Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 15: Hannah - the Album (Vol. I)

So, I've been working for a while on a musical summary of my personality. I'm expecting this to take a few discs, but the first volume in the series has been completed, so I thought I'd do a little tracklist/explanation post. (Also, I made myself an album cover, because I am that good at procrastination!)

1. I Was Born (A Unicorn) - The Unicorns
We're the unicorns,
We're more than horses!
We're the unicorns, and we're people, too!

In addition to being a super-fun song about unicorns (which are my favorite mythical creature!), I interpret this little ditty as being very symbolic of my place on this planet. I've been criticized throughout my youth and young adulthood for having high expectations of others, as well as myself. Whenever I listen to this song, especially the declaration at the end, all I can think about is being proud of the way I am, no matter how unrealistic it is.

2. King of Spain - The Tallest Man on Earth
Why are you stabbing my illusion?
Just 'cause I stole some eagle's wings?
Because you named me as your lover?
Well, I thought I could be anything.

While I do have serious issues with people imposing limitations on me, I really relate to the energy of this song. It's so... progressive? Emphatic? I can't think of the right adjective to describe it, but every time I listen to those enthusiastically strummed guitar chords, I'm overwhelmed with a sense of triumph -- an almost idealistic joy, which I try to experience as frequently as possible. :)

3. Nothing to Worry About - Peter, Bjorn and John
Why always so negative?
If you have problems, why don't you go solve them?

The percussion in this song is something that I relate to on some strangely emotional plane. It's got an obvious sense of utility, as well as this funky sort of flair -- a quirkiness, an out-of-placeness. Not to mention the fact that I love every sentiment expressed in the lyrics. Be proactive! Be positive! Suffocate the planet with your good will!

4. Neapolitan Bridesmaid - Tarkio
Albert Camus said "living is anguish,"
But don't dare let those bastards carry you down.

Another triumphant tune. Though I don't think this is a prime showcase of Colin Meloy's lyrical ability, I am absolutely in love with the determination of this line. I repeat it to myself all the time, and I think it provides a pretty accurate picture of my personal outlook on life.

5. Daniel - Bat For Lashes
And as my head spun 'round,
my dreams pulled me from the ground --
forever to search for the flame,
for home again...

Oh, boy, I get emotionally attached SO FAST.

6. The Cave - Mumford and Sons
Cause I need freedom now,
and I need to know how to
live my life as it's meant to be.

I'm all about The Purpose of Life, in both a philosophical and religious sense. Anyone who has had a single serious conversation with me can probably attest to this fact. I believe in attempting to be in alignment with everything in the cosmos; in integrating social, spiritual, political and ethical beliefs as we attempt to organize our individuality. This song contains many powerful statements about such stuff.

7. Sun Hands - Local Natives
I'll endure the night
for the promise of light

I think that line pretty much sums up my whole existence. I'm on some weird quest for truth.

8. Hannah - Ray LaMontagne

I can't really put specific lyrics in this section, because they're (obviously) all about someone named Hannah, and to me that seems kind of egoistic. Anyway, the thing I really identify with in this song is the sense of complete faith in and dedication to someone you care about. I am madly in love with everyone I know, and I feel this level of loyalty for everybody. :)

9. Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby - Islands
Sugar, dumpling, muffin, baby --
this world is going crazy.

This is a Hannah-song because of its sound and composition rather than its lyrical content (although I do agree with the quote above). This is the kind of music I hear in my head when I'm taking a test... which I guess is pretty indicative of my personality.

10. Lust for Life - Girls
Oh, I wish I had a boyfriend.
I wish I had a loving man in my life

This song is about being so jealous you're absolutely confused. As someone who gets very attached to people I'm close to, this happens on occasion. I don't like sharing. (Group friendship is okay. But if I don't know you and you're trying to steal from my social life, I will probably be very pissed off.)

11. Elevate Myself - Grandaddy
I don't want to be a part of all the quality that falls apart these days.
I'd rather make an honest sound
and watch it fly around
and then be on my way.

Pretty self-explanatory.

12. Beautiful Morning Light - Fruit Bats
Press your lips upon this hornet's kiss,
and I will blow the tiny spider off your wrist.
You're the only one I wish to lay here with,
in the beautiful morning light.

I am a die-hard transcendentalist, and songs like this fill me with an overwhelming sense of peace.

13. Pot Kettle Black - Wilco
I myself have found
a real rival in myself.

To me, this song is about recognizing your own faults and, rather than focusing on criticizing other people, working on yourself. I try to do that, even though I don't always succeed.

14. Bottle Up and Explode! - Elliott Smith
Bottle up and explode, over and over.
Keep the troublemaker below,
put it away and check out for the day.

Oh my gosh, I am just so in love with this song. I think it hits close to home for me, as an actress, because it can kind of be interpreted as getting Hooked on Feelings... whether they're positive or not. That's not necessarily something that's supported lyrically, but that's what it means to me.

15. Taking Control - Eisley
When we get down,
if we get down,
we'll get up again.

I didn't realize it until just now, but I relate to a lot of songs about conquering something oppressive.

16. O, Valencia! - The Decemberists
But, oh, Valencia,
with your blood still warm on the ground --
Valencia --
And I swear to the stars
I'll burn this whole city down!

In the immortal words of the Format: "I love love. I love being in love, I don't care what it does to me."

17. Judy and the Dream of Horses - Belle and Sebastian
The best looking boys are taken.
The best looking girls are staying inside.
So, Judy, where does that leave you?
Walking the streets from morning to night.

This song means something different to me every time I listen to it. There's nothing definitive I can say, other than that I included it because it's stayed in my Top 10 Favorite Songs since I first heard it, back in 2003.

18. Can't Keep It In - Cat Stevens
Oh, I can't keep it in.
I can't keep it in, I've gotta let it out.
I've got to show the world, the world's got to see --
see all the love, love that's in me.

Cat Stevens is my hero. I've never come across another songwriter with such profound and uplifting lyrics. My ultimate goal in life is to completely embody this song.

19. Congratulations - MGMT
As strange as it seems,
I'd rather dissolve than have you ignore me

This song has so much social, political, and emotional commentary -- it's almost impossible to explain how I feel when I listen to it. I guess, for me personally, it goes back to transcendentalism and connection to nature/the cosmos/your spirit. And, strangely, the sort of synthesized-harp-thing going on at the end really makes all the hair on my arms stand up. It strikes a nerve, energy-wise.