Here. Here's my heartbeat. I'll rip the thing out of my chest so you can have a listen.
  1. Mae, The Everglow (whole album)
    My first boyfriend got me into them sophomore year of college. Ignore what a late bloomer I was; the important thing is THE BAND. They write super-earnest songs with adventurous piano melodies and strong, exciting guitar parts and I if I were a band, I would be MAE-- excitable and sincere and a little bit sugary. When I listen to The Everglow, I'm 19 or 20 or 21 and in charge of/in love with my life for the first time. MAE is emo-pop at its best. I still call them my favorite band.
  2. Paramore, Riot
    Paramore, if I remember correctly, was 2008. 2008 was a hellishly hard year. Between a part-time job and extracurriculars and all my crazy-hard Georgia Tech classes, I was tired. A lot. But That's What You Get and Hallelujah helped me power through that year.
  3. Cute Is What We Aim For
    Freshman year of college was the year I figured out music on the Internet. Cute et al. (The Rocket Summer, We the Kings, Cartel, The Maine, Hit the Lights, Hellogoodbye) never fails to remind me of that wannabe-edgy girl shuffling around with her iPod the size of a brick.
  4. Jesse McCartney, Kelly Clarkson
    These two had their heyday my senior year of high school. My best friend and I used to drive around our hometown blaring Beautiful Soul and Since U Been Gone from her Honda Accord before parties and football games where I was too shy to talk to anyone. But I loved the music. It was so poppy and joyful. The mid 2000s were a great time.
  5. @john Mayer, Heavier Things
    Again, my senior year of high school. I remember thinking those opening notes to Clarity were totally perfect. I chose lyrics from that song for my senior quote (yes I know that's cheesy and horrible but I loved them).
  6. @john Mayer Trio, TRY!
    The Christmas break the JM Trio concert was on DirecTV every day, I watched it about 5 times. My mom finally begged me to let her buy it so I would quit watching the concert.
  7. @john Mayer, Continuum
    I fell asleep listening to this album every night freshman year.
  8. Jason Mraz, Geek In the Pink
    I thought Mraz was so witty when I discovered him freshman year of college. I also remember wearing a pink sweater one night and making a joke about being "the geek in the pink" when this guy looked at me and said, "what? What are you talking about? You're, like, the cool popular girl in the pink." I was definitely, definitely not, but it was still a super nice thing to say and maybe the first time anyone had ever called me cool.
  9. The Beatles, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    Dancing on the porch at a fraternity with one of my pledge sisters till 5am the last night of freshman year. True story: I was stone cold sober. I just didn't wanna go home.
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mollie Hatchett, .38 Special, Allman Brothers Band
    Riding around with my dad. I always loved this stuff.
  11. Amy Grant, Mariah Carey, Hootie and the Blowfish
    Riding around with my mom.
  12. Avalon
    Riding around with my sorority big sister. Avalon is 90s-ish CCM (contemporary Christian music). We used to roll the windows down and sing at the top of our lungs.
  13. Ingrid Michaelson and Brooke Fraser and Imogen Heap and Kina Grannis
    Sophomore year of college I started working in a coffee shop. And so began my singer/songwriter obsession. I've seen Ingrid and Brooke and Kina about 10 times altogether and I am still not tired of their lovely voices or their consistently strong songwriting.
  14. High School Musical
    The first summer I was a camp counselor, we watched this movie at least once a week. We used to do the dances and everything. It was glorious.
  15. Hairspray
    I saw this movie the second summer I was a camp counselor. That show is so bouncy and happy and thrilling! We sang those songs for weeks.
  16. Bleachers and Misterwives and One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer and Taylor Swift
    And when I think about these musicians I will think about their concerts and the last amazing year and a half. Perfect pop happiness.