#InMyFeelingsFriday: Duet

I’ve seen you, I know you, and I’m not going anywhere.

I’ll be honest with you I don’t know anything about Penny and Sparrow. I haven’t heard any of their other songs. I randomly came across “Duet” on my way home one afternoon and have not been able to forget it. It’s a simple love song with a few good voices over a slow melody. It’s simplicity is what pulled me in I believe. The lyrics aren’t heavy with metaphor or cool word play. It basically says this: I see what you’re going through, I know it’s a lot and I don’t always make it easier. But I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be seen, to be known, and to know we’re not alone?


I bet your back can carry more than
Just the weight of your button-down
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

I’ve seen you carry family
And all my insecurities
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

Because I’ve seen you
And I know you
And I’m not going anywhere

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Don’t Dream It’s Over

We know they won’t win

Cover of Lauren Daigle’s Look Up Child

Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle is one of my favorite voices. She has the silky buttery tone that is a style all her own. To promote her latest “Look Up Child” Daigle did a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream it’s Over for Spotify and it has me in my feelings. The 80’s classic is a favorite of mine I was excited to hear Daigle sing it. I was not disappointed. The original has easily recognizable beginning chords and I was surprised when I didn’t hear them and instead heard some jazzy guitar. I loved Daigle’s rendition, I found myself gently swaying while I drove listening to it. I love it when a classic is re-imagined in a way that it’s not a carbon copy but honors the original.


Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

I couldn’t tell you what the artist meant when he wrote it but to me “Don’t Dream its Over” means don’t give up. The world is full of battles, but don’t let the circumstances win. Easier said then done for sure, but in the world of 80’s pop songs anything is possible 😉

#InMyFeelingsFriday: American Republican Jesus

For those who might not have heard of them, Gungor is contemporary Christian husband and wife duo. They’ve become increasingly political as of late with Trump’s presidency. They’re newest album “Archives” was released on March 1st and the track that has me in my feelings this week is track #18 “American Republican Jesus”.
The track hold’s nothing back, the first verse pretty much lays it all out.

White Jesus, why is Your goodness so bad?
Why are Your people so mad?
Why do You need so many old white racists
To gather Your cash?
White Jesus, I know the Donald’s Your Man
I know He carries Your plan
To purge all the world of all the non-white people
Lest they go cash

This administration has used Christianity and conservative values as a weapon against the masses. The song calls them out as what they are, “old white racists”. Because Gungor is a Christian band I was shocked that they would be vocal on this particular topic when some of their peers have stayed quiet or doubled down on their support of Trump. They’re risking alienating some of their listeners but maybe this song will wake them up.


White Jesus, oh how could You blame us
For doubting Your heavenly Father
Would burn us
For doubting Your heavenly Father
Would burn us
White Jesus
American Republic Jesus

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Fake Smile

Early last month Ariana Grande released her 5th album “Thank U, Next”. Although I am not an avid listener of Top 40 artists like Grande, there’s no denying the ponytail pop star is crazy talented.

There’s a few good bops on the album, the track that had me in my feelings is #5 “Fake Smile.”
As an introvert who worked retail for a number of years and struggles with mental health issues, I’ve faked plenty of smiles in my life and was intrigued by the title alone. The song starts out with a sample from “After Laughter” by Wendy Rene. “After laughter comes tears,” sings Rene just as the R&B beat comes in.

Grande has been through a lot in recent years, the death of her ex Mac Miller, the public break up with Pete Davidson, and the most harrowing the terrorist attack that took place at her concert in Manchester in 2017. All of that is combined with the day to day issues of living your life in the public eye, which Grande sings about in the song.

Hear what they’re sayin’ on the TV, it’s crazy
It’s gettin’ hard for them to shock me
But every now and then, it’s shocking, don’t blame me
I know it’s the life that I chose
But baby, I’m grateful, I want you to know
I’m happy for the love and all of the above
If I’m being honest, I done been through way too much

As a regular person I can’t relate to the pressure of celebrity, I relate to the song in a different way. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression my entire life. And I’ve felt like I couldn’t tell anyone because of my own shame and embarrassment. I always felt it was better to pretend all was well then risk letting people know what I was dealing with emotionally. I don’t mean that I started telling all of my problems to anyone that asked, I only mean that if I didn’t feel like going out with a friend I didn’t do it. If I needed to skip out on a social event I no longer felt guilty. Sometimes when I come home from work or class I put my phone on silent so I can unplug. Because sometimes I just don’t have the mental capacity to do it. And that’s okay.

And I won’t say I’m feeling fine
After what I been through, I can’t lie

Fuck a fake smile, smile

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Almeda

Twelve days ago Solange released her highly anticipated 4th album, “When I Get Home” and I’m still processing it. Much like her last album “A Seat at the Table” this album gets you thinking. Solange is a highly original and individual artist and she leaves her art open to interpretation. The song that has me in my feelings this week is track number 9, “Almeda”.

