Playlist: February 2015

Since I tried to make “Love and Relationships” a more prominent theme on my blog this month, it was only fitting that I finish February off with a playlist full of love songs.

Back in November I shared some of my favorite romantic love songs, so I decided to change it up this time around.  If I’m being totally honest, my absolute favorite love songs aren’t the happy “I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for” songs (though those can be nice as well).  No, my favorite love songs are the ones that shatter my heart into a million pieces.  And, after yesterday’s post, I thought it was appropriate to share some of my favorite breakup songs.

When I dealt with heartbreak in the past, I always turned to music.  There was something so oddly comforting in knowing that someone else could so beautifully put into words the exact emotions you were feeling … That someone really got it.  And, while all of these songs aren’t explicitly about love gone bad, they’re some of the songs that really resonated with me when I was struggling with a broken heart.

Since I’ve been trying to get a little more personal on my blog (and because I’m a total nerd who loves discussing what specific songs mean to me), I’ve decided to share why each of these songs deserved a spot on this particular playlist.

February2015Playlist

1. Sweet Adeline: From the beginning of the song, Elliott Smith breaks your heart with simple but eloquent descriptions of the days (or weeks) following a particularly awful breakup with the lines “Cut this picture into you and me/Burn it backwards, kill this history/Make it over, make it stay away/Or hate’ll sing the ending that love started to say.”  A part of you wants to just forget everything to avoid those feelings of bitterness and hate that so often bubble up and take over when someone hurts you more than you ever believed possible.

2. The Walk: This is by far my favorite Imogen Heap song of all time.  The imagery is great, as she finds herself continuously faced with the one person she can never have the way she wants (“Inside out, upside down twisting beside myself/Stop that now, ’cause you and I were never meant to be”).  The song so perfectly describes those conflicting feelings of wanting that person in your life even though you know it will only lead to heartache, eventually comforting yourself the only way you know how: by blaming them for everything (“I don’t want to feel like this, so that makes it all your fault”).

3. Map of the Problematique: This song could really be about a lot of things, but for me, it’s about the loneliness you’re left with when the life and love you’ve built with someone else disintegrates (“And I feel like everything I sow is being swept away/Well, I refuse to let you go”).

4. Rough Hands: This is one of the more obvious songs about a love lost that covers the feelings from the beginning of the breakup (“Was I left behind?/Someone tell me, tell me I survived”) to the realization at the end that it’s really over (“Two people too damaged too much too late”).

5. Fake Plastic Trees: For me, this song has always been about trying to mold yourself into your most perfect version in order to sustain a love that was never really there in the first place (“She looks like the real thing/She tastes like the real thing/My fake plastic love”).  Everything around the couple seems fake because it is … Their expectations have never truly fused with reality, leaving them disappointed and broken when they begin to see things as they actually are (“If I could be who you wanted all the time”).

6. The Ice is Getting Thinner: This is another obvious song about the deterioration of a romantic relationship.  The beauty in this song lies in its simplicity: from the opening lines “We’re not the same, dear, as we used to be/The seasons have changed and so have we” to the lovely imagery of the death of things in winter (“We bury our love in the wintery grave/A lump in the snow was all that remained”).  And at the end of the song, the inevitable truth that both people need to face is sung: “Then it saddens me to say what we both knew was true/That the ice was getting thinner under me and you.”

7. Lua: I struggled with adding this song to the list because there are just so many Bright Eyes songs that are more obviously about lost love (and this is more likely about a struggle with depression and addiction).  It won out in the end because I literally would spend hours listening to “Lua” on repeat when I was dealing with a particularly difficult breakup.  Conor Oberst has always had a way with words, and this song is no exception.  From the loneliness that comes with no longer having someone special in your life (“When everything is lonely I can be my own best friend/I get a coffee and the paper, have my own conversations”) to trying to move on when you’re not ready (“The love I sell you in the evening by the morning won’t exist”) to trying to find any way to forget the horrible ache in your heart (“Well, we might die from medication but we sure killed all the pain”) to finally admitting to yourself that you’re just not over it (“And I’m not sure what the trouble was that started all of this/The reasons all have run away, but the feeling never did”), he perfectly describes all of the stages that come with the end of an important relationship.

