“Rhythm of Love,” Plain White T’s
In the spirit of honesty, I inadvertently rediscovered this song two days ago when I accidentally bought it on iTunes. Not wanting to waste any money, I listened to it. As I did so, I realized that in addition to having sweet and beautiful lyrics (“When the moon gets low, we can dance in slow motion/And all your tears will subside, all your tears will dry”), it has a great guitar part, tight harmonies and some pretty diverse and creative percussion. Not only will this song bring you back to 2010 (its original release year) and remind you what a chill band the Plain White T’s were, but the idea of having one more night (like in the song) rings true to that Sunday night feeling. Enjoy the last bit of the weekend while it lasts!
“Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me,” Hunter Hayes ft. Jason Mraz
For all of the negative aspects of Mondays, it can at least be said that they provide a great excuse to be irate. Perfect for Monday listening, this song contains both grumpy and cheerful bits at the same time, allowing you to wallow while also improving your busy, unfortunate day a little bit. “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” is about a guy who feels alone in a world full of couples — a feeling that comes up more often than ever in February — but it sounds deceivingly lively at the same time. Even though the words and the melody don’t seem to match in themes (Hayes says “I’d love to take a pin to a heart-shaped balloon,” while the catchy guitar presents a much more positive mood), they work super well together and make this a song that everyone should listen to — regardless of their relationship status.
“Something Good Can Work,” Two Door Cinema Club
This mostly-obscure British trio has a unique sound thanks to the use of unique instruments (such as a variety of string instruments and sound effects) that is definitely worth checking out. Full of layered melodies, recurring themes within both the music and lyrics — “Took a little time” opens each verse — and a variety of instrumental techniques, this song is a great indication of the style of this group as a whole. Not only is this song catchy and inviting, just as the singer invites a girl to see if something good can indeed work, it is a perfect gateway into learning more about this group. If you like what you hear, check the group out more! If you don’t, then listen again.
“You Make My Dreams,” Hall & Oates
True to tradition, this list has to include at least one classic from the ‘80s! A popular and contagiously happy song, this is almost as good as a flashdance workout video. Complete with a great guitar part and a feature in the rom-com “500 Days of Summer,” this track evokes straight-up exuberance. In the bustle of a busy week, Wednesday can be the culmination of a stressful few days combined with a hectic forecast for the rest of the week — and with all of that, who doesn’t need a little more happiness? Take three minutes to listen to this song, and I dare you not to be in a better mood.
“Brave,” Sara Bareilles
This is as positive and peppy a pump-up song as has ever existed, and so far the general public (and, apparently, Windows commercials) have loved it. This tune is the whole package: not only is Bareilles’ voice as impressive as ever, it’s both encouraging and musically appealing. Though written for a specific reason, the message tells us all that we need to be brave and try things that we’re scared of, because that’s how great things are accomplished. Whatever your challenge may be, be brave. And know that the weekend will be here soon.
“My Heart With You,” The Rescues
In preparation for Valentine’s Day (since it’s on a Friday this year), I chose a love song for this day, but it’s not a cheesy one in the least. Though “My Heart With You” includes sincere and cheesy phrases like one would expect in a love song (“My love, the reason I survive” and “Not a million soldiers could take you from me”), it sounds completely different: auto-tuned, harmonized and slow. It’s not a well-known song, but it expresses well-known feelings and well-liked musical techniques. Regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, check out this song.
“All I Have,” Mat Kearney
Mat Kearney is one of the most underappreciated artists I know. With a great voice, lyrically and musically impressive and creative songs, and no infamy whatsoever, he has the makings of a renowned performer. One of his songs, which Pandora introduced to me, particularly sticks out as demonstrative of his musically creative and contemplative style of work: “All I Have.” It’s not a new song (it came out in 2009) and he has had some more popular songs since this (including “Hey Mama” and “Ships in the Night”), but it is quickly becoming a Mat Kearney classic among fans. Listen to this song and, if you like what you hear, check out more of his work — that’s four albums’ worth of music.
— By Emma Reidy