Happy New Year, everyone! If you have never happened upon this corner of the Internet, welcome! If you’ve been to these parts before, you’ll notice a few things that are different. You may notice that this site is no longer called Ground Up Ideas (though it is still housed under that domain; I’m working on that.) I have shifted focus a bit for what I want to accomplish with this blog, so I have changed the name to Mind Over Media.
After looking back through some of my most popular posts and what I most enjoy writing about, I’ve noticed a common vein: Media and most of its forms is a big passion of mine. And not just media, but media discernment – how can we (as Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, etc.) impact media as an active consumer? Most media shouldn’t be taken at face value – much of it deserves to be dissected and digested (those are tasty words, aren’t they?) For more information about my vision for this site, please visit the about page.
I’m extremely excited for this new chapter in Ground Up Ideas! As you follow along, I encourage you to like, comment, share, and subscribe if you haven’t already. To keep the conversation going, use the hashtag #MindoverMedia when posting and sharing.
Now as the kids are saying, let’s get this bread!
Towards the end of the year, our favorite streaming platform Spotify (at least, it’s my favorite) does this fun thing where it shows us all about the music we listened to in the past year. It’s super fun and interesting to see exactly how many hours of music you listened to over the past year (for me, it was 29k minutes of headbanging in my car to ABBA, crying to Damien Rice et al, and having background music on at almost every minute of the day.)
Spotify’s approach is definitely a 30,000 foot view of the music you listened to this year, and that’s awesome. But to round out this last year and open up the next, I wanted to pluck out a couple of songs this year that were most meaningful to me, that stuck out the most as each month went by. Because music has a way of writing itself into the narrative of your life. You remember what songs were playing during important moments, whether happy or sad, good or bad. You listen back to what you loved a few years ago and you get whacked in the head with nostalgia. Music is powerful, and it can help you tell your story.
These songs are just a few that colored my overall 2018 experience. I chose these ones in particular because they were new (to me or otherwise) this year and/or helped me cope with what was going on in my life at the time I discovered the song. Music can be serendipitous that way.
All of that to say, let’s look at My 2018 Year in Music – the not-Spotify edition.
January: Last of the Real Ones – Fall Out Boy
I’m here in search of your glory
There’s been a million before me
That ultra kind of love
Ya never walk away from
You’re just the last of the real ones
Fall Out Boy released their newest album in January of last year and your girl jumped on it like Peter Rabbit in the farmer’s garden. January was also the month I got broken up with, so I needed some extra angsty jams to fuel my equal mixture of anger and sadness. January was not an easy way to start out the year (and I was still getting up at 4am for my old job. In the dead of midwest winter.) But Fall Out Boy gave me some zesty jams to sink my teeth into and forget my troubles for awhile.
February: Believer – Imagine Dragons
Second things second
Don’t you tell me all the things that I can be
I’m the one at the sails,
I’m the master of my sea
I was familiar with this song before February of 2018, but it didn’t quite resonate with me until then. It was the month I started my current job and had a bit more stability in my life. I was starting to pick myself up after the slump of January and also trying to figure out this new transition in my life. So I picked the perfect pump-up jam – a song that talks about dusting yourself off, thanking those who have gone on before you, and making them proud.
March: Fool – Fitz and the Tantrums
Oh I don’t hate the player
Oh I sure don’t hate the game
But I’m ’bout to make a movie
And I need you out the frame
I struggled with self confidence at the beginning of this year. I had imposter syndrome walking into my new job, I was trying not to let my past failures follow me around, and I was helping friends through some of their own struggles. I needed a lot of empowering music (especially since it basically snowed every day until April. Did I still drink iced coffee? Absolutely.) But this song reminded me to keep my head up – that Mama didn’t raise no fool.
April: I Appear Missing – Queens of the Stone Age
It’s only falling in love
Because you hit the ground.
I asked someone what their favorite song was this month, because I wanted to know him better. A favorite song can say a lot about a person. I quickly became hooked to the slightly macabre sound of QOTSA and jammed to this daily – it was like a little taste of Halloween in spring. While the premise is morose, it has a clear message of losing yourself to a relationship or situation so much so that you “appear missing.” And that resonated with me. And the lead singer’s vocals are spooky good.
