listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Carolina” by Harry Styles

I know, it hasn’t been that long since I shared Harry Styles “From the Dining Table,” but seeing as it’s July and I’m still blasting these songs several times a week why don’t I go ahead and share another track? With lines like:
“She never saw herself as a west coaster
Moved all the way ’cause her grandma told her
“Towns, better swim before you drown”
and “I met her once and wrote a song about her” – Carolina has easily been one of my favorite tracks from the beginning. Not only is it a catchy song, but it also captures are a certain sentiment. Have you ever been on a really incredible first date, or even just first meet that turns into spending hours with this new person finding out all kinds of little details of their life story? Those encounters will have you drunk on serotonin, and that new found person will be taking up all the empty spaces in your mind with their laugh, their smile, their cute little anecdotes. We all have our own interpretations, but those fun, new, flirty feelings even if they’re fleeting, are what “Carolina” reminds me of every time I listen. If you didn’t give his album a listen the first time around, definitely check it out. “Carolina” is a great place to start!

listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Tacoma” by Caitlyn Smith

caitlyn-smith1Caitlyn Smith, the phenomenal singer songwriter that I have gushed about on here before, and included in my top favorite finds of last year. Well, time to gush again because like clockwork, I have her Starfire EP on repeat. Caitlyn Smith’s songs are my go-to for solo trips, whether it’s a long car ride, or a flight (mostly to and from Nashville, I’ll admit,) or even just days I’m sitting in the sunshine soaking up some “me” time when I’m just contemplating life, and taking a moment to reflect. Caitlyn’s songs are raw, vulnerable, real, emotional, powerful messages of her personal journeys and I am in awe of her talent no matter how many times I listen. Of course I have an unending admiration for gritty songwriters. Their profession alone is one that calls for no bs, and here she is, time after time pouring her heart out (I know, sounds familiar right? Listen to “This Town Is Killing Me”) and I feel like I’m experiencing these milestones in her life as she belts them out. On the other hand, let’s also talk about how when I’m in the car alone I sing along at the top of my lungs, and turn the volume down every once in a while, and am reminded just how astoundingly talented she is (because in comparison I sound flat out awful.) If I had an ounce of these girl’s talent, I don’t even know…So, as I basically fan girl to the max here over the wonder of Caitlyn Smith, let me tell you a little about “Tacoma.” I was a late comer to the party, but I heard Bobby Bones podcast with her as she talked about this song being so close to her heart, but how could she turn down the opportunity to have Garth Brooks record one of her songs? (I mean, yeah I get that.) BUT if you know the Brooks version, you have to hear Caitlyn sing it herself. When she gets to that major belt of “might make it to Memphis” it makes something crack inside every time, it’s like it opens up the floodgate to some deep feelings you didn’t even realize you were bottling until the cap pops off. Basically, I’m obsessed with this song, this EP, and it has a high place on the list of music I wish I wrote. So, if you’re not familiar with Caitlyn Smith or her Starfire EP yet, go download it, listen right now, and hopefully you’ll be hooked too!

And because of course I couldn’t leave you hangin’, listen to “Tacoma” right now:

(*Image is not my own.*)

listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: Fireside

I know I make references to the Arctic Monkeys AM album pretty frequently, but I haven’t shared a song off that one in a while. So, today it’s time because as it happens on some kind of weird cyclic rotation in life, I’ve got the album on repeat again. Basically, I’m saying just go ahead and listen to all of the songs if you haven’t, but if you need a push in a given direction listen to “Fireside.” “Maybe I was mistaken but I just cannot manage to make it through the day Without thinking of you lately” No secret, I’m a sap to the core but I think what I like about this album so much is that they spell out the range of emotions from having someone new you’re interested in, unrequited feelings, relationships that kind of fell apart and you’re looking back on them nostalgically – the whole gamut. I’m not much of a dancer, but this album always makes me want to move, and sing along.

listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: You Say

Every time Dori Freeman’s “You Say” comes on, I feel like my mind floats away to somewhere else. This song has a feeling to it that makes me want to sink into the covers on a rainy Sunday morning, or pour a hot cup of coffee and spend hours pounding away on the typewriter. There’s something bluesy and achy about it, where it makes you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach like something is missing from you – even if you didn’t feel that before the first chord. It’s Friday of a “short week” when Tuesday is a Monday, and this is one of those songs that quiets my mind a little in the chaos. If you haven’t heard it yet, enjoy below.

“Darling I can’t stop thinking of you
Like a dog in the hot night
I’m howling for you
And I know
It’ll leave me blue
But I’m still
In love with you”

listen to this, meg says read this

Read This: What She Knew

If you’re like me, the weekend isn’t only a time to recharge your batteries for the week, but if you’re lucky it’s a chance to dive into another new book and not have to worry about how late you stay up reading it. A few weeks ago I picked up Gilly Macmillan’s What She Knew. I saw it on a list of suggestions if you enjoyed Gone Girl. Okay, first of all – I really enjoyed the plot twists of Gone Girl. They were shocking, and unexpected. Unfortunately, now I compare any mystery novel with a female narrator to that story. After reading Girl on the Train I thought maybe some of these mysteries were starting to run together in their run of the mill use of plot devices. I’ll admit, I think I ill-judged What She Knew for about the first sixty pages.
In this novel, young mom Rachel is at a park with her 8-year old son Ben and their dog Skittle. Ben begs to run ahead to the rope swing, and Rachel agrees trailing behind him. When she reaches the swing, as it sways in the empty clearing, Rachel doesn’t see Ben – instead of assuming the worst, she thinks maybe he’s playing hide and seek. That is until all the normal go-tos don’t bring  him out of hiding. Of course, Rachel starts to panic. Thus begins a mother’s (and the father who she’s divorced from) worst nightmare – her son has been abducted. I found this story very well written, and hard to put down because I desperately wanted to know what happened next. Rachel’s sister and her journalist friend end up being her main avenues of support in this harrowing ordeal. Unfortunately, Rachel is put in the media spotlight and it does not bode well. Then there’s the blogging world that turns ugly, pointing blame and suspicion on her. The detectives try to research everyone involved in their lives on a daily basis, from friends and parents on the soccer team, to school personnel, to old patients of Ben’s father who’s a pediatric surgeon who may have a vendetta against him.

This is one of those stories that makes readers question the information in front of them. If Rachel a reliable narrator? Are we getting the whole story? Are the investigators sidetracked by their own personal grief?

The story digs into the personal lives of these people, and long buried revelations are revealed. I have to say there were some surprising elements to this story, that I was extremely pleased with. The novel wasn’t entirely predictable, which can be hard to do sometimes. The suspense was carried out though the end. I think the story also lent itself to an introspective reading – displaying so many sides to a story and all of the emotions that go with it. If you’re looking for a fresh mystery novel, check this one out.