I’ve really enjoyed doing this the last two years, and seeing as how I haven’t written anything since May (excluding the Bucket List), I figured I had to continue this post. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep as detailed notes (where/how I heard it) as years before, so you’re gunna have to bare with me! As a reminder, none of these songs were released in 2021, but they are all new to me- meaning I heard them for the first time ever within the past 12 months. There’s a bunch of “new” music that I heard in 2021, and I’ll highlight a few of those below everything else. Hope you enjoy
Julia – Mt. Joy (2018)
I saw my cousin Grace listening to this on Spotify and one thing about me is that I will always listen to a song with a persons name as the title. In fact, I have a playlist on Spotify simply titled ‘Names’ that range from “Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan to “Emily” by Frank Sinatra to “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac. Plus, my girlfriends name is Julia so I especially was hoping this would be a good song, and it was! Really love it.
Last year I had one country song, and it was a stretch for the genre. This year I make up for that in a big way.
Honky Tonk Highway – Luke Combs (2017)
Luke Combs is currently my favorite country artist. I have not heard a bad song by him so when I took a deep dive into his collection and found “Honky Tonk Highway”, I couldn’t stop listening to it. Such a fun song.
Song for Another Time – Old Dominion (2016)
I heard “Song for Another Time” all over the radio this year, so much that I thought it was just a single from their 2021 album, but it was not. I think it’s kinda cool how this song describes a relationship through other song titles.
Can’t Get Away from a Good Time – Logan Mize (2015)
Somebody to Thank – Logan Mize (2017)
I was introduced to Logan Mize early this year and listened to a bunch of his stuff. He has a TON of good tunes, and I have still yet to hear any on the radio. These two above are my favorite. I’d love to see Logan go on a big tour, but apparently he doesn’t do that. His “Tour Dates” this year are three shows in Kansas and one in Tennessee… Allegedly he has played at Loretta’s in Boston a few times a couple years ago but I heard that he doesn’t want to get too big and be away from his family, but idk why you wouldn’t want to promote your own music nationally. So Log, if you’re reading this, I’d get a good sized group to see you at House of Blues in Boston next summer!
Because You Love Me – Jo Dee Messina (1999)
The Pride of Holliston, MA! I think most people know her from her 1996 hit “Heads Carolina, Tails California”, but this song is damn good. Her voice is perfect for the love story she sings about. I really wish the country power ballads of the 90s made a comeback.
Blessed – Thomas Rhett (2019)
Thomas Rhett has a good handful of just plain, good country songs. I never thought there was much of a frill to him though. Then I heard this on a Country Love playlist and he hit a note I didn’t think he had in him (at 2:52) and was like okay this dude can sang!
You Can Have the Crown – Sturgill Simpson (2013)
I never got into Sturgill Simpson until I heard Post Malone cover this song. I don’t even really like Post, but I respect the hell out of almost any cover he does. So I checked out a couple SS songs and loved this, “Long White Line” (2014) and “Turtles All the Way Down” (2014).
Make Your Move – Anton Powers, Redondo (2019)
How fun is this one?? My cousin Andrew played this one night while we were hanging out (because we couldn’t go anywhere – thanks covid!) It samples “Dare Me” by the Pointer Sisters and is a near perfect song to let the party know you’re turning it up a notch.
You Know How to Love Me – Robin S. (1997)
The original was released in 1979 by Phyllis Hyman and that was new to me too. You probably know Robin S.’ debut single “Show Me Love” which is an absolute classic. I wish I had notes of where I heard this, but I don’t. However, I want to say it (or the original) was used in a Yung Bae song.
Heavy, California – Jungle (2018)
My cousin Ryan introduced me to Jungle this year saying he felt like I’d like it. And as always, he wasn’t wrong. This song, along with “Casio” (2018) and “Keep Moving” (2021) were some of my favorites. They have a little futuristic Bee Gees sound to them.
Dancing in the Moonlight – Jubel, NEIMY, Tiesto (2020)
Okay, so I kind of got into EDM in 2021. At least that’s what I think most of these songs are. I never cared for it before, but I can’t deny a song that makes me move and makes me feel good. I don’t typically like “updated” EDM songs of old songs that were just as good or better. But I have found myself enjoying some more than before, this being one of those examples. I love the original “Dancing in the Moonlight” and would never play the Tiesto version at a cookout, but I didn’t hate this, so here it is. I do feel strongly that I could come up with a good dozen songs that would do well with an EDM-style remix.
Dished – Purple Disco Machine (2018)
Purple Disco Machine has some funky, fun-ass songs. They kind of just seem to remix other songs though like “Praise You” and “Rain On Me”, and while this song can be considered very repetitive (annoying to some), I couldn’t help myself from liking it.
Head & Heart – Joel Corry, MNEK (2020)
Couldn’t tell ya where I first heard this, but it’s catchy as hell. I just can’t turn away from a song that is as fun as this. Pretty cool music video too.
Someone Like You – Van Morrison (1987)
It’s very possible I’ve heard this song before, as I consider myself a fairly big Van Morrison song, but for the life of me, I can’t remember where or when. Apparently it furnished the framework for “Have I Told You Lately?” which is one of my all time favorites. They are both undeniably beautiful love songs.
Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk (1999)
Heard this and immediately knew it was right up my alley. Fun fact, it was written by Randy Newman and originally sung by Bonnie Raitt. This is the most popular version as it was released as a single from the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack. By the way- I watched a couple eps of DC, and 1. the music is fire and 2. did you know it’s supposed to take place down the Cape?? Who wants to binge the show with me?
I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It) – Instant Funk (1979)
Is Instant Funk the most appropriately named band in the history of music? After hearing this song, how could you say otherwise??
The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys (1985)
My aunt Ginny got married this year and asked if my cousin and I would DJ the party. Quickest “yes” I’ve ever given. Literally a dream of mine, so I took the job very seriously and together, we cultivated the most perfect playlist for her, her wife, their friends and family. Of the handful of “must-plays” Ginny gave us, was this song. I believe it was mostly as a remembrance to a friend of theirs who passed earlier in the year. But from the first time listening, I must have listened ten more times. I knew The Waterboys from “Fisherman’s Blues” and “How Long Will I Love You”, but this might seriously have topped both of them. Really love it musically and lyrically.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2!