It’s happened again. My iPod mix of current and favorite tunes has made it through another cycle. This means that you get to find out exactly what embarrassing music I have been listening to for the past 6-8 months, which is usually how long it takes me to find 25 songs that I like well enough to have them played repeatedly in my car for, well, 6-8 months. And so here they are, the latest 25 (actually 26) songs that have caught my ear and stuck in my brain.
1) Call You Mom, by They Might Be Giants
You may recall that the last time I updated this list I had just purchased the new They Might Be Giants album Nanobots, and I was looking for one more song from the album to add to this list. I chose “Call You Mom,” a song about a guy who wants to call his girlfriend ‘Mom’ and does not get why she doesn’t like it, because it contains the subversive humor that is the reason I love the band in the first place.
2) Don’t You Worry Child, by Swedish House Mafia
I added this song back in March or April, when I was in the middle of doing a mash-up arrangement of it with “Some Nights” by Fun. for church. Yes, for church. It was a big hit. My church is cool.
3) Ho Hey, by the Lumineers
Come on guys. I know you think that, by naming the song “Ho Hey” that you can get away with yelling “HO!” after the line “You’re my sweet.” But you can’t. We know what you are doing. Inappropriate.
4) It’s Time, by Imagine Dragons.
This is another song we did at church. I told you we were cool.
5) Little Talks, by Of Monsters and Men
This song, and the two preceding it on the list, all go together in my mind. Did they all come out on the same day? Do they all have the same indie-pop feel to them? Are they, in fact, the same song? I cannot say. But I can’t put one on the list without the others.
6) Carry On, by Fun.
Okay, so maybe this is just basically a list of songs we have done at church. Hmmmm. This one was for a youth service after a 30-Hour fast. It’s so hard not to get attached to songs once you have really studied, learned, and worked on them. I guess that’s why so many end up on this list.
7) I Will Wait, by Mumford and Sons
I didn’t really like this song when I first heard it. It confused me. But, like many great songs, the more I listened to it the more I got into it. It arrived in the mix a little late, but I’m glad it got there and I still enjoy hearing it from time to time, pseudo-folk-country-weirdness-pretension and all.
8) Thrift Shop, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Wanz)
We have a thrift shop at church, so it only seemed natural to… just kidding. We did not sing this at church. Actually, this is another song that should have come earlier to the latest 25 mix, but I didn’t want to listen to the lame clean version, and I also didn’t want to have to skip it every time it came on when my kids were in the car. But I couldn’t resist the siren call, and I gave in and put in on there. So I have to skip it every time my kids are around, but it’s worth it.
9) Evolution of Music, by Pentatonix
Epic. Awesome. A cappella. If you haven’t seen/heard it, go to YouTube right now.
10) Die Young, by Ke$ha
If loving Ke$ha is wrong, then I probably need some professional help and an intervention. Just like Ke$ha.
11) Troublemaker, by Ollie Murs (ft. Flo Rida)
Quick story: Apple figured out that there was a battery issue with their original nanos and did a recall. My wife had one and, though never had a problem with it, sent it back in, and they sent her a brand new nano, way cooler and brighter more powerful than her original one. It had radio on it! She turned it on for the first time and this was the song that was playing. To me, this song will always represent free awesome stuff and the feeling that comes with receiving it.
12) Red Hands, by Walk Off the Earth
I already had put some new WOTE songs on the list earlier, but didn’t include this one. But then they started playing it on the radio! So exciting! That was reason enough to stick it on the list.
13) Lego House, by Ed Sheeran
This is another song that I remember hearing a really long time ago, and liking. When it started getting radio play I thought, why are they playing this song from a million years ago on the radio as if it were a new song? It was “Somebody That I Used to Know” all over again! But it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the tune, so I got to add it to the mix this time around.
14) When You Levitate, from Phineas & Ferb
This song is amazing. Not kidding. If you are not watching Phineas & Ferb, you are missing out.
15) Brave, by Sarah Bareilles
Every time Katy Perry’s “Roar” comes on the radio, I wish it were “Brave.” True story.
16) Clarity, by Zedd (ft. Foxes)
Every once in a while a song comes on the radio and you know from that first time hearing it that it will be one of your new favorite songs. Such it was with “Clarity.” Can’t say why it grabs me so much, but it’s definitely one of my current faves.
17) Cups (When I’m Gone), by Anna Kendrick
How did this get on the radio? No idea. But Pitch Perfect was so awesome, I must support it by listening to this song many times. And no, I can’t do the cups thing.
18) Get Lucky, by Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell Williams)
I don’t think I need to say anything about this song. It is an instant living room dance party classic, and it will be forever.
19) Restless Heart, by Matt Hires
I sing the chorus to this song in an embarrassingly loud and vigorous manner while driving. F.Y.I.
20) Counting Stars, by One Republic
Is there any part of this song I don’t love? The verse, the chorus, the bridge, every part is so catchy and fun, it’s like a song made up entirely of hooks. I love it!
21) Treasure, by Bruno Mars
Hands down, the best Kool and the Gang song of the past twenty years.
22) The Fox, by Ylvis
Did you really think, even for a second, that this song was not going to be on the list?
23) American Girl, by Bonnie McKee
Sometimes I like to make up stories about songs, as if they were in a musical, and for this scene I envision a ‘mean girl’ type who is hitting on some guy, and when he protests that she already has a boyfriend, she sings him this song. I love it because I would never be friends with the person singing it, but there is such a self-awareness there, about America and society, that I am fascinated. “I was raised by a television. Every day is a competition.” Brilliant.
24) The Lion, The Beast, The Beat, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Can you believe that, being from Vermont, I had never actually heard a Grace Potter song until a week or two ago? One of my friends posted this song, and I was immediately hooked.
25) Turntable, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
So I went out the bought the album. Tons of great songs, but this one in particular is great for driving down the highway and feeling cooler than you actually are.
26) Stars, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Okay, okay, I know there are only supposed to be 25 on this list, but last time I got a new album that I wanted to add three songs from I ended up crossing over into two lists. The first song on this very list really kind of belongs on the last list, but the 25 had filled up. So I am letting you know that, technically “Call You Mom” is no longer on my list. It was bumped off by “Stars.” But it would annoy me to put “Stars” on the next list when it clearly belongs next to “Turntable.” So, there you have it.
The next time I post about this, none of these songs will be on the list, having been slowly replaced by 25 new songs that I have yet to discover. But until then, I’m going to go enjoy these. And I hope you do too.