8. The Engine Driver: This song fucking breaks my heart every single time I hear it, yet I’d say it’s my favorite song by The Decemberists.  The repeated line “And if you don’t love me, let me go” is one that anyone who has ever found themselves going back to the person who broke their heart only to leave more broken than before can relate to.  And, as someone who has always found writing to be extremely cathartic, I could always also relate to the line “I’ve written pages upon pages trying to rid you from my bones.”  So true.

9. Himerus and Eros: I listened to this song on a regular basis back when I was dealing with this.  Much like “The Walk,” it describes the confused feelings that go along with wanting to be with someone who can’t give you the type of relationship you want (“And I fight the urge to explore the vastness of your curves I adore/You know I hate you/No, I hate you more/You know I love you/No, I love you more/Yes, it’s true, you’ve brainwashed me and now I’m more confused/I still somehow hope I end up with you/Yes, it’s true, I romanticize every single thing I do/Especially when it comes to you”).  This song takes it a step further, though, since it’s not just about the feelings but also the sexual aspect when you’re unable to break away from someone you’re still in love with and find yourself still hooking up with them long after the relationship has ended (“I hope to God I mean a little more than the sounds that escape your tired 4:00 a.m. lips/Oh, how I wish I meant a little more than a symphony of heavy breathing and the friction of hips”).

10. Cup of Coffee: When I was dealing with the same breakup I mentioned above, I truly felt like this song was written just for me (minus the part about the cigarettes).  It probably sounds ridiculous, but the words just rang so true for me.  From finding myself walking or driving by his place despite actively trying to avoid him (“I’m walking empty streets, hoping we might meet/I see your car parked on the road/The light on at your window/I know for sure that you’re home/And I just have to pass on by”) to the realization that we could never be “just friends” until I actually moved on (“So no, of course we can’t be friends/Not while I still feel like this”) to the black pit of depression I was sucked into for over a year after things had ended (“My friends all say they’re worried/I’m looking far too skinny/I’ve stopped returning all their calls”), this song was one that really helped me work through all of the horrible, confused emotions that went along with that particular situation.

11. Raining in Baltimore: This will forever be one of my favorite sad songs.  Adam Duritz reduces me to tears each and every time he sings the lines “Where you should be, no one’s around,” “These train conversations are passing me by/And I don’t have nothing to say/You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way,” and “There’s things I remember and things I forget/I miss you, I guess that I should/Three thousand five hundred miles away/What would you change if you could?” … So basically I’m a blubbering mess through this entire song.  It’s so beautiful, though.

12. Hey Jupiter: This was always one of my go-to breakup songs.  Although it’s more about a love triangle than the end of a relationship, the feelings of heartache and loneliness still echo throughout the lyrics.  Tori Amos starts the song off ready to share all of the things weighing on her heart, though she knows she’ll only cause herself pain in doing so (“And this little masochist/She’s ready to confess/All the things that I never thought that she could feel”) and goes on to describe the feeling that goes along with someone leaving their mark on your heart (“Found your writing on my wall/Well, if my heart’s soaking wet/Boy, your boots can leave a mess”).  She ends the song in much the same way as it began, essentially coming full circle in her realization that she’s now truly alone (“No one’s picking up the phone/Guess it’s clear he’s gone/And this little masochist is lifting up her dress/Guess I thought I could never feel the things I feel”).

13. Day Old Hate: This is my absolute favorite City and Colour song because it has always held so much meaning in my life.  As with several other songs on this list, the lyrics are simple but heartfelt, accurately describing many of the feelings I’ve struggled with following a breakup.  The first verse in particular is perfect: “So let’s face it, this was never what you wanted/But I know it’s fun to pretend/Now blank stares and empty threats are all I have/They’re all I have.”  He didn’t play this song when I saw him last, but the first time I saw Dallas Green touring as City and Colour, I was reduced to tears when he sang this.  (Yes, I’m that girl who cries at concerts.)

14. Rootless Tree: This is one of the best angry breakup songs ever written.  It’s not even obviously angry until you reach the chorus, which I used to sing at the top of my lungs while driving in my car, trying to detach myself from the person I needed to get over: “So fuck you, fuck you, fuck you and all we’ve been through/I said leave it, leave it, leave it, it’s nothing to you/And if you hate me, hate me, hate me/Then hate me so good that you can let me out, let me out, let me out of this hell when you’re around.”  Though the song definitely has its sad moments (“What I want from this is learn to let go/But no, not of you/Of all that’s been told”), for me it was mostly a great song to listen to when I needed a release for all of the bitterness and anger that inevitably goes along with the end of a relationship.

