SONG OF THE DAY – “ALL ABOUT YOU” by Birdy

June 17, 2014

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I love the young English singer-songwriter, Birdy. I have been following her for several years now and just find her to be an incredible, young (only 18 years old!), unique talent.

Birdy’s real name is Jasmine van den Bogaerde, but she uses the nickname Birdy that was given to her by her parents when she was just a baby. They began calling her Birdy because she used to open her mouth like a baby bird when she was being fed, and the nickname just stuck. Birdy began playing the piano at age 5 and writing her own music at age 7. Her mother is a concert pianist and music just seemed to come naturally.

Birdy was only 15 years old when she released her self-titled, debut album, Birdy, in 2011. The album was mostly covers, but it did include one original song. The album received rave reviews and went to the top of the charts in many countries. Her first single was a cover of Bon Iver‘s “Skinny Love” which was a remarkable interpretation of the song and became an instant hit. I actually find Birdy’s version much more captivating than the original.

Eighteen months later, at the age of 17, Birdy released a new album, Fire Within, with some amazing original songs. The album was just released in North America a few weeks ago on June 3, but was released in the UK in September of 2013. I bought the song on my UK iTunes account back in September and shared this song as my daughter’s Song of the Day back on September 30, 2013. Because the album is brand new, I wanted to share the song with you on this page today because I think it is an incredible song. I absolutely LOVE the lyrics to this song, and the music is mesmerizing. I also have to say that the live rendition on the YouTube video below is fabulous and you shouldn’t miss it!

Birdy has had a pretty amazing year. She received a nomination for British Female Solo Artist at the 2014 Brit Awards, and she just finished touring in the US as the opener for Christina Perri. I was not able to get to one of the shows this time around, but I am hoping to catch her when she returns … and I am certain that she will return! I think there is much more to come from the talented young artist and I look forward to hearing more new music from her. Speaking of new music … she is featured in three songs on the new The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. And speaking of music … that is one amazing soundtrack!

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SONG OF THE DAY – “SONG FOR MY FATHER” by Sarah McLachlan

June 15, 2014

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads out there!

I feel so blessed today as we celebrate Father’s Day. I have the most incredible father, and I have an amazing husband who is a wonderful father to our children. As far as Father’s Day goes … I have a lot to celebrate.

My dad has always been my biggest fan. He always believed that I could be anything I wanted to become and he has supported me in all my crazy endeavors. I have so many memories of my dad that make me smile. Probably one of the most touching memories was on my wedding day. I remember being at the altar and glancing over at my dad (who by the way was sick as a dog!) and seeing him look at me with tears rolling down his face. It was at that moment that I realized how difficult it is to be a father and realize you are letting go of your little girl.

My dad was the father of four girls and we all thought he could do anything. He lived on a pedestal so high that it must have been overwhelming sometimes. Another favorite memory is when we had a puppy die and my sister said, “Don’t worry … dad will fix it when he gets home.” We honestly believed my dad could fix anything and make it all better. My dad can fix just about anything – maybe not a dead dog – but just about everything else. He can build, repair, and create anything.

When I was in charge of house decorations for my sorority during Greek Week one year in college, I told him that what I really wanted to create were two 30-foot wine glasses that could move and clink each other. I just remember my dad looking at me and saying, “30 feet?! Do you know how tall 30 feet is?” Obviously I didn’t, but my dad figured out a way to make two 15-foot wine glasses from wood. I don’t even know how he did it, but he did – and they even moved back and forth to clink! Needless to say, we won the award for best House Decorations that year thanks to my dad. He has always been able to do things like that. Even today, if any of us need something fixed, created or figured out, my dad is the man to call.

My dad turns 80 years old this summer! He still is as sharp as a tack and moves like a man half his age. I admire him so much! My dad taught me about hard work, integrity, and commitment to family. His family means everything to him and has always come first. He is opinionated, smart, funny, sarcastic, genuine, and selfless. He has been such an incredible example to me and I love him more than I could ever express.

My dad with “his Girls” on his 70th Birthday!

