music on my mind


I’m a firm believer that music has the capability to change us fundamentally — if not forever, then for the short time that it plays. If this is true, then we must be very aware of the music we’re choosing to put in our ears. I’ve made a list of songs that set my soul on fire.

  1. Slam — AWOLNATION: I had to start off with a song from my favorite band’s latest album, Angel Miners and the Lightning Riders. Every song is excellent, but this one is probably my favorite. It just gives off this epic, bad-ass vibe that we all crave in a song.
  2. Great American Novel — Max Jury: This song makes you feel like you’re in a movie.
  3. Follow the Sun — Xavier Rudd: I heard this one while on an adventure with a friend. It just reminds me of good times.
  4. Ambivalence — Hanz, emawk: Imagine you’re on a city bus, on your way home from a long day. You’re going to rest for a while. It’s drizzling.
  5. Wolf Like Me — TV On The Radio: I can’t explain it, but this song makes me want to run a marathon?
  6. Dead of Night — Orville Peck: One of the most beautiful tunes I’ve ever heard.
  7. Honeybee — Steam Powered Giraffe: Going with the beautiful theme, this song has some of the most gorgeous vocals… and the layering, the lyrics… it’s golden.
  8. Doomed — Moses Sumney: His music might be a bit different than your average alternative/indie sound, but it’s still darn magical.
  9. Take Me Out — Young Summer: I’m a sucker for slow covers of well-known songs, and this one just works so well. Although I adore the original, this sad singer-songwriter feel just twists your heart. Ugh.
  10. Born In The Slumber — flora cash, Death Stranding: Timefall: Heard this one live at the online Buzz Beach Batll. Beautiful.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now… but I’m sure I’ll have more later. Enjoy!

songwriting.


Lately, I’ve been diving into songwriting. I’ve loved music since I was old enough to hear it, but funny enough, I only just now started making my own.

My older brother is studying to lead worship for a Methodist church, which is amazing for him! It’s the perfect role for my big brother. Leadership, music, engaging with people, worship . . .  I couldn’t be more proud of him for finding his calling. (If you’d like to support him, you can find him on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.)

I never really intended to start writing music, but one day I got a bit bored. So I grabbed my ukulele and just . . . wrote a song? Lyrics and chords and a lyric video? And it was never that big of a deal. It didn’t occur to me what I’d done until I just did it. It happened. And after I did it, I was like, “now what?”

Since the first one, the writing’s been a bit slow-going, but I’ve got two more finished and three more good starts on the way. And as I’m writing them (which, there’s no rush to finish), I’m thinking, “why not make an album?” That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I think the reason that I haven’t written anything up until now is because of a limiting belief I had: I didn’t have any training, special skills, or knowledge of chord progressions, so I didn’t think I had the talent to write my own music. Singing was easy for me, but the rest? Could I even write lyrics?

Poetry was the thing that always came to me as a little kid, and I do have a book out now that proves that. (You can find it here.) Once I realized that, the only other thing I needed was a plan of attack. That was pretty easy, too.

I gather inspiration from all kinds of things, but the key for me is starting with one concept idea. Something easy to remember. For each song I write, I create a six-word-story that explains the meaning behind the music, and so far, it’s worked wonders. If I find myself stuck, I can trace back to that original intention and take it from there.

Still stuck? I have a sort of image I’d like to maintain with my music. A persona, if you will. (I won’t be revealing that — that’s how I stay on brand.) What sort of words, ideas, or feelings match that persona and the song’s meaning?

And then I start to think about how I want the music to sound. Happy? Moody? Angry? Reflective? Exciting? Usually, that kicks the songwriting experience into high gear because I’m crafting a mood, not just words on a page. I choose my chords based on the feeling. I don’t even really decide how the words themselves will sound until I pick the chords first.

After all that, I go back to the music I love to listen to. I soak it up. I decide that certain songs have appeal because of this aspect or that unique piece. I take bits from each and add them into my musical cauldron, so to speak.

The finishing elements really bring the music together, and only when I’m satisfied do I record. I don’t force myself to create on any sort of schedule because I believe that overly strict deadlines stifle creativity. But I do know that I will make an album, and it will be available one day for all of you lovely people to hear.

I hope you have the most magical of days.

let me know your favorite song in the comments.

the ultimate girlboss playlist.


I’ve made a lot of playlists in the past years since Spotify blessed my life, so I thought I should share one with you all. It’s the first day of September, so why don’t we start this month off with a girlboss playlist?

  • Dawn-filous, ROBB
  • Stars and Moons-Dizzy
  • Audio-Sia, Diplo, Labrinth, LSD
  • Weathered-Jack Garratt
  • Way Down We Go-Kaleo
  • Problems-Petit Biscuit, Lido
  • Solo-Oh Wonder
  • First-Cold War Kids
  • Perfect Places-Lorde
  • Castle-Halsey
  • Homemade Dynamite-also Lorde
  • Girl (feat. Claire)-Brennan Henderson, Clairo
  • Aqua Blue Honda-TYLERxCORDY
  • Feel Good Inc-Gorillaz
  • Cruel World-Active Child
  • Blood // Water-grandson (MY FAVORITE SONG RIGHT NOW)
  • River-Bishop Briggs
  • No Good-Kaleo, Vinyl on HBO
  • Grave Digger-Matt Maeson
  • Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene-Hozier
  • Jungle-X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons
  • Do I Wanna Know?-Arctic Monkeys
  • Chelsea Dagger-The Fratellis
  • Can’t Stop-Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Howlin for You-The Black Keys
  • Numb-Linkin Park
  • Yellow Flicker Beat-(can you tell I like Lorde)
  • I Wanna Get Better-Bleachers
  • Trouble-Cage the Elephant
  • Dark Eyes-Danielle Parente
  • Higher-The Score
  • Collider-X Ambassadors, Tom Morello
  • Hell or Highwater-Addie Hamilton
  • Wild Horses-Bishop Briggs
  • Thought Contagion-Muse
  • Sucker for Pain-Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, & Ty Dolla $ign

enjoy the bops.

-rachel