I’m obsessed with music, so I figured kelseyparsons.com should at least have a section dedicated to it. Below you’ll find my current favorites, feel free to leave suggestions for other music I might like.
Links lead to YouTube clips of the songs (if they exist).
All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun– Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser
Carolyn’s Fingers– Cocteau Twins
You’ve Got Time– Regina Spektor
Song To The Siren (acoustic)– Tim Buckley
Fugitive Air– of Montreal
Teardrop– Massive Attack
She– Laura Mvula
A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan cover)– Walk Off the Earth
I’ll Kill Her– Soko
Bunny Gamer (b)– Xiu Xiu
Crave You– Flight Facilities ft. Giselle
Balada Do Louco– Os Mutantes
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long– Otis Redding
Thirteen Thirtyfive– Dillon
Cavern– Liquid Liquid
I Just Want To– Reggie Watts
Manhattan– Cat Power
What Would You Do? (City High cover)– Bastille
I’ve Been Thinking– J Mascis
Orinoco Ninja Flow (Wedding DJs Remix)– Die Antwoord vs Enya
Push the Sky Away– Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Summer’s Gonna Hurt You– Diplo
Manhattan (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)– Cat Power ft. Angel Haze
Science and Vision– Chvrches
Is It Done– J Mascis
Say My Name– Cyril Hahn
Lofticries– Purity Ring
You’ve Got the Love – XX
Side Walk When She Walks– Alexisonfire
Seke– Dr. Slim Ft. Double
Hit That Perfect Beat– Bronski Beat
Milkman– Aphex Twin
I Fink U Freeky– Die Antwoord
Lady Stardust (demo)– David Bowie
Queens– Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Communist Mic- Neutral Bling Hotel
For Our Elegant Caste– Of Montreal
Drug Chart– The Flaming Lips
April Fool– Manchester Orchestra
A Change is Gonna Come– Otis Redding
New Slang– The Shins
Just a Friend– Biz Markie
White Lies, Yellow Teeth– Modest Mouse
Months of January/February, 2012
Trojans– Atlas Genius
Heavy Cross– The Gossip
Video Games– Lana Del Rey
Bricks (Dntel remix)- Tunng
These Days– Foo Fighters
Internet Killed the Video Star– The Limousines
Dirty Paws– Of Monsters and Men
Months of November/December, 2011
This song has been on my “beach playlist” for a while now, and I listened to that playlist quite a bit in Thailand and Australia. My favourite part is when she raps, “he’s got Colgate on his teeth and Reebok Classics on his feet.” I don’t know why, but I had that one line stuck in my head for about two weeks. Catchy!
Bulletproof (Nacey Remix ft. Matt Hemerlein)– Major Lazer and La Roux
This is one of those epic songs, the kind that feature prominently in my day dreams about my life movie. That daydream movie entails a slow motion intro, much like that part in the Hangover 2 when they walk through the airport. This is my airport strutting song. Enjoy.
For some reason, I keep wanting to listen to The Smiths on long road trips. I blame it on all the English people I’ve met on the road. This one is on repeat in my head at the moment, which is better than when I had “Suffer Little Children” stuck in my head. Much less depressing.
Search and Destroy– Iggy Pop & The Stooges
This song reminds me of a too-late night out in Bangkok, quizzing a Bostonian on music facts over a plate of super spicy street Pad Thai. I believe my question was, “What rock star was close friends with/did a lot of drugs with David Bowie in the 70s, and is known for his wild antics on stage and off?” or something along those lines. Kind of vague, I know, but then I dropped the mighty hints like “The Stooges” and “he doesn’t go by his real name,” but alas. This self-proclaimed Jeopardy master had no clue, even when I said, “It’s Iggy Pop! Duh!”. He had never heard of him. Anyway, I like listening to Iggy in the mornings, to energize me.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow– Amy Winehouse
Like a lot of people, I started listening to Amy a lot more after she died. Her lyrics seem to have more meaning, or a different meaning, or something. In any case, this is a really pretty song (even if the lyrics aren’t hers).
Naomi– Neutral Milk Hotel
Recently I stumbled across a video featuring Naomi Yang from Damon & Naomi, in which she lip syncs to this song, by my favourite band of all time. Apparently, the song was written about her (according to Pitchfork). It’s probably a gross promotional thing for her new record, but I love background facts about songs, and this was a great one (if it’s true). Anyway, Naomi is from On Avery Island, the precursor to In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, which is NMH’s most famous record. This song is definitely a stand out on Avery, but it was always a little too abstract for me to relate to or be intrigued by. No more! Love.
Old Yellow Bricks– The Arctic Monkeys
On the buses I’ve been traveling on throughout New Zealand, the soundtrack usually consists of playlists by nameless passengers that hook their Ipod up to the bus speakers. Most of it has been either 80’s pop or recent Top 40 hits, which is fine but it gets tiring. However, one playlist featured this song, which I loved in a past life and now love again. Super catchy! Favourite part? “Dorothy was right though.” Truth! There is no place like home.