Then I have my husband. He is such an amazing father to our two kids. He, like my dad, considers his little family the most important thing in his life and he would do anything for his children. He just beams with pride about both of his kids. He loves to spend time with them and is their biggest fan. I know how lucky my two children are to have him as their father and I feel very lucky to have him be my partner in parenthood. I love him and the great example of love, strength, and support he is for my kids.

My husband as father with his two little children.
My husband as father with his two little children.

This song today is from Sarah McLachlan’s new album, Shine On and is a tribute to her father. The album, which is her seventh full length album, was released just last month in May 2014. Sarah McLachlan is from Canada and made her debut in 1988. She is an incredibly talented artist with a beautifully unique voice and incredible staying power. I love this song and the emotion that is expressed when she sings it.

SONG OF THE DAY – “BETTER MAN” by Paolo Nutini

June 10, 2014

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Today’s song is by an artist that is literally the hottest thing happening in the UK right now. I have heard more about him through other artists posts, tweets, and playlists than pretty much anyone else out there. I also had a friend (here in the US) who suggested that it was time that I dedicate a “Song of the Day” post to the great Paolo Nutini, so Chris this is for you today.

This song is from Paolo Giovani Nutini, a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. I am guessing that when you heard his name you might have assumed he was from Italy, but, although his father is from Italian descent, his mother is Scottish and both parents are third generation Scots. This song is from Paolo Nutini’s third album, called Caustic Loveand it is being hailed as his best and most prolific album yet. After it’s release in April 2014, it became the fasting selling album in the UK this year (as a side note, the album has not yet been released in the US, but he has released the Iron Sky EP). It has been five years since his last (sophomore) album – Sunny Side Up – and he has really come into his own artistically on this album. One reviewer said that he has become “a fully realized musician.” The Independent said,

“Caustic Love may be the best UK R&B album since the 1970s blue-eyed-soul heyday of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker.”

This new album has a lot of classic musical inspirations, but it still sounds very modern and timeless. His vocals are amazing! Surprisingly, Nutini has been a star in the UK since he released his debut album, These Streets, eight years ago at the age of 18. With this album, I believe he will reach that same status here in the US. He is touring now and will be performing here in NYC at Webster Hall this Thursday, June 12.

Paolo Nutini is a very soulful singer and certainly fits in the category of Jazz, Soul, and R&B, along with something uniquely his own. I love this song that I am posting today. It is such an incredibly emotion-packed song with an amazing combination of music, lyrics, and his voice. Awesome! Another song off his new album that is just absolutely fantastic, particularly when you watch him perform it live, is called “Iron Sky.” The song includes a segment from Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech in the 1940 film, The Great Dictator. I have attached the video of his live performance at Abbey Road Studios here; it is definitely worth a watch. I love watching his live performances because he is so passionate and soulful in his delivery, plus … he is a beautiful man. 😉

SONG OF THE DAY – “YOU’RE THE ONE” by Tyrone Wells

May 16, 2014

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Happy Birthday to my husband today!

I just wanted him to know that I am thinking of him today. He is, of course, traveling on his birthday so it is hard to celebrate with him – so I am shouting out a birthday wish on this post. He had a 4am pickup this morning, which was a special birthday treat. Haha! I guess birthday celebrations are less exciting as we get older.

I have known my husband since he was just turning 15 years old and now he is turning … well, maybe we shouldn’t go there. Let’s just suffice it to say that was a LOOONG time ago! (Haha! Just kidding babe, you’re not that old. Well, actually … at least you are younger than me.) This is a fabulous song and just totally makes me think of him when I hear it. Happy Birthday to my One!

This song is by Tyrone Wells, one of my very favorite singer-songwriters. It is always hard to pick a single song to share by some artists when you like all of their music. I had the pleasure of seeing Tyrone in concert on Wednesday night in NYC at City Winery. What an incredible venue and just an amazing performance! I think you can totally tell a real talent when it is just an artist up on stage with his guitar singing. This tour was called “Closer Than Ever” and he made a point to return to his beginnings by performing at small, intimate venues across the country. It was just an incredible evening!

