.
I’m definitely obsessing over today’s five – I think you will, too.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Friday, January 4, 2019
1. “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga
from the album, Joanne (2016)
“I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away,
I just need one good one to stay.”
The vulnerability in this track kills me.
Lady Gaga’s voice sounds so raw and emotional, and at the same time powerful and breathtaking. This is one of those songs that I’ve related with so much at times in my life, and in relationships, I’ve been in. When everything is falling apart and breaking into pieces, and yet you want to hang on. You search for just one reason to keep going. One reason to stay. Even if the million other reasons are telling you its over.
Sometimes that one reason – that one thing – can be enough to keep fighting, to keep hanging on, to keep trying. Or maybe that’s what I choose to believe.
2. “Reflecting Light” by Sam Phillips
from the album, A Boot and a Shoe (2004)
“Now that I’ve worn out,
I’ve worn out the world,
I’m on my knees in fascination,
looking through the night.
And, the moon’s never seen me before,
but I’m reflecting light.”
Every time I hear this song I love it more.
This song is featured prominently in two scenes, and important moments, for two characters in Gilmore Girls.
Though it is not conventionally a love song, it forever is one to me, because of these scenes, and moments. It will be forever a song I picture Luke and Lorelai dancing to.
3. “Never is a Promise” by Fiona Apple
from the album, Tidal (1996)
“You’ll say you understand,
but you don’t understand.
You’ll say you’d never give up seeing eye to eye.
But “never” is a promise,
and you can’t afford to lie.”
Another song, and album, from my twenties.
This time my late twenties. My late twenties in the late nineties.
This song cuts deep. It feels like its been pulled out from my insides, or torn out from pages of my journals. The darkness and fragility of scars and issues, memories of past pain and abandonment, and the challenges all that creates – especially in relationships. “Never is a Promise” pulls out all that pain in me, holding it up in the light, reminding me that no matter how much I think it doesn’t affect me anymore, it does.
I keep trying though. I always will.
4. “Spark” by Tori Amos
from the album, From the Choir Girl Hotel (1998)
“She’s convinced she could hold back a glacier,
but she couldn’t keep baby alive.
Doubting if there’s a woman in there somewhere,
here here here.”
It is impossible for me to hear this song and not cry.
The loss of a baby, the tiny failures as a woman, a parent, a partner, a lover, a friend. All the ways I have failed in my life, all the things I’ve lost, they come out in me when I listen to this song. But, as painful as it is, it is also comforting, and cathartic. Somehow, by the end of the song, I have some restored hope in my heart. Somehow I end up feeling better in the end.
Tori has always had that kind of impact on me.
5. “Little Star” by Stina Nordenstam
from the album, And She Closed Her Eyes (1994)
So, you had to go.
You must have wanted him to know.
You must have wanted the world to know.
Poor little thing.
And, now they know.”
Off-kilter and beautiful.
“Little Star” captured me from the first time I heard it in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. It was one of my favorites from the soundtrack. I remember putting it on so many mixtapes and mix CD’s in the ’90s.
There is a sadness in the song, and in Stina’s voice, but there is also something peaceful and hopeful, and angelic in it, too. Especially when the choir comes in towards the end of the song. Ethereal and unusual, I think I’ll always love this track.