Disorder– Joy Division
I love love love the guitar riffs and bass lines in most Joy Division songs, and this one is no different. I’ve been humming this tune for about 3 weeks now on and off, and if I’m humming it then I’m probably dancing too. When Ian Curtis (the lead singer) danced, people couldn’t tell if he was dancing or seizing (he was epileptic). I’m pretty certain people wonder the same thing about me when I dance.
Digital Love– Daft Punk
I was never a huge Daft Punk fan, and I still find some of their songs kind of annoying (blasphemy, I know!). I like this one though! I like that they’re kind of enigmatic too. Adds to my fascination with the band, which is almost always a requirement for me to like their songs.
Sweet Home Chicago– Robert Johnson
Sometimes, when hostel rooms are filled to the brim with snoring and/or drunk people, I need to tune out my surrounding with music before I can sleep. This simple tune fits the bill most days, and it’s quite surprising that I haven’t been having bluesy dreams as of late. I don’t dream though, so that could explain it (I know, I know, everyone is supposed to dream. I don’t though, most of the time. I swear! I’m pretty sure my brain just turns off, kind of like a nightly coma).
Thirteen– Big Star
If you haven’t read Rob Sheffield’s “Love is a Mix Tape,” do it. The Rolling Stone writer has a story that even people that don’t love music will enjoy. Be warned: it’s pretty sad in parts. Anyway, the book is about his wife (spoiler alert: she passed away), and he writes about how they met each other when one of them requested this song at a bar, and the other noted that it was a good choice, or something along those lines. Anyway, I read the book a few years ago and hadn’t actually heard this song before, so I downloaded it and ever since then, I’ve loved it. It features prominently on my “chill out time after a long day of adventure” playlist.
Big Jet Plane– Angus & Julia Stone
I first heard this song in a 4×4, which was swerving down the beach along the water line on Fraser Island. Our driver was a 40-something hippie that refused to play anything but Australian music. It’s a nice song, and when I asked other Australians about Australian musicians/bands I should know about, Angus & Julia Stone were mentioned a few times.
Teri Meri– Bodyguard soundtrack
This was basically my theme song during my time in India, and I constantly sang it. The good thing was that seemingly everyone else in India was singing the same song, so it was all good. The Bodyguard was my first Bollywood movie experience, and I loved it. This song is from the movie, and in both the movie and the music video, the actors lip sync to the song, so I don’t actually know the true artists. This is apparently common practice in Bollywood films. The Bodyguard was so popular that almost every single ring tone we heard was a song from the movie, and we heard a lot of ring tones. One memorable moment is a 20-something Indian woman (the guide from our cooking class) teaching me the English translation of the lyrics in the back of a rickshaw squeezing through the frenetic streets of Delhi.
Summer Girls– LFO
People born in the 80’s/early 90’s love 90’s pop songs. They just do. One night in the hills of Northern Thailand, some fellow volunteers at the Elephant Nature Park and I gathered around a table, making small talk and doing as semi-strangers do. Suddenly, one Canadian guy called out to me from across the table, asking if I knew this song. Um, duh! I was born in 1989, and I love me some nostalgia music. This song could have some of the most stupid lyrics of all time, but I still love it. It’s on the beach playlist and it almost seems more legit ever since Rich of “my name is Rich, you look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch” fame died of leukemia. Now, whenever I hear it, I remember that life is short, and you have to enjoy the Chinese food, summers, and Abercrombie and Fitch while you can. Seriously! Anyway, after that Canadian volunteer reminded me of nostalgic 90’s tunes, I started playing songs that brought the whole table together and made us the best of friends (or maybe it was the beer, but still). It may not be the best song of all time, but it brings people together!
Most Beautiful Girl– Flight of the Conchords
This one has two travel-related memories that are not particularly interesting, but this is my website so too bad. 1) At our hostel in Cairns, we spent hours with a Kiwi hostel employee, sorting out our travel plans for Australia and booking various outings. After endless Canadian jokes, we finally had a calendar that mapped out our month down under. To finalize it, we asked him to write something Flight of the Conchords-related on the sheet, and he did. He wrote, “You’re the most beautiful girls in the room.” It would’ve been sweet, except we were the only girls in the room. We all laughed. End scene. 2) We were on the boat called The Waltzing Matilda, sailing the Whitsundays. Our deckhand was a Kiwi named Jimmy, and obviously he put FOTC on the boat sound system. We applauded this choice, which led to a small discussion about Trailer Park Boys vs. FOTC. We admitted that, despite being Canadian, we did not watch Trailer Park Boys. We were tut-tutted, then Cayley and I walked away discussing FOTC episodes. End scene.
Too Little Too Late– Daniel Rossen
A JoJo cover! Remember her? Where is she now? Drug addicted on the streets of Detroit? Who knows! Her legacy is carried on though, by people like Daniel Rossen from Grizzly Bear. Apparently this was a dare and the song was a birthday present for Ed Drost, also from Grizzly Bear. I don’t even care, it’s awesome!
