2015 in music.

  1. ‘Burning,’ Ludovico Einaudi, In a Time Lapse. One night shortly after I got my wisdom teeth out, I fell asleep to this album. This is the last track I remember hearing before I fell asleep, and it was positively surreal.
  2. ‘Wolf Bite,’ Owl City, Ultraviolet. Shortly after that when I was off crazy pain drugs, I stayed up till one a.m. on my laptop. It had occurred to me to search Owl City on Spotify and see what new music he had come out with since I stopped keeping track after 2011’s All Things Bright and Beautiful. I spent a good two hours digging up old blog posts of Adam Young’s that used to make fourteen-year-old Red cry.
  3. ‘Into Giants,’ Patrick Watson, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. I discovered this song on the What If movie soundtrack. I am very passionate about that film, and this song is a nice little journey reminiscent of the movie. Also, the most prominent line “started as lovers, don’t know where it’s gonna end” was something I was thinking about a lot at the time.
  4. ‘The Shadow,’ Baskery, Little Wild Life. I was introduced to this band by the friends of Kory’s we stayed with when we went to Salt Lake Comic Con. They are a trio of Swedish sisters on strings (say that five times fast), and this song is amazing.
  5. ‘Going to Another Place,’ Mannheim Steamroller, Fresh Aire II. This is one of my favorite songs of the selection on Mannheim Christmas albums, but I didn’t know it was anywhere else until I turned on FAII and tackled some stats homework. An hour later, surprise! It inspired a whole blog post on how all of Mannheim’s music happens in the same musical universe. I love it.
  6. ‘Summer Fly,’ Hayley Westenra, Celtic Treasures. I spent a lot of time when I was younger daydreaming about owning all the albums released by the individual members of Celtic Woman (don’t laugh, I was a weird kid). With Spotify, I can at least dabble in it. It’s amazing.
  7. ‘Samson,’ Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope. I love biblical references in popular culture. This song has everything.
  8. ‘Northern Girl,’ Baskery, Little Wild Life. After discovering Baskery at the friends’ back in the winter, I searched it. I like identifying as a northern girl. I like living in northern Sweden.
  9. ‘Beach Bummer,’ A. C. Newman, What If (Original Soundtrack). This song plays throughout the movie. I just love it for its simplicity.
  10. ‘Standing By,’ Pentatonix, PTX Vol. III. I actually discovered this song away last fall, but listen to it a lot. Whenever I’m going somewhere.
  11. ‘Sonny,’ Hayley Westenra, Celtic Treasures. I didn’t notice this song on the first couple playthroughs of that album, but once I did, and also once I discovered all the Ron Hynes verses, I haven’t stopped singing it.
  12. ‘Sovereign Abandon,’ Wim Mertens, When Tool Met Wood. Wim Mertens is excellent study music, and got me through most of my stats class.
  13. ‘(Walkin’ Through The) Sleepy City,’ The Parting Gifts, Strychnine Dandelions. Also part of the What If soundtrack. I like it for how much it really does sound like city lights in the dark.
  14. ‘Sara’s Band,’ Mannheim Steamroller, Fresh Aire I. Still Mannheim. Still amazing.
  15. ‘This Isn’t the End,’ Owl City, Ultraviolet. I continued to return to Owl City throughout the spring.
  16. ‘Dancin’ in the Stars,’ Mannheim Steamroller, The Music of the Spheres. I love Mannheim’s concept albums, and I want this song played at my funeral. Cosmic and beautiful, and frankly reminiscent of a lot of long walks taken on spring evenings.
  17. ‘How Long Will I Love You,’ Ellie Goulding, Halcyon Days. I decided to try the Spotify playlist of piano ballads, given that I like piano and ballads, and found this gem. When you’re at the very beginning of love, it sometimes feels like inviting damnation to think of how far into the future that love will stretch. But this is nice. And poetic. And mentions the sea.
  18. ‘Night Rider’s Lament,’ Chris LeDoux, American Cowboy. This song is not specific to 2015. My father sang this to me, and later my sisters, when I was small. It gives me a window into who he is, and also who I am, and I am never sure which gives me more chills. Anyway, I rediscovered it and sang it in the car on the way home from school for the summer.
  19. ‘Someday,’ Steve Earle, Guitar Town. I loved Steve Earle in high school. It’s great road trip music. I played this driving across the country with my dad and sisters on our way to Minnesota.
