Well, damn. I just listened to Dean Fields’ song “Not Again” from his Any Minute Now – EP, and I can’t take it off repeat…you guys know what that means….#PhillipsSongOfTheDay.
So, one day I got an email notifying me that someone named Dean Fields (@deanfields) followed me on Twitter, and when I noticed he was a musician I followed him back; I have this weird mentality where I’m like “us musicians need to stick together.” I immediately got notified that I could download five free songs by him, except I didn’t download them because I’m lazy and, well…to be honest…I didn’t think I’d like them . I really don’t have a good enough excuse as to why I didn’t jump into his music once I found out about him (believe me, I sat here for ten minutes writing and rewriting a sentence trying to explain why I didn’t bother listening to his music only to conclude I was being stupid…but to be fair, I’ve been incredibly busy with school, so…). Anyway, I’m working on a new playlist for the site and I decided to search for Mr. Fields on Spotify to see if he could add to the playlist, only to discover “Not Again.” And, damn, what an incredibly beautiful song, especially the first thirteen seconds.
Listen to Any Minute Now, especially “Not Again:”
The mix of guitars (acoustic and electric, I believe) and the cello (I’m like 85% it’s a cello, it could be a violin/fiddle/viola deal) pulls at your heartstrings and gives you goosebumps. In fact, when I started listening to “Not Again,” I literally sat back and said “well, damn.”
There are very few times when I hear a song and I realize that I’m not paying attention to the words the person is singing in the song because the song as a whole transcends the emotion and feeling. I’m not suggesting that Dean Fields’ lyrics are pointless, but rather his soothing vocals and the music let you know exactly what he’s feeling. Put it this way, he could be singing in a different language and we could understand him. That is something that is incredibly hard to achieve, it takes an incredible musician to pull that off. This may just be me because I’m the person who needs to analyze everything about the song and I need to have the lyrics memorized, but when an artist captivates me without making me think or want to analyze their song, then you know the song’s good. On my first listen of “Not Again,” I made a connection to it, which made my day a little bit better. That’s what it takes for a song to become a #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.
Today I’ve been listening to Sheryl Crow’s music. On repeat. There’s just something refreshing about her music, something Spring-like. With the sun shining and and the warmish air, I needed the heart soothing sounds of Sheryl Crow. But in particular, “The First Cut is the Deepest (Country Version)” is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.
I’m like 93.24% sure Sheryl Crow covered “The First Cut is the Deepest,” but I honestly could care less. Sheryl Crow’s version was the first that I heard, and the story line resonates with me (I prefer the country version because it gives it a clearer form of rawness and is more soothing to listen to, in my opinion).
The honest reason “The First Cut is the Deepest” is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay is because of the lyrics. They are stunning and just really struck a chord with me, specifically:
“I would have given you all of my heart
But there’s someone who’s torn it apart
And he’s taken just all that I have
But if you want to try to love again
Baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know…
The first cut is the deepest
But when it comes to bein’ lucky, he’s cursed
When it comes to lovin’ me, he’s worst”
“Try to love again”
I think after you’ve had your heart broken in any circumstance, it’s hard to “love again.” Maybe you’re holding out hope, thinking that things can work out…but deep down, you know they probably can’t. We don’t want to give up, but you’ve got to. You’ve got to “try to love again.” And I learned in my psychology class last semester that love and relationships are really the only way we can be truly happy or have a better well being.
This is the baby playlist that I’ve been listening to today on repeat:
A while back, I was searching YouTube to watch the music video of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, when I stumbled across this:
I was immediately taken by the fact that this person, whoever she was, was playing every single instrument. I thought the video was clever and inspiring, not to mention she sounded great (“Rolling in the Deep” is a pretty hard song to sing, especially around the chorus…it takes a pair of steel lungs and a lot of anger). And it was one of the few times that I actually watched a cover video on YouTube from start to finish.
After watching this video, I needed to know more about this girl. According to YouTube, her name was Jayme Dee and she had a bunch more covers. All of them were pretty unique, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across her MySpace that I found an original song entitled “Love Whiplash.” After listening to this song, I was a fan. What was more, I found that she was an unsigned artist. This thrilled me because ever since Colbie Caillat, I always wanted to watch an artist transform from unsigned to getting a record deal to releasing an album/playing on radio.
Colbie Caillat had uploaded her song "Bubbly" as an unsigned artist to MySpace, which apparently became the number one most listened to song on MySpace by an unsigned artist. She then got a record deal with Universal Republic Records, and "Bubbly" was released as her first official single, which then went on to Chart number five on Billboard's Hot 100.
At that moment, I hoped the best of Jayme Dee, wondering if I might just hear “Love Whiplash” on the radio one day. I logged offline and forgot all about her for like four months (in all honesty, it probably was like two days, but two days feels like four months when you’re in college).
Take a listen to the original version of “Love Whiplash”:
Then, one day, rather randomly, I decided to check back on Jayme Dee and see if she posted any new music. Again, I could only find “Love Whiplash,” but I found out that Jayme Dee had gotten signed by Universal Republic Records! Let the countdown to a stellar album begin!