15. Get Gone: I had such a hard time choosing just one Fiona Apple song to include on this playlist.  I’ve turned to her music more than any other artist (even Elliott Smith!) following breakups and general disillusionment with various men in my life, and to this day I even refer to When the Pawn … as “the quintessential breakup album” because I relied on it so heavily to get me through the agony of my worst breakups.  As with “Rootless Tree,” this is one of the best angry breakup songs ever written.  And, once you’ve moved past the sadness and loneliness, sometimes you just need to put on a really angry song to put yourself in a “Fuck him, I don’t need this shit!” type of mindset.  If you’re at that point, this is the perfect song for you.  Fiona Apple flawlessly puts into words the feelings that go along with realizing that things have completely gotten out of hand (“How many times can it escalate ’til it elevates to a place I can’t breathe?”) and that he’s just not worth it anymore (“I’ll idealize and realize that it’s no sacrifice because a price is paid and there’s nothing left to grieve/Fuckin’ go”).  But, for me, the best part of this song is the chorus because it took the jumbled thoughts I’d always have following a breakup and pieced them together, ending with a line I’d always find myself repeating in hopes I’d one day believe it and move on with my life: “How can I deal with this, if he won’t get with this?/Am I gonna heal from this?/He won’t admit to it/Nothing to figure out/I gotta get him out/It’s time the truth was out that he don’t give a shit about me.”

I know I wrote a lot about these songs, so if you actually read all of that, thank you!  If not, that’s okay … I know everyone isn’t into reading someone’s personal thoughts on specific songs (especially if they’re not songs they regularly listen to).

Even if you’re not dealing with a broken heart, these are all great songs.  (I listen to all of them on a regular basis.)  And, if you are, maybe you’ll find something here that speaks to how you’re feeling and helps you move past it.

 

Also, if anyone feels like sharing, what are some songs that have helped you deal with heartbreak in the past?

Advertisements

Playlist: January 2015

I was originally planning to make this post yesterday, but since I didn’t schedule it ahead of time and I was too tired to work on it after my yoga class, it just never happened.  So I’m once again posting on the weekend (something I really don’t like doing) to make sure I get my January 2015 playlist up before it’s time to flip the calendar page to February.

Since I shared this post earlier in the month, I decided to focus on songs that inspire me for January’s playlist.  Since there are literally thousands of songs I could include on a playlist with this theme, I’ve decided to narrow it down by sharing only a select few that have either been instrumental in my creative writing projects or have simply been playing on repeat for the past month or so, serving as background music for blogging or brainstorming ideas.

January2015Playlist

I realize that #16 doesn’t match the song listed on the actual Spotify playlist.  This is an error on Spotify’s part.  This song is actually a cover Alexisonfire did of the Moneen song “Tonite, I’m Gone” (hence the Spotify name).  The silly title is just a reference to one of the members in Moneen (his nickname is “Hippy”).  And now it becomes more apparent just how much useless musical trivia I know.

As you can probably tell from this list, I pulled inspirational songs from various stages in my life (though, to be fair, I still listen to all of these bands/artists on a regular basis).  Like I said earlier, this is in no way a complete list of songs that influence my writing … But it at least gives you an idea of what I might put on if I’m feeling uninspired.

One last thing before I share my playlist: I broke down and made a new Spotify account specifically for my blog.  I didn’t really want to do this, but it seemed like the best option.  You may recall from my last playlist post that Grooveshark had been randomly deleting some of the songs on my playlists, which was incredibly annoying.  I was considering giving Grooveshark another chance this month, but when I logged into my account to see that a few of my playlists had been altered yet again, I was like, “Fuck it, I’m going with Spotify.”  Spotify has always been reliable, and that’s really the most important thing to me right now.

So, without further ado, here is this month’s playlist.  Hopefully those reading this will find inspiration in at least some of these songs as well!

 

Playlist: December 2014

We’re nearing the end of the month, so I thought it was time to post my December 2014 playlist.  As I was trying to determine what my theme should be, I started looking through some of my old playlists on Grooveshark only to realize that several of them were missing songs.  I spent some time adding the songs back to those playlists and properly reorganizing them, but I was really annoyed by this.  I mean, it doesn’t take that long to throw a playlist together, but the fact that I did take the time to do it only to find out a few months later that some of the songs mysteriously vanished bothered me.

