…whether Girl or day.
1. “Holy Grail”, Badly Drawn Boy. You can listen to it here via Spotify/last.fm/etc. Why? Plain old feel-goodness, piano, kids’ choir, change of tempo about 1/2-way in. Sample lyric: “Do you know where we’re going to?/ Do you know what we will do when we arrive?/ As I wait for you to set sail/ don’t you know that I hope you find your holy grail.”
2. “More Adventurous”, Rilo Kiley. You can see them play it here. Why? Harmonica. Sample lyric: “I’ve heard with every broken heart/ We should become more adventurous”.
3. “Darkness between the Fireflies”, Mason Jennings. You can listen to it here. Why? It’s jangly and rough and awkward but somehow totally feels like I feel when stuff is just starting and it’s going to be good. Sample lyric: “Honey, I’m sure/ That you’ve been in love before/ Plenty other men have held high places in your eyes./ But jealousy/ Has got no use for me/ The past is beautiful like the darkness/ Between the fireflies”.
4. “By Your Side” (Sade cover), GAYNGS. You can see them play it here. Why? Because it’s a great love song. Sample lyric: “When you’re on the outside, baby, and you can’t get in/ I will show you, you’re so much better than you know./ When you are lost, when you’re alone/ And can’t get back again/ I will find you darlin’/ And bring you home”.
5. “Split Ends”, Ben Weaver. You can hear a live studio session (“Split Ends” is the third song) here. Why? Weaver’s voice is gorgeous–a little rough around the edges–and his lyrics are amazing, and his guitar-playing is pretty great, too. Sample lyrics: “How long’s it gonna take/ For the storm to cross the lake/ How long you gonna wait/ Like the trash in the park or a spider in the shower/ Fillin’ a jar with water for the flowers/ Almost washed away”.
6. “Futile Devices”, Sufjan Stevens. You can listen to it here. Why? This is the most ‘Sufjan-y’ track on the new album, The Age of Adz, but it’s tinged with some of the echo-y dreamscape of the rest of the album. It’s a great between point, not to mention that the mingling of the guitar and piano is beautiful. The whole album is enjoyable, though pretty different from his others, and you can listen to it on his site. Sample lyric: “It’s been a long long time since I’ve memorized your face/ It’s been four hours now since I’ve wandered through your place/ And when I sleep on your couch, I feel very safe”.
7. “This Must Be the Place” (Talking Heads cover), The Arcade Fire. You can see them play it here. Why? Ah, whoooo, if you have to ask I can’t explain it. This is just one of the greatest feel-good songs ever. I love the singer’s scratchy voice and the way it feels patchy and accidental. I love that it feels like IT WILL ALL BE OK. Sample lyric: “Love me til my heart stops/ Love me til I’m dead/ Eyes that light up/ Eyes that see through me”.
8. “1977″, Ana Tijoux. You can listen to it here (with lyrics) or download it here. Why? Because her flow is amazing! Ok, so thinking about the fact that this song is about the events of 1977 in Chile is not feel-good. But the song is powerful and gets me moving. And I like hearing ‘political’ work done well. Sample lyric: “Me hace llorar sin anestesia en la camilla/ Mi padre solo digo es Ana Maria”.