“Listening to the music of the spheres.”
~Plato paraphrased, alluding to music language in purest form
There are songs so integral to my daily life that I cannot imagine now how I existed before I knew of them.
Below, a High Fidelity style list (but top 11 instead of top 5) –
Al Green “Let’s stay together” – The best first dance of my life took place to this song. It will remain sacred eternally for me…additionally it is just one of the absolute best songs in recorded history. Just a universal truth, no big deal, I don’t feel powerfully about things at all.
Boygenius “Ketchum, ID” – While the song itself is excellent, what grips me by my heart in this piece is the 8 or 9 seconds of Lucy Dacus’s solo verse. There are few voices on the planet as rich, warm, finessed as hers is in that moment in this song. “You say I love you, I say you too…”
Phoebe Bridgers “Funeral” – Momentous and stark and gorgeous. You’ll see Phoebe in many collaborations, often rocking a skeletal onesie. She starts a rabbit hole of beautiful shoe-gaze I enjoy past any point I can articulate.
The Talking Heads “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” There are many worthy covers of this song but the original will forever remain high among the songs my heart beats in time to whenever I hear it and I suspect (because how would I know…) subconsciously throughout daily living.
Laura Veirs “I Can See Your Tracks” Gentle and powerful. The guitar and voice here draw me back to the first moment I heard it. With the melancholy… and the beauty… irresistible.
Emylou Harris “Goin Back to Harlan/Where I Will Be” Words are inadequate to capture the beauty and pain of this song.
Bruce Springsteen “Promised Land” This didn’t become one of my Bruce mainstays until I had the profound luck to witness him perform it live with just a guitar. Now it makes me weep every time.
Lisa Fischer – When she’s just messing around in “20 feet from stardom” and its one of the best vocal moments…or musical moments I’ve ever experienced. Not a track of its own exactly but something everyone should see. If you have the chance to catch Lisa and Grand Baton live, I mean once we’re able to reasonably go out in public again of course, do so.