The Bright Sequence League | a collaborative playlist series

This is a shiny new idea that I’ve been wanting to do for years (?!) and I’m finally making it happen. Welcome to the first edition of The Bright Sequence League.

The Bright Sequence League is a group of humans I’ve connected with over the years through music. Ranging from friends I’ve had since middle school to my college radio station days to people I’ve met since moving to Austin. You can meet them all here!

Listening to music tends to be a solo experience (at least for me!) and I wanted to create a community vibe where people could share and learn about others through music.

Each month The Bright Sequence League will be given a word or phrase as a prompt. Then each member submits a song and explanation for why they picked it. This month the word is bright.

I’ve already found some new favorite gems from this first edition and I hope you do too!

bright

Peter: “Sail Into the Sun” by Gentlemen Hall

When I think ‘bright’ I think about sunny skies, beaches, the sun reflecting off the water, and these song lyrics speak to all of my visuals. It also sounds very bright, the synths are very tinny and light, it’s upbeat, the melody is relaxing and happy, and makes me feel uplifted and brighter after hearing it! Love this song, it’s on my personal beach playlist, and really brightens my day!

Emza: “False Alarm” by Matoma, Becky Hill

This is one of those songs that a pal of mine played for me, and I subsequently had her replay our whole car ride down to Charleston, SC. I then played it for my best friend, who also wanted to listen to it nonstop driving back from a friends wedding at JMU. I have since danced and laughed with some of my best friends to this jam and it really BRIGHTens up any day.

Emilie: “Water Bombs” by Twinsy

My best friend from high school and I used to listen to this song and have the best time. It reminds me of when I got my license and how much I loved driving in the beginning. I always loved when the saxophones drop. You can’t help but want to dance when you hear it. Ah, simpler times, what could be brighter?

Andrew: “Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr.

It’s in the title, ya dig?

Tyler: “May I Have This Dance” by Francis and the Lights

It feels so wonderfully 80s, like a Peter Gabriel tune, yet it was released in 2016! The current word is “bright” and I instantly thought of this bright, fun, and dancy song that is full of surprises as it seems to travel all over the place in just a few minutes.

Jess: “Gone” by Jr Jr

I loved this song the first time I heard it and then continued to listen to it on repeat for a very long time. This is one of those songs that sounds best when the sun is shining. I mean, who doesn’t love a good whistle intro? This is my understated power anthem that reminds me to ignore external expectations and embrace who I am as a human. It always leaves me with a bright happy feeling inside and a smile on my face.

Claire: “Sunrise” by Snø

I stumbled across “Sunrise” on a Spotify playlist last summer and listened to it obsessively for longer than I am comfortable revealing in my first BSL post. With only one song to his name, SNØ was kind of a mystery at the time, but I went ahead and declared him Finnish Justin Bieber anyway. He has since dropped an EP, but this song remains my favorite. Besides the obvious fact that it’s called “Sunrise,” I chose this song because it reminds me of long summer days and [CLICHÉ ALERT] falling in love.

Catherine: “Heartlines” by Broods, Cheat Codes Remix

Upbeat remix – can’t help feeling good about.

Sarah: “All of the Lights” Kanye West

Songs with a good bass beat that are constantly changing/featuring different artists are my go-to favorite for getting pumped up!  My girl crush for Rihanna continues to grow…I love her part in this song!  It makes me want to get glammed up and dance.

Hannah: “Gimme All Your Money” by Alaska Thunderfuck

It’s like.. Is she saying “give me all your money” because she can and because she wants it? OR, is she making the statement that every artist we listen to is asking the same thing and she’s just being transparent..? Either way, the bitch looks fierce so here’s all my money, Alaska.

Lisa: “Obstacle 1” by Interpol

When I was thinking of the word “bright” the Interpol album Turn on the Bright Lights popped into my head, and Obstacle 1 was one of the first songs I remember listening to of theirs. My husband and I first started dating in 2003 and we listened to this album a lot, so it always brings back memories from that time period 🙂

Jill: “Sing to You” by John Splithoff

This song is perfect to bob your head along to. I always turn it on at work when I need to take a break from all the cray.

Jithu: “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers

Yes, I found it on that viral video but this is a total earworm and is sooooo fun!

Carrie: “Outside” by TOPS

I have no shame in admitting that Teen Witch was my favorite movie during the majority of my childhood, so I appreciate any tune that sounds like big perms, spangly jewelry, tutus over tight dresses and swaying slowly at a high school dance. Hang some glitter covered stars from the ceiling, get a prime position under the disco ball in a smoke-machine filled gym, and start slow-dancing with that cute boy in the letterman’s jacket. Try not to get so caught up in the quiet, romantic vocals that you forget to leave space between you and your hunky partner! You wouldn’t want the gym teacher to pull you apart in the middle of this blissful, dreamy song. (I saw them play at Baby’s Alright at CMJ 2014 and it was just as sparkly and dreamy as you’d hope. Alas, no Madame Serena or Brad Powell sightings.)

Brucey: “Wake Up” – Arcade Fire

One of my least favorite AF songs. But ever since that weirdo kids movie trailer came out, this song reminds me of bright, bursting sunrises. Starts with a longish intro build up then it’s just a beautiful wall of sound.

