For some reason or another, each of these songs from their opening notes makes my heart skip a beat an my body feel heavy.
  1. Shake it Off - Florence & the Machine
    I will INSTANTLY cry at this song. I could be in a restaurant with my friends talking about butts and if this song comes on, I'll have to excuse myself to cry in the bathroom (this exact situation has happened before). The lyrics just mean SO much to me. It helped me get through some of the roughest times of my life.
  2. Wide Eyes - Local Natives
    This is more of just an emotional song in general. The opening riff just gives me chills. I listened to this album religiously during the last few months of my senior year, so it reminds me of late night springtime drives in Texas with the windows rolled down and my head in the clouds.
  3. That was the Worst Christmas Ever! - Sufjan Stevens
    Again, another just emotional sounding song with emotional lyrics. I also did a very elaborate video cover of this on Christmas my senior year. It took the WHOLE day because I was harmonizing with myself and doing background sounds. And that was my last Christmas as a "kid".
  4. Inside Out - Emmy Rossum
    Another senior year connected memory!! This was the song we sampled for the ballad in my senior year marching band show. It's a beautiful song and it reminds me that I didn't hate band as much as I say I did (I actually fucking loved band).
  5. Either Way - Wilco
    The lyrics to this song are just so simple and pure and the music is so relaxing and mellow. It reminds me of my friend Emma because she was the one who showed it to me. That friendship has since faded a bit, but that I still cherish SO much.
  6. Grapevine Fires - Death Cab for Cutie
    I remember the SECOND I first listened to this song. I was in the ninth grade and my mom's marriage was failing and I thought it was my fault. I was so emo and thought this song was written specifically for me. I'm less emo now, but I still have a very strong attachment to this tune.
  7. The Winner Is - Little Miss Sunshine Soundtrack
    What the fuck. Fucking GORGEOUS arrangement. It's like the song followed a formula to get the PERFECT balance of hopefulness and melancholy. It's the perfect song for every stage of life because it conveys a sense of happiness and fear at the same time. It's just fucking beautiful.
  8. Lua - Bright Eyes
    "When everything is lonely I can be my own best friend." I used to repeat that line over and over to myself my sophomore year, when I would get panic attacks about my friends leaving for college, and in college, when I would get panic attacks about not making any friends. I cry a lot to this song.
  9. New Slang - The Shins
    Something about the tune just makes my heart skip a beat. It also reminds me of Scrubs and my dear friend Misael. Just an emotional song for me.
  10. Hannah Hunt - Vampire Weekend
    Senior year connections. I saw VW in concert my senior year with two guys who were bad friends to me. We had a great time that night and I loved this album and this song so so much. I'm always a sucker for Ezra's lyrics, the melody is hypnotic in a way, and when he jumps octaves??!?! Forget about it.
  11. Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap
    This was the piece we samples my sophomore year for our marching ballad. It reminds me of my golden year of marching band. The guys in my section became my ride-or-dies and I just ended up making THE most amazing friends. This song brings back memories of what was arguably the happiest I've ever been in my life. That and the "Dear Sister" SNL sketch.
  12. Bad Religion - Frank Ocean
    I liked Frank, but I didn't LOVE Frank until I came to Chicago. When I came for my first quarter of college, I had a shit phone with like 2 albums on it and Channel Orange was one of them. I listened to this album at least 20-30 times during that quarter, and this song (especially the scream at 2:25) gave me chills every time. It still does. This is arguably my favorite song.
  13. We are Young - Fun.
    This is more of a connection to my friends' senior years. Most of my best friends were seniors when I was a sophomore, but since they were my BFs I got involved with a bunch of their senior-y stuff too. This was the senior song for the class of 2012 and it was the last song they played at prom. My friends and I also listened to this album a lot the summer before they left for college.
  14. The Heart of Life - John Mayer
    Just a simple song with simple lyrics that I deeply connect with. There's a charming optimism to the words that I just really relate to and the melody is so humble. That's it, "humble" is the perfect word to describe this song. When I hear the opening chords I just feel like everything's going to be ok. If I could pick my personality based on a song, this would be the song.
  15. Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
    Heart melting harmonies and progressions. Sufjan's voice is like a nervous melodic whisper that's strangely enchanting. This song reminds me of a boy I used to like but I'm so glad nothing ever happened between me and him. I covered this song and he told me that he loved it. I'm so glad I never dated him.
  16. Gently Weeps - Jake Shimabukuro
    This song is just the pinnacle of musicality in my opinion. This guy can make THOSE noises out of 4 strings???!??!! The sad sounding minor key played on a ukulele which is normally thought of as a happy instrument is such a gorgeous contrast. When he starts adding his own flair it's like you can hear the emotion he's putting into it. GAH wow this song is gorgeous.
  17. Talk of the Town - Jack Johnson
    Curious George is one of my favorite movies of all times and having Jack Johnson do the soundtrack was genius. The song is simple both musically and lyrically, but in such a sophisticated way. This song is just peaceful and lovely and it symbolizes a merging of my adulthood (because Jack Johnson is more of an "adult" artist) and my childhood (because it's from the Curious George movie).
  18. Why Georgia - John Mayer
    My eighth grade science teacher had a guitar at school and he would play John Mayer songs in the hallway during passing periods and when we were turning in tests. He taught me way more about life than science. I sat in between two guys who constantly called me emo and made jokes about me cutting myself (which I did, but they didn't know). My teacher would ALWAYS stand up for me because I was too nervous to say anything. This was my teacher's favorite song to play for us.
  19. Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest
    I just have like a gravitational pull to this song. I remember hearing it once when I was really young and then seeking it out again when I was in junior high. What I love about this song is that it's generally happy based on the lyrics but, at least for me, there's a bit of a heaviness to the melody that evokes a sadness of sorts. I don't know exactly what it is that makes my heart sink at this song, but it's got me hooked.
  20. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
    Some really good high school friends of mine had a really good band and they played this song at a lot of gigs their last year together. One time I sang it for them. I've always had a hidden desire to be in a band and that fulfilled the dream. Also, "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" is a beautiful line and the lyrics are amazing.