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Tyrone Wells is an amazing storyteller. He tells beautiful stories in his music and he was a great story teller on stage – he was at times hilarious, thoughtful, and poignant. He shared many stories and made a real connection with his audience. His show was sold out on Wednesday night and it sounds like that has been the case around the country. I would definitely see him again and would strongly recommend that if you get a chance to see him, you should take it. I believe there are only four more shows left on this particular tour in the next few days, but if you live in Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, or Chicago, you are in luck!

I love this song I am posting today, but you should definitely check out all of his music. A couple favorites that you might enjoy:  “Running Around in My Dreams” (one of my all time favorite songs), “Sink or Swim,” and “Time Of Our Lives” (the perfect graduation song).

SONG OF THE DAY – “PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME” by Gabrielle Aplin

May 7, 2014

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The last few days I have been able to get outside for a run in close to 60 degree weather. What a joy! I love the sunshine, being in my running shorts, and having to stop halfway thru the run to remove my long sleeve top and tie it around my waist. That is just pure pleasure. 🙂

Another pleasure is listening to today’s artist. I am posting a song by a young artist (21 years old!) from the UK that I have been a fan of for several years. I have followed Gabrielle Aplin‘s music since 2011 and have often had to purchase it from the UK iTunes site since the songs were not available here in the US. I am, therefore, very excited to announce that her album, English Rain, (which was released in the UK this month last year) was finally released here in the US yesterday (May 6, 2014). In addition to the album release yesterday, she also performed live in concert in NYC last night. I am excited to see her extend her reach into the States and I thought it was a perfect day to post another song by her. I posted my favorite song by her – “Home” – on this page back in December.

I find Gabrielle Aplin‘s music just very honest and easy to listen to. I really like this song and I love the video I have attached where you can watch her perform in her element, standing by herself playing the guitar (or the piano) and singing. She received her first guitar from her parents at age 11 and says that she was influenced musically by listening to her parents’ Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen albums. She is an incredibly talented young lady! Her full EP is definitely worth checking out and I am certain we will hear more from this rising young star.

As you know, another favorite musical group of mine from that side of the pond (Ireland) is Hudson Taylor. The brothers, Alfie and Harry, and Gabrielle are great mates who have known each other for over four years when they all moved to London. In fact, I have discovered that Alfie and Gabrielle are dating… so cute! It is fun to watch these young artists develop friendships with each other and support each other in their respective journeys. Let me know what you think about today’s song – I would love to hear from you.

SONG OF THE DAY – “NO ONE’S GONNA LOVE YOU” by Band of Horses

March 15, 2014

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Well, I disappeared for a few days … it was unintentional. It has been one of those weeks, where there seems to be way too many things to deal with at one time. I had a few big projects that had to be finished up this week and I thought that would clear up my schedule immensely, but all it did was create a longer “to do” list because of all the other tasks that were neglected in favor of solely focussing on the “big” project. Ugh!

Does that ever happen to you? I believe that may be why I tend to put off those big projects until the last-minute, because I know they are going to mess with all the other things that need to get done. Anyway, I did attempt to post every day, but my attempts were unsuccessful. I think I may need to get over my idea of perfect and just post something rather than worrying about it being “right” every single day. Maybe that will also help me clear my list. 🙂 I would not describe myself as a perfectionist, but I certainly have some of those tendencies, which are annoying.

So, now that the weekend is here, I am adjusting the schedule again and getting everything back on track. Well … at least for today. 🙂

Today’s song is from the 2007 album by Band of Horses, called Cease To Begin, but the song caught my attention when it was released last month on their live acoustic album – Acoustic at The Ryman (Live). So, although the song is not new, it is new to me and I am just totally taken by it. The raw emotion captured in this song is haunting and completely captivating. The song is absolutely beautiful and Ben Bridwell’s voice is incredible.

The band was formed by Bridwell in 2004 and has five members. Their sound is interesting and unique and has been hailed as Alternative Country, Indie rock, and Southern rock. Two other songs that I really enjoy by them, include: “The General Specific” – a very cool country sound which just makes me want to dance, and “The Great Salt Lake” – obviously due to my Salt Lake roots, haha. Hope you enjoy the music today and have a great weekend!

