Songs I Love, Part One

I love listening to music. It’s energizing and uplifting, calming and soothing all at once. I crave it constantly, whether I am intensely working out, preparing for an exam, or taking a hot shower. Music keeps me going; music is life.

I have quite diverse taste in music. I enjoy anything and everything. Pop, indie rock, rap, R & B, Brazilian bossa nova, reggaeton — I love it all. As long as my hips sway and my body rocks, I’m into it. I have a lot of favorite songs, and in this post, I want to share a list of tunes that I find catchy, different, and fun.

1. “What’s in Your Head” by Disclosure

Ever heard of a little song called “Latch” featuring R & B crooner Sam Smith? Well, then, you’ve definitely heard of Disclosure. Made up of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, Disclosure is an electronica / house music duo hailing from England. Their 2013 debut album “Settle,” was well-reviewed by critics and well-received by the public, and it remains a staple on my workout playlist. Although Disclosure has released more successful bangers such as “Latch” and “White Noise,” my favorite song of theirs is “What’s in Your Head” (one of their earlier releases). In this catchy tune, vocalist Sinéad Harnett sings repetitive lyrics over a sexy, thumping, danceable beat. I think this one is different from the generic EDM music cluttering the radio with its sophisticated, fashion-show aura. Play this one for a non-obvious party tune.

2. “Body of my Own” and “Famous” by Charli XCX

You definitely know punky British pop star Charlotte Aitchison — also known by her stage name Charli XCX. She duetted with Iggy Azalea on her hit single “Fancy” and found mainstream solo success with “Boom Clap,” written for The Fault in Our Stars. And if you ask me, Charli’s second solo LP, Sucker, is one of the best out there right now. The songs and lyrics are catchy, lighthearted, bratty, and just all-around fun. “Body of my Own” and “Famous” are my two favorite tunes off Sucker – I like the playful lyrics and the lively, guitar-infused production. Give it a listen and dance the night away.

3. “No Beef” (amongst many others) by Steve Aoki

Okay, I have a confession to make: I used to be a total music snob. A few years ago, I considered anything that didn’t feature advanced guitar work “not real music” – especially EDM, or electronic dance music. Well, not anymore. In fact, Steve Aoki is really the one DJ who turned me on to EDM. Steve Aoki grew up in Newport Beach, California and even holds 2 degrees — one in feminist studies and the other in sociology (I like my DJs intellectual). Today, he remains a household name to the EDM world for his energetic beats, animated personality, and wild live shows. He has collaborated with pop-rap starlets like Iggy Azalea, LMFAO, Kid Cudi, and Lil Jon. What I like about Steve Aoki is that each of his songs sounds utterly unique. The beats are original, hip-swaying, and unforgettable. For a first-time listen, choose “Boneless,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” “Earthquakey People,” or “Livin my Life.” Add Aoki to your playlist for a wild party or motivation for a sweaty, intense workout.

4. “It’s Too Late” and “Backslider” by Wild Belle

Do you like your music with a reggae-infused, tropical poolside beat? Well look no further than Wild Belle – a sophisticated band hailing from Chicago, Illinois composed of siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman. I first came across Wild Belle in Nylon magazine, one of my staples, and boy was I hooked! Inspired by trips to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, Wild Belle incorporates reggae, worldly productions with pretty lyrics and the sultry voice of lead singer Natalie Bergman. “It’s Too Late” and “Backslider” are by far their two best singles. So if you’re tired of all this snow, turn up Wild Belle and get whisked away to a white-sand Caribbean beach.

5. “Standing in the Way of Control” by Gossip

I think we should add some variety to this playlist, no? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love indie rock – and Gossip was one of the first bands that got me into that genre of music. I first heard “Standing in the Way of Control” while watching a trailer for the British teen TV show Skins, and I was transfixed. Gossip is an American trio hailing from rural Arkansas but based out of Olympia, Washington. Lead singer Beth Ditto has a most heavenly voice. It’s gospel and soulful, it’s rock, it’s pop – it’s ethereal, it’s everything. She’s a very versatile singer. To me, this song is a chic, sophisticated, and stylish indie rock tune. It suits any fashion show and getting-ready-for-a-night-out playlist.