human KIND.

It’s no secret – planet earth is not a very kind place these days. That’s not to say there’s not plenty of good lurking around, but it’s been so outweighed by all the bad shit out there that it’s often hard to see. From morning to night, we’re inundated with an increasing amount of heartbreaking news that’s not only sickening but numbing – mentally, physically, emotionally. I, for one, am not okay with this being the norm and all I have to say is – what the f**k is going on?!?

To all my fellow warmhearted humans, keep doing you – continue to be kind and spread your light. The world needs people like us. Here’s a playlist of hopeful, positive songs that remind me of the goodness of the human endeavor:

 

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My Year in Music According to Spotify: 2018

Another year, another music wrap-up from Spotify. Without further ado, my streaming trends for 2018:

Minutes listened: 19,893

This was 50% more than last year, which is insane. I spent 8 hours alone listening to my number 1 artist once again, *NSYNC! (as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the 90’s but….)

My other top artists included: John Mayer, Twin Shadow, Years & Years, Charli XCX

Top song: I pride myself in keeping up with music and listening to a variety of different genres. However, at the end of the day, I listen to what makes me happy and I guess you couldn’t call my music tastes exactly “cool.” And with that, I’m proud to announce that my top streamed song of 2018 was…drum roll please…Epic Goofy Medley by Peter Hollens!!!

My other top songs included: Tearin’ Up My Heart (*NSYNC), The Motown Song (Rod Stewart), Miss You (Cashmere Cat), and I Was Made For Loving You (Tori Kelly f/ Ed Sheeran)

Top genres: Pop (no surprise there!), Indie (really?), Rock, Dance and R&B (again, really?)

Top sub-genre: Dance Pop (ala Dua Lipa)

Fun fact that Spotify thought I needed to know!?!… I listen to more music by artists who are Libra’s (John Mayer, Hugh Jackman) than anyone else. Yay?

Oh Spotify!

They also kindly put together a list of My Top Songs of 2018, which I’ve included here for your listening pleasure.

Happy Holidays all!

-Ashes

 

winter.

Oh December, the most bittersweet time of the year. Bitter, because of the snow, the frigid temperatures, the stress placed upon the buying of the presents, and the sad notion of time flying by too soon. Sweet, because of the Christmas lights, the hot chocolate, the family traditions, and all the food and cookies. And bittersweet, because while it marks the end of something, it also signifies the beginning of something else.

This time of year is especially hard for many people, myself included. It’s as if the harshness of the cold weather and the bleakness of the grey skies emphasize the cloudiness of our own lives. Whether by broken heart, empty bank account, fragile body, or sick mind, whatever cloud hovers over your life, I hope you find some sense of peace this holiday and winter season. I hope I do, too.

Here’s some songs that sound like winter to me – both the bitterness and the sweetness of it all.

**Alison Krauss & Union Station

 

 

 

 

John Mayer “New Light”

I don’t know how I managed to forget to post this but it happens, even when it involves one of my all time favorites, Mr. John Mayer – or as I refer to him in my house, Johnny Boy. While his new song doesn’t even crack the top 10 for me, this video might be my favorite of his, it’s that freaking fantastic.

Getting Personal

My favorite thing about music is when you “meet” a song that just gets you – deep, down to the core of who you are and what you’ve experienced. It’s a real kind of magic; a type of audible medicine. The following songs speak to me on a personal level for various reasons during various times.

 

 

 

Epic

I haven’t posted in a bit because I haven’t heard anything worthwhile in about a week or two. So I decided to write this post instead…

I firmly believe that every one of us wants to hear something epic every now and then. A song that moves us to the point of stillness. A song that captures a moment in our lives so perfectly yet we’ve never even crossed paths with the artist singing the words. So, how would they know how we’re feeling?

Music, as said time and time again, is a universal language. And when you hear lyrics that resonate with you and melodies that travel deep down into your veins, it kind of makes you feel not so alone. That someone out there gets you and how you feel. And that’s powerful. That’s epic.

Below is a list of some of the epic songs in my life. What are yours?

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The Ben Taylor Band “Surround Me” – A hug in the form of a song.

Cary Brothers “Honestly” – This song reminds me of the fall, my favorite season. When the leaves are their most colorful and there’s a slight crispness to everything. When there is so much beauty around you, yet you can still be sad.

Chantal Kreviazuk “Time” – An anthem I’ve been in love with for a long time.

Delta Rae “Dance In The Graveyards” – The embodiment of joy and happiness.

