winter jams

When I was in college and living down south, I had a group of friends. All guys. Just the way I liked it. We did everything together. We cooked together, went to midnight movie premieres, spent days at the beach, threw pool parties, played Wii for hours while pounding Red Bull, went to concerts, and sat in coffeeshops talking late into the night. To this day, they are probably the best group of friends I've ever had. My memories with them are some I will cherish forever, even if they aren't in my life anymore.

They have, however, had had a lasting impact on me in the form of music. They made me mix CDs, gave me tons of music, and introduced me to my favorite bands and musicians back when The Avett Brothers were unheard of everywhere outside eastern North Carolina. They completely transformed my taste in music, almost like they showed me the music I was meant to be listening to. That sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I think of them whenever I make a playlist. I bond with people over music faster than anything else, and that's why I love posting playlists. I do it in memory of my old friends who introduced me to some of my favorite songs and musicians and to share the music that is currently playing a big role in my life. Because music always plays a huge role in my life. Books and music. Take them away from me, and I swear I would stop breathing.

Some of this music is new to me, and some are old favorites. Most of these songs are upbeat and have a solid groove, but some are a little angsty, because I've been down with a case of the January Blues lately. And there's a Relient K song, because they were the wind beneath my wings in high school, and they recently wrote a really catchy song about Ohio that I found myself singing in my head while laying in bed the other night.

Long story still long, if you need some music to perk yourself up in the dead of winter and to fill the void of Christmas music, here you go. I've been listening to this music all day every day lately, and it puts me in a better mood every single time.


  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS. I have been getting tired of my own playlists and have been perusing a lot of Alissa's monthly playlists lately to get my new music fix-- now I'll have yours to listen to, too!!

    Remember how we used a Justin Timberlake concert as an excuse to drive 600 miles to meet you for the first time? And then you did the same, with the Avetts, to come see us? I'D DO IT AGAIN IN A SECOND.

    ALSO, not for nothing, but I think you should start writing a book of all of your stories and the title should definitely be "Long story Still Long". Just saying.

  2. I think every song from my youth reminds me of someone or some event. My old friends totally shaped my music, too. It's funny how that happens. Listening to you list this morning at work! (The Relient K song about OH cracks me up.)

  3. I love new playlists!

    And I'm thrilled to see you included Kaleo on here. We heard them for the first time in Iceland while shopping (that song, actually) and immediately asked the store clerk WHO IS THAT!? And then I was cheap and instead of buying the CD I downloaded the album on Spotify. Hehe.

  4. How timely is this? I just asked for some music recommendations on Instagram and my blog! I'm going to check this playlist out!

  5. I always get so excited when you post playlists. Music is one of the best ways to bond with people. My taste in music has varied in a million different directions thanks to all the people in my life. My friends always used to tease me because my mixed CDs and playlists are so completely all over the place, they could never pin down my favorite kind of music. Nothing has changed. My playlists will go from EDM to Johnny Cash so fast it will give you whiplash.

  6. I was a big Relient K fan in high school. I have always loved music, but I feel like the music I loved during high school is more vivid to me than the music of any other time period during my life. Probably because I spent HOURS every week driving to and from school and various events with friends and we would sing the entire time. My favorites were Ben Folds, Something Corporate, Guster... Just this week my brother texted me, "Do you remember the band Mae from high school?" and immediately I downloaded some songs and the memories, and every lyric, came flooding back. I think this weekend I'm going to go through my old CDs.

  7. We have very similar music taste. I'm notorious for having no idea what my favorite songs are called or who sings them, because I just turn on 1 of my two favorite pandora stations I've created and just let it play and never look back unless I need to downvote something. I rarely even upvote anything unless I've heard it a million times and still really love it. You'd think I'd take the time when I do upvote things to actually ready the song title and artist, but I can't be bothered, ha!

  8. YES. My day/week/life is looking up! Merci


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