Sleep continues to ghost me. I think the clock struck 3am before I finally fell. My recent tricks and techniques don’t seem to be working. Time to rethink, strategize, give tribute to the sleep goddess, or something. My insomnia hasn’t been this bad in decades.

Second cup of coffee, cat in my lap, and five songs to play. Sleep, or no sleep, I’m working on getting through. Let the music, and the coffee, and yes, the cats, be my army today.

GIVE ME FIVE…JULY 27, 2022

Available to listen on Spotify and YouTube

SONG 1: “I WAS NEON” BY JULIA JACKLIN

Julia Jacklin
“I Was Neon” by Julia Jacklin – from the upcoming album, Pre Pleasure (releasing August 2022)

“I was neon,
I was the nearest door.
I was the sign that said you’ve been here before.
I swear I could see it,
swear I could see it all so clear.”

I am writing a novel that takes place in a fictional town called Neon. When I found this new single from Julia Jacklin’s upcoming new album I felt like it was a good omen, a musical-punch, a “you got this, keep writing” anthem. I know that isn’t what the song is about. I know that sounds super self-indulgent. But, fuck it, writing is hard and I can use all the muses, music, inspirations, and kicks in the ass that I can get.

The cover photo of Julia in today’s feature is by Nick Mcck.

Julia’s song “Head Alone”, from her 2019 album Crushing, was my gateway to her music. That track, and the entire album, became part of a early morning walk routine I was on (I need to get that routine back. Makes a note). I’m super-excited for her new album to come out next month, and am already digging this one – especially in that “Neon” way.

To learn more about Julia Jacklin, and to hear more of her music, come along over HERE. Keep an ear out for her new album, releasing on August 26. You can pre-order it at the link above, too.

Julia Jacklin

SONG 2: “BLACK BALLOON” BY THE KILLS

The Kills
“Black Balloon” by The Kills – from the album, Midnight Boom (2008)

“I’ve stood in a thousand street scenes.
Just around the corner from you.
On the edge of a dream that you have.
Has anybody ever told you it’s not coming, true?”

“Black Balloon” was the first Kills song I ever heard, and I fell hard for it. Like love at first listen hard. Then I saw the video, and I fell deeper still. Vampires and Alison (VV) Mosshart’s voice and swagger. I was gone and done for. My affection/adoration/obsession continued as I heard more songs, more albums, and especially after seeing them play live.

“Black Balloon” (live, 2018) by The Kills

I’m dead serious when I say, if you have the chance to see The Kills live – or any other incarnation of band/music that Alison (VV) does, run, run fast, and get tickets to go.

To hear more from The Kills, including keeping tabs on tour dates, run fast over HERE.

Alison (VV) Mosshart, The Kills

SONG 3: “I STILL DO” BY THE CRANBERRIES

The Cranberries – photo by Matt Anker
“I Still Do” by The Cranberries – from the album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)

“Need some time to find myself.
I wanna live within’.”

It was 1993, in the Winged Heart Cafe (coffee house down the street from my apartment, where so many friends, music, conversations, memories, life change things happened) after close, this album was playing, this song, and it became part of a snapshot of a moment where things started to happen in me, and my life. Things that would change the course of everything I’d thought, or planned.

I had the CD myself, too, back at my apartment, and I’d heard and loved and sang-a-long to this song before, but it was different hearing it that night. It hit differently. Those lyrics quoted above felt like lightening striking my insides. I felt it. Or maybe, I started to feel me. The me I had lost, or hadn’t really found yet, or didn’t feel comfortable being. It’s hard to put into words. But I remember exactly how it felt.

“I Still Do” (live, 1993) by The Cranberries

I miss Dolores O’Riordan.

The Cranberries

SONG 4: “STRANGE CONDITION” BY PETE YORN

Pete Yorn
“Strange Condition” by Pete Yorn – from the album, musicforthemorningafter (2001)

“Read me the letter, baby.
Do no leave out the words.
Stories and cigarettes,
ruined lives of lesser girls.”

I keep a book full of song lyrics and quotes. The ones I love the most. The lyrics above have been in said book since I first heard “Strange Condition”, in 2001. This song was actually the first featured song, and first feature ever, at lyriquediscorde (you can check it out HERE).

Pete’s a favorite here. A favorite of mine, too. And today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Pete! Thanks for all the music and memories.

To learn more and hear more of Pete Yorn, especially today (on his birthday), head on over HERE.

Pete Yorn – photo by Beth Yorn

SONG 5: “THE DRIVE” BY WIDOWSPEAK

Widowspeak – photo by Abusepotential
“The Drive” by Widowspeak – from the album, The Jacket (2022)

“You could never really be,
what you never really wanted to be.
You never had the drive.”

“The Drive”, from Widowspeak’s new album, The Jacket, is so summer-vibe sounding, and it feels like another perfect song for a road trip playlist (and not just because of the track title).

I love the organ and guitar bit towards the end. It has such a psychedelic sound. The organ reminds me a bit of Ray Manzarek (The Doors).

Wanna hear more of Widowspeak’s music, and dig in to their new album? Drive on over HERE.

Widowspeak – photo by Alexa Viscius

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