This week I was going to get real personal, real fast. However, at the last minute I decided to keep it light and start with my musical interests. Music is and has always been an important aspect of my life. Like most people, I relate music to the events happening in and around my life.
I am going to start with a small list of interests and inspirations I’ve been obsessed with recently. Yet, first I want to mention: my interests include a wide range of people. From the Bob Dylan to Wham and even Kesha’s new music. *Disclaimer: I know there’s a 6th artist to my top 5, but I just couldn’t leave any of them out*
#6 Hop Along
I saw this band open up for Dr. Dog at The Fox in Oakland, CA. At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the raspy and gruff quality of Frances Quinlan. And as quickly as I felt unsure, I fell in love within a split second. Nontraditional voices have always been the ones to reach my heart the deepest (cough, cough–Bob Dylan, Robert Plant). Her unique voice mixed with an upbeat sound backing her vocals makes you want to dance around the house like a teenager, taking you back to the beginning of your journey into adulthood.
#5 Courtney Barnett
Barnett-as well as Dr. Dog- mean a lot to me. The first summer my boyfriend and I started dating, their albums were on rotation. So every time I hear this Aussie accent singing, I smile happily feeling those new relationship butterflies. Barnett and Quinlan are not only amazing artists, but strong female figures exuding empowerment. They serve as female inspiration for my own musical aspirations, encouraging me to finally start that band I’ve always wanted and write the words I’ve always heard, but have had a hard time piecing together.
AJJ (AKA Andrew Jackson Jihad) creates an intense atmosphere about not taking anybody’s shit. They provide the best music to get mad with. If you’re mad at a friend and want to scream, their fast beats have provided a beautiful rage filled soundtrack. Their albums have always left me wanting more and thinking, “Who comes up with this stuff?” With ingenious songwriting, AJJ’s ability to take bits of well known songs and create their own masterpiece around it leaves me impressed. With lyrics such as, “I would hate to be like you, but I’m still rooting for you,” they have given me the perfect lines to describe my feelings during tough friendship scuffles.
#3 Dr. Dog
What can I say about Dr. Dog that nobody already knows? They have such a creative and clean sound that I cannot attribute to any other artist. The first album I ever listened to by them was Fate and Hold On will always be my number one. Their music has been an incredible outlet to flip a bad mood. When I lived in Fullerton for a bit, I used to turn to Dr. Dog every time I felt sad and lonely away from my boyfriend, family and friends. They are not only a comfort, but great summer party music. Dr. Dog’s unique upbeat can bring anyone to their feet while air guitaring along with them.
#2 Jeff Rosenstock
Rosenstock is not only a talented punk artist, but a guy that can bring together multiple styles through a punk lense. You can feel the fun Rosenstock has with every album through the lyrics and music. There’s nothing too serious that Rosenstock can’t make fun of; making his music perfect not only for head banging and yelling along to on your bed, but also to blast on a road trip through the middle of nowhere. Although he plays much bigger spaces, I saw Rosenstock perform in the back room of a tiny record shop in Fresno. I could not imagine a more perfect and intimate setting for such a rebellious sound.
#1 Conor Oberst
What’s better than the deep angst that is Oberst? Conor has been an important artist for me since grade school. He was a mutual musical interest between my brother and I, it bonded us in a way I will always cherish. Since meeting my boyfriend, our passion for music is what bonded us while we were still friends. Oberst has since become an important musician in our relationship. I have dreamt of seeing Oberst live for years and was finally able to experience his magical ways 2 times in the last year. Someday I wish to dance to one of his songs at mine and my boyfriend’s wedding.
Each of these artists are just the top of the iceberg, there is so much more musical interests in my bag (some will surprise a some of you). But now that I’ve described some of my recent obsessions I want to hear from others. I love exchanging musical interests with others and watching others fall in love with some of my favorites. Please please please let me know!