The first month of my summer was both weird and wonderful; I hope the rest of my summer is even more so. I learned quite a bit about the kind of art that’s special to me, so you’ll see some of that represented here.
- NF’s “Therapy Session” album. Yes, I mentioned him last month; yes, I’m still 100% obsessed. Every track is truly so good and so powerful. I am such a big fan of his. A few current favorites from the album are “Real”, “I Can Feel It”, “Wish You Wouldn’t”, and “Got You On My Mind.”
- I’ve also been listening to NF’s “Mansion” album. I was going to list my favorites from it and had actually started to, but I genuinely was naming nearly every song on the album. It is just so good. Although I will say, if you only listen to one song from this album, make it the title track. I love all the others, but this one… we need it. [P.S., I might see him live in the fall and am so giddy about it!]
- “Fireflies” and “Verge” (ft. Aloe Blacc) by Owl City. Nostalgia and just fun (I have to dance to “Verge” every single time). I can’t hate on Owl City.
- Louisa Wendorff’s cover/mashup of “Never Forget You” and “Close,” featuring Anthem Lights. “Hey Tessa when are you gonna stop talking about Louisa–” NEVER! She is a huge inspiration to me. Beautiful harmonies on this, in which she created a cohesive story from the songs like she always does because she’s the queen of mashups.
- Speaking of Anthem Lights, their Drake medley is fantastic. I’m not a Drake fan but I really enjoyed this.
- “All Of God’s Children” by Jon Foreman. The lyrics are so, so important.
- “Waking Up Again” by Emily Hearn. Sweeping, homey, uplifting; the kind of music I can nestle into.
- “Bluebird” by Esme Patterson. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but the sound itself of this song is encouraging to me; it’s just a kind and welcoming melody that picks me up. Lyrically lovely, too.
- “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato. I don’t normally listen to Demi, but when I heard this song I was stunned by it. Her vocals are crazy, the piano is haunting, and the emotion is so transparent. I’m working on learning the piano!
- “You Know It” by Colony House. My favorite band released a new single, from their upcoming new album, so of course I’m going to share it! They’re putting out some 1960s rock vibes, and I’m into it.
If you want a playlist with all this music, I have one for you! It features all my 2016 Soul Food picks so far, so this month’s are near the bottom.
- The music video to “I Luv Rap Music” by dc Talk. It’s horrible in the most wonderful way. Friends might say it captures my essence (hahaha!).
- Zootopia. Both a cute film with clever design and writing, and an important film sharing that we don’t need to fear others and treat them differently; we’re all the same inside. I love what Disney has been telling our kids lately.
- Mike Donehey’s new video journal. I love this. I’ve always been bothered by Christian culture telling me I have to be a leader; the fact that Jesus asks for followers brings such comfort.
- Sleeping Beauty. Its art and music are such consistent sources of wonder for me; I watch it when I need to get into an inspired headspace.
- Robin Hood. I fall into a classic Disney animation mood sometimes. This lovely film captures fairytale wonder and the influence of 1970s art/music, which happen to be two things I really enjoy.
- “The Inspiration Shake” on New Age Creators. A practical yet poetic and cute look at some simple self care for creatives.
- “Food Network Star.” Because I’m a nerd and the contestants are interesting. Also Rhett and Link were guest judges once and it was incredible.
- Lecrae’s TEDtalk, “Heroes and Villains: Is Hip-Hop A Cancer or A Cure?” I think this history of hip-hop and the culture it was born from is so, so important. He articulated it excellently.
- “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. I have a slight rant about this novel. You can read it on my Goodreads if you’d like.
- “Rejoice and Be Sad” by Shannan Martin. I just found comfort in this reminder that sadness is an emotion we have to feel and isn’t an indicator of how well we’re doing in life.
- “About Those ’20 Minutes of Action:’ 20 Things We’d Better Tell Our Sons Right Now About Being Real Men” by Ann Voskamp. The truth living in this post is powerful and vital.
- “Anne of Avonlea” by L.M. Montgomery. My first experience with this series is going so well; every character is such a delight, and Anne teaches me about myself.
- The Bible Students Say Twitter account. An anonymous Biblical Studies professor tweets cringey lines from students’ papers, and it’s gold. And sometimes terrifying.
- “Reclaiming ‘That Girl'” on Dear Woman. “‘That girl’ has become the poster child for too much. Too emotional, too loud, too needy, too picky. And I am convinced it has to stop. Every time we negatively refer to ‘that girl,’ there is an actual girl we are condemning.”