Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka

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Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka

Have you ever watched a flower bloom? The anticipation every day that today might be the day it opens up to show its true colors, leaves us in a state of hope. We have seen flowers in full bloom before so we understand the reward for waiting, and more often than not we are left in awe of their beauty. Flowers can be tricky though, some require constant care and a perfect climate so we spend a lot of time tending to them, nurturing them so they may be seen by the world in all of their glory. Humans can act the same way…

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Diving Woman - Japanese Breakfast

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Diving Woman - Japanese Breakfast

It’s easy to get lost, lost in the moment, lost driving around, or maybe in a good book. Right from the beginning of Diving Woman, you get lost in the music; there is a fast fluttering synth that leads into some big four-on-the-floor drums and an inescapable bassline. Guitars fill in some space with some repetitive notes and a thick pad sits behind blending everything into one mass…

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Falling to Believe - Doug Tuttle

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Falling to Believe - Doug Tuttle

Sometimes we need a break, a break from work, school, the internet or even a relationship. Our bonds can strengthen when we are deprived and we can look at our lives in a new light.  Doug Tuttle keeps this song so simple for one reason, because life is simple…

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The Desert Babbler - Iron & Wine

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The Desert Babbler - Iron & Wine

Immediately the scene is set after the drum fill as a comforting “ooos” and “ahhs” glide overtop of a mid-tempo rhythm, accompanied by a surprising groovy bass and precisely placed piano. The feeling of longing on a road trip starts to set in, a journey has begun and you’re along for the ride…

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The Magician - Andy Shauf

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The Magician - Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf’s The Magician explores a third person take on what is going on inside the mind of a magician as he is about to pull off his climatic trick – and that’s exactly what it is, a trick. The trick involves facing death, a real nail biter that only a magician would be able to escape. He disappears and audience is moved to the edge of their seat in anticipation. The trick is only as good as it’s reveal as that’s what the audience wants to see. Anyone can disappear, but not everyone can reappear. However, by contrast, the opening lyrics of the song are self-reflective of the magician, “do you find its gets a little easier each time you make it disappear.”

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Brighter! - Cass McCombs

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Brighter! - Cass McCombs

With a laid-back feel that cuts right to the heart, Cass McCombs has crafted a unique and honest sound. The guitar riffs effortlessly flow over the percussion while the bass sits back and doesn’t miss a beat. His voice is a mix between spoken and sung which gives Cass McCombs the ability to tell us a story through his lyrics in a different way than usual; it feels like he’s talking directly to you...

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Fingerprints - Hiatus Kaiyote

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Fingerprints - Hiatus Kaiyote

Our memories are fragile things, everything we do is based on our memories whether we realize it or not. Now imagine if that were all stripped away, our perception of our worldview would become extremely altered and possibly frightening and frustrating; we would be lost...

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Necessary Evil - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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Necessary Evil - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Gripping. Just saying the word grabs your attention, but it can be used to describe so many things: equipment, movies, emotions and even music. This word gets used when we become fully dependent on an external source, we have to put out trust in the grip - in the story or in the equipment.

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Let's Just Forget About It - Jerry Williams

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Let's Just Forget About It - Jerry Williams

Have you ever noticed the way our lives seem to cycle? Life itself yes, but even on a day to day basis our bodies go through rhythms, our emotions are tested, and even our relationships fluctuate. Jerry Williams is able to grasp this concept both in her songwriting ability and in the lyrics themselves...

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Fallin’ Rain - Karl Blau

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Fallin’ Rain - Karl Blau

Have you ever listened to the rain?  What about the water in the shower? The sound is quite soothing isn’t it, very calming, but also acts as background noise to let our mind wander.

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The Mermaid Parade - Phosphorescent

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The Mermaid Parade - Phosphorescent

How can something so far away seem so close at the same time? We often long for something that’s right in front of our eyes, but remain focused on what lies in the distance. This idea, this emotion, is put into a musical format thanks to Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent. Personally I get this sense in a lot of his music, but nothing like the feeling I get from “The Mermaid Parade.” No matter what is going on in my life, this song hits me right in the feels and makes me think about what’s really important; music can’t be strange like that...

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Magic Everywhere - Jonathan Wilson

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Magic Everywhere - Jonathan Wilson

Part of growing old is understanding how the world works. We go through tons of experiences that shape who we are, which in turn prepares us for things to come. We become less surprised by the objects and events around us and develop a practical sense of the world. But what does that world look like to a younger you, or perhaps a child. Your understanding is small and the most minuscule of things are extremely interesting. There is a sense of mystery in every nook and cranny in the world. There is magic everywhere...

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Depreston - Courtney Barnett

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Depreston - Courtney Barnett

No one writes lyrics like Courtney Barnett. She has the ability to make mundane everyday things seem interesting as she looks on them with a wry eye. The way she sings almost seems like a stream of consciousness which speaks to her songwriting style - she makes it look easy, and her music perfectly compliments that...

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The Wilhelm Scream - James Blake

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The Wilhelm Scream - James Blake

Soft chords set the mood while the drums give us this sense of tension. They are tight, punchy and hit us in the chest. A super wide vocal appears, one side slightly delayed behind the other creating a dream-like state - one where we understand as much as we are trying to figure out.

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White Gloves - Khruganbin

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White Gloves - Khruganbin

Let’s take a step back. Let’s remember what it’s like to experience something new for the first time. It’s mysterious. It’s engaging. You end up in this little bubble that keeps getting bigger and you can’t get enough. This is the feeling I get every time I listen to Khruangbin. They have this sound that is so comforting, it melts away everything that is wrong with the world. It’s almost as though they have created a little universe with their music that only promotes happiness. Seriously try to listen to this song without a smile on your face.

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Birthday Drunk - Fruit Bats

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Birthday Drunk - Fruit Bats

I have been a fan of the Fruit Bats for a long time. Their music has also been transparent and often feels like it sees straight through any facade. This interest has only compounded with the release of “Absolute Loser,” the most recent album. One song in particular really grabs me: Birthday Drunk. To me, it’s a perfect song. A capitulating guitar rhythm you can just vibe to, a perfectly produced snare (for the song), passionate lyrics and an ever moving song structure...

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Chinese Translation - M Ward

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Chinese Translation - M Ward

If you could know the answer to three questions, any questions, what would you ask? Maybe some secrets of the universe? Maybe about how your life will turn out? Or maybe even who is going to win the Super Bowl? M Ward digs deep into his soul and asks an old man about his troubles he has been seeking the answers to.

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Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

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Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

Four chords, some big drums, a longing organ and a powerful vocal. Simple, yet seemingly complex, Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky quickly take hold of you and you won’t want it to let go. The piece starts out with a simple progression on the piano, then some spoken words about death accompanied by some slide guitar. Oh yeah, there’s some bass in there too...

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Nude - Radiohead

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Nude - Radiohead

The human body. Everyone has one, yet when we picture one we have so many different thoughts and emotions. A nude body is us in our most vulnerable state, open to the world around for for all to see. Theres nothing hiding us, it’s full exposure and theres something very intimate about that. Enter Radiohead’s Nude, oddly enough a very intimate and vulnerable piece that seems to sway as if it were in the wind. The beautiful strings give an elevated sense to to the sung vocal melody. And that baseline is so mesmerizing!

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