The first Monday Top 5 Music Obsessions since the RELAUNCH is an all-women-in-music musical affair. What better way to start a Monday, I say. I’ve been blasting these 5 songs all morning and early afternoon – on repeat. Maybe you’ll want to, as well.
The Top 5 starts off with my first listen favorite track off of Jenny Lewis’ fantastic new album, On the Line. It is the last song on the album and it references Los Angeles, as so many Jenny and Rilo Kiley songs have; usually, a surefire way to know I’m going to dig a song. If you like the track I highly encourage you to check out the entire album. You’ll love it.
Next up is a new-to-me song that I heard for the first time early this morning via this week’s Spotify Discovery Weekly. I adore the “Made For You” Playlists that Spotify compiles each week. Margo Price is definitely a welcome new-to-me artist. I look forward to diving in and hearing more of her music.
One of my forever favorite 10,000 Maniacs tracks is next, which flows so perfectly into the next two by Mazzy Star and Belly. I love them all so much.
I’d be stoked to hear what you are listening to, and obsessing over, this Monday. I’d be even more stoked if you shared them with me in the comments below.
Ready for my Top 5? Here we go…
Top 5 Music Obsessions – March 25, 2019
1. “Hollywood Lawn” by Jenny Lewis
off the album, On the Line (2019)
“And you keep dreamin’,
If you keep dreamin’,
keep sleepin’ through the night.
‘Cause your demons got reason to fight,
and you keep dreamin’, yeah, yeah.”
I adore this song. I love the message of love and hope, despite issues and polluted Los Angeles air and personal demons. There is something soothing here, beautiful and real, and heartbreakingly hopeful. It fits in well with what I’m trying to accomplish in my life right now. A search for peace and joy, vulnerability, mindfulness, and joy.
“Hollywood Lawn” transports me to the front lawn of my childhood home. I picture myself with one of those big blankets we kept in the back of our blue Oldsmobile station wagon. The thick and itchy one that always had sand in it from many trips to the beach. I’d throw it on the grass and drag out toys, or stacks of books, on late Summer afternoons, hoping other kids would notice, and come over to play.
Most of the time, though, I’d remain alone and lie back on the itchy blanket, losing myself in cloud-fantasies, or pages of Nancy Drew mystery books.
Sometimes I still feel like that little girl, but the green grass and itchy blanket are blog post entries, playlists, and social media posts. I’m still there waiting, offering what I have to share, hoping for some real connection.
2. “Hands of Time” by Margo Price
from the album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (2016)
“When I hit the city I joined the band,
started singing in the bars and running with the men.
But the men they brought me problems,
and the drinking caused me grief.
I thought I’d found a friend,
but I only found a thief.”
That lyric, “I thought I’d found a friend, but I only found a thief” is what sunk this song deep into me. Damn. I’ve definitely met too many thieves in my life. I wonder if I’ve been a thief myself, to anyone else?
Margo Price, where have you been hiding? How is this the first time I’ve ever heard you? I love the storytelling in the track, the country/alt-country/folk/pop sensibilities that have all merged together, and I love her voice.
I want more.
3. “Like the Weather” by 10,000 Maniacs
from the album, In My Tribe (1987)
“Do I need someone here to scold me,
or do I need someone who’ll grab and pull me out of this four poster dull torpor,
For it is such a long time since my better days.
I say my prayers nightly this will pass away.”
It was this album, and this song, that started me off with Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs. Soon after I’d become a forever fan, falling hard for all of the band, and Natalie’s solo albums, and seeing them, and her, play live as often as I could.
This song is the perfect example of 10,000 Maniacs style of songs. Happy, jangly, pop-folk sound, and deep, emotional, heavy lyrics.
This track, which is about depression and agoraphobia, has grown in relevance to me over the years.
It always hit hard though, from the first time I heard it, singing about something so often left in silence – especially back in its 1987 release.
Natalie would go on to do the same things, style and lyric wise, with her solo albums. This is something I’ve always loved about the band and her music. Something that will always bring me back to the songs.
4. “In the Kingdom” by Mazzy Star
from the album, Seasons of Your Day (2013)
“Walked up the stairs
The sunlight hit my face
See all the people just standing ’round
If all is right in the kingdom tonight,
You know your place and time.”
I realized two Mazzy Star things recently.
Thing 1 is that whenever I’m alone in my room/the house and I think to put something on to listen to it is almost always Mazzy Star lately. Even this morning, early, before the sun, I’m in my kitchen getting ready to make coffee and I call out to the “Echo” my boyfriend got me for my birthday and say “Hey Echo, play Mazzy Star”.
Thing 2 is that I never explored their 2013 album, Seasons of Your Day, very much. I listened and loved a few tracks, and left it at that. But now I’m digging in deep and falling hard for the album as a whole, and all the songs. Right now its this track – “In the Kingdom” – that I can’t seem to get enough of.
5. “Shiny One” by Belly
from the album, DOVE (2018)
“Come my fallen angel.
When the call comes,
you answer it.
When the call comes,
you answer it,
I’m still so into Belly’s most recent album (DOVE, released last year). The songs are so good. “Shiny One” has been my current favorite from the album. Something about it reminds me of their early-career hit, “Gepetto”. Almost as if “Shiny One” is Gepetto grown-up. It’s like what the ’90s grew up into (at least the ’90s through the lens of music I obsessed the most over).
I dig the religious undertones and/or subtext to this song. I love the broken-up with/fallen angel feeling to it, too. As a girl who grew up going to parochial school and church, I can relate. I tend to relate to the fallen angels of the world, feeling very much like one myself.