10 Songs To Get To Know Me
One of my favorite YouTube videos to watch is Teen Vogue’s “Playlist of My Life” series. In each episode of this series, a musician or other celebrity talks about the songs that have influenced them in some way. Guests on this show have included Billie Eilish, Pete Wentz, Alicia Keys, and many more. Every time I watch one of these videos, I think about what I would include if I was interviewed. After much deliberation, I picked 10 songs that I would talk about if I was on this series. So, here are 10 songs to get to know me. These are not necessarily my top 10 favorite songs, just songs that I think summarize my music taste well or that I like a lot. They are also not in any specific order. I hope you enjoy!
Playlist of songs mentioned: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/harmony-10-songs-to-get-to-know-me/pl.u-PDb4lWVCLJo5L99
“All These Things That I’ve Done,” The Killers (2004)
The first physical vinyl record I ever bought was The Killers’ 2004 debut album Hot Fuss. While this album contains some of The Killers’ biggest hits such as “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” this song has always been my personal favorite. Frontman Brandon Flowers’s extremely catchy guitar and vocals give this song a very uplifting feel. The repetition of the iconic line “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” in the bridge, backed by a gospel chorus, ties this song together to truly make it an anthem. If you like “Mr. Brightside,” or any type of pop/rock music, I highly encourage you to listen to this song.
“Love It If We Made It,” The 1975 (2018)
On their third studio album, 2018’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, The 1975 moved in a more experimental direction, and away from the typical 80s-influenced indie pop of their first two albums. In this song, frontman Matty Healy touches on many issues in the contemporary social climate and popular culture, including police brutality, racism, and the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape. The chorus, with the repetition of the line “I’d love it if we made it,” offers an uplifting contrast to the serious and somewhat solemn verses of this song. The powerful lyrics make this one of my favorite live songs I’ve ever heard. At the Governor’s Ball in 2019, the energy of the crowd when this song played was unmatched.
“911 / Mr. Lonely,” Tyler, The Creator featuring Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, and Anna of the North (2017)
While I don’t claim to be the biggest fan of rap music, Tyler, The Creator has always been an artist I have loved. The 2017 album Flower Boy was the first album of his that I heard, and is still my favorite of his albums today. In general, I love when artists connect two songs together into one track, and this song is my favorite example of this. In the first half, “911,” the music is more upbeat while the lyrics themselves are more depressing, and vice versa in the second half, “Mr. Lonely.” This track also has some of (in my opinion) Tyler’s most clever lyrics and rhymes. While sometimes I think a ton of features on a song can be unnecessary, each additional artist on this song adds something original to make this even better.
“Ribs,” Lorde (2013)
Lorde’s iconic debut album, Pure Heroine, was the first album I ever purchased on my iPod when I was around 9 or 10 years old, and basically soundtracked my preteen years. I can confidently recite this album from front to back and back to front. “Ribs” is one of those songs that I can never play too much. Both the lyrics and the music itself perfectly illustrate growing up and the realization that you’re not a kid anymore. The layered vocals and repetition of lines really give this song a cinematic feel. When people mention songs that make you feel like you’re the “main character,” this is always the first track that comes to my mind.
“Not Warriors,” Waterparks (2018)
If you know me, you know I love this band. While I eventually grow out of many bands that I like, Waterparks has somehow stuck with me for years. When making this list, I knew I had to include one of their songs, but I couldn’t decide on which. I finally chose this song, “Not Warriors,” off their 2018 sophomore album Entertainment. Waterparks is one of those bands that love to pair darker lyrics with more uplifting melodies, and this song is a fantastic example of that. Frontman Awsten Knight’s vocal performance, as well as the distorted sounds in the background, make this one of their most catchy and creative songs. Waterparks are lesser-known than most of the artists on this list, so I highly encourage you to check them out. If you are a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low, or pop-rock music in general, I think you will like them a lot.
“Empire State of Mind,” JAY-Z featuring Alicia Keys (2009)
I was born in New York City and have lived here my whole life. When I was a little kid, I had a phase where every time I was on a plane coming home, I would play this song as we landed. This song is simply iconic and has been played at every New York sports event I have attended. Even though it has now been 12 years since this song came out and I don’t actively listen to it that much anymore, the lyrics still come back to me easily every time I hear it.
“Anthem, Pt. 2,” blink-182 (2001)
I think my love for pop-punk music subconsciously developed from hearing classic bands like Green Day and blink-182 on PopRocks radio from a young age. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket is one of my favorite blink-182 albums, and “Anthem, Pt. 2,” is one of my favorites of their songs. This song is a sequel to “Anthem,” off their iconic 1999 album Enema of the State. However, the sequel has always stuck with me more. Lyricist and vocalist Tom DeLonge expresses his frustration with adults, specifically politicians, especially with the iconic line, “If we’re f****d up, you’re to blame.” I think this song perfectly captures that angsty-2000’s-teen-movie feel.
“Come A Little Closer,” Cage the Elephant (2013)
If you are a fan of indie rock music, you are probably familiar with this band and their well-known 2013 album Melophobia. While “Cigarette Daydreams” is their most popular song, “Come a Little Closer” is my personal favorite of theirs. Frontman Matt Shultz says that this song was “inspired by the thought of things appearing different at first and then seeing them in a new light,” and I think that describes this song perfectly. The repetitive bridge combined with light guitar and drums slowly build in order for the final chorus to hit perfectly.
“Eighteen,” Joyce Manor (2016)
Although I only started listening to this band about a year ago, I can easily call Joyce Manor one of my favorites. They are easily characterized by their short and to-the-point songs, combined with heavy DIY influence and catchy melodies. Their 2016 album Cody marked the band’s move away from the rawness of their earlier material and to a more polished and produced sound. “Eighteen,” my favorite song on this album, is another one of those songs that would perfectly soundtrack a teen movie about growing up. The unique structure of this song, in that it is one long verse rather than multiple verses with a chorus and bridge, makes it even more memorable.
“Don’t Look Back In Anger,” Oasis (1995)
If I had to give a quick answer as to what my favorite song of all time is, I would probably say this. Every song on Oasis’s 1995 sophomore album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory is iconic, including other hits such as “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova,” but “Don’t Look Back in Anger” is my personal favorite. Everything about this song: the guitar, the drums, the piano, the vocals, is perfect to me. The way the guitar solo builds up to the final chorus hits perfectly every time I listen to it. If I were to recommend only one song on this list, it would one hundred percent be this one.