Today, Jared asked me what my song of the “summah” was this year. Music affects him a lot more than it affects me. Truthfully, music really affects most anyone more than it affects me. I have to be in exactly the right place for music to be affecting. Mostly, I listen to music because I have to cover my brain, to try and drown out the circus in my head. The acrobats stabbing the dancing bear. The dancing bear pretending it can juggle. The ringmaster selling waffles to small children. Music doesn’t shut it off. Music only covers it up a little. Music works hard to make it all a little quieter, especially if I’m by myself. And, if I’m super honest, most of the music I listen to I listen to because I can sing along. It’s show tunes. I listen almost exclusively to show tunes, and part of me still had a misguided belief I might be able to sing and I might be able to act. It’s a struggle, and it’s annoying to non-theatre people. It’s probably annoying to theatre people too. It’s been a very long time since I was last in a car filled with theatre people. I don’t know if we all still pick parts in La Vie Boheme.
Here’s the best I can offer for this. These may not be the most upbeat songs, but it’s important to remember that summer is not my favorite time of the year. They may not even reflect my life this summer. They’re just the songs I know I listened to the most.
Someone Else by Wild Child
This song came in my ears this spring, but it still hasn’t left. It sort of reflects my feelings of summer. This whole album does. It sounds so upbeat, but the story is hard and dark and painful.
Nicest Thing by Kate Nash
Kate Nash has been my jam all year. She’s silly when I need to be. She’s hard when I am. She’s heavy and light. And she helped this summer.
Better than Before from Next to Normal
Next to Normal is going to come up a few times. It gets my brain. Sadly.
Someone to Fall Back on by Jason Robert Brown
Ok, ok. Admittedly, I chose this video for nerdy reasons, but so much of the time this is all I feel I’m good for. It echoed through me all summer, and it may continue to.
Brothers by Penny and Sparrow
The beginning of summer started pretty dark in my heart, and a good friend offered this song to me at exactly the right moment. I offer to you now.
Secrets by Mary Lambert
This one, this one is actually on the radio, which sort of makes me feel like I might be a real person. I’m not. Rachel still had to bring it to my attention. But pretend I found it. Ok?
My Moon by Mary Lambert
And while we’re on the topic of Mary Lambert.
Who’s Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I from Next to Normal
It’s back. I said it would be.
Passenger Seat by Death Cab for Cutie
Sentiment has actually made this a song of summer for nearly ten years now.
Firewood by Regina Spektor
The heart beats in three just like a waltz.
Beautifully by Jay Brannan
Because some times feelings are crushing. Ya know?
Perfect for You from Next to Normal
Last one I swear.
Alone by Heart
Because you can’t ever go wrong with Heart.