Ella Eyre “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” – Her voice. Those words. That passion. I’ve never met a cover song I’ve loved so dearly.

John Mayer “The Heart Of Life” – My favorite from my all-time favorite.

Kate Bush “This Woman’s Work” – A heartbreakingly beautiful song.

Kodaline “All I Want” – This one might be the most sonically epic on this list. And the video is one of my favorites.

Kwabs “Perfect Ruin” – Every time I hear this song I fall in love with it all over again. When it’s over, I get kind of upset until I realize, that’s what the back button is for. Repeat! And believe me, I do. Every time.

Lifehouse “Simon” – This song reminds me of a time when music was about the music itself. Some of my favorite live music experiences were watching this band live.

Mumford & Sons “After The Storm” – This one is epic in the most delicate form.

Sheryl Crow “I Shall Believe” – If you ever watched the episode of Roswell (RIP) where Liz dances with future Max to this stunner, and you were single at the time you watched it, and nearly twenty years have passed and you’re still single, then this one would get to you too.

Sia “Breathe Me” – Remember when Myspace had background music for your profile page? Remember Myspace? …Well, this was one of the first songs I chose for mine and I felt sooooo cool because it wasn’t a well-known song at the time. Plus the lyrics and piano beat were darker than anything on the 9 at 9 (Z100 reference). My profile page may be long gone but I still feel cool as shit when this songs lives on through my headphones.

It’s My Birffffday

…And here are a few of my favorite songs that make me happy all year long!

John Mayer “Your Body Is A Wonderland” – Gotta start the birthday off right with a favorite from a favorite. Classic Johnny right here. Plus it will forever remind me of The Office’s Michael Scott and Andrew Bernard “singing” to a pair of girls they just picked up from a local Benihana.

Adam Lambert “Nirvana” – My favorite American Idol of all time. And let’s be real, he won even though he didn’t.

Bastille “Flaws” – This is one of those songs I can’t just listen to once. I always ALWAYS listen to it at least twice in a row.

The Ben Taylor Band “Surround Me” – This song is what the one ring was to Gollum, my precious.

Sarah McLachlan “Fear” – If I had to pick ONE song to listen to for the rest of my life on a deserted island, this would be it. Also, Roswell.

Collective Soul “Needs” – Because I asked them on Twitter to play this song at a show I went to and Dean Roland wrote back to me “We’ll see what we can do.” And they did.

Gavin DeGraw “Dancing Shoes” – I love this man. And I can say that because I met him for 5 seconds one night in NYC.

Lifehouse “Simon” – 2007. Starland Ballroom. New Jersey. One of the best nights of my life, concert-wise. Thank you, Lifehouse.

Goo Goo Dolls “Black Balloon” – Every time I see them perform this song live, a million balloons fall from the sky and for 3-4 minutes, it’s pure magic.

The Weepies “World Spins Madly On” – Because at the end of the day I may want the day to end. But there’s always tomorrow. And the world keeps spinning. And I’m alive. And with or without you, that’s good enough for me.

Ashes Love Notes

I’m single. And not exactly thrilled about Valentine’s Day this year (or any year) but I plan on working out, drinking wine and pampering myself so there’s that. Anyways, even if I’m not in love currently, I can still appreciate beautiful love songs. Here’s a short(ish) list of songs that you may want to cozy up to with whomever your valentine is this year, even if it’s yourself. Self-love is important people. But I digress.

Rascal Flatts “Bless The Broken Road”: For all the hopeless romantics, like myself, who still haven’t found love but imagine this song playing during the first dance at their future wedding.

Dave Matthews Band “Crash Into Me”: An essential pick for all of us who can’t get over the phenomenal music of the 90’s. Oh, and the TV show Roswell.

Marc Cohn “True Companion”: A song that has elicited many tears from my eyes sung by a man whose music is a little bit like heaven on earth.

Train “When I Look To The Sky”: For my grandparents. Always.

Amel Larrieux “Make Me Whole”: Because I don’t think enough people have heard the beautiful dream that is this song.

Ellie Goulding “Your Song: Cover song magic.

Ben Folds “The Luckiest”: For the love of the piano.

Lifehouse “You & Me”: Because Jason Wade’s voice is love.

John Mayer “The Heart Of Life”: For the love of life and living in general. ‘Cause that’s really what it’s all about, after all.

And last but never least:

Disney’s “A Whole New World”: This song, from Aladdin, can be sung by any one and I will like it. Even me. And that’s saying something.

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