Songs I Believe Everyone Should Listen To


Many of the songs listed are what I currently listen to or are just my all-time favorite songs. While writing this,  each song was on repeat which was fun to do as it helped me understand the meaning even more. 

Warning: This article is entirely opinion-based and full of bias so read with caution. Also, I will try to mention songs that are both popular and unknown. Songs will be from many different genres and some contain profanity; listen at your own leisure. I’m always open to any new music (besides country) and love finding new songs. So if you have some time, take a listen to some of my suggestions. Enjoy!

Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Probably one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most well known songs, Simple Man tells the story of the relationship between a mother and a son. Skynyrd’s message throughout the song is to live your life so that we will be able to appreciate our actions. He emphasizes how “things will come, and they will go” suggesting that in life people and situations will come and go but we must not worry about the things that are temporary too much. Lastly, Skynnyrd says to “follow your heart and nothing else.” We must be proud of our accomplishments and accept our actions so that we truly love ourselves. His message is “simple” but concise, making “Simple Man” so meaningful and relatable. Not only is the song’s meaning so special, but the drums and guitar riff that characterize the song make it one of the all time great rock songs. 

Wake Up by Kowloon

This song can be classified in the lo-fi rock genre as it carries a laid back and effortless tone. With a strong bass guitar and an indie-esque rhythm guitar, the song is catchy but also relaxing at the same time. Kowloon says that the song is about “sleepwalking through a life that no longer feels like your own” as he uses verses like living “someone else’s dream” and “life felt too hard…it’s all a game I don’t understand.” Not every song is happy, especially not this one. On one hand, “Wake Up” is a catchy indie song accompanied by a unique voice, but is also a song that portrays the struggles of its creator. It’s up to the listener to decide how they want to listen to this song. 

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer

Though not my favorite John Mayer song, I am definitely biased when it comes to his music as I feel he is one of the most talented to do it. Slow dancing in a “Burning Room” paints the picture of a couple who are holding onto each other as the walls are caving in on the relationship that they both know is going downhill. John Mayer touches on the harsh reality of relationships and how an outcome wanted by neither partner sometimes seems inevitable as time is running out. On Spotify, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” is John Mayer’s most listened to song and for good reason as his voice and amazing guitar play doesn’t disappoint as usual. If you don’t listen to John Mayer, this is your sign to give him a try. 

Objects in the Mirror by Mac Miller

This list wouldn’t be credible without a Mac Miller song. “Objects in the Mirror” is about Mac as he is the object in the mirror to which he is speaking to. Mac sings “he won’t hurt you, don’t you worry” referring to himself. He also says “listen to me, I’ma set you free.” Mac watches himself as he recalls his history of heartbreak and drug abuse, but he reiterates that he’s going to help himself as it breaks his heart seeing what he has done. Self love and reassurance are a huge driving factor for one’s motivation. Mac Miller’s words speak volumes to himself and those who listen to this song as they help him and others at their lowest moments.   

Live Without Your Love by Love Regenerator, Steve Lacy, and Calvin Harris

This song sees a mashup between Scottish Dj Calvin Harris and R&B artist Steve Lacy. It’s an unlikely but great matchup as Steve Lacy’s smooth voice goes great with the upbeat rhythm of the song. There’s not really a deep meaning in this song as Lacy just repeats phrases like “I can’t live without your love” and “it’s a strange game, you and me play” to highlight the fun and adventurous love that he’s experiencing with someone. Probably the best part about this song is just the catchy pace and rhythm that isn’t seen often on your typical Steve Lacy song. A must listen song, if you ask me. 

Been Away by Brent Faiyez

Brent Faiyaz is renowned for his R&B music which covers everything from love to the inner thoughts of Faiyez himself. In “Been Away,” Faiyez talks about his balance with work/the chase for money while also his trust in the woman he is seeing at the time. The main chorus says  “I’m just trying to get my paper straight, girl” showing how that is his main priority. But, Brent wants to know if he can trust his girl as he’s given more time to his music and not enough to his partner. He asks “I just wanna know, is you my friend? I just wanna know if you pretendin” as he tries to figure out his girl’s loyalty while he’s off making money. Not every song has a deeper real world meaning, but what this song does really well is the catchy chorus/beats, and the ever so smooth voice of Mr. Faiyez himself.

