I made a mixtape for you

I was listening to a podcast yesterday featuring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page’s iTunes playlist (they both had some awesome songs on there) and it made me realise how fortunate they are to be celebrities because they can do something like create a music playlist and share it with the world… and people will actually listen to them! Most of the time when I try to do something similar it’s like, “Yeah yeah Janice, we know. So anyway…” which is fair enough because I’m not a celebrity.

For me, sharing music is one of the great joys of life. I love hearing about new artists from friends and I love sharing what I’ve been listening too. It’s like passing on the baton. Or like education. Life enrichment and whatnot. In short, I really think that something important is happening here.

So without further ado.. I present to you my magnificent and brilliantly rad non-celebrity playlist! Now this is not an extensive list, but I chose some of the songs below because they make my heart do cartwheels of pure uninhibited joy. Others I chose because of their sheer beauty and simply because they inspire me. Still others I chose because they’re just really catchy and make me want to bust a move or rock out like a crazy maniac. And others I chose because if my heart had tear ducts then these songs would make it cry many many rivers.

Note: You’ll be happy to know that I did not just create a list of twenty Tegan and Sara songs. I’ll post that one tomorrow.

I’m kidding! Relax!

Lover’s Spit by Feist (listen)

First off, we have Feist’s cover of a Broken Social Scene song. This is just such an unbelievably beautiful song (despite the subject matter). And Leslie Feist, what an incredible voice. I absolutely love the build up which starts about one third through the song, and for some reason I just go completely nuts for that bass.

Coincidentally, this song was also on E Page’s playlist and to quote her:

Leslie Feist singing this Broken Social Scene song…need I say more? Let’s just make out.

Agreed.

I Found a Reason by Cat Power (listen)

I just recently discovered this song and I’ve gotta say that it is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Both Cat Power and Leslie Feist have amazingly beautiful voices. This song is so delicate and sweet and invokes images of.. well, let’s just say intimacy. Just too beautiful. Makes my heart warm.

Beautiful by Me’Shell Ndegeocello (listen)

Wow, another beautiful, delicate, amazing song. I first heard this song on So You Think You Can Dance season 4 in which Chelsie and Mark performed a Mia Michaels choreographed contemporary dance. What more can I say? It was love at first… sound. Just a stunning love song.

Videotape by Radiohead (listen)

A shoutout to Sarah for introducing me not only to this wonderful song but also to Radiohead in general. Thom Yorke’s voice singing the lines, “You are my centre when I spin away, out of control” and “No matter what happens next, shouldn’t be afraid because I know today has been the most perfect day I’ve ever seen” is just heavenly.

Camp Out by An Horse (listen)

I just realised that the songs I’ve shared so far are all the “my heart does cartwheels” kind (and there are more to come) so to mix it up a little we have this indie rock/pop song from Brissie duo An Horse. I heard about these guys from Tegan and Sara (they literally called me up and were like, “You have GOT to hear this band!”). No, that was a lie. They did NOT personally call me up.

I really could have chosen any song from their album Rearrange Beds because the entire thing is just fantastic, but this was the first track so. I love how catchy all their songs are and I just love Kate’s voice and Damon is such an extremely talented drummer. This is one of those, “I just want to rock out like a crazy maniac” kind of song.

Feel It In My Bones by Tiesto feat. Tegan and Sara (listen)

Speaking of Tegan and Sara (and I promise you this is one of the only two songs that I’ve chosen), I’m so glad that T+S collaborated with DJ Tiesto to produce this song. I had it playing in my head non-stop for weeks, to the point where I’d be sitting at a restaurant with friends bopping my head like a true idiot. Just so damn catchy I’m still dancing to it. The only way to listen to this song is LOUD so turn your speakers up! And I think the video clip is pretty freaking cool too so check it out here.

Your Arms Around Me by Jens Lekman (listen)

This song is featured in a beautiful underwater love scene (Drew Barrymore, amazing!) in the movie Whip It!. You’ll have to watch the movie to see that one (go rent it, now!). It’s a stunning sequence. Now every time I hear this song I have beautiful images of Landon Pigg and E Page swimming around in my head. Pun intended.

Accidental Babies by Damien Rice (listen)

Admittedly, Damien Rice has written several beautiful, heart and gut wrenching songs. This one sticks out for me. From the somber piano to the honest, raw, and intense emotional lyrics. This guy is afraid of nothing. I am completely awestruck by the sheer intensity of this song.

I know I make you cry. I know sometimes you wanna die. But do you really feel alive without me?

