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What we’re listening to now, as told by Lauren

-Lauren Brown, Roots N Blues Intern

Trying to reduce my entire Spotify library into one representative playlist was, no doubt, harder than picking a major. I try to be pretty open musically, but if you listen to the playlist you can definitely hear my preferences shine though.

The transition from Spring into Summer has definitely made an impact on what I’m listening to, and I felt that these 30 songs best represent my current, as well as a few of my all-time, favorites. My playlist consists of more upbeat and freeing tracks; it varies from classic rock legends like Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones to more soulful singers like Leon Bridges. Just when you think you got it figured out, it takes a turn and heads into the psychedelic realm with artists like Tame Impala and Temples.

Rock makes me feel very empowered; there’s just something so enchanting about the guitar, and that’s why a good portion of the songs I chose have a pretty prevalent guitar component. Artists like my current favorite Jack White and Led Zeppelin perfectly capture the sort of mesmerizing idea that I’m talking about. Meanwhile, psychedelic rock is definitely my favorite sub-genre, so it should come as no surprise that artists like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Temples made the list.

I also have a tendency to get attached to artists once I’ve seen them live, which made it just that much harder to pick my favorite songs from the list. By picking favorites, I honestly feel like I’m leaving a loved one behind — as ridiculous as that sounds. However, I managed to weed out the rest and picked the following three as my favorite.

“Fell in Love with a Girl” – The White Stripes

I really and truly listen to this song every single day, sometimes even on repeat. This one just makes makes me feel so carefree, like I need to be in the middle of a pit somewhere — By the way, there is nowhere in the world I would rather be than in the middle of a rowdy pit, any day of the week. I love pretty much everything The White Stripes created, and I am a huge supporter of Jack White’s solo projects as well. Specifically though, this track really resonates with me. Upon first listen, the garage-rock sound mixed with the upbeat tempo will get you excited, so much so that you may forget that the song is tackling a heavy subject: forbidden love.  Before you know it, you’ll be dancing around and singing about loving someone you shouldn’t. When White sings, “She turns and says, ‘Are you alright?’ I said I must be fine ‘cause my heart’s still beating,” you’re reminded that everything will be okay as you continue to dance around like an idiot. Oh, that’s just me? Well dance party of 1 then, please.

“Lucidity” – Tame Impala

This is another one of those few songs that makes me feel like I need to be jumping around in the middle of a pit. See a theme here? Tame Impala puts on some of the best shows I have ever seen. Although I definitely favor the grittier sound of their older albums like Lonerism and Innerspeaker, I am a die-hard fan and will listen to pretty much anything the band releases. I have two amazing and equally-crazed friends that travel to go see Tame Impala with me whenever possible; we’ve journeying from three different states to see shows anywhere from Tennessee to Colorado. There are so many layers to each of their tracks, and the depth in their songs is best experienced live. I really can’t put the experience into words because my mouth is usually hanging open for the entire show. You’ll definitely have to see it for yourself.  

“Hey Negrita” – the Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones were my first real experience with rock. Growing up, my grandpa kept a copy of the Sticky Fingers album in his car, and he always used to play it while we drove around. I think in my angsty teen years I grew to be attracted to the rebellious role they played within rock ‘n’ roll. Not only are they iconic to the entire world, but they’ve been a staple throughout the evolution of my music taste. The band kicked off their “Unfiltered” tour last year, and you better believe I saved all of my money to make it to a show. I saw them in October in Stockholm, and it felt like a religious experience — to be able to see the Rolling Stones?! You’re kidding me. it still seems like a dream. I would have probably sold my left leg if I weren’t able to get a ticket. My current favorite song from the band tends to change, but at the moment “Hey Negrita” is it. The guitar flutter beginning around 13 seconds in is what initially drew me into the track, as well at the classic Stones sound and playful lyrics. My other favorites include: “Tumbling Dice,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and, of course, “Gimme Shelter.”

These are just three of the incredible tracks that populate my playlist though. So if you liked these three, be sure to check out the rest below.

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