If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that music is a big part of my life, despite the fact that I’m probably tone-deaf and can’t play any instruments. I love listening to music pretty much anytime, and it’s one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.
Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my Freshman Year Soundtrack, where I just had a list of songs that inspired me, motivated me, or I just listened to them a lot over the course of the school year. I thought I’d do something similar again at the close of my second year of college, since my music tastes are always changing and new songs are always being released.
If you’d like, you can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading to see my list and why I picked them!
1) “Hero Of Our Time” – Nathan Sharp
I’ve been following Nathan Sharp (AKA NateWantsToBattle) for a while, but I really got into his music over the past few months. Even though “Hero Of Our Time” is really based on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it reminded me a lot of Breath of the Wild as well (which is a game I’ve been playing a lot over the past school year). The music is upbeat, and as I’ve said in the past, the good vs. evil dynamic of the Zelda series has always encouraged me, and this song reminds me of that.
2) “Virus” – Memphis May Fire
I thought “Virus” was a great follow-up to This Light I Hold, and while I started listening to it because it sounded awesome, it later became more to me than that. The line about “You’re just a virus / and I didn’t come here to die,” sounds really defiant, like “Ha, you can’t take me down,” and I like that attitude a lot. There were definitely some days where this was a good motivator.
3) “Forever” Cover – Lacey Sturm
This worship song is originally by Kari Jobe, but Lacey Sturm has been performing it live recently as well. I don’t typically like most modern worship songs (something I will write about someday, perhaps…), but I really love the way these lyrics are written, and I love the way Lacey sings them. Watching her perform this live at Uprise Fest in 2017 was a really powerful experience, and I still get chills when I listen to it again.
4) “Holding Out” – Eleventyseven
I was really excited when Eleventyseven announced they were going to be making a new album way back in 2016, and so when the new music finally started getting released this year, I was even more excited. “Holding Out” became one of my favorites (next to “Hourglass”), partly because it was catchy and upbeat, but also because I think it embodies a lot of the “casual stress” attitude of people around my age. Even though it makes fun of the idea of “staying relevant,” I did find it very relatable.
5) “Raining Down” – Demon Hunter
I don’t listen to Demon Hunter much, but I love the way this song sounds. It’s less about the lyrics and more about how the instruments and vocals all fit together, and it has a really strong, positive (but not peppy) feeling to it. I’m sure there’s a technical explanation for why it sounds that way, but regardless, this is one that I’ve enjoyed listening to a lot.
6) “Meaningless Names” – Phinehas
I bought Phinehas’s Dark Flag album on a whim during Solid State’s Black Friday sale, and I fell in love with the album as a whole. It’s definitely darker in terms of theme (link Alt Press), but the style is absolutely amazing. The second to last song on the record is “Meaningless Names,” and although it starts off rather depressing, the chorus features the line, “Hold fast to the hope of another day.” I know the song is about something much worse than a tough semester at college or stress in your personal life, but I latched onto those lyrics, and they’ve encouraged me a lot.
7) “Hanging On By A Thread” – The Letter Black
I used to listen to The Letter Black when I first became interested in this genre of music, and since then I’d kinda lost track of them. I don’t really know what got me to start listening to them again, but their music still amazes me. There isn’t really any deep reason why I picked this song, I just remember listening to it a lot over the past few months.
8) “Stronger” – Spoken
Spoken isn’t a band I knew much about until recently, but “Stronger” is an amazing song. I don’t really know how to describe it, but there’s something about it that feels like someone reaching out their hand to help you – at least, to me it does.
9) “Not Dead Yet” – Ledger
Jen Ledger, drummer for Skillet, came out of nowhere with her new solo EP, but it’s definitely an awesome one. I’m sure you’ve already noticed a bit of a recurring theme with these songs, but “Not Dead Yet” has a really victorious and powerful feeling to it, both in terms of the lyrics and the music itself. Plus, Jen has an amazing voice, so there really wasn’t anything to dislike here.
10) “Saints and Sinners” – Greely Estates
Greely Estates wasn’t exactly my favorite band for a while, but then I heard “Saints and Sinners” on RadioU and it caught my attention. I heard it on the way to church, and I remember it being a time where I was kinda stressed, just because of the different projects and tasks I had going on. The lyrics in the chorus were really comforting at the time, and it became my go-to song at the gym that week.
11) “Radical” – Disciple
I fell in love with “Radical” again when I saw Disciple at City Rock Fest a few weeks ago, and I’ve been listening to it more ever since. It’s a great call to action, and overall, it just sounds epic. Surprisingly, the softer bridge of the song fits with it well, sounding almost like a prayer in a way. I’ve also been catching up on Disciple’s “Bus Banter” podcast lately, and so I’ve been thinking about their music a lot too.
12) “Homemade Valentine” – Children 18:3
This is a song I’ve just been listening to recently. I like Children 18:3’s punk rock style, and this song in particular gives off a nice, summer-y vibe to me. It’s the kind of song that makes me think of driving down a highway with the windows rolled down and the music turned up loud, and that’s definitely the kind of mood I was in during the last few weeks of school.