My Kind of Woman by Mac Demarco

This is probably many people’s favorite Mac Demarco song and I can understand why. “My Kind of Woman” has a smooth and mellow mood mixed with the classic Indie guitar rhythm that Mac Demarco plays so well. Demarco has said that he tries to be ambiguous about the meanings of his songs to leave them open for interpretation. Many people speculate, however, that “My Kind of Woman” is about Demarco’s long-time girlfriend Kiera. Others have said that the song is a dialogue between a love interest and Mac as it seems like his girl is saying “And I’m down on my hands and knees begging you please, baby, show me your world” to Mac who hides most of feelings and thoughts. Personally, I think the song is just about a man who has let the feeling of love lead him to the perfect partner; someone who he can rely on when he’s “falling apart” or having doubts about his lover’s feelings for him. It’s hard to be a Mac Demarco fan and not have this song in your top three favorites as it’s so good. 

Heat Above by Greta Van Fleet

The Detroit rock band has been gaining huge amounts of popularity, especially after their latest album “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” was released this past summer. Some controversy surrounds the band as they sound somewhat similar to Led Zeppelin and some old-heads are calling them rip-offs. Nonetheless, their sound is bringing back classic rock to the modern era that was so popular decades ago. “Heat Above” has two main points as the band seems to allude to how messed up the world is, but they go forth looking to embrace love and “march to battle”  in order to “save the lives” of those who do march for war. You can’t have Greta Van Fleet without Josh Kizka, the lead singer, who’s voice is what brings so much intrigue to the band of brothers. In “Heat Above” the listener gets the capabilities of Josh’s voice as it rings loud and clear throughout the song. It’s like his voice borders on the line of singing and screaming but he does it so well that it sounds amazing. This is your sign to get into Greta Van Fleet if you like rock and don’t listen to them. 

2009 by Mac Miller 

If you like artists who pour their heart and soul into their music, then you like Mac Miller. “2009” is no exception as Mac covers topics of mental peace, moving forward through depression each day, references to his ex Ariana, and a life outside of rap. The main chorus goes “I don’t need to lie no more… and she don’t cry no more” most likely referencing Ariana Grande and their breakup which left both lovers devastated. Lines like “Isn’t it funny? We can make a lot of money. Buy a lot of things just to feel a lot of ugly. I was yay high and muddy Lookin’ for what was lookin’ for me” make me think Mac is considering an outside life of rap where wealth and drugs don’t control his life anymore. Mac’s vulnerability speaks volumes in this song as he admits to not being okay all the time by saying things like “I don’t have it all but it’s alright with me.” The title, “2009,” which Mac references in the song saying “it ain’t 2009 no more” is Mac’s realization that he isn’t the 16 year-old teenager back in 2009 rapping for fun and who didn’t garner the fame or attention that he has now. While Mac has had so many ups and downs in his life, he uses “2009” to tell himself and his audience that it’s good to be vulnerable and take it slow each day, to appreciate yourself even when you don’t feel your best. Mac’s song is a masterpiece full of truthful meaning accompanied by beautiful piano play in the background. It is definitely one of his best songs. Also, as a side note, listen to the “Tiny Desk Concert” of “2009” on youtube. A must watch in my opinion.  

Do you Remember by Jack Johnson

“Do You Remember” is my favorite song by Jack Johnson, and even though I’m biased, it’s for good reason. Jack Johnson tells a simple love story of where he locked his bike to the bike of the girl he was trying to get with at one time. Now in the present 10 years later, that girl whose bike was chained to Jack Johnson’s is his wife. This song shows Johnson’s true love for his wife as he uses it to reminisce on the years spent with the girl who had “painted flowers” on her bike. Lines like “Do you remember when we first moved in together?” and “Now I remember watching that old tree burn down” are just some of the memories that Johnson references that remind him of his partner. At the end of each verse, Johnson says “you’re still mine, we’re locked in time let’s rewind” which really characterizes the type of man he is as he enjoys the simple aspects of the past which portray his never-ending love for his wife. Jack Johnson’s voice and guitar play relax anyone who listens making his music so likable. If you only know him from the “Curious George” song “Upside Down,” I strongly advise you to explore him and his music.

That concludes some of the songs that I think everyone should listen to at least once. Below are some honorable mentions that if you have the time or are looking for some new music you should give a try. Also, I apologize for the male-dominated list. It’s something that never crossed my mind until finishing the article. I love all music(except country), especially from female artists and if I write another article I will be sure to include more gender diversity.  

Some Honorable Mentions: 

One More Love Song by Mac Demarco

C U Girl by Steve Lacy

Teardrops by Neil Frances

Moving Out by Vacations 

Ooh La by The Kooks

Who hurt you? By Daniel Cesar

Dark Red By Steve Lacy 

Love Lost By Mac Mac Miller (on Soundcloud)