This was a writing prompt for the second day, and I thought I’d actually go into full detail. It was originally a twitter thread, but I thought I’d expand it here. It’s fun to talk about art you are a fan of for one, and two, I really feel like if you are a fan of people, you should let the world know.
Diane Birch is someone I stumbled onto years ago with an album called Bible Belt. Her voice is sultry, her storytelling incredible. She has a great energy in her voice and her music and honestly, it’s criminal more people don’t know who she is. I love her albums. My favorite one is Speak a Little Louder, but enjoy all her music. I am currently listening to Nous and some singles. In It For the Race is very fitting for me right now. Just an incredible singer and talent. Her music makes me smile and feel better about life.
Lights is one of the most incredible creatives, let alone musicians I listen to. I discovered her back in the days of Music World (I’m old, shutup) and picked up this recommended album called The Listening (Note: February Air is still an amazing song to this day) and have been listening to her since. Her music tends to have an etheral quality to it. There’s senses of whimsy and she takes chances. I truly thing she shines in her acoustic albums, as a lot of her songs are reimagined in those formats, but I also love the underlinings of her music when it comes out. There’s soul in there, and it’s wonderful. Dead End is my current listen, but I also really dig the Skin and Earth Acoustic.
Speaking of Skin and Earth, it’s an amazing comic debut. Lights wrote and drew it herself and did an incredible job. For a debut, it still stands up very well and is an achievement I’ve not seen. Lights if she wanted to do comics for a living, would be one of the greats. Also, she’s on the list of people I want to interview for the show. She’s a world class storyteller.
I got to admit to a little bias here. Sofia has it more together at 18 than most people I know. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her a few times now. My first Zoom interview was with Sofia last year.
She’s got a voice, and while a lot of what she has out there is just a lot of classic songs with her album Butterfly, her originals are what really stands out. Butterfly is a beautiful song, and I really dig her singles. Endure is incredible, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. That said, Smile is pretty dang good too. Have a listen.
Jars Of Clay
These guys are still one of the best Christian contemporary bands of all time. Their stuff is soft, soulful and filled with some surprising depth. They kept getting better as they went on. My favorite three albums from them are The Eleventh Hour, which top to bottom is incredible. Who We Are Instead is a sleeper of theirs. I feel it’s not their most famous stuff, but I really love the song Show You Love, and if I had to listen to just one of their songs for all time, honestly it’s Tonight a b side track. Finally, I really love The Long Fall Back To Earth. It’s them at their most polished, mature and still talking about the themes they care about. They made beautiful music. I hope they make more sometime.
This is all generally softer stuff. I find when I write I tend to lean more in this direction than say harder stuff, but every once in a while I go down that well too. So from here it gets a lot louder and a bit darker too. Ready?
Eminem in my opinion is the last rock star. He’s secretly a throwback to a lot of musicians of the 60s and 70s. Sure he’s not perfect. He talks about his mom a few too many times in his albums, and he definitely hasn’t outgrown some of his immaturity on some things, but when he has something real to say, people listen.
On top of that, he’s one of the most gifted lyricists I’ve ever seen. His mastery of entendre goes without saying. Everything he writes has a mult layered level to it. He tells great story on the mic, and he’s an artist that makes you think. My three favorite albums of his are The Marshal Mathers LP, Recovery, and Music to be Murdered By. In my opinion, these are the three albums he took the most chances on, and had the most to say. Whatever you may think of him, he’s a genius. Undeniable all time great.
I’m a sucker for European Metal. I like the depth of thought a lot of their music has. There’s classical roots in a lot of their music, and there’s a meta story in the music as well. Tarja is just soft enough that I don’t get lost in the music, but hard enough to punch me in the teeth. A world class musician with a voice that captivates, Tarja manages to get your heart pumping and is just a joy to listen to. I’m currently listening to her new one In The Raw as I really dig it. The Golden Chamber and Tears In Rain in particular is quite unique and a great story told.
By Your Leave
Sometimes, you just want to thrash. Working with Longplay Games led me to meeting this amazing band. They are old school metal in the vein belting out classic 80s style metal with modern sensibilities. I also love the letters I got from them. There’s an elegance to this band and they are just so fun to listen to. Now I have to admit I listen to them a little more for fun than listen to them when I create, but every once in a while you just want to headbang a bit or have a great action scene. Love them when the mood strikes, and they are a great band and one I hope to listen to live.
Sometimes, you just hear something and go whoa! That’s the feeling I get when I listen to Pioneer Anomaly. They are space punk. Think about that for just one second. They are fucking space punk. I’m in. You don’t really need anything else do you?
Okay…their lyrics remind me a bit of Rise Against, Incubus and Tool, and the sound is one of a kind. How about that? They write music that encourages critical thinking, and I think that’s a damn cool thing. Listen to this sample below. Division State in particular is appropriate now.
Rivers In the Desert
Video game soundtracks are a lot more sophisticated than I when I played Double Dragon, let me tell you. This song is my anthem. It’s final boss music in the game Persona 5. It’s incredible that the most important battles in this game are fought to this song. It pumps you up, and lets you face the enormous obstacles in front of you.
You can hear the kind of merger of jazz undertones with rock clashing. I love the lyrics. I stole the first two of them for my life philosophy. It’s now, it’s never. Here’s the live version. This way, I won’t spoil the game.
I know this is a pretty epic playlist above here, but if I was to ask myself what all this has in common, I’d say this. Every single person on this list, no matter where they are at, worked their ass off to produce something beautiful. You can hear that echo of beauty in their performances. It’s easy for me to see a fan because I know what it takes to create something as beautiful as everyone did here.
I wonder what my choices say about me. I hope you guys enjoyed this little writing prompt, as well as a glimpse of what I listen to. Stay inspired out there.