1. Yesterday – The Beatles
Thanks to my parents, The Beatles were my first favorite band. I remember listening to all of their more upbeat songs like ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ as a kid and growing up. Before hearing ‘Yesterday’ music was just enjoyable noise. I remember the first boy I had a crush on playing me this song on his acoustic guitar, it was the first song that I ever had a true emotional connection with. From that point on, music began to really mean something to me.
2. Mixtape – Brand New
In 9th grade I had a graphic design class where I knew no one, which is terrifying for a high school freshman. Eventually I made friends with some of the cool girls who sat at the table in the back corner. One day the leader of the group passed me a CD with ‘Your Favorite Weapon’ written on it in black sharpie. I listened to the album and ‘Mixtape’ quickly became a song I played on repeat. It’s a song that inspired me to explore music outside of classic rock which lead to my love of pop-punk.
3. First Day of my Life – Bright Eyes
This song will forever remind me of my freshman year of college. It’s one of those songs that really brings me back to that time in my life. I knew of the band Bright Eyes before hearing this, but this song helped me get into exploring their discography. This song also introduced me to indie rock. When ‘First Day of My Life’ comes on I still remember the night in the library when I first heard it – I believe I was studying for a Business 101 exam.
4. Say Yes – Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith is another artist I discovered in college and his music had such a profound effect on me. His music sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. ‘Say Yes’ is a song that a friend turned boyfriend put on a mix for me. Although our relationship only lasted a few months, that song is still my very favorite by Elliott Smith.
This past winter I was in a rough place. I was deciding to leave my job and move across the country. Around the same time I was introduced to Fiona Apple thanks to a mix of her best songs. On my commute to and from work during those cold, dark winter months I would listen to ‘Paper Bag’ on repeat and sing along. On the bad days the song would bring me to tears, but it always made me feel better. Fiona Apple has since become one of my very favorite musicians.