I firmly believe all of these beautiful songs deserve more attention, and all of them have a special place in my heart. Pop radio is nice, but always repeats the same songs over and over and fails to play so many songs that deserve to be exposed.
1. "Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary" - Rihanna
This double song progresses from reflection on a regretful love to dedicating herself to living in the moment and asking God for a closer relationship, possibly referring to the Chris Brown incident. She says "felt like love struck me in the night. I pray love don't strike twice," then, after the music changes, pleads "Mister Jesus, I'd love to be a queen." The profound message of the lyrics combined with her introspective tone makes this an emotional listen, and the switch between the music and vocal tones makes this double song unique.
2. "Woman" - Kesha ft. The Dap-Kings Horns
This song screams female empowerment and "I don't give a f**k" from beginning to end. Kesha tweeted "I just really f*****g love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong" about her reasoning behind this female anthem. The multitude of live instruments portrays the wild and free spirit of this funk song. So, if you want to scream about being a badass, the horns will be shouting in the background with you (and so will Kesha).
3. "I Need A Woman To Love" - Kesha
This LGBTQ+ friendly song is a remake of Janis Joplin's "I Need A Man To Love", but with switched pronouns. The music video features the real preparation, ceremony, and reception of a couple that Kesha married. The song is featured on "Universal Love," an album of six remade love songs in honor of same-sex couples. This rock song makes me want to turn the volume up all the way and play air guitar.
4. "Champagne Room" - Sizzy Rocket
Just the way Sizzy sings this creates an enticing mood, even without knowing the exact lyrics. This slow, lyrical ballad can be relatable for many people in long term relationships whose partner doesn't agree with something about them. Sizzy wrote this about her struggle to keep a woman she loved because of her lifestyle that her partner disagreed with, noting that "I was in a long relationship and I hurt her so much with all of my vices—drugs, women, alcohol, danger. It's about feeling guilty for indulging but not being able to help it. I still love her." Throughout the song she repeatedly asks her partner "do you still want this?" and notes that "it's a big decision" because she knows the way she lives is hurting her.
5. "Long Live" - Taylor Swift
"Long live all the mountains we moved." "Long live the walls we crashed through." This song makes me proud of all that I have accomplished and motivates me to chase my dreams no matter what. The nostalgia is heavy too, and bring memories of elementary and middle school when I couldn't imagine myself where I am today but here I am. Long live.
6. "Innocent" - Taylor Swift
This slow, nostalgic, uplifting song belts about forgiveness for someone who did something wrong. She says "every one of us has messed up too" to show solidarity with the person's mistakes. The ending of "lost your balance on a tightrope... it's never too late to get it back" expresses the hope of overcoming the mistake and being a better person. It's a wonderful emotional piece that expresses her forgiveness and offers a compassionate perspective on those who make mistakes.
7. "Soldiers" - Otherwise
After soldiers at Fort Jackson finish their basic training, they march through fog with this song playing and loved ones get to see them for the first time in two—perhaps even more—months. The strength and passion in the lyrics make this song a great listen for anyone with an interest in or who has loved ones in the military and a great listen for anyone who enjoys hard rock.
8. "One Fine Wire" - Colbie Caillat
This song is so audibly pleasing with the vocal overlaps, rhythms, and harmonies. She sings with her beautiful voice and a catchy bass guitar and drum playing about stress, something we can all relate to.
9. "The Village" - Wrabel
A listener could apply anything that they don't feel accepted for to this song, however, Wrabel wrote this for transgender people. After feeling frustrated with the treatment of those individuals, he created this song and video, assuring folks that "there's nothing wrong with you, it's true" and "there's something wrong with the village." The video follows a transgender teen through his daily struggles that many could relate to, but the video ends positively. The piano and strings play beautifully alongside the singer's voice and the song has an empowering break.
10. "Wash" - Bon Iver
This song is just so incredibly beautiful. It makes me want to enjoy every moment in life, always be grateful, and never be sad again. The vagueness allows for a wide interpretation of lyrics, but I take it as breaking away from where we grow up and experiencing something new. The simplicity of his voice and the piano create a nice break from the stress of life and remind me to live in simplicity.
These songs stem from various genres, sing about various content, and each have their own vibes. However, I stumbled upon them, because most of them I don't remember how, I'm glad I did because I listen to them often and sing them in the shower now, and no one ever knows what I'm singing because most people have never heard it.