The moment I heard the first line of this song, I was struck by not only the simplicity, but also how this is one of those songs where it feels like the words were swimming around in your own head, and you didn’t realize it until the first time you heard them coming through the speakers. Do you know that feeling? (It kind of reminds me of the first time I heard Lorde’s Pure Heroine album, and the rawness of her words.) I think it just comes from the lyrics being relatable. Aside from the lyrics though, Amy Shark’s voice is beautiful. The visuals for the video (I really like the lighting, and the details, like the art on the wall in the bedroom, or the close up of the sneakers, or the park in the background that makes me think of the basketball court line) are fantastic in their own right. Now, I try and listen to this song at least a few times a week because it’s so good. I love the headspace it puts me in, and I love the softness but the emotion, but also how it doesn’t make me want to cry – I can just enjoy it. Now, that’s the kind of song I like to tap along to (out of rhythm of course,) driving to work in the morning. Something about the beat is so calming to me. I am so late to the game on this one, more than a year later, but I don’t care because now that I’m aware – you know I’ve got it on a repeat. If you haven’t heard this sweet, awesome song yet, check it out!
The other day I was pulling out of the parking lot on my way home from work, and I had to pause so I could Shazaam this song that came on the radio. It was “Harry Potter” by The Whistles and The Bells (thanks Lightning 100!) I heard the lines:
Free rent, free food, and a swimming pool
Does anything really last
Does anything really last anymore”
There are certain songs that every time they pop up on my playlists on Spotify, I automatically go to “favorite” them with the little heart. Every time I’m reminded I’ve already favorited (a verb now), and done the same thing every time the song comes on. Amanda Shires “Harmless” is one of those songs. Just the opening notes are enough to capture my entire attention, and stop whatever I’m doing to be immersed in the song. With lines like “there was a sword in my drink, everything’s a sign, if you want it to be” or “and way out in the cheap seats, the stars started unblinking the ones that know anything won’t be revealing” it’s one of those songs that’s full packages – lyrics that are jam packed with emotion, relatability even, Shire’s voice is angelic and beautiful, and the song itself is a story to get lost in. Shires is married to Jason Isbell, so can you imagine the jam sessions that come out of the talented duo in that house?! Anyway, if you’re not familiar with her I’d say this is a great song to start with because it showcases her awe-inspiring abilities in such a perfect way. It’s a little bit folk, a little bit sad, but a whole lot of exactly what you should be checking out! “Harmless” is one of the tracks on her album My Piece of Land.
Caitlyn 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.*)
Damn, Miranda. That’s the first thing that came to mind following my first listen of Miranda Lambert’s latest song, “Vice.” I saw Shane Mcanally’s Instagram post last night before I’d even heard it (and after I saw the teasers on Facebook). Reading the words just sent a shiver down my spine:
shanemcanally No matter what your taste in music is, you gotta respect when an artist is willing to put their soul out on the table. @joshosbornesongwriter & I were lucky enough to be sitting in the room when @mirandalambert came in with this song on her heart. Everything about this is bold and heartbreaking and honest and even a little hard to listen to….this is the kind of song I set out to write when I came to Nashville. I am so blessed to write with people who take these kind of chances.
Seriously…is that not moving or what? Then you go and listen to the song. Miranda Lambert hasn’t put out any new music in quite some time, and for this to be the first? It’s raw and real, and it cuts deep. It feels so transparent, and edgy, and relatable. It makes my heart sting when I hear it because it’s a sucky place to be, the depth of where that emotion comes from but then I think about just how many of us have probably found ourselves there. That’s the beauty in it – how realistic it is about life. One of the things I appreciate about her as an artist is she never sugar coats anything. Here is some sharp true emotion, in song, laid right out on the table.
Do yourself a favor, and listen now. I’ve got it on repeat over here. If this is a taste of what’s to come, big things are in store.