10. Bonfire Heart – James Blunt [16 plays]
I had to put “Bonfire Heart” on this list because I first heard this song last week and was absolutely hooked. Bought it, blasted it in the dorm room, stopped blasting it in the dorm room because my floormates got annoyed, blasted it in my headphones, fell asleep to it on repeat. It’s not on the actual most-played list YET, but let me tell you, it will be there soon. Yeah yeah, I can hear your snide comments about James Blunt already. But PLEASE give his new song “Bonfire Heart” a chance. This earworm is warm and reliant on the acoustic guitar, yet packs a powerful punch during each chorus. I imagine a group of flannel-clad people sitting around a bonfire: strumming, clapping, and belting out this song on a blissful fall evening.
9. Placid Acid – Tourist [98 plays]
Why “Placid Acid” is on my most played list: I played it on repeat as I tried to fall asleep on a flight from Madrid to Chicago. It worked!
Why I love “Placid Acid”: It’s not a song I would typically listen to. This lyricless, mellow, electronic song provides the perfect background noise for finishing a paper, thinking alone, or drowning out airplane noises/snoring/annoyances. Not to mention it’s quite beautiful in its own unique way.
8. Follaton Wood – Ben Howard [103 plays]
Talented British alt-folk artist Ben Howard is one of my favorites for many reasons. The meditative and emotionally cathartic nature of his songs provide for a truly moving listening experience. The song “Follaton Wood” is about his ex-girlfriend who committed suicide. Howard weaves beauty and tragedy together with unforgettable lyrics and powerfully soft vocals. This song, as with most of his other songs, conjures up the reflective experience of being alone in nature. No wonder I played it over a hundred times.
7. Hurricane – MS MR [114 plays]
“Hurricane” is the breakout track of indie duo MS MR. I would compare lead singer Lizzie Plapinger’s vocals to Lana Del Rey or Florence Welch, but MS MR is a completely different animal. “Hurricane” is a song that was painted charcoal grey and comes out at you like it is slowly emerging from a fog. Paplinger’s emotionally-charged lyrics and effortless feminine vocals go so perfectly alongside the punching beat and ominous string instruments. It’s the perfect contradiction.
6. Beautiful Girl – William Fitzsimmons [146 plays]
As you hit play on this song, you will hear the gentle picking of a guitar accompanied by the soft, lullaby voice of William Fitzsimmons. Truly a gorgeous piece both lyrically and musically. As Fitzsimmons delicately coos words like “unfurl your gown” and “let down your arms,” my heart grows ever so weak.
5. When You Come Back Down – Nickel Creek [163 plays]
Ready for a heartwarming story? The first time I heard “When You Come Back Down,” I was at my cousin’s wedding reception. This song was played for the father-bride dance, and if you listen to the lyrics, you will understand exactly why the moment brought tears to the eyes of many guests.
Nickel Creek is truly a folk-rooted band featuring a mandolin, fiddle, and upright bass. “When You Come Back Down” features the crisp main vocals of Chris Thile and gorgeous harmonies by the other band members during the chorus. You can’t resist the perfect blend of sound created by the upright bass line and the intermittent mandolin and fiddle solo. Truly masterful and ever so touching.
4. Living In Twilight – The Weepies [169 plays]
Married singer-songwriters Deb Talan and Steve Tannen make up the indie-folk duo called The Weepies. Their music has been dubbed “subtly intoxicating folk-pop” and I could not word that statement better. “Living In Twilight” is one of their lesser-known songs. The gorgeous harmonies done by this pair are especially highlighted in this gently flowing, lullaby-esque song.
3. Breathe In Breathe Out – Mat Kearney [173 plays]
Mat Kearney is another bigger-name artist featured on this playlist. “Breathe In Breathe Out” has a certain quality that makes it such a standout tune. I connect this song to times when I was going through hardship, and this song gave me the release that I needed. The beginning of the song is simple guitar picking and slowly builds until the big catharsis in the second minute of the song. Sometimes all you need to hear is “there is a light in your eyes” over and over to get through a bad day.
2. Moonshadow – Cat Stevens [174 plays]
I think this song can go without much explanation. This was played on repeat on multiple occasions as I fell asleep.
1. Your Song – Ellie Goulding [315 plays]
Coming in at the lead with a whopping 315 plays, is Ellie Goulding’s cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.” You can argue that Goulding’s poppy hits like “Lights” and “Anything Can Happen” are overplayed on the radio, but you will notice the truly unique quality of her voice as it is stripped down in this cover. By trading the synth and artificial electronic beats for the simplicity of just a piano and strings, Goulding showcases her vocal talent. The brilliance of this cover may shock you.
Hi readers and listeners!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my most played songs on iTunes. As you can see, I made some aesthetic changes on the blog AND set up an Instagram just for Playlists for the People! Enjoy. Next post, I will review Jake Bugg’s brand new album (so excited) and after that, another special playlist. Stay tuned.