You’ll find a lot of opinions on the internet with opinions on what exactly the lyrics coupled with the unique music video means. To me, when I hear that trap-ish beat and Solange’s voice singing about all things black and brown I hear a celebration of blackness.

Brown liquor, brown liquor
Brown skin, brown face
Brown leather, brown sugar
Brown leaves, brown keys
Brown zippers, brown face
Black skin, black braids
Black waves, black days
Black baes, black days
These are black-owned things
Black faith still can’t be washed away
Not even in that Florida water

The music video affirms this. It is filled with black faces. Some in afros’s and beret’s, some in those stiff auntie hairstyles and long red acrylic nails. There’s also this scene of a bunch of black women, Solange included, in brown dresses and blonde wigs dancing. I’m not sure what it all means but the message to me is quite clear, we have to celebrate ourselves, our culture, our skin, our blackness because no one else will.

Diamonds they shine in the dark now
Diamonds they shine in the dark now
They takin’ me in, what I done? (What?)
They takin’ me in, what I done? (What?)

My Top Five Favorite Albums of 2017

A lot of amazing music came out this year and narrowing it down to just 5 albums was very hard but I did it! I listed albums that I not only listened to but devoured. Every song, every lyric, affected me in different ways. I am very diverse in my listening tastes so there’s a couple of different genres on my list. So here it goes!

5. Big Mess by Grouplove
I’ve been fan of Grouplove for awhile because their music is fun. It makes you want to jump up and down and scream the lyrics as loud as you can. And this album delivered that same carefree vibe. I often played it while driving in the miserable Atlanta traffic. I recommend this lighthearted listen to fans of indie rock who just want to feel good.
Fave tracks: Do you love someone, Traumatized, Good Morning

4. The Thrill of it All by Sam Smith
Sam Smith is the male Adele, he specializes in ballads about heartbreak. And I love it. Give me heavy piano and lyrics about a man who done you wrong and I am there. His unique voice is raw, honest, and it pulls at your heartstrings. You’ll be staring longingly into the horizon recalling all your relationships. Top 40 radio will play his singles 5 times an hour, but don’t let that lead you away from the album, it’s most definitely worth a listen.
Face tracks: No peace, Nothing left for you, Say it first

3. The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone by Lee Ann Womack
After listening to this album my first question was: Who hurt you Lee Ann?? These 14 tracks are all heavy, gritty, blues. Lee Ann is one of my favorite voices in country music but I don’t think I’ve ever heard her quite like this. I like dark Lee Ann, she seen some things, been through some things and she knows how to convey those experiences into a cohesive album. The first track All the trouble pretty much sets the tone. It’s an anthem for times when life is throwing everything at you at once. I recommend this album for those days when you are pissed off at the world, mama Lee Ann will let you know that you are not alone.
Fave tracks: All the trouble, Wicked, Someone else’s heartache

2. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
I would’ve been crazy to not add Kendrick’s newest on this list. He’s killing it right now. Rap music isn’t my favorite genre I’ll admit, but there’s no denying how good Lamar’s music is. It’s innovative, relevant, and unafraid. The album is an intimate journey into his personal struggles. Some of the tracks are hard, songs that you’ll turn the bass all the way up for, while others are subdued songs that will make you sway. I applaud Lamar for his willingness to be transparent, that’s what make his art so amazing. He puts his blood, sweat, and tears into it and comes out as this beautiful piece of rap history.
Fave Tracks: ELEMENT, DNA, PRIDE

1. Ctrl by SZA 
This album spoke to me the most this year. Ctrl is basically the experience of being 20 something wrapped up in 14 tracks with a bow on top. Self-doubt, lack of direction, crappy decisions and all that other madness that comes with not being a girl, but not yet a woman. As a 20 something myself I heard a lot of my own thoughts in her lyrics. There’s a pendulum in my mind, some days I feel confident, sexy, and ready to break some hearts. And other days I feel like I am going nowhere, and don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Both of these attitudes are represented in the album. In the song The Weekend, she asserts her sexy in being the confident side chick. But in the song Drew Barrymore she presents a less assured SZA who struggles with loneliness and self-worth.  So thank you Ms. SZA for providing a voice to the 20 something gals out here trying to live their best life.
Fave Tracks: Drew Barrymore, The Weekend, 20 Something

 

So that’s it! What were your favorite album releases this year??

Everyday Inspiration, Day Nine: Writing and Not Writing

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed?

-WordPress, Blogging University
Two words and two words only answer that question. Live music.

 

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What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed?

-WordPress, Blogging University

Two words and two words only answer that question. Live music.

Next to Jesus and writing, music is one of my great loves. There’s nothing like an amazing piece of music to stir you up. Music can transport you back in time, make you wonder, make you dream. Music is the musicians heart, live music is that heart on display.  The artist will tell you why he or she wrote that song, what inspired it, and the music will take on new meaning. Maybe it was deep deep love, or ugly heartbreak, or the miracle of new life.
I live for that, I live for the story of how the music came to be, because it inspires me to take the stories of my life and create something with it.

Isn’t that what all art is? Taking the human condition and creating with it.

 

*Original Photos