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: “Tin Man”

It probably comes as no surprise that one of my favorite tracks on Miranda Lambert’s new album The Weight of These Wings is “Tin Man.” I mean how can you listen to this song, and not feel anything? I’m not really sure. On Sunday, she preformed it live on the ACM’s. Acoustic. Raw. I think there’s something beautiful and admirable about someone revealing their heart for anyone to see. It’s a real song, and it’s vulnerable, and I think that’s wonderful. The world needs more of that. I believe it’s a brave thing to do, even if it’s scary, to put your emotions out there like that. You never really know how that situation will transpire, but it’s better than hiding away. And isn’t that  kind of how love works, anyway? It’s all a risk, but what is life without taking those chances? Her performance gave me goosebumps, but the song has that effect anyway. I’m not sure I’ve listened to it one time without getting tears in my eyes yet. (*Sap alert* I know, but it’s so good.) It had been a few years since her last one, and this much anticipated album was well worth the weight. I believe it when they say she brought her heart to the table, ready to pour it out into these songs.

“Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
You shouldn’t spend your whole life wish’
For something bound to fall apart
Every time you’re feeling empty
Better thank your lucky stars
If you ever felt one breaking
You’d never want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
I’ve been on the road that you’re on
It didn’t get me very far
You ain’t missing nothing
Cause love is so damn hard
Take it from me darling
You don’t want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now
By the way there Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart”

If you haven’t heard it yet:

meg says listen to this, meg says watch this

Meg Says Watch This: “Hold You Back”

This song is wonderful, but the video is devastatingly beautiful. It’s all in the details. From the “We Will Miss You” balloon, that’s floated up to the corner of the room, to the stray bobby pins that were left on the night stand. The glaring emptiness of absence. How difficult it is to erase the trail someone leaves on our heart and in our lives. The essence of their presence heavy in a room, even when their body isn’t there. I mean yeah, essentially it’s a break  up song, but don’t all songs mean something different to their listeners? No matter what the subject matter, this one still strikes a chord.

And it’s right now that I start to see it
All of the weight of the way that it is
Caught between what it means to start over
And what happens over and over again

I know I mentioned Ryan Hurd in my post about my favorite musical discoveries of 2016. “Hold You Back” was the last song he released on Spotify last year, but he just debuted the video this week. I just love the way he has show cased such diversity in his songwriting with each track – some sting you with how emotional they are, some are fun the kind you turn up loud and blast, but there’s so much heart in each of them. I can’t wait for more music from him this year!

Listen, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday Listen to This: “Fast Car”

I know, I know heavy on the listen to this posts, but I’ll be mixing it up soon! In the meantime, I’ve been listening to the Hootie and the Blowfish Pandora station a lot again, lately and this morning one fine little gem popped up and I immediately thought “Hey! That should make it on a Throwback Thursday post.” So here you have it: Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” from her self-titled album. I knew this was a throwback, but I had kind of forgotten how far back, 1988 actually. I was only one. Seriously?! Yeah…

I remember listening to this song at specific times in my life. From younger years when I obviously didn’t understand but hey my dad has pretty good taste in music and introduced us to some awesome artists at a young age. Then later, in high school there’s a really clear memory I have with this song. Climbing into the black leather passenger seat of one of my best guy friend’s car, ready for adventures. Sometimes, we’d just drive. Other times we actually went somewhere. But there was such an easiness about all of it. The familiarity of a friendship that feels like a worn-in pair of jeans. He’d turn it up and we would belt it out. And I loved nothing more in those moments than driving fast with the windows down watching the houses whiz by in a blur. I can picture his hands drumming on the steering wheel now.

Then, in more recent times when my younger brother pledged his fraternity, apparently this was quite the anthem during hang outs. You know when guys are all sitting around together, playing video games, drinking beer. So when we’d all be hanging out at his apartment, or road trips to the beach and such – he would blast it. Sometimes, on repeat. I kind of love that it’s a song that all the different groups of friends I have can appreciate together. It’s one of those sing-a-long and feel warm inside songs.

Listen

Listen to This: “Warwick Avenue”

Happy Friday, everyone! “Warwick Avenue” by Duffy was definitely my song of choice to jam out to on my morning commute, today. Also, since I’m a slacker and missed it yesterday and this isn’t a new hit, then perhaps you can consider this tune a belated Throwback Thursday.

I was first introduced to Duffy in 2008. I also remember seeing copious amounts of praising tweets towards her music by one of my favorite professors (ever) during our study abroad time. She’s this talented, beautiful singer-songwriter from Wales. She’s only 28! (It’s always so intriguing to me to see what different people have accomplished in about the same lifespan as me. It blows me away!) She has incredible vocals with a kind of bluesy feel. I just love her!

In some ways this song reminds me of the emotion I can connect with when I hear “Be, Be My Love” (I blogged about here,) but Duffy has her own style and sound separate from Yamagata. Every once in a while “Warwick Avenue” is a good melody to shed a few tears (kind of like the tear provoking powers of Adele’s “Someone Like You,”) but in other times I don’t get there at all and it’s just quite a simply lovely song.

If you’re not familiar with this track from Duffy’s album, Rockferry you should definitely check it out! Here is the official video for “Warwick Avenue”: