Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The 2017 Music Playlist

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For the last couple of years, I've posted a list of favorite songs I've discovered throughout the year on social media. This year, I looked at my list and realized all the thoughts I wanted to share were too long to put on a regular Facebook post--so I thought I'd bring it over here to chat about it in a little more detail.

Sharing favorite music sometimes feels like a vulnerable thing. But I like being honest about who I really am, even when it feels vulnerable. So this playlist is a journey of grief and hope, of tears and creativity, of deeply Schuyler. Most of these songs I get off Spotify, which is a great source for free music, but sometimes where they're on Youtube official channels I'll link to them.

Victoria Soundtrack // "Lord M"--Writing romance is hard for me. I mean, sometimes I can write it, but so far I've really struggled to write it in historical stories. I'm trying my dead level best, though--earlier this year I worked on writing a London murder mystery which required a romance plot. Whenever I flipped on "Lord M", the emotion of this short piece of music took the scene to the next level. So much so, sometimes I put it on repeat while I was writing. Whatever it takes to keep the mood. :)

Also, 2017 was so much better with Lord Melbourne in it. I don't crush on movie characters, but I do love his character.

The Afters // Live On Forever // Life is Beautiful (albums)--While I don't listen to heavy rock music, I do understand the extra energy music can provide when your mind is tired. When I discovered The Afters, I harnessed some of the adrenaline in their music as I was coming down to the final stretch of War of Loyalties. I'd heard one of their songs on October Baby. Their songs encompass what it means to celebrate and joyfully tackle the challenges of life--wonder, adrenaline, and a reminder of our joyful relationship with a powerful God make their music something I love cycling through my brain--like a fresh fountain of water.

Old Church Choir // Zach Williams--After watching the video that went viral with the little girl singing this song, we looked up the original and have been hooked ever since. It's an energetic, joyful song of celebration.

A Whole New World // Evynne Hollens--I never found a song for Terry and Pearlie from War of Loyalties, believe it or not, until I flipped on A Whole New World and realized that this described their relationship to a T. While the ideology isn't perfect, the warm fuzzies it gives me are addicting.

At the Beginning // Evynne and Peter Hollens--This is a song of love and beauty, sung by a husband and wife--it's joyful and romantic, and a piece of inspiration I've culled for a story with female butlers and Syrian refugees.

Nichole Nordeman //Every Mile Mattered (album)--Listening to Nichole Nordeman's CD was an experiment. I heard a couple of her songs and thought I'd like to try the whole CD to find out what it was like. After a sweet gift from a friend for my birthday, I slid the CD into the van player and mulled over the songs. My first instinct was that it was too contemporary. But as I gave the songs a second try, I found the lyrics deeply resonated. They explain what it's like to constantly fight a war with your mind and quest for perfection. They're almost a journal style, talking about the journey life is, and how God's grace surrounds it. "Listen To Your Life" encapsulates what it feels like to live in a busy, over-thinking brain. "Lean" captures how God doesn't need my performance--a theme that also crops up in my local Bible study's journey through Romans 8. Dear Me, the song that first got me hooked on Nordeman's music, is another piece I culled for inspiration for the female butler story, and got the Syrian refugee plot incorporated. I find myself reaching for her CD again and again as I'm driving places.

Danny Gokey // Tell Your Heart to Beat Again--2016 was a year of some familiar things dying and changing. The trauma from it was deep. Danny Gokey's song of fresh hope and a fresh start helped me find some peace with the new normal.

Tenth Avenue North //I Have This Hope // No One Can Steal Our Joy--Along the lines of Danny Gokey, these two songs from Tenth Avenue North provided an outlet for uncertainty and struggle. I love Tenth Avenue North's ability to provide songs of lament through the tough seasons of life.

Celtic Thunder Inspirational // May the Road Rise to Meet You // From the Ground Up--Celtic Thunder released their newest album just after my birthday (perfect timing) and since I'm a Thunderhead, and the songs looked fantastic, of course I got it. The themes of love and family in "From the Ground Up" never cease to give a warm feeling that family is good, and the gentle words of God's blessing in "May the Road Rise to Meet You" are a benediction I love to listen to again and again.

King and Country // Shoulders--I think it was YouTube who brought me across this gem. It showed up in the list of suggested videos, and I finally clicked on it. Again, I loved the theme of hope--of gentle shepherding and strength, which are things I'm always thirsty for.

What a Beautiful Name // Hillsong--Every summer there's a little tabernacle near a lake with padded wooden benches where we go to hear preachers. It's a Sunday of morning and evening services, a picnic lunch, and reading on a pretty incredible beach. Every year we walk in and sit on the same bench (unless someone beat us to it), and this year they sang this song there. I love the third verse--it's triumphant and victorious in a way that makes my heart sing.

The Streets of New York // Celtic Thunder, Ryan Kelly--There's one swear word in the first verse which is quick to mute (you can find the lyrics online to find out where). The rest of it is the perfect Irish song that always makes me think of Jaeryn Graham from War of Loyalties (even though the song itself has nothing to do with his life.)

Try // Mandy Harvey--I don't know much about Mandy Harvey's music, and I hadn't heard of her at all until an America's Got Talent video popped up on Facebook. I was hooked by the young woman who had gone deaf but still pursued her love of music. The golden buzzer moments make me tear up--(the costumes are pretty immodest, thus not good to make a steady diet of) The song itself, though, which you can find on Spotify, is a heartfelt song of struggle and determination.

The Sound of the Saints // Audio Adrenaline
It's another song of joy--it's easy for me to gravitate to the heavier songs, but listening to the joyful ones lift the spirits and keeps things in tune. It's overwhelmingly joyful, and easy to sing along to.

These are some of my favorites from 2017--I'd love to hear some of yours! Any favorite artists, albums, or songs that have kept you company this year?

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