I liked using Grooveshark for blog playlists, but if this is going to continue to happen, I don’t want to use it anymore.  (Not to mention the fact that some of the songs, albums, and even band/artist names are misspelled … Though that probably only bothers me since I’m such a freak about that sort of thing.)  I’ll be using that site for this month’s playlist, but I’m definitely open to any suggestions of a better, more reliable site for future playlists.

I would like to note that while I love Spotify (and use it on a daily basis), I’m not open to using it for blog playlists.  My account is linked to both my personal Facebook and full name, and, despite the fact that I’m pretty open about a lot of things on my blog, I’m not comfortable sharing that information.  There may be an option to create a new account, but I’d prefer not to.  I am, however, open to any other suggestions!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’ll return the focus to my December playlist.  I decided to turn this month’s playlist into a sort of soundtrack for my life in 2014.  Each month has its own song that describes the events from that time in some way.  It may be a song from a band I saw in concert that month, a song I couldn’t stop listening to that month, or a song that describes a major life event from that month.  It was actually harder than I initially thought it would be to come up with 12 songs that somehow describe the last 12 months of my life, but I really enjoyed putting this playlist together.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy listening to it!

December2014Playlist

Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

Divulge and Indulge December 2014 Grooveshark Playlist

Playlist: November 2014

Since Eric and I got engaged in November 2012 and married in November 2013, this month has become all about love and romance for me.  (Yeah, I know … Mushy.)  Because of this, it just seemed fitting that the playlist for this month should be a collection of some of my favorite love songs.  (Many of these were actually played at our wedding!)

Here’s something to note about my choice of love songs: they’re not all “traditional” love songs.  (And they’re most definitely not the love songs you’d typically hear on the radio … You know, the ones by people like Taylor Swift and Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.)

One of my favorite things about music is that it can be interpreted in so many ways.  While I enjoy reading up on what the band or artist intended when he/she wrote the song, I also enjoy applying the song to my own life and experiences. That being said, some of these choices may seem a little sad (or, in some cases, maybe even a little morbid) on the surface.  But, regardless of the original intent of the band or artist, these are the songs I find the most romantic.

November2014

Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

Divulge and Indulge November 2014 Grooveshark Playlist

Playlist: October 2014

I realize that today is Halloween, but since we’re not doing anything fun to celebrate, that won’t be the focus of this post.  (If you really need to read something Halloween related, you can check out this post, in which I list some of the best horror/thriller movies I’ve ever seen.)  Instead, the focus will be on my monthly playlist.

Every October, I take some time to remember Elliott Smith.  (For those who aren’t familiar with him, he took his own life on October 21, 2003 at the age of 34.)  I don’t think I’ve written much (if anything) about him on this blog, and it’s definitely time to change that.

3568_elliott_smith_1

I have always loved this picture of him.  Image courtesy of http://www.pagepulp.com.

Many musicians have inspired and impacted me over the years, but none have ever done so in the way Elliott Smith has.

I began listening to him during my senior year of college.  Sometimes I wish I’d discovered his music earlier (he’d already passed away by that time), but I also feel like I found him at a time when I actually needed him.  I remember putting in my earbuds, starting an Elliott Smith album on my iPod, and feeling, if even just for a moment, connected.  Although I didn’t personally know him, I felt as though he somehow knew me … It was almost as if he’d read what was written in my mind, heart, and soul, and then turned it into some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful music I’d ever heard.

So much of that year (and the year following) was lost in a blur of depression, but I truly believe that Elliott Smith’s music was one of the major factors that prevented me from completely losing myself.

This month I’m sharing some of my favorite Elliott Smith songs.  While a few of these fall under the “I just like it” category, the majority will give you a glimpse into my thoughts and feelings during that particularly turbulent point in my life.  These are some of the songs I wish I’d written … The songs that made me think, “Elliott Smith is a fucking genius.  He just gets it.”

October2014Playlist

Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

Divulge and Indulge October 2014 Grooveshark Playlist

 

Playlist: September 2014

Oh, hello there.  I’m not sure if you remember me since I haven’t bothered to post anything in almost two weeks.  I know I don’t have a ton of regular readers, but when my mom (yes, I finally gave my mom the link to my blog!) told me she’d been looking forward to my weekly recipe and I had to tell her I didn’t have time to write anything this last week, I realized that someone out there actually does notice if I don’t update … So I promised myself I’d make an effort to post several times this week.  (We’ll see how well this works out.)

