(credits to somewhere on Tumblr.)
I saw High Fidelity for the first time in high school after countless people recommended it to me. Almost all of them would tell me John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, reminded them of me. If you have seen the film, it’s probably no surprise why I would struggle with this comparison, but I prefer to think my friends meant well, and were talking about Rob’s almost compulsive need to make lists and use music as the driving force behind his autobiographical narrative. This aspect of Rob’s personality is true to my own, and I’m really fond of it! I think compiling music into lists is the most accurate representation of your memory because it can inspire a flashback better than anything else.
I can go on about the massive change and attempts at growth I’ve gone through this year, but it can be mundane for me to recall and for you to read, so I’m going to try my best to keep my narrative of an incredibly difficult year “catchy”, if you will, and present the songs I listened to the most according to Spotify.
100. “When The Stars Go Blue”- Ryan Adams: My love for Ryan’s music probably isn’t a big secret to any of my friends or blog readers, but my love for one of his most popular tunes is kind of a surprise to me. I started getting into Ryan through my best pal, Ford, when he and I would sit around for hours in the office of our school’s radio station, as I would get my picks for the weekly rotation together. I think he first played me “New York New York” and this track from Ryan’s second solo album, “Gold.” I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of this song when I first heard it because I thought it was too stereotypical of a song I would hear in a coffee shop. You probably know how much I love coffee, so you can probably guess the extent of how dumb I now think that logic is. A lot of Ryan’s songs are heart-wrenching and require a lot of attention paid to the lyrics, so it’s refreshing to relax and fall into the acoustics of the tune.
99. “I Am Not Willing”- Moby Grape: I’m sorry to say I know next to nothing about Moby Grape! I was introduced to this song via my Dad’s “starred” playlist on Spotify, which he’s been working on since 2013; it’s so much cooler than any playlist I could ever make. He did not put me up to saying this, I promise.
98. “Paranoia”- Liza Anne: I was introduced to Liza Anne’s incredible music last summer when I went to see her open for Sun Seeker at Third Man Records. I LOVE discovering an artist who is so relatable; Liza Anne’s songs she preformed at the show mirrored some of my journal entries, and I was STRUCK HARD. “Paranoia” was released at the perfect time for me; the song’s theme of managing a relationship with anxiety helped me make sense of my own emerging relationship with it, and for this I’m forever grateful! The music video is also a must-watch and one of the coolest illustrations of anxiety I’ve ever seen.
97. “Runnin’ Just In Case”- Miranda Lambert: I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that says Miranda Lambert. Yes, the same Taylor who cringed every time she had to sit for a prolonged period of time at Logan’s Roadhouse, included a country record on her “favorites of 2017” list. I don’t think I have ever heard a Miranda Lambert song in full until I saw her perform another track from The Weight Of These Wings on a late night show after its release. I was struck by how tight her band sounds, and how she can work a stage. I especially love an album with a narrative, and “Runnin’ Just In Case” kicks off a double album of heartbreak stories written in a smoke-filled bar– a tired cliché I am a sucker for.
96. “Life Is Change”- Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift: The b-side to the duo’s single released last year, “Life Is Change” was an anthem for me this year. I kept going back to it whenever I needed some soft reassurance I wasn’t alone in my resistance to change. Hitchcock and Swift’s harmonies are captivating, and I’m excited I got to hear them live last summer!
95. “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart”- Julee Cruise: 2017 was the unofficial year of “Twin Peaks” and the year I declared I would some day lip-sync this song to a guy, a la Donna Hayward.
94. “Over Everything”- Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: I’ve always loved tight friendships and really dig it when it’s obvious that the pals enjoy each other’s company, and that’s evident on Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s collaboration. “Over Everything” illustrates the monotony of being bored, but feeling okay with your routine, a feeling I’ve had trouble articulating to people. Part of me feels jealous because I know if Ford and I made an album together it wouldn’t be this cool.
93. “Neat Neat Neat”- The Damned: I’ve been a long time fan of The Damned and have loved this song since my pseudo rebellious phase at ten years old when I wore black nail polish. The Baby Driver soundtrack was in constant rotation for me this year, and the film gave me a renewed love for this song with its stunning visual sense. Car chases are definitely punk rock.
92. “iT”- Christine and the Queens: Girls came to an end this year after six seasons, and while I have a problematic relationship with Lena Dunham and her work, the show’s soundtrack is among my all time favorite TV show soundtracks. The music supervisors of the show really knew how to pair a song with memorable visuals, and that’s the case for Christine and the Queens’ “iT.” I’ve been trying not to post spoilers for any soundtrack tunes, but one of the most memorable scenes for the character of Elijah takes place with this song in the background, with a stunning shot of the NYC skyline. I think about it often!
91. “’74-’75”- The Connells: For some reason, I associate this song with Clueless. I think I watched it the night I first heard this tune by one of the most underrated bands of all time, The Connells. The music video is the perfect accompaniment for the song’s melodramatic feel. I thought I was going to be stood up for a date earlier this year so I sat down and quietly cried in frustration to this song, and that moment is in my top five most-dramatic-life-moments-set-to-music list and I’m not ashamed of it because the music video is much more dramatic than that (not!)
90. “Dramamine”- Modest Mouse: I started paying attention to Modest Mouse in 2015 when their record, Strangers To Ourselves, was released… and really didn’t like it. “Dramamine” was the first Modest Mouse song I heard and thought “wow, this is actually quite good and does not make me want to leave the studio to hang out in the bathroom.” It reminds me of my last few months in Bowling Green when I started to mentally prepare myself for massive change. I also had no idea this song would become massively important to me later… life is weird, and that’s what I named my “Spring of 2017” playlist on Spotify!