1. “Speak for Me,” Cat Power This song is off the “You Are Free” album, and I can listen to the whole thing over and over. She has this beautiful, almost ethereal voice. The accompanying instruments (especially the lo-fi-sounding guitar) add a unique element.2. “Gigantic,” The Pixies One of my all-time favorite songs. I’ve been listening to this since middle school. They were a huge influence on contemporary alternative rock.
3. “Heartsprings,” Heiruspecs A Minnesotan indie rap group — I grew up there and my friends all listened to Atmosphere, Eyedea, and things like that. I love them because they’re unique and incorporate a lot of cool sounds into their music.
5. “My Moon My Man,” Feist Feist is famous for her iPod commercial, but this is totally different. I like this song because of the chorus especially, and the lyrics. She has a great voice.
6. “Heart of Hearts,” !!! I saw these guys at Lollapalooza last summer and they put on a great show. The guy is absolutely nuts. This song makes me want to get up and dance!
7. “M.C.,” Caf***accent e*** Tacuba I’m a sucker for cello, and this is a beautiful piece. No lyrics involved, but it is haunting and it gets stuck in my head for days.
8. “At Last,” Etta James This has to be the most romantic song. It reminds me of dancing outside on a summer night underneath the stars. Kind of lame, but it makes me smile.
9. “Hyperballad,” Bj***umlaut o***rk Everyone gives Bj***umlaut o***rk a bad rap, but she is a truly talented artist. She’s the definition of ‘quirky.’ Her lyrics are strange but beautiful. This song reminds me of driving down Lakeshore Drive in Chicago with my sister.
10. “Just like Heaven,” The Cure Another one of my all-time faves. The Cure helped pioneer entirely new genres of music and were constantly reinventing themselves. It’s like falling in love every time I hear it.