The main focus of this post is going to be my September playlist (we are nearing the end of the month, after all!), but first I wanted to share a few pictures from this weekend.

AlpacaCollage

The picture of Eric and me (third from the left on the bottom) is a perfect example of how bangs and windy weather don’t mix.

For the past four years, Eric and I have been going to visit an alpaca farm in Nebraska during their “open house” weekend in September.  (Well, every year but last year … It kind of got lost between my cousin’s wedding and our own.)  This is not a sponsored post, but if you’re in the area and want to check it out in the future, their website can be found at Alpacas of the Heartland.  It was really crowded this year, but we still managed to get a few pictures (as you can see) and spend some time petting and feeding them.  The dark brown ones were my favorites, while Eric (obviously) cozied up to one of the white alpacas.  We kept calling the one in those pictures his “friend” because it seemed to like (or at least tolerate) him pretty well.

We had a really great time even though it got a little hot.  I’m hoping that since we haven’t had true “fall” weather yet (well, not consistently anyway), this winter won’t be too terrible.  (Hey, a girl can dream!)  I actually love cold weather, but I absolutely hate driving in the snow.  The less snow we have this winter, the better (at least in my opinion).  But anyway … I don’t think anyone really cares to read my thoughts on the weather, so I’ll move on to my main focus today: my September playlist.

As you might remember, this month I participated in a monthly personal challenge link-up.  I’ll be posting my (less than stellar) results this Thursday, so if anyone reading this is interested in how I did, you can check back then.  Since this challenge focused on fitness, I decided to base this month’s playlist around that theme as well.  The songs I’ll be sharing with you today are some of my favorites to work out to.  Although I’m usually stuck with whatever is playing in one of my classes, these are some of the songs I like to hear if I’m walking or running on the treadmill.  (Just a note: I only included songs that haven’t been included on my other Divulge and Indulge playlists.  Some of the songs I’ve already shared are among my favorite workout songs, but I didn’t want to be repetitive.)

September2014

Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

Divulge and Indulge September 2014 Grooveshark Playlist

Hopefully you’ll enjoy these songs enough to add at least a couple to your own workout playlist!

Playlist: August 2014

Most of the time when I sit down to create a playlist to share on this blog, I have no idea what my theme for the month is going to be.  The only exception was May’s playlist, which came together pretty easily.  I had a really rough month, and I knew I wanted the music I shared to reflect that.  It also helps that I listen to a lot of really sad music, so it wasn’t much of a challenge to select at least 10 songs about death.  (If you haven’t heard this very depressing playlist, it can be found here.)

This month will be another exception.  I realized on the morning of my birthday that this would be the perfect month to do a “throwback” playlist for this blog.

I know a lot of people never want to be reminded of their high school years, but I actually enjoyed that time in my life (for the most part anyway).  I wasn’t the most popular girl in school or anything, but I had a really great group of close friends.  I usually had a boyfriend (though sometimes those “relationships” would only last a month or two), and I eventually found myself in my first really serious long term relationship.  I was involved in a lot of activities, some that I still really miss (drama in particular).  I was also a great student, graduating at the top of my class (something that later allowed me to go to college on a full scholarship).

Although I have a lot of good high school memories, I also have a lot of bad ones.  Some friendships were tested (some didn’t survive), some guys were assholes, and I spent a lot of time worrying that I would never be good enough.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, and some of my lows in high school were so awful that I could barely get out of bed.  I would literally just sit around in my room listening to music and cry.

The songs I’ll be sharing today immediately bring me back to that time in my life.  I can’t listen to any of these songs without being swept away in a sea of memories … Some good, some bad.  These are also bands and artists I still listen to (some more than others), and even now it’s hard to escape that flood of emotion when I decide to put on one of these old favorites.

August2014Playlist

Click on the link below to listen to this playlist.

http://grooveshark.com/playlist/August+2014/100487624

It was really difficult to narrow it down to just a select few songs.  I could have easily made a playlist containing at least 100 songs that I loved as a teenager, but this will have to do.  (At least until I decide to do another “throwback” playlist.)