Well, a year passed by. And then like another. I might be exaggerating, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that we got her first official single, “Tip Toes,” an upbeat song about falling in love or, rather, having an intense crush on someone.
Check out the official music video for “Tip Toes”:
This certified me as a fan. “Tip Toes” is the only song I ever heard that is 100% pure happiness and joy, and perfectly embodies the summer and sunshine. And, on July 30, 2013, we finally got her debut EP, Broken Record, which featured a new version of “Love Whiplash.” Honestly, I prefer the original version (see/listen above); I think that version has a warmer, natural air to it, whereas the version on her EP is a bit overthought and too-complicated. The main problem I have with the Broken Record version of “Love Whiplash” is that Jayme Dee sang it in a completely different way. For instance, listen to the way she pronouces the first line “I never know if you’re seriously” in both versions, and it’s like she has two different accents….it’s weird. I do have to commend her vocals on the EP version because they are a bit bolder, especially around the chorus.
Regardless of the version, “Love Whiplash” is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay because I think it is a incredibly clever idea: the guy is sending her so much mixed signals that she has “whiplash.” It’s a simple idea that I can relate to. Plus the lyrics are pretty snazzy/intriguing:
“Are you just trying to play with me?
Do you get joy from my misery
I’d like to think
It’s just a phase and we’ll work it out
But you keep jerking my heart around
Now I’ve caught a bad case of love whiplash
You push me off and then you pull me back
Please could you tell me if you’re being sincere
Cause darling I can’t stand to cry another tear”
“It’s not a long conversation
Don’t waste all your precious time
It’s not a difficult equation
A simple yes or no will do just fine”
*This whole post and idea of naming "Love Whiplash" #PhillipsSongOfTheDay was inspired by the fact that I sneezed today (I'm incredibly sick...yay) and thought "that sneeze just gave me whiplash," which reminded me of "Love Whiplash"...#random*
Listen to Broken Record:
The whole EP is worth a listen; Jayme Dee’s music overall may be sugar-sweet pop music, but she subtly infuses jazzy/bluesy elements into her music that’s rather intriguing. Songs that stand out in the EP include “Tip Toes,” “Love Whiplash,” “Broken Record,” and “Till I Fall Asleep.”
Do you know how many songs there are entitled “Stay?” A lot. There’s that Rihanna song, the Lisa Loeb one, and the Grammy Award Winning one by Sugarland. I decided to make another playlist, but with all songs titled “Stay.”
My favorite is Lisa Loeb‘s version (it also was a #PhillipsSongOfTheDay). That song to me is rather refreshing; she’s admitting she was wrong, and is pleading with her loved one to come back. There is a rawness in that song that conveys a relative deep level of hurt that I really connect with. A close second to Lisa Loeb’s “Stay,” is “Stay” by Sugarland. The guitar in that song is phenomenal, and Jennifer Nettles is an incredible songwriter (she won many awards for writing that song, including the Grammy for Best Country Song), but I find Nettle’s vocals rather…um…harsh. I mean, Jennifer Nettles is an incredible vocalist and has an intense passion for making music, but I feel like “Stay” by Sugarland is supposed to be a softer than the way she actually delivered it.
I bring up this playlist of all songs named “Stay” because I think it emphasizes exactly what not to do as a songwriter: give your song a common title. If you search iTunes or Spotify for “Stay,” there are hundreds of songs, a lot of them are covers. As a musician, you want to stand out (from a business perspective). Why would you give a song a name that a hundred other songs are named?
One counterargument would be that, as a songwriter, you don’t write to the name of the song. You tell the story the way it needs to be told, and the name just kind of stands out in the lyrics (at least that’s how I do it). However, there is a way around this. For example, on her latest album Red, Taylor Swift had a song that clearly should be named “Stay.” Instead of falling into that trap, she named the song “Stay Stay Stay,” a very unique and original title. Another thing the songwriter could do is give the song a title that does not come from the lyrics. Lorde is a big fan of doing this; the phrase “400 Lux” does not appear once in the song “400 Lux,” and the phrase “buzzcut season” appears once in “Buzzcut Season,” like how “ribs” appears once in “Ribs.” I’m not telling other songwriters how to write their songs, but my opinion is that you want to give your song its own identity that people want to listen to that song as opposed to any other song. If I have a song “Stay,” then why would you listen to me over Rihanna? We’re both clearly demanding our loved one to stay, regardless of the situation.
I decided I wanted to try to embed playlist via Spotify, so here is the music I’ve been listening to today (please let me know if it doesn’t work, I’m new to this):
With today’s blizzard-like snow here in the arctic, here’s my snow shoveling playlist. It helps plow through the snow and stay positive that spring is almost here (hopefully):
- “Closer” – Tegan & Sara
- “Where Is My Mind?” – Pixies
- “10538 Overture” – Electric Light Orchestra
- “Just Dance” – Lady Gaga
- “Bad Romance [the Skrillex Remix]” – Lady Gaga
- “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
- “The Monster [feat. Rihanna]” – Eminem
- “Viva la Vida” – Coldplay
- “Bass Down Low” – Dev
- “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” – Fall Out Boy