Our September favorites include Jillian Jacqueline, Hannah Dasher, Lucero, Taylor Swift, and Emily Hackett.
Annie: “If I Were You” by Jillian Jacqueline feat. Keith Urban
Okay so first of all, this song has an absolutely delicious melodic line from start to finish. Add to that how great Jacqueline’s vocals sound and how well they pair with Urban’s, and “If I Were You” is well on its way to a repeat-listen-offender. It’s been really exciting watching her career take off, and this song is the latest of a series of impressive statement pieces in Jacqueline’s stylish sonic closet.
Natalie: “Good Intentions” by Emily Hackett
This uber-catchy anthem of self-reinvention has worked its way into heavy rotation on my favorites playlist. Underneath the playful, sassy production lies a motivating wake up call in the form of clever wordplay (“I watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, but drop the ball when it comes to me”) and determined resolutions (“Fix my condition / Ditch the excuses I’ve been givin'”). While the original cut is a windows-down jam, this newer acoustic version showcases Hackett’s softer side and makes the song’s message seem all the more relatable.
Lydia: “Stoned Age” by Hannah Dasher
Hop in the car, roll down those windows and crank this one up to 10. Hannah Dasher’s “Stoned Age” is a damn good jam highlighting a time when making honest, heartfelt music was more important than chasing radio-friendly hits. Dasher’s vocals are a mix of rock-n-roll and authentic country mixed with groovy soul. I guarantee this song will be on constant repeat after one listen. “When all the girls looked like Janice / And hippie boys looked like Jesus / When the drinkin’ age was 18 / And the world felt like freedom / Take me back to the stoned age / Talkin’ backstage / Allman Brother’s Band / Tie dye little t-shirt / With a mushroom / And a beer in hand / They had more soul in the speakers / And the grass was greener / Wanna turn the page / Back to the stoned age”.
Zack: “Bottom of the Sea” by Lucero
As summer (unfortunately) comes to a close, I can’t think of a better song to segue into fall than the new moody tune from Lucero. Among The Ghosts is one of the band’s best efforts yet, with “Bottom of the Sea” being one of the highlights. This atmospheric rocker couples shimmering electric guitars with lyrics that speak to depression. Brilliant in its execution, “Bottom of the Sea” cleverly uses imagery to convey one of the band’s most heartbreaking and best tunes yet.
Markus: “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift
Over the summer, I got into a bit of a Taylor Swift kick, and the song that really stuck with me was “All Too Well,” off what many would consider her last country project (Red). What makes it such an impressive record is that it plays equal parts to Swift’s established strengths, while pushing her artistic boundaries. With a lyric soaked in detail and nuance, a sense of vulnerability is fostered, before hitting an anthemic chorus that engages the listener with its universality. Swift’s performance evokes angst and power, presenting as both assured and wrought with emotion. The stadium-ready production is an artistic diversion for Swift, but one that works well on what it one of her most powerful and well-done tracks to-date.