May: Past Lives – BØRNS
I’ll take you way back, countless centuries
Don’t you remember
That you were meant to be my Queen of Hearts
Meant to be my love
The sun finally came out in May, literally and figuratively. I was meeting new people, I turned 22, and it was finally warm outside. That’s when this fun little ditty landed in my life. Garrett Clark Borns has a whimsical, almost feminine voice that floats through his music and makes every day a dance party. The song felt like the sunshine of the month (I especially love the acappella intro leading into the absolute BOP that is the song itself.)
June: Hope I Die – John Paul White
This is not a burn I wanna chase
This should be the last thing that I taste
I will love again, I know I will
But still, but still
I hope I die before I do
Don’t get me wrong – June was not a sad or bad month. It was a bit stressful, though. Work was picking up and my life was busy, and anxiety was rearing its ugly head again. This song just kept coming up on shuffle – not because I was feeling down in the dumps, but because it’s unique. John Paul White, formerly half of the duo The Civil Wars with Joy Williams, blends hope and despair in his lyricism and musicality.
July: Vertigo – Stereo Hideout
I already love her
She already knows
I’m as steady as my vertigo
I was able to hear this group at a concert this summer, and it’s one of the most soothing songs in my rotation. The warm synth bed and pleasant vocals (and a Beethoven riff!) make me think of a color scheme akin to a sunset gradient. I would consider it one of my “happy place” songs – and July was also a stressful month, but it had many warm, pleasing moments.
August: King of the Clouds – Panic! At the Disco
I don’t trust anything, or any one
Below the sun
And I don’t feel anything at all
A couple of things bottomed out in my life in August. The second heartbreak of the year, my best friend moving out, and my anxiety and depression coming out to play in the midst of that. Subsequently, I took a look at Panic!’s new album release from July, and found this one the most relatable. While the song is peppy and sunny, Brendan Urie is singing about how he feels like he’s gained the world but lost everything else – that the world seems fake and empty. And not gonna lie, that’s the space I was in at the end of summer.
September: Lake Effect Kid – Fall Out Boy
Boomerang my head
Back to the city I grew up in
Again and again
Forever a lake effect kid
I saw one of my favorite bands in September (Fall Out Boy, in case you were wondering) and it was probably one of the best experiences of the year. They had just released a new EP a few weeks before and of course they played the title song, “Lake Effect Kid.” I know Patrick Stump was singing about Chicago, but in my head he’s singing about West Michigan, where I was born and raised and still currently reside. It made me think a lot about identity and remembering where I came from. And it’s just a good jam.
October: Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue) – Hozier
When the meaning’s gone
Then there’s clarity
And the reason comes
In the common tongue
In you lovin’ me
October was a fun and also crazy month. I had a big crush (don’t worry, it’s a happy ending,) we were entering into the holiday season at work, and I was trying to feel as white-girl-in-the-fall as possible. It mostly worked. And Hozier had recently blessed us all with a tasty little EP that would play in my car every day on my way to and from work – mostly this song. This year was a year of snapping-and-clapping songs for me (as you’ll notice,) and this one is a snapper AND a clapper.
November: All Fired Up – Matt Corby
Cuz when you fall, I fall
And when you break, I break
I wanna know what gets you all fired up
I had this song on rotation ever since I discovered it in late September, but I’d say it infected me the most in November – a warm ballad for a cold pre-winter month. Corby has some of the best vocals in the industry (in my humble opinion) and it lends itself perfectly to the chill backbeats. The perfect slow-dance song, if you know what I mean. (Read: I’d get married to this song.)
December – Drive it Like You Stole It – from Sing Street
This is your life,
You can go anywhere
You gotta grab the wheel and own it
You gotta put the pedal down
And drive it like you stole it
At the end of every year, I like to think of a motto to bring into the next year. For the past two years, it’s been Hamilton lyrics (because that’s a heckin’ inspirational show.) This year I was wracking my brain for what to do next, when it hit me – why not one of my favorite feel-good jams from the year? From the lovely little Irish film Sing Street, this rocking tune has a little bit of everything and the ultimate message to grab your life by the horns – or the wheel.
…Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stone Age
Who Are You, Really? – Mikky Ekko
Hurricane – Panic! At the Disco
I Know How to Speak – Manchester Orchestra
Everytime I’m Ready to Hug – Ra Ra Riot
Movement – Hozier
Colour Me In – Damien Rice
Mistakes – Lake Street Dive
HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T – Fall Out Boy
Ghost Magnetic – David Cook
Voulez-Vous – ABBA
Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
While you’re here, why not check out my playlist, which includes all these songs and more? Have I picqued your interest? Check it out.