I've been doing annual playlists since 2002, and I think about them throughout the year. Although there are no real time constraints to playlists anymore, I still limit mine to the length of a CD. Usually it takes a couple of tries to figure out the right arrangement of songs. When I burned a trial CD for myself yesterday, I still hadn't figured out what to call the playlist, so I wrote "First Draft." In the next moment, I realized that it was the perfect name. Much of this year has been about learning to own my identity as a writer, and I've tried new things overall. And failed a lot.
So I give you:
(We called this picture from our Gold Gathering photo shoot "The Album Cover." I couldn't resist.)
I will comment where I have something to say. These soundtracks always help me identify the common themes of my year. 2013: Confidence and boldness (in what God is doing in me, who He made me to be, and the truth as I see it). Impatience (with fakeness, The Establishment, and the unbearable slowness of progress in my life). Somehow, hope and love in the midst of it all.
1. It's Time - Imagine Dragons
2. Carry On - Fun.
3. She Don't Want Nobody Near - Counting Crows
This song summed up my mess of feelings about my dating life/lack thereof.
4. Light In Your Eyes - Sheryl Crow
I put this on the CD for Niecy's "Little Miss Sunshine" themed first birthday party, and it always makes me think of her.
5. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
I will forever associate this song with the Grizzlies' playoff run. It encompassed the whole experience at the perfect time. I got my city right behind me. If I fall, they got me.
6. Ain't It Fun - Paramore
Paramore was by far my album of the year, and this was always the frontrunner for my soundtrack. I never get tired of it.
7. Get The Girl Back - Hanson
The only track from Anthem that grabbed me immediately. I keep a mental list of songs for the high school musical I want to write someday, and from the first time I heard this, I saw a full-production number in my head. (Yeah, I'm just letting my freak flag fly these days.)
8. Safe and Sound - Capital Cities
Probably my favorite song of the year. It always makes me smile.
9. I Love It - Icona Pop
A lot of my most-listened-to songs this year were for running and working out. Lots of Britney, Nicki Minaj, and their ilk. So this is me restraining myself to one favorite ridiculous song. Also the lyrics are deeply satisfying for a person who would never actually push someone's stuff down the stairs or crash her car into a bridge.
10. You've Got The Love - Florence + The Machine
The 2013 Psalm of Brenda.
11. Clarity - Zedd feat. Foxes
I'd be embarrassed to say how many dramatic dance routines I made up and performed to this in the privacy of my own home.
12. Roar - Katy Perry
A close runner-up for my favorite song of the year.
13. Bruises - Train feat. Ashley Monroe
This song gives me hope.
14. I'm Not Your Hero - Tegan and Sara
In all honesty, this is how I sometimes felt about my relationship to The Church this year. (Have I mentioned that the whole Heartthrob album is amazing?)
15. Cassiopeia - Sara Bareilles
Before Roar came out, Brave would have been my Sara selection for this list, but the two songs are so similar and I loved Roar SO much. Then, the day I read The 5th Wave, I heard this song in the car, and the convergence of the song and book stunned me. It could have been written for the story. There's an urgency about it (and the character of Cassie) that I deeply connect with.
16. Bravado - Lorde
All my life, I've been fighting a war... I am telling you that when the lights come on, I'll be ready for this.
17. Face of Love - Myla Smith
This goes out to the future man who will try to win me (if he exists).
18. Say It, Just Say It - The Mowglis
19. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
Sometimes you have an unexpected encounter and it's enough to remind you that life still holds a lot of potential, even if you don't see it very often.
20. Bonfire Heart - James Blunt
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Wake Me Up - Avicii (love the Aloe Blacc part, but the techno part grates on me after a while)
Stay - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
Pusher Love Girl - Justin Timberlake
Summertime Sadness - Lana Del Rey
You can listen to this playlist, or the full list before I cut it down, at Spotify. Yay!