I came up with the idea of this Five & Alive because I wanted to create some kind of list that would include Ryan Adams' “The Shadowlands”. That's it. The rest of the list followed.
To me, these five songs and I are emotionally bonded. Me, the girlfriend eager for attention and song, the perpetually heartbroken, emotionally unstable boy next door.
1) Ryan Adams “The Shadowlands”
The first time I heard this song, I was driving and it was on a mix that just happened to nestle its way onto my iPod. Almost immediately, I began to tear up. The beginning of the song is distant, somber and desperate. Halfway through, the song refocuses production and “The Shadowlands” captures heart. Adams eases into echoing, bittersweet orchestration and romantic guitar wails that brings this song to a whole new emotional level. Lyrically, the song is about loss of hope, and who can't share than sentiment?
2) Death Cab For Cutie “Brothers on a Hotel Bed”
The beginning piano notes of “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” speak for themselves. So soft, so blue and yet, somehow promising. This song defines loss of innocence.
3) Manchester Orchestra - “Sleeper 1972 (Acoustic)”
“Sleeper 1972” starts off with the line “When my dad died....” When I was younger, I was obsessed with the movie A Little Princess. When the main character Sara reunites with her father on that rainy night, I bawl. Every time. Even at age 23. Albeit the slightly disconnected reasoning, I've created the same connection with “Sleeper 1972”. And and … there is an acoustic version. Everything is more tender in acoustic.
4) Prince - “When Doves Cry”
No, but seriously. My love and emotional connection to this song has everything to do 1) my overall fascination with Prince and 2) Baz Luhrmann's 1996 re-do of Romeo & Juliet.
5) Dashboard Confessional - “This Old Wound”
Angsty and trapped youth like myself (at age 15, I'm relatively free now) fed on this song like candy. Pop that mix of Dashboard rarities into the Discman and play on repeat in my room for hours; that's a picture straight from the teen years. I created a special connection with this song in particular, probably because it was Chris Carrabba and he was my godsend.