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This weekly segment is a new thing I’ve been playing around with for a while. It’ll be based on songs that reflect what’s been going on in my life that week and what’s been stuck in my head on a continuous loop. You know those songs… The ones that burrow deep and don’t leave no matter what. The chorus or beat you can’t forget even when the rest of the song is a blank. That infuriating single line that pops up when you’re trying to concentrate on something else. For me, I’ve found the best way to purge the delicious insanity is to write it down. Create a playlist of sorts. Thus this idea was born. I’ll apologize now if I infect you with these earworms…..

1) Ophelia by The Lumineers

Honestly, I’ve loved The Lumineers since the first time I heard them. Between this song’s bouncy beat (even though I suspect it’s about a breakup) and Wesley Schultz’s raspy sound, keeping it on repeat didn’t even require any neurons to fire.

2) Bored to Death by blink-182

Oh, blink-182. One of the bands that defined my high school years. This is their first #1 in 12 years, according to Wikipedia. I won’t pretend to know what they’re trying to say here, I believe music is kind of like poetry and can speak to people differently using the same words, but to me it’s all about taking chances. You don’t know what you’re next move in life will be or even if you have the courage to move at all. However, you move anyway. You take a leap of faith because “life is too short to last long”.

3) Mountain Sound by Of Monsters and Men

This one came to me while I was exploring Indian Mound Reserve on Wednesday. Like The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men is a band that’s been a favorite from song 1. Their lyrics and melody are so beyond beautiful to me.

“Some had scars and some had scratches. It made me wonder about their past. And as I looked around I began notice that we were nothing like the rest.”

4) Renegades by X Ambassadors

Most people know this song from the Jeep commercials. Jeep Renegade… Haha… Advertisers are so smart….. Yeah, okay, enough snark. Anyway, this is the perfect summer song and anthem for those that refuse to fit the mold. Those that push boundaries and dare to look at life a little differently. “Long live the Pioneers, Rebels, and Mutineers.” As this weekend kicks off, what status quo will you challenge?

5) Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron

Lord Huron introduced me to the Folk side of Alternative. This particular song, as far as I can tell, doesn’t get much play on the radio though. It makes me sad because if there was one song that truly summed up my soul, this would be it.

“To the ends of the earth, would you follow me? There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see.”

“What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place.”

6) America’s Sweetheart by Elle King

Seriously. I’m most definitely not! As soon as I was old enough to choose, you couldn’t catch me dead in a Cheerleader outfit or at a school pep rally. Model good looks? Ha! Suzie Homemaker? Hell No!! Who am I? I’m the girl that dances in the aisle when her favorite song comes on. I’m the girl that will gladly meet you for a drink. The girl that can go from “Girl Next Door” to “Snarky Observer” to “Debate Captain” and back. In a line-up, I’d highly doubt you’d pick me as a friend but guess what… 30 minutes with me and I bet I can make you want to smile.

7) Midnight City by M83

Okay, so I may have had a small love of techno music in the past. Sandstorm, anyone? No? Alright, moving on. This song scratches that itch for me. Add in a bit of an ’80s vibe and that sax?! Brings me back to those nights my friends and I trolled the streets of the city until the sun came up.

8) Zombies by The Cranberries

Ever have a song that you’ve listened to over and over and then one day, something in your brain clicks into place and it all makes sense? This happened to me this week with ‘Zombies’. When I was growing up, Cranberries was almost always in rotation. I’m half Irish, so of course I’d be drawn to an Irish band. I can’t count how many times I listened to this specific song too. Here’s the scene: I’m out and about running errands, this song comes on, and my subconscious latches on to the verse… “It’s the same old theme since 1916.” 1916 is the year of the Easter Rising in Ireland. Arguably, this Rising kicked the tensions during the 20th century into high gear and set the stage for further violence between the Irish and the English. Having been to Northern Ireland to visit family and seeing the murals, the walls, the barbed wire fences, the crumbling buildings… It definitely lends a different slant to things.

9) Way Down We Go by Kaleo

Oh, my God, what can I say about Kaleo. Really, there are no words! You just have to listen. JJ Julius Son’s voice gives me chills… All that gravel and angst and power… Their sound reminds of the Southern Rock and Blues mishmash I’d hear at my hometown’s festivals. Think Ray LaMontagne and Jonny Lang. No matter who you are, you’ll be hard pressed not to at least tap your foot to the beat. And they’re Icelandic too!

10) Welcome to the Jungle by Guns ‘n Roses

Mister is a huge Cincinnati Bengals fans and we plan on tailgating this Sunday. Anybody that knows the Bengals knows this song is synonymous with the team. I’m not exactly sure why since I believe Axl Rose is referring to L.A. when he says “Jungle” but whatever. When your mascot is a Bengal Tiger and there’s a song with the word ‘Jungle’ in it, you appropriate the song. At any rate, it’s Guns ‘n Roses, Baby! How can you NOT rock out and get your ’80s head bang on?!

So that’s my list for this week! Share in the comments what would be on your list.

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