7 Creatively Inspirational Songs: Playlist 2

Remember that time, two weeks ago today, that I said I would blog biweekly about seven songs that inspire me? I’ve actually still maintained an interest in doing that.

Remember that other time, when I said I was going to participate in NaBloPoMo for the month of July? Yeah, not so much. I took part in day one and then decided I’d much rather write about other things than what was suggested by NaBloPoMo’s prompts. I told you, I’m a bit noncommittal. Leave the judging to the courtroom.

This time around, I was smarter about the process. I listen to music every day, and in doing that, I’ve progressively collected seven songs to comprise this week’s playlist over the past two weeks. So without further ado, here is the second batch of seven songs to listen to when you need some inspiration.

 Mariachi, Ani Difranco (from the album ¿Which Side Are You On?)

How can I not love Ani DiFranco? She’s originally from my hometown. That aside, her politically-charged lyrics combined with her finger-picking and indelible voice make for some very influential music. Her self-titled debut album from 1989 is one of my favorites of all time.

Mariachi is the first song I ever heard from her latest record. It’s got a peppy beat and is very typically Ani (if you’ve been a fan for a long time, you’ll know exactly what I mean).

Line(s) of resonance:

You brought lyrics and you / handed them to me / and you said / ‘you’re the only one who can sing this’ / and I felt kissed / and I wonder / if it was just me / just me

Other recommended songs:

  • You Had Time (from the album Out of Range)
  • Cradle And All (from the album Not a Pretty Girl)
  • Pulse (from the album Little Plastic Castle)
  • School Night (from the album Revelling/Reckoning)

5 Years, Björk (from the album Homogenic)

During my freshman year of college, I told myself I was determined to get into Björk. At that time, I just starting to become more progressive and open-minded in terms of the music I listened to. I knew that Björk would be an acquired taste, and after downloading her then most recent album Volta, my belief was confirmed. It took some time, but after a few months, I came around. She now ranks in my top five favorite artists of all time.

Two of my favorite things about 5 Years are the 8-bit synth throughout the song, and the hard-hitting, slightly distorted drumbeat. She assumes a position of authority in the song, singing lines such as; I dare you to take me on / I dare you to show me your palms. She follows that line with her proclamation of boredom due to cowardice in others.

Line(s) of resonance:

I’m so bored / of cowards / that say they want / then they can’t handle / you can’t handle love

Other recommended songs:

  • Play Dead (from the album Debut)
  • Alarm Call (from the album Homogenic)
  • Unison (from the album Vespertine)
  • Desired Constellation (from the album Medúlla)

Dementia, Owl City (from the album The Midsummer Station)

Owl City has always had my attention since Fireflies first hit radio stations back in 2009. Though it’s taken me a bit longer to get used to his more recent, less ethereal sound, I still think everything he puts out is great. For someone who started by experimenting with music on his computer in his parents’ basement, Adam Young sure knows how not to disappoint.

Dementia is an alternative track featuring Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. This song particularly hits home for me, as I lost my grandma to dementia in early 2013. Though I don’t think the lyrical content refers directly to the disease, it takes on a more personal meaning when I listen to it.

Line(s) of resonance:

This is love / this is war / this is pure insanity / dementia / you’re driving me crazy

Other recommended songs:

  • Tip of the Iceberg (from the album Ocean Eyes)
  • Angels (from the album All Things Bright and Beautiful)
  • The Yacht Club (from the album All Things Bright and Beautiful)

You’re The Only One, Maria Mena (from the album Mellow)

Considering the manner in which I raved about Maria Mena last time, it’s no surprise that she made it into this week’s playlist as well. As I’d previously mentioned, You’re The Only One was her breakout single here in the United States back in 2004. I was immediately intrigued by the quickly spoken verses accompanied by the sung refrain, both backed by a fun, alternative, guitar-laden melody. Take a look at the playful video above; how can you not love this song?

Line(s) of resonance:

I guess there’s just a part of me that likes to bring you down / just to keep you around / because the day you realize how amazing you are / you’re gonna leave me

You’re the only one who / holds my hair back when I’m drunk and get sick / and you’re the only one who / knows exactly what I mean

As a bonus, check out this live, stripped down version of the song:

Other recommended songs:

  • Free (from the album Another Phase)
  • A Few Small Bruises (from the album Mellow)
  • Internal Dialogue (from the album Apparently Unaffected)
  • Power Trip Ballad (from the album Cause and Effect)


Prime, Allie X

Allie X is an up-and-coming synth-pop artist hailing from Ontario, Canada. She has yet to release an official body of work other than a single. Prime is heavily synthesized and that’s what I love about it- that, along with the simplicity of the music video’s looping GIF image are what make the song charming. The lyrics as well are different, and they’ve pulled me in from the very beginning.

Line(s) of resonance:

We are in the prime of our existence / we are running blind with no resistance

Why not give it a try? / Be a beautiful monstrosity / when you’re just getting by / and happily terminal

Other recommended song:

You can read more about Allie X here.


Golden Thread, Joy Williams (from the album Songs From This EP)

Joy Williams is a contemporary Christian artist, whom you may know as one half of the duo that is The Civil Wars. I first came across her song Say Goodbye on Pandora when I was in high school, and fell in love with her music instantly. Though she hasn’t put out a full-length solo album since 2005, her since-released EPs and the work she’s done as part of The Civil Wars are equally as pleasing to the ear.

Golden Thread describes a situation in which you’re losing grip; a circumstance where a sense of control is evading your grasp, and you’re barely hanging on. The first verse gets me every time (see the first line of resonance below).

Line(s) of resonance:

I’m holding on for dear life / it’s not looking good / is it now?

Slipping through my fingers / watch it go / out of my hands / out of my hands / all over again / I’m hanging on / just hanging by a golden thread

Other recommended songs:

  • Stay (from the album Genesis)
  • Say Goodbye (from the album Genesis)
  • Hide (from the album Genesis)
  • Silence (from the album Genesis)


Legendary, The Summer Set (from the album Legendary)

I didn’t start to really pay attention to The Summer Set until the release of their most recent album, Legendary. I’d liked a couple songs from their debut record, and when I saw that there was a deluxe version of Legendary (which was full of cool things and signed posters), I immediately bought one. I would classify Legendary as a power-pop album, and every track has something to offer.

Legendary, the title track and album closer, tells of the universal desire to be grandiose in some way, and that with a little help, we’ll all get there. It’s a song I hold dear to my heart, and it has several lyrics that really speak to me.

Line(s) of resonance:

When I was a kid / I’d fly around and Peter would mention / don’t be afraid to die / because to die would be an awfully big adventure

We all just want to be legendary / yeah, we all want to be legendary to somebody

I swear that I could be amazing / I just need a little help

Other recommended songs:

  • Jukebox (Life Goes On) (from the album Legendary)
  • Lightning In A Bottle (from the album Legendary)
  • Where Are You Now? (from the album Love Like This)


This has been week two of seven songs to hopefully jump-start your inspiration tank. Thanks for tuning in. Check back in two more weeks, Thursday, August 7th, for playlist number three!

If you have any songs you’d like me to listen to, post a link in the comments. I may even review them in a future playlist. 🙂


5 thoughts on “7 Creatively Inspirational Songs: Playlist 2

  1. Joy Williams gets me every time. I wish The Civil Wars would just get back together and make beautiful music again. I could listen to them all day. Great post!

      1. It seems that they are on hiatus. So they may release more material in the future. I remember Lily Allen said she was done with the music industry back in 2009, and yet she’s back with a new album. So anything is possible.

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