My music taste has changed a lot over the past few years, but I think what has stayed consistent throughout is a love for songs that speak vulnerable truths, as well as make you want to bob your head and maybe even dance a little. I particularly love songs that are produced with a few quirky ear-candy sounds, so you’ll see that I’ve included a few tracks that have that quality in this list. I hope you enjoy listening and are able to pick out some of the things that make each of these tracks so special to me as an artist.
Overnight – Maggie Rogers
I absolutely LOVE the way Maggie Rogers pairs her folk-inspired lyrics and melodies with a danceable, constant beat and abstract sound clips. This song in particular spoke to me because she tells such a specific story in the verses that the listeners can visualize. I also just really love the production and how it makes me want to get up and dance.
Santiago – Sam Setton
The beginning of this track features Sam’s ex on a voicemail that she left for him; it perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the song. Sam’s voice is so unique and powerful, I was immediately drawn to it when I first heard it. I really love the range of beats at various parts of the track; this, paired with the different vocal production techniques they use, makes the whole song sound like ear candy.
Dancing With Your Ghost – Sasha Sloan
This is one of my favorite songs to cover in a live set. I’ve been a huge fan of Sasha Sloan ever since I first heard her featured on Kygo’s “This Town.” Her writing is always so relatable and intelligently written. I particularly love that this song is so minimally produced; it’s basically just her voice and the piano up until the first chorus. Once the chorus drops, you hear this orchestral build that really lends to the emotional content of the lyrics.
Cellophane – Ella Vos
My jaw dropped when I first heard this song; it is Ella Vos’ take on FKA twigs’ original track. The dark, beat-driven production on Vos’ version just fits her high, airy voice so incredibly well. I could listen to this song all day; this is one of my biggest production inspirations for minimal but dark-sounding songs.
Easy For You – Sleeping Lion
This track begins with a dreamy soundscape that quickly transitions into an emotional, movement-filled song with all these abstract sounds that really draw you in. I am really inspired by the communication between the beat, the vocals, and the ear candy noises in the backdrop of this song; I definitely love jamming out to it while I’m driving!
Easy – Troye Sivan
There is something about this track that just makes me so happy. The strong beat, coupled with Troye’s deep voice becomes magic when the chorus hits. The production is dreamy, but also steady, and easy to listen to. I’ve always been a fan of Troye’s writing and his lyrics that aren’t necessarily concrete in their meaning. They are image-based and metaphorical; I tend to write this way too, so I love hearing it with a more mainstream artist.
21 – Gracie Abrams
This song is one of my favorites. It’s such a mellow, intimate, and beautifully-written track. I love the harmonies and vocal stacks that were included because it really showcases Gracie’s soft yet strong voice. Going forward, as I am producing my own tracks, I definitely want to incorporate the vocals-focused and danceable production that Gracie’s team was able to create in this song.
Feel Bad – Katelyn Tarver
The chorus is my favorite part of this song because the seemingly simple lyrics “I feel bad, feel bad for feeling bad. Cause look what I have, and I even feel guilty for that” perfectly captures how I was feeling when I first heard this song. The rest of the lyrics in this track are just as honest; they really speak to the insecurities I’ve personally felt in my 20s. I am always a fan when artists are able to describe their emotions so well in a song.
Cold Showers – Chelsea Cutler
Chelsea was one of the first female producers to really give me hope in producing my own songs. I watched videos where she broke down how she made a track start to finish and that was a really cool way to introduce me to the production world. I absolutely love her use of vocal chops in her tracks; she is really skilled at using her voice as an instrument.
End (strippped.) – Jeremy Zucker
This song is one of the first songs that brought me back to music after taking a 3-year long hiatus. I just love the vulnerability of the stripped down version of this track. Jeremy’s voice and lyrics really made me feel what he was feeling–and that’s what inspired me the most. Through my music, I always want to share vulnerable parts of my life with those who are listening so that those who feel similarly don’t feel alone.