Kick It– Peaches and Iggy Pop
Slightly scandalous, but it still sounds like it could be featured on the Powerpuff Girls soundtrack or something. I expected so much more from this video though. Peaches and Iggy!
Timberwolves at New Jersey– Taking Back Sunday
I read something once (I do that sometimes!) about how our brains will always love music we listened to at a certain point in our life. I think it was age 13-15 or something, and apparently it’s true. I disowned many bands years ago for one reason or another, and TBS was one of them. How I loved them so back in the day! Moshing my little heart out, losing my skater shoes and trying to look tough. For some reason, maybe because I feel old and want to recapture my youth, I’m back into my old songs. This is one! I still love the TBS/Brand New dramz too.
Pepper– Butthole Surfers
Travel memory: cruising in my Aussie friend’s car from Cairns to Port Douglas, eating chips and candies. Scanning through songs, my friend perks up when he hears the intro to this song. “Wait who is this I think I know it.” Well, it’s the Butthole Surfers! “Oh yeah! This is a good one.” Yes, yes it is. It’s pretty much a perfect road trip song, summery and you can sing along without actually singing.
Santa is Fo Real– Dirty Danger Squad
It’s stupid but I love it. Bing Crosby and Judy Garland and The Carpenters and all of those nice Christmas songs are awesome, but sometimes there needs to be some rap songs in the Christmas playlist. Favourite line: all of them plus, “I have a favourite ornament, yet still I’m a thug.” Truth.
Month of September, 2011
The Penalty– Beirut
I listened to this song over and over during my time in France, and it fit the environment perfectly. Light and airy, pretty and dramatic. I sat under the Eiffel Tower at dusk, listened to it and got shivers.
Paris is Burning– St. Vincent
I mainly love the Take Away Show video for this song, I actually prefer it to the studio version. Her voice is effortless and beautiful and the backdrop of Paris just makes the song that much better.
Someone Great– LCD Soundsystem
This song gives me chills every time. It’s my personal graduation song and it makes me sad, but it puts me in a dancing mood at the same time. I listened to this one while stuck on my safari truck in the middle of the Maasai Mara while watching the herds of wildebeest in the distance and it was great.
Dark Horse– Bowerbirds
Another song I love mainly for the Take Away Show video. I’ve wanted to be the girl in this band for years now, never mind the fact I can’t pull off red lipstick and can’t play any instruments.
Samson– Regina Spektor
The driver of my safari truck was a Kenyan named Samson, and literally every time someone said his name (which was often), this song would pop into my head and stay there. So good.
Wicked Games– The Weeknd
I have a terrible memory but one of my most vivid memories is when I was in Grade 5 and that “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover” song was the talk of the elementary school playground. Some friends and I snuck away from the teachers and sang our hearts out, laughing the entire time because we were being so scandalous and saying the b-word. I kind of get the same excitement from hearing this song. Pointless swear words still sound dangerous, sometimes. Never mind the fact that I imagine myself dirty dancing with every listen.
(see above) The same applies to popular songs that reference drugs. This guy’s entire record is dedicated to them, apparently (it’s called ‘Let’s Blaze’). That’s one type of love song I guess. I just hope he didn’t think he was being clever with the intro coughs.
Lights & Music (Moulinex Remix)– Cut Copy
All the Australian accents of my safari companions had me craving an Aussie band. I listened to this one while stuck in the truck too, and I was totally imagining myself dancing in the tall grass outside. Problem was there were lions on the loose, so I gave up on that dream.
Week of August 10, 2011
Two Skies– Scott Spillane
Creature Fear (live 8-piece band version)- Bon Iver
True Love Will Find You In the End (Daniel Johnston cover)- Jeff Mangum
Week of July 11, 2011
Pro Nails (Rusko Remix)– Kid Sister
Moi Je Joue– Brigitte Bardot
Tribulations– LCD Soundsystem
Hard In Da Paint– Waka Flocka Flame
Newtown– The Slits
House of the Rising Sun (cover)– Haley Reinhart
Crimewave– Crystal Castles vs. Health
Week of July 4, 2011
Make Time– Cults
Don’t Shoot– Devo
I Can Change– The Very Best and LCD Soundsystem
Wet Blanket– Metric
Baptism (Story of Isaac Remix)– Crystal Castles
This Place is a Prison– The Postal Service
Good Ol’ Fashion Rump Shaker (The Beastie Boys and Matt & Kim) – The Hood Internet
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2– Neutral Milk Hotel
Postcards from Italy– Beirut
Heroin– The Velvet Underground
Disorder– Joy Division
Say it Ain’t So– Weezer
Bathysphere (Smog cover)– Cat Power
Play Your Part Pt. 1– Girl Talk
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright- Bob Dylan
Glue (The Gerbils cover)– Neutral Milk Hotel
New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down– LCD Soundsystem
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight– The Postal Service
Five Years– David Bowie
FAVORITE ALBUMS (Links to Amazon because you should buy them)