  20. ‘Mass in B minor,’ Johann Sebastian Bach. Part of the Twenties Project is to gain a better appreciation/knowledge of classical music. While working at the Danish camp and spending a lot of time on the computer, I discovered why Madeleine L’Engle has at least two different couples in her fiction fall in love to this song.
  21. ‘Manboy,’ Eric Saade, Masquerade. In a complete 180 turn, I discovered this old Melodifestivalen song after the Danish kids danced to it in a collaborative effort with the Norwegian camp. I may or may not have jammed to it in an empty library at 11 pm. More than once.
  22. ‘Járok egy úton,’ Fekete David, Ébredj fel. The 2015 CLV International Day song. One of the best in recent years, in my opinion (granted, recent years’ I-Day songs are the only ones I know of).
  23. ‘Euphoria,’ Loreen, Euphoria. I was very excited to be back at the Swedish camp. Love runs rampant.
  24. ‘Fan va bra,’ Jakob Karlberg, Fan va bra. Every year at Sjölunden there’s a song we can’t stop quoting. This is this year’s.
  25. ‘Fearless Heart,’ Steve Earle, Guitar Town. Including this, not because I listened to it as I was leaving for Sweden, but because I left on a journey that maybe needs fearless hearts, maybe not only from me.
  26. ‘Rather Be,’ Pentatonix, PTX Vol. III. I could not stop singing this song when I first got here.
  27. ‘Goldberg Variations,’ Johann Sebastian Bach. I’m still working on the Twenties Project.
  28. ‘The Dreaming Road,’ Mary Chapin Carpenter, time*sex*love*. I’ve already posted about the effect this song had on me.
  29. ‘Red Wine,’ Mannheim Steamroller, Fresh Aire IV. I love this song. (I still don’t have a lot of love for red wine, though.)
  30. ‘Saxof–kingfon,’ Samir & Viktor, Saxof–kingfon. These two also did a song called ‘Groupie’ which we sang a lot at Sjölunden this year, but I prefer the impromptu dancing in Sölve’s kitchen that we did to this one when I went to Stockholm. I later introduced it to my Umeå friends and now we play it at every pancake party.
  31. ‘Shut Up and Dance,’ WALK THE MOON, TALKING IS HARD. I know it’s a little late to jump on the 2011 bandwagon, but we played this song a lot when I went to Stockholm (it was a very music-filled weekend) and I love it. I sing it in the shower a lot.
  32. ‘Jealous,’ Labrinth, Jealous. Discovered this one yesterday on Spotify’s Autumn Leaves playlist. I like it, not because I have anyone to be jealous of, but simply because there is a lot of space between me and my adorable person, and I am jealous of the things which are close to him.
  33. ‘Misbehavin’,’ Pentatonix, Pentatonix. Just go give it a listen; maybe you’ll figure out why this song matters to me so much.
  34. ‘Sun is Shining,’ Axwell^Ingrosso, Sun is Shining. We play this song at every pancake party, and at every other party, really, and it’s just so happy, and I miss the sun, so I like songs about it.
  35. ‘Little Soldier,’ Mindy Gledhill, Winter Moon. December 1st came, I turned on the Christmas music, and here came this. When I listened to the line, “Soldier, could you win back time for me?” I came the closest I ever have to crying at a piece of music.
  36. ‘I Love You Will Still Sound the Same,’ Oh Honey, With Love EP. Spotify’s Discover Weekly provided me with this one and I promptly listened to it fourteen times and sent it to Sam. What a sweet song. (And I’m basically obsessed with the rest of their music now, too.)
  37. ‘Deck the Halls,’ Mannheim Steamroller, Christmas. This is what all my memories of Christmas at home sound like.
  38. ‘Nu tändas tusen juleljus,’ Benny Anderssons Orkester & Helen Sjöholm, Tomten har åkt hem. I found a version that did well enough on Spotify, but I just like this song: we sing it every year at Sjölunden, naturally, and in Sjölunden tradition someone invented a harmony or two that have survived some years, and they are just full of dark and light and beauty and the impossibility that is Christmas in July. And then it was sung at the Christmas service that my family and I attended here in Umeå, and it was beautiful then too.
  39. ‘Back Home,’ Andy Grammer, Magazines or Novels. I like this song because it embodies (steals) something I’ve written about and spent a lot of time thinking about this year: friendship in change. “The older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.” It only reiterates my eagerness to learn to know good people in old, deep, sweet ways for the rest of my life.
  40. ‘Photograph,’ Ed Sheeran, X. Daniel played this a lot while we were on the island for New Year’s. I just like it. Keeping memories close and all that.

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