Shan: “Superman” by Goldfinger

Ska music just screams bright to me — the plucky, upbeat guitars and the blaring horn sections. I’ve had a special place in my heart for this song ever since Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out. The lyrics may not be super “bright” in theme, but this song always makes me smile.

What song would you add to our BRIGHT playlist?

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The Soundtrack to my Freshman Year of College

Mixed CDsGetting nostalgic almost always makes me think of the music associated with that time period. After reminiscing about my freshman year of college, I compiled a pretty stellar playlist of the music 19 year old Jess Lonett was into. I was able to pull most of these gems out of my brain from memory, but I also discovered some gems from mixed CDs I still keep in my car. I was pretty proud of myself that a bunch of the songs on those CDs were the songs I already added to my playlist. I would listen to those CDs on my pink disc man on the elliptical in UREC and as I drifted off to sleep.

I remember roommate dance parties to O.A.R.’s “Love and Memories” in our 9’4″ x 14′ room. I remember trying out for the Madison Dance team to “Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls — I obviously didn’t make it because I couldn’t sexy hair flip if my life depended on it. I remember the endless dorm room pre-games with “Ms New Booty” blasting as we played beer pong on the back of closet doors.

For the optimal and authentic listening experience I recommend putting this playlist on shuffle and pairing it with a refreshing Natty Light. I hope your ears are ready for this perfect combination of slightly emo pop-punk, brooding singer-songwriters, and the hottest party anthems of 05-06.

timespent

In case 6 hours of songs from 10 years ago are too much for you to handle check out my too long; didn’t listen 6 song best of playlist here.

Do you have any stand out songs from your early college days? I’d love to hear about them!

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I’m on a boat! Walk the Moon Party Cruise Edition

boatshotIf you follow me on twitter you may remember an influx of tweets from my account about Walk the Moon a little over two months ago. My favorite band, Walk the Moon, was filming their Vevo Go Show in Austin. I made this discover by the grace of social media:

I navigated my way to the location and was the 5th person in line. When the invite said arrive early, in typically rule follower fashion, I listened. We all mingled, reminisced about concerts we went to as teens (No Strings Attached Tour, obvi.) and applied face paint in anticipation of setting sail with the band. If you’re not sure the level of love I have for Walk the Moon, check out this post I wrote after I hearing Anna Sun on the radio for the first time in 2012.

This is what your favorite band imitating your favorite movie in your presence looks like. #neverletgojacklookup

eli

WTMselfie

Check out the full Vevo Go Show and glimpses of my awkward dancing!

This was such a fabulous way to spend an afternoon and was one of my first Austin moments that felt like an Austin moment.

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Sun-kissed Daze

Maybe it’s because I’m a product of the late 90s and early 00s, but I still love creating mix CDs. Some people might call this a playlist, but those people probably have fancy auxiliary cables in their cars. I am not one of those people. Check out the most recent tunes I’ve been rocking out to!sunkisseddaze

Summer mixes are basically my favorite thing of all time. There is something special about a collection of songs that sound better in the sunshine. Whether I’m driving around town running errands or taking a road trip to visit far away friends, a summer mix is the perfect companion to rolled down windows.

Sun-kissed Daze is spiked pink lemonade for your ears. It’s sweet, tart, refreshing, and you can’t even taste the vodka. I recommend enjoying  it while rocking your favorite sunnies. After a listen you’ll be ready for new adventures and little bit of innocent trouble.

Some of my favorite gems:

Super America” by Bad Bad Hats — this song is ultra girly in all the best ways possible. It’s catchy and fun and makes you want to hold hands and walk around barefoot in the grass.

All the new Miniature Tiger songs that have been released from their upcoming album, Cruel Runnings, are fantastic.  Seriously. So. Good.

I feel very little shame about loving 5 Seconds of Summer’s “She Looks so Perfect“. With lyrics like “I made a mixtape straight out of ’94 | I got your ripped skinny jeans lying on the floor” I don’t know how I could not love this.

Do you have any jams that are currently putting you in the summertime state of mind?

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Erratic Static

Maybe it’s because I’m a product of the late 90s and early 00s, but I still love creating mix CDs. Some people might call this a playlist, but those people probably have fancy auxiliary cables in their cars. I am not one of those people. Check out the most recent tunes I’ve been rocking out to!

erratic static cover

Right now I am extremely drawn to some girly-pop synth-driven jams.  Most of these songs are spunky and make you wish it was already summer. Instead I’m stuck in present day Pittsburgh where I’m hoping that spring actually decides to show up for more than an afternoon.

Here are some bonus tidbits about my favorites:

I listened to the Misterwives  Reflections EP exclusively for at least a week straight when I first discovered it.  This is why two songs from them appear on this mix.

JJAMZ, which I just learned is pronounced juh-jamz and makes me love them more, is a super group with members from Rilo Kiley + Bright Eyes, Maroon 5, The Like, and Phantom Planet.

“Robots in Love” might be my favorite gem on this mix.  I’m almost 100% positive 16 year old Jess Lonett would really dig this song too.

I’d love to know if you discover any new favorites through this mix and  feel free to share whatever treats your ears have been listening to lately!

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