Vibe With Our Tribe: Allie Manalili!

It's something many busy millennials have said at least once or twice: “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.” It’s the fuel to the fire for many people. Coffee gets them going, sometimes going till’ the late night hours. The appeal in this aromatic and energizing experience is one that seems much too easy to access. But unfortunately, for myself, that amount of concentrated caffeine does absolutely nothing for me except give me the extreme case of the jitters.

For me, music has always been a constant force in my life - eight years of piano lessons, the entirety of my life up to high school spent in choir and talent shows, along with teaching myself how to play the guitar throughout high school. And now, it’s even more present as a commuter student. My day does not start until the moment my phone connects via Bluetooth to my car’s stereo system. I like my music with a shot of raspy vocals and a guitar riff that fills you with warmth, enough to wake your senses but not too hot to burn you out the moment the first notes hit your ears. With all these aspects tied together with that folksy "air" that can make anymore to want to visit their local coffeehouse regardless of how far it may be, that's more than enough to perk me up.

With all that said, here are some of my current obsessions, as well as some of my all-time favorite songs!

Alaska - Maggie Rogers

I was driving home one night when this bop came up on my "Discover Weekly" playlist on Spotify. Ever since then, I’ve played this song whenever I’ve needed a pick me up. Maggie Rogers is a Maryland native who studied at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. In her song “Alaska”, her whimsical voice sings a hymn of losing yourself in order to find yourself. You can feel it in the electronic beat of the song; it makes you want to dance your troubles away. And her music video makes me wish I had dance moves like Maggie.

From Eden - Hozier

Okay, let’s be real here, when I first heard “Take Me to Church” I was instantly hooked, not only by his voice, but by the lyrics of his song. I just had to hear more so one day I sat around and listened to his self-titled album, Hozier. I found myself completely in awe of his talent. Andrew “Hozier” Byrne is one of those refreshing artists that makes songs that you'll want to play on repeat if only to make sure you get the meaning right. And after you think you know what the song is about, you can watch the music videos that bring along a visual narrative and you’re left even more than satisfied by the outcome. He is one of my top favorite artists of all-time and I’d have to say “From Eden” is my favorite song off his album.

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Hozier live at one of Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series shows in July prior to my senior year of high school. My family and I had woken up at around three in the morning just to get a decent spot in line. And believe me, it was worth it because Hozier also happens to be one of those musicians that sounds exactly the same live as they do in their recordings. 

Baby Blue - Tor Miller

When I hear a song I like, I’m the kind of person to keep it on repeat. And when I tell you that I kept Tor Miller’s “Baby Blue” on repeat, I kid you not, I kept the song on for probably the whole night the first time I heard it. What drew me in were the bluesy vocals and instrumentals. I stayed for the heart-wrenching tune about the struggle of starting a new chapter in life. What ultimately got to me though was the acapella break towards the end of the song. It really emphasizes the overall feeling of disparity that the song portrays.

Tor Miller is a singer from Brooklyn, New York whose debut album, American English, just dropped in September (He also released an EP called Headlights in 2015.) Both are the epitome of every aspect of heartbreak mixed with all the wonderful feelings you get when you visit New York City. Listening to Tor’s music is like walking through the streets of SoHo on a chilly night, watching the stream of cars drive past as you reminisce about all of your past heartbreaks. It might be heartbreaking, but it's heartbreakingly beautiful.

Paper Bag - Fiona Apple

Speaking of bluesy/jazzy vibes, of course Fiona Apple is on this list. She is another one of my favorites and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to songwriting. Fiona Apple is a singer-songwriter from New York City. Stemming from a time when Fiona mistook a dove for a paper bag, “Paper Bag” is a tale of disappointment - a feeling we’ve all experienced at one point or another. It’s one of my favorites from her because of the borderline sardonic lyrics that are matched with an overall happy kind of instrumental. In the end, it remind you that disappointment and bad experiences are all part of life, so why not move through them with a positive attitude?    

I Don’t Want to Change You - Damien Rice

Last, but certainly not least, is Damien Rice, another artist on my list of all-time favorites. If you haven’t already noticed, for someone who’s a generally positive person, I’m a very big fan of moody, weepy songs, and Damien Rice is probably the king of that kind of music. This Irish indie-rocker has been around for quite some time now, but he shows no sign of slowing down. In his music, you can feel the realness and grit of just how Damien’s feeling regardless of whether you’re listening to him live or through the recording. What more can I say? If you ever listen to a Damien Rice song, it’s hard to not feel for him or even feel the way he feels. It’s just the right motivation I need when I’m working on an abstract art assignment in my drawing class and need to get in touch with my "brooding" side.

While his most popular songs include “Cannonball,” “The Blower’s Daughter” and “9 Crimes,” my favorite would have to be “I Don’t Want to Change You.” I absolutely love the feeling of depth that you get from the riffs of the acoustic guitar and violins. The song wraps around you and reminds you that, while it’s easy to get ahead of yourself in a relationship of any kind, it’s important to see the other person as they are and not how you think they should be.