Welcome back to my weekly column “What I’ve Been Listening To,” where I publish a post every Sunday with my 5×5 collage of most-listened releases (which is sourced by my Last.fm account and made into a collage via this site). I do not intend these to be lengthy write-ups, but I like to include notes on my listening habits, discoveries, etc.
- The weekly column is finally returning after a wild season of life that included, as hinted by the title, me getting married! Alongside planning a wedding, 2021 contained four of the busiest consecutive months of work I’ve ever experienced at my day-job, which overtook the time and energy I needed to keep up with the weekly columns I had committed to. That said, I love writing the “What I’m Listening To” posts and should easily be able to maintain these moving forward, whereas the “Friday Awards” weekly column might become one that I only write when I have the time and passion for it.
- What’s fun about this “Honeymoon Edition” in particular is that everything on this list is something that my wife, Paige, and I actually listened to together, with no exceptions. Whether it happened while making one of three lengthy road trips, blasting it from a phone while unpacking and organizing the apartment, or sharing earbuds while standing in line for go-karts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, these are the albums and songs that made up our week of nonstop time we got to spend together in between getting married and then returning to work.
- Something to note about the source of these collages, Last.fm, is that a square will appear black if the album doesn’t exist in the website’s database. This is the case of two important entries above. The first is The Apricity EP by Kevin Morris, a good friend of ours who just released his debut novel, with Apricity functioning as a collection of songs that coincide with the novel. I highly recommend checking out the music or the stories, which are called The Many Phases of Lily Andrews and can be found on Amazon.
- The second black entry is my newest song, “The Things We Can’t Plan,” which released the day before the wedding so that Paige and I could use it as our first dance song during the reception. The single includes an instrumental version, which we also used as Paige’s processional song during the ceremony. In both instances, the usage of the song was her idea — she’s quite partial to it, as I had originally written the song and performed it for her the night that I proposed to her. I would love for everyone to give it a listen and take part in the memories of our special day with us through this song.
- Some of our all-time favorites make appearances here, from albums that rank highly on Paige’s all-timer list (The Dangerous Summer) to albums that we adore together and which played a big role for us while we were dating (Beloved). Naturally, we had to listen to some Wolves at the Gate, since we met at one of their concerts, and you’ll also see a bunch of Weezer, which is a band we’ve both fallen in love with over the course of our relationship, starting back in May of 2020.
- There were two discography runs we were attempting to keep up with during the honeymoon. One was The Used, which we fell off of pretty hard. The second was Fall Out Boy, which we basically finished. My thoughts on their discography have changed very little over the past few years, so here’s how their albums rank for me:
1. Folie a Deux
2. From Under the Cork Tree
3. Take This To Your Grave
4. Infinity On High
6. American Beauty/American Psycho
7. Save Rock & Roll
The most important thing to note about this ranking is that spots 1-3 are interchangeable. I’d heartily hand 5-star ratings to all three, and the album that takes the #1 spot for me is usually whichever one I happen to be listening to at the moment. This is how I’d rank them if you forced my hand, but I’d rather let them have a three-way-tie.
- Sara Groves makes the best music I’ve ever heard about marriage.
Author’s Note: The reason I created this website and write these articles stems from my belief that artists should support other artists, in the same way that art inspires art. My sophomore album Development & Compromise is available now and I’d love for you to hear it.