“Best of the Best” Broken Down: An Analysis of My Top 10 Favorite Songs

Something I have always loved doing is curating and organizing playlists on Spotify. Every month since February 2015, I have created a playlist for that specific month. At the end of each month, I pick out my most listened to songs and add them to a master playlist titled “Best of the Best.” 


In a way, keeping all these songs is like a time capsule, and I think that’s one of the coolest things ever. Music plays a significant role in my life, so being able to go back to a certain season and recall what was happening during that time is something I don’t take for granted!


1.  “Sleep On The Floor,” The Lumineers

This song has been number one on my list since it was released in 2016. The pure nostalgia and happiness I feel when listening to it is unmatched, and I have shared the love of this song with many of my friends. The song is amazing on its own, but the music video is definitely an added plus. It follows a girl who decided to drop everything and leave town with her boyfriend to live a spontaneous lifestyle. Unfortunately, this never actually happened, and the video portrays her living this grand life only to find out that she never actually left. This has inspired me to not live life with “what-ifs.” Maybe I’ll never drop everything to change my entire life. Rather, I hope I can live in the moment and not be afraid of immense change. This song is not just lyrics on a page, but a whole insight into what I hope to do with my own life.


2.  “Visions of Gideon,” Sufjan Stevens

Written for my favorite movie, Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens tugs on the heartstrings in this highly emotional song. The opening notes alone could bring me to tears, and the thought of what the actual lyrics mean makes me even more vulnerable. The repetition of lyrics tie into the movie, so you might as well watch Call Me by Your Name to get the full effect. Stevens’ music is definitely out of the ordinary, so if you’re looking for some interesting music to spice up your playlist, Stevens is your guy! 


3.  “Spirit Cold,” Tall Heights

I found this song after reading that Tall Heights was opening for one of my favorite bands. I wasn’t familiar with their music, so I turned to Spotify and listened to their most popular song, which was “Spirit Cold.” Though it is their most-played tune, it definitely is not like mainstream music. Their sound is a mixture of folk and Indie, with unbelievable harmonies from the lead vocalists. When I saw it performed live, my emotions were on a high, as I was captivated by the amazing vocals. Overall, I will never get tired of listening to this serene song!


4.  “Fireworks,” First Aid Kit

This song is very special, as it was shown to me by one of my very good friends. We were driving at night and I asked him to play some of his favorite songs. He turned this on, and I was completely in awe of how beautiful the two girls’ voices complemented each other's. I’m not kidding when I say this tune was on repeat for at least three months. This is another chill song, but more than that it is beyond meaningful. I hope if you listen to this song that you’re able to feel what I felt the night I first heard it.


5.  “South,” Hippo Campus

Hippo Campus has been one of my favorite bands for the longest time, but it wasn’t until two summers ago that their song “South” really became a favorite of mine. I was sitting in the back of my friend’s car listening to this song with two of my friends. We were driving in downtown Minneapolis way later than we should’ve been, but we were all still scream-singing these lyrics. I remember thinking that this tune would hold a special place in my heart for a long time. If you’re unfamiliar with Hippo Campus, you should check them out, especially since they’re from Minnesota!


6.  “Revelation,” Troye Sivan and Jonsi

Growing up loving YouTube, Troye Sivan has had a huge impact on my life from a young age. I have always enjoyed his music, but for some reason, this song struck a chord with me in a way that none of his others have. Made for the movie Boy Erased, the meaning behind this song is deeper than most would notice after just one listen. Like I talked about for “Visions of Gideon,” to understand the meaning of this song I highly recommend watching (or reading) Boy Erased.


7.  “Fear,” Ben Rector

In November of 2018, I went to Virginia to surprise one of my best friends at college. At that time, I was unfamiliar with Ben Rector, but my friend introduced me to his music and I instantly fell in love. All his music tells a story about his life, and I immediately connected with this song in particular. Having fear to start something new is something that we all feel. Ben Rector continues to amaze me and never fails to make my day. If you’re looking for inspiring, happy music, I recommend him!


8.  “Wildfire,” Seafret

This is a sappy love song about a growing relationship. These types of tunes usually aren’t my favorites, but this one isn’t as cheesy and basic like many love songs are. The British band Seafret really makes me feel like I could fall in love at any moment!


9.  “30,000 Feet,” Ben Rector

Ben Rector did it again! This song is absolutely amazing. He details meeting an older man on a plane and the conversation they had. As stated with “Fear,” all of Rector’s songs paint a picture and this one is no different. If you want insight to an artist’s life, Ben Rector’s the musician for you.


10.  “A Little More,” Catie Turner

Ever since I was little, my mom and I have been obsessed with watching American Idol. Two seasons ago, Catie Turner was a contestant. Since being on the show, she has released an EP, and I have fallen in love with all the songs. “A Little More” reminds me of growing up, as it reminisces about being in her hometown and all the nostalgia about growing up. If you have not heard of Catie Turner, I recommend checking out her music!


Other honorable mentions: 



Make your own musical time capsule to look back on, or follow mine on Spotify!