Song titles are links to the songs on YouTube.

1.) You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne


I’ve really been digging Ray LaMontagne lately, even if I can never say his last name right. He’s got a raspy, soulful voice that reminds me of the music of singer-songwriters from the ’60s and ’70s. This is one of his more upbeat tracks.

2.) December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons


This song has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid (of course, back then I had no idea what the gender of the high-voiced lead singer could be). Maybe it’s odd to put a song about a December evening on a summer playlist, but it’s such a peppy song, so I don’t care.

3.) Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon


Yeah, this song seems pretty popular lately, I’ve noticed. I just really love the chorus: “Yea-hea! This sex is on fiy-ah!”

4.) Cello Song – Nick Drake


I downloaded a bunch of Nick Drake lately, and it was hard to pick just two songs of his that I like. He wrote some very, very beautiful music; he’s got a unique, smooth voice, and the guitar playing is amazing.

5.) Fly – Nick Drake

Ditto for above.

6.) Marry Me – St. Vincent


Such a catchy song, it’s been in my head all day. It’s got a bit of a story to it: the lead singer has a man named John who she can always depend on to be her lover when she needs him. She worries that one day he won’t be there, so she’d like him to marry her so that she can always have him when she needs him. It’s not a sad song, though (although maybe the John she’s singing to would disagree).

7.) Lisztomania – Phoenix


This is just a really fun song from Phoenix, who are from France (oui oui). I have no idea what it’s about, honestly, but it makes me happy.  

8.) The Plot – White Rabbits


A great rock song with a wee bit of pop thrown into the mix.

9.) 1901 – Phoenix

10.) Percussion Gun – White Rabbits

As the title suggests, there is a great drum part here.

11.) If You Want to Sing Out – Cat Stevens


An inspirational song from an artist that I need to listen more to. This one’s from his brilliant soundtrack to the equally brilliant film, “Harold and Maude.”

12.) She Runs Away – Duncan Sheik


Most probably know Duncan Sheik as a “one hit wonder” for his song “Barely Breathing,” from the ’90s, and more recently, he composed the music for the wonderful, award-winning Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening.” I really love the music to that show, and the handful of his songs that I’ve heard. So, I was really excited when I found his debut album for $1 at Half-Price Books the other day. I was even more excited to find that it’s pretty good. This was my favorite song, and also the first song on the album.