Top tracks throughout time


Photo via Flickr (Dylan Pech) under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Lead guitarist of The Head and The Heart. They are responsible for the production of “Down in the Valley,” which is one of the songs in my top five.

I consider music to be such a vulnerable thing to a person just because someone’s music style can just say a lot. When you finally get down to what a person actually likes, you can know so much. 

I, for example, like rap and R&B, but I still listen to more of an “alternative” genre. 

It all comes down to how your favorite type of music describes you…”

— Staff Writer Kathleen Stephens

Music can help you decide how you may feel about a person. Hanging out with someone who only listens to very slow and melancholy music, opera and instrumental, or straight heavy metal may just not be your type. 

People can also blend together their music with their friends. It all comes down to how your favorite type of music describes you, and that is why I’m putting a little piece of me out to the world by sharing my top five favorite songs. 

“All I Want

“All I Want” is by the British band Kodaline, best known for their indie rock music that tends to be more melancholy. This song came out in 2012 and currently has over 100 million streams on part one of two music videos on Youtube made for it, while part two has over 46 million.

This song has been among my favorites since I was about 13. Even if I wasn’t feeling all the emotions clearly being put out through it, I still could see how beautiful it was. 

“All I Want” begins with a light guitar and low whistling, then a melodic tune paired with the vocals makes the beginning light and a little depressing. Once the chorus hits, a tambourine and deeper guitar strums lighten the mood, but still keep the song calm and slow. After the chorus, it starts to become more fast-paced but without straying too far away from the tune. Somehow they made it all perfectly flow together. 

The music videos are another thing that makes “All I Want” touch my heart. Both of the music videos made me cry the first time I saw them. It is a cute love story about how the boy who never gets the girl finally gets the girl.

“American Pie” 

The American classic by Don McLean released in 1971 also has a spot up here, for completely different reasons than the previous song. 

It is no lie that your parents have just a little influence on your music choices, and this is the one song I let my parents pass on to me.”

— Staff Writer Kathleen Stephens

It is no lie that your parents have just a little influence on your music choices, and this is the one song I let my parents pass on to me. I vividly remember listening to “American Pie” in the car with my dad, brother, and sister. The song so clearly reminds me of my childhood. 

“American Pie” is still perfect in every other way. It is in reference to the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson, and Ritchie Valens. In the chorus, he calls it “the day the music died” which then went on to be the name everyone called it because of McLean. 

The song is over eight minutes, which is more than twice the length of most songs today. Despite its length it still is a perfectly crafted musical masterpiece that I hope is listened to for centuries. Honestly, it has never gotten old for me and it is the only song my parents ever played when I was little.

“Call If You Need Me

“Call If You Need Me” completely hits home for me. Australian singer Vance Joy is most known for his hit song “Riptide,” which released in 2013. Joy released his latest album, “Nation of Two,” in early 2018 and “Call If You Need Me” is the first track on it. 

Annika Pepper
These songs have been out for years, and I’m still listening to them which should mean something. Out of every song I’ve ever heard, I boiled it down to five songs that really hit home for me.

This song reminds me of a love letter, like he was writing to some girl he once loved. To me, I think she sometimes calls him and says she’s coming back, but never does and he will always answer the call because he wants her to come back. He will always be there when she needs him, even for a small phone call.

Joy released this completely heartbreaking album second semester of my freshman year and I remember when I first heard “Like Gold,” which was released prior to the whole album. I was in the car, and it was raining. This was the start of my obsession with Joy. I then began searching for more Vance Joy music when the album released. I remember listening to it in order from start to finish at 1 a.m. This album, “Nation of Two,” was about all I listened to from February until April. 

This particular song held a place in my heart because of the lyric, “you can’t get struck by lightning if you’re not dancing in the rain” and every time I played this song on the way to school with my dad, immediately after that lyric he would say “that’s not true.” This saying just stuck and I continued to listen to this song long after I had forgotten the album and think of the special memory “Call If You Need Me” made for me with my dad. 

“Down in the Valley

The Head and The Heart have been a favorite band of mine for a couple of years, but their songs never particularly made me feel any strong emotions until I heard this one. “Down in the Valley” was released in 2011, and even though I discovered it in the last year, it still is not outdated. 

[T]he singer is traveling all over to find himself.”

— Staff Writer Kathleen Stephens

The song is about feeling lost, and in it, the singer is traveling all over to find himself. At the beginning of “Down in the Valley,” he feels helpless and like he has no purpose. In the end, that’s still true, but the journey to find himself was worth it. 

“Down in the Valley” completely gives me chills, and until now I didn’t know the whole meaning of finding yourself, but every time I hear it the hairs on my arms stand up. It has a certain tune and the song alone is unique from most of the other music I listen to. I think it is on my top five because listening to it just makes me genuinely feel so happy. 

Since it is an eight-year-old song and apart of the alternative folk genre, many would expect for it to get outdated after a couple of years, but “Down in the Valley” is an exception.

“Dancing After Death” 

This song is by Matt Maeson who is a more unknown artist, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t as good. Maeson hasn’t been in the music industry that long considering his first single was released in 2017, and his first album was released this year. He has a very unique sound and all of his songs exceed expectations for a brand new artist.

[Music] will forever affect my life in a positive way and help bring people in my life together. ”

— Staff Writer Kathleen Stephens

“Dancing After Death” is one of the better songs on his album. It is the saddest song on the entire album, but it isn’t sad in the pace of the song but the lyrics. It isn’t really slowed down like most sadder songs but it fluctuates through the pace and the lyrics completely shift the mood into something that is not happy. 

“Dancing After Death” earned a place in my top five because it is part of one of my most favorite memories involving music. All of my life I’ve wanted friends I am comfortable enough to be able to belch lyrics with, and over the summer I remember having this moment to this song. I hate my voice passionately and it isn’t a big insecurity because I never sing, but I don’t sing for a reason. Having friends I love enough to be able to sing music with and have them know unique songs that are unknown to most, that really is a powerful friendship to me. 

Music has so many elements to it, and everyone has things about it they like and things they don’t. It will forever affect my life in a positive way and help bring people in my life together. 

I just shared the music that makes me feel good or sad, but it brings my emotions out. By sharing my top five favorite songs, I hope others make a list for themselves and remember why it’s important to them.