Lie in the Sound (Live Version) by Trespassers William (listen)

Anna-Lynne Williams from indie rock/pop band Trespassers William is another woman whose voice I am completely in love with. It’s just so heart-breaking and ethereal.

I love the lyric, “I love you more than I should. So much more than is good for me.” It reminds me of that fear that you get when you realise that you love someone so much that the thought of losing them pretty much sends you into a spiral of despair and makes you want to die. And the chorus, oh!

I am falling. Say my name and I’ll lie in the sound. What is love but whatever my heart needs around. And it needs you too much now.

High Times by Landon Pigg feat. Turbo Fruits (listen)

Also from the Whip It! Soundtrack (so fantastic).

Ahh, Landon Pigg… (note: brief spoiler ahead) you turned out to be a true a-hole in the movie but hot damn you are a good musician and songwriter in real life! I love love love this song. It’s 5 minutes of just pure catchy, irresistible indie pop genius. I could use more songs like this.

Pot Kettle Black by Tilly & the Wall (listen)

Another one from the Whip It! Soundtrack. Seriously, watch the movie and then go and buy the soundtrack, compiled and produced by Miss Barrymore herself.

This is such a great song to start the soundtrack off with. Drew Barrymore, I love you! Just a fun, rocking, indie-pop song. Love that guitar riff.

So Jealous by Tegan and Sara (listen)

At last, the only remaining Tegan and Sara song on this list. Boy, this was a hard choice. It’s hard choosing between the albums alone, not to mention individual songs. Jeepers! Sainthood is definitely one of my favourite albums but I pretty much love every single song on that record so it’s damn near impossible to choose just one (listen to some songs here). The Con, equally hard.

A few songs stick out for me on So Jealous however. Not to say that it’s not a fantastic album. It’s brilliant! I hold a very special place in my heart for it. Ever since I watched this video of the band performing the title track though, I have been totally and utterly head over heels madly in love with the title track. There’s just something so magical about this song. The synths, the punchy guitar, the vocals.. it’s definitely the musical embodiment of crazy lunatic jealousy. I think this is the most amazing, genius song that Sara has ever written. I can’t get my head around how she comes up with this stuff. Floors me every time.

Service Bell by Grizzly Bear & Feist (listen)

Oh golly, this song. So haunting and beautiful. It’s a shame it’s only two and a half minutes long. Needless to say I love the sound of Feist’s voice in that high register. If you do not own a copy of Dark Was the Night I strongly strongly urge you to get your hands on one! It features some of the best indie musicians around and the money goes to a good cause. Two discs of amazing, exquisite music.

Skinny Love by Bon Iver (listen)

Bon Iver is just transcendent. Justin Vernon’s vocals and guitar just cuts me every time. For Emma, Forever Ago is quite likely from start to finish one of the greatest albums you will ever hear. I will be terribly sad for you if you do not get the chance to appreciate this music. It was incredibly hard to pick only one song to share; I might as well have chosen one by random. Holed up in a cabin in the woods tending to a broken heart, Vernon has created one of the most emotionally driven, masterful pieces I have ever heard. This album is so good, it makes me want to cry like a hormonal pregnant woman on acid! It will definitely stay with me for a very very VERY long time.

Entertain by Sleater-Kinney (watch)

Now for the hard rockers. Sleater-Kinney are one of the most notable bands from the riot grrl music scene. Their music can be described as belonging to the punk rock/hardcore punk/indie rock genres. Needless to say, these ladies ROCK!

Featuring magnificent lyrics in true riot grrrl fashion:

Hey! Look around they are lying to you. Can’t you see it is just a silly ruse? They are lying, and I am lying too. All you want is entertainment. Rip me open it’s free.

In response to me saying that I love female-fronted rock bands, someone recently asked me if I was a feminist. I’m not sure that I’m a feminist, but I do appreciate strong women who are in the music and film industry. I love female-fronted rock because it’s so great to hear and see the juxtaposition between the beauty and softness of the female voice and the sheer raucousness of insane guitars and drums. There’s something very empowering about seeing these women do what was previously thought only men could/should do. If there was ever a doubt before, these ladies certainly prove that girls can definitely rock too! Download Entertain for free from S-K’s website.

Coincidentally this is also one of the songs on E Page’s playlist and to quote her once again:

This song makes me freak out, basically when I listen to it I can’t control myself. For intense purposes, their album Woods should never be playing if I am driving. I love these girls, but I am also totally jealous, because I will never be them.

Well said.

————————-

So there you have it. I dare to hope that this music opens up your world and gives you enriched eyes and hearts like it has mine.

To view this playlist (and more!) on iTunes, click here.

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