thanks for the request @nathanveshecco. I loved this one.
  1. Papa Was a Rodeo • The Magnetic Fields
    For me this song is complete in a way that very few songs are. It's a complex, haunting and romantic story of everything great and sad and legendary about America.
  2. Rocket Man • Elton John
    To me this song is (ironically) about figuring how to live in the world and be who you are and do things that scare you and make you feel alone in the vastness and faking it until you make it and somehow finding triumph in all of that.
  3. Midnight Train to Georgia • Gladys Knight and the Pips
    A cross country romance of love and failure and the American dream dashed and reborn and figuring out how to go home again, or how to make a new one.
  4. This Year • The Mountain Goats
    An anthem for every indie kid turned 34yo woman or whatever.
  5. More Adventurous • Rilo Kiley
    This album came out when I was just starting to think about being an adult and going into the world on my own, and it's all about figuring out what you want and how to get it, how to be in love or not and get married or not and have babies or not. This song has a singalong campfire quality that really makes you feel ready to embark on that adventure, whatever it becomes.
  6. America • Simon and Garfunkel
    The soundtrack to every roadtrip I've ever taken; the feeling I am constantly seeking.
  7. Pink Houses • John (Cougar) Mellencamp
    This song reminds me of hanging out with my grandpa and being a kid in Iowa and thinking about the world in a really clear, simple way that I miss.
  8. El Scorcho • Weezer
    High school in a nutshell. Every time I listen I'm right back there and the romantic silly angst holds up.
  9. Adventures in Solitude • The New Pornographers
    This album came along when I needed it and made me feel brave and independent and like I could do anything.
  10. The Bargain Store • Dolly Parton
    The perfect wistful melancholy love song.