SONG OF THE DAY – “NEED THE SUN TO BREAK” by James Bay

February 3, 2014

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On the surface, I am guessing that you think I am posting this song today because of the weather … and I guess you could be right. The Super Bowl totally lucked out with the weather yesterday because late last night/early this morning it started to snow heavily and it is still coming down. All the schools around us (including our own) are canceled and we probably have at least 6 inches outside already and it is still snowing. I guess the groundhog didn’t lie!

However, I did not choose this song because of the weather, as fitting as it may be. 🙂 I wanted to share this song because I love the lyrics and I love the way James Bay sings them. He has one of those great raw, rugged voices that just draws you into his music, and that acoustic guitar … I love it! I guess figuratively I can also relate to needing to have the sun break.

James Bay is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter. He is in his early twenties and is another young, emerging artist from the UK. There are so many talented musicians who come from the UK! I have to admit that my fervor for music exploded during my time living in London; there is just something remarkable about the amount of talent and the passion for music that exists there.

Bay comes from a small town called Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England. He has gained a strong fan base and a great reputation from his many live performances.  He released his debut album last summer and, unfortunately for me because I missed it, just did some touring across the US – recently finishing up in Nashville. I will definitely be watching for his return … or maybe I need to make a visit to London instead. 🙂 He does promise not to be gone long.

In reading about James Bay, I found out that his musical heroes include Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor. I would have to say that his music is a great combination of all these artists, along with his own unique twist. No wonder I like him so much, as I love the music of his musical heroes as well. Enjoy James Bay on this #MusicMonday.

SONG OF THE DAY – “WINTER SONG” by The Head And The Heart

December 10, 2013

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Today was a snow day here in Connecticut and most of the northeast. The phone rang at 6:00 am with an alert letting me know that the high school would be closed. My son was thrilled! Ever since his friends in Dallas got two snow days last week, he has been praying for a snow day. He got his wish, even though I don’t think the storm came in quite as big as expected.

As the temperatures have started to plummet (and it is getting cold!), I am realizing that I am not a winter girl. Yes, I grew up in Utah and lived on the ski hill, but as I have gotten older I just prefer the warmth of sunshine. I have lived in a variety of climates – Detroit, Arizona, London, Laguna Beach, CA! – so I definitely think I have learned what I like. I love being outside and sometimes when the winter comes on, I just stare out the window and dread going out in that bitter cold air. Ugh!

But, time to buck up! Like it or not, winter is here and I need to settle in. I will admit, that there are very few things prettier than a new fallen snow … and it certainly is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

The song today is from an Indie-Folk band called The Head And The Heart. They are amazing! I love their harmonies and the unique sound of their music combined with incredible lyrics. I think Charity Rose has one of the most unique voices out there and, when combined with Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell, a remarkable sound is created.

“Winter Song” is from their first, self-titled album. I chose this song because it is just beautiful and seemed perfect for the day, but there are so many good songs to choose from by them and so you may see another Song of the Day from them in the future. The band formed in the summer of 2009 after meeting during several open mic performances at a pub in Seattle, and they formally released their first album in 2011. They just released their sophomore album, Let’s Be Stillin October. They have a very loyal fan base and I think they will attract additional fans as more and more people hear their music. Enjoy!

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SONG OF THE DAY – “WHEN WE’RE TOGETHER” by Joshua Radin

December 2, 2013

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Today’s song is from Joshua Radin’s new album (Wax Wings) which was released earlier this year. He just wrapped up a tour with Matt Nathanson. I have seen him in concert live two times, as a support act for Sara Bareilles and support for Colbie Caillat. He has a very mellow, smooth voice and is just an incredible musician. I really like this new song with it’s uplifting beat and great lyrics.

Joshua Radin got his his big break on TV … literally, his song “Winter” was picked up for the TV series Scrubs in 2004 by the creator of the show. After having several songs appear on the series, fans were requesting more music from the artist. He obliged. 🙂 I think this is a song that you will have on repeat – if not on your music player it will certainly be on repeat in your head. Enjoy!

Can you believe it is December? I have to say that I hate when Thanksgiving falls so late; it just puts the two big holidays right on top of each other. Luckily we got the Christmas tree up yesterday before my daughter returned to school for the last few weeks before finals. Already miss having all of us together.

Are you ready for the holidays? What music do you like listening to during the holidays? Would love to hear from you about your favorites.