Between blog comments, facebook and Twitter, I received 70 song and musician suggestions for the 2016 Phenomenal Women and Cafe Mix playlists – my annual gift of new music for my mom and sister.
Thank you to everyone who shared suggestions and music videos for my search. Several of your recommendations made the final list and I’m excited to share them with you in the new year. Here’s what I’m currently dancing to!
The 2016 Phenomenal Women Playlist
- Stranger to My Happiness by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
In honor of this phenomenal woman who passed in 2016. She is one of my favorite live performers to have seen. So much soul. Felt the need to kick off the playlist with a song from her album “Give the People What They Want”.
2. Best Kept Secret by case/lang/veirs
3. Into the Wild by LP
4. Wild Things by Alessia Cara
5. No Diggity by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Ariana Savalas
6. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
7. We Break the Dawn by Michelle Williams
8. The Greatest by Sia
I’m a Sia fan. I love her music videos and the unusual ways the dancers move. I think it’s beautiful.
9. Heaven Knows by First Aid Kit
10. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Maiya Sykes
Shoutout to Amber West for recommending some Postmodern Jukebox tunes for the mix, which have not been included before and leant a variety of sounds and styles. I loved this cover of a song by The Killers.
11. Heart of My Own by Basia Bulat
12. Wildewoman by Lucius
13. Tokyo Sunrise by LP
Hands down, my favorite musician this year has been LP. I discovered her last year and included “Night Like This” on the 2015 mix, but since then, she’s released another album and I’ve been playing her nonstop, so two songs made the list this year.
14. Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware
15. Scars to Your Beautiful by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Sara Niemietz
16. Beautiful Life by Judith Hill
Judith Hill is a musician I have tried to include for the last several years and could never quite fit in. Came across this song off the 2015 album, Back in Time, and fell in love. This music video is a paired down version of the song, but it’s gorgeous either way.
17. Runaway by Aurora
18. Got Your Number by Serena Ryder
19. Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina
20. In the Morrow by Brandi Carlile
The 2016 Cafe Mix
- Happiness by NEEDTOBREATHE
The hubs and I are both fans of NEEDTOBREATHE and this is off their new album, Hard Love.
2. Alaska by Maggie Rogers
3. Red Hands by Walk Off The Earth
4. Trying So Hard Not to Know by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
5. The Walker by Fitz & the Tantrums
6. White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
7. Unsteady by X Ambassadors
8. Hold Back the River by James Bay
James Bay was a discovery the hubs and I found through an indie artist bio-vid we came across and we loved his sound.
9. Lost Stars by Adam Levine
10. Growing Things by Shook Twins
11. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
12. Out of My League by Fitz & the Tantrums
13. I Found by Amber Run
14. Snow by Lisa Hannigan
15. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
16. House of Mercy by Sarah Jarosz
Sarah Jarosz has been another musician I’ve had in my collection and tried to include for several years, but hadn’t. This year her 2016 album, Undercurrent, was added to my iTunes and I loved this song.
17. Home Nights by Sugarcane Jane
18. Woodwork by Sleeping at Last
19. Morning Noon & Night by Ryan Shaw
20. Thank You by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Here’s another group I can’t help but groove to when I listen.
And now, the winners of the mix giveaways! Thank you all again so much for the song recommendations, I love listening to all your favorite tunes and they are a huge help in making these playlists.
Hey Music Lovers,
For the past four years, I’ve called on you to share your favorite songs and musicians with me for a reoccurring nerdy gift I always give my mom and sis for Christmas. A mixtape.
Since 2007, I’ve made them a personal playlist of phenomenal women. Every song is a female musician. And the tunes are typically upbeat. It’s the kind of thing you’d play before going out, or pumping yourself up for some hours in the kitchen or cleaning. Songs that make you move.
When a need arrived to add some more mellow songs, as well as male musicians, I created the Cafe’ Mix. The songs you’d listen to while holding a mug of your favorite warm beverage and gazing out the window, or curled up on the couch while reading a book.
It has become a favorite gift of my mother and sister (partially because they are busy women who don’t have time to search for new music and don’t have smartphones yet – my sis does now though). When they get the new Phenomenal Women Mix and Cafe Mix, they play them all year long.
This is where you come in.
I need your help! Tell me your favorite songs! The ones you’ve thumbs up’d, hit replay on, shazam’d, go back to again and again when you hit “a mood”.
Tell me in the comments what your favorite song recommendations are for each album. Last year, you gave me 58 songs to listen to!
To thank you, I’ll draw two random commenters to also receive copies of the cds and post the complete lists in the New Year!
Thank you all so much for your input. I’ve missed you. Here’s to making the new year…well, phenomenal!
Song Ideas to Get You Started:
Phenomenal Women Mix
Wolf by First Aid Kit
Knots by Lisa Hannigan
Wild Young Hearts by the Noisettes
Fare Thee Well by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac
Heart Beats by Johnnyswim
You and Me by Sara Watkins
My husband and I are celebrating two years of marriage this month. And we’ve been a couple for a decade.
We should probably have a song picked out by now.
I mean, we kinda do. We have the song we first danced to. The song we sang at our wedding. We’ve recorded two CDs for family covering songs we love. Given my husband is a professional musician, there is no shortage of music in our home.
Yet, on a recent car trip, a specific song came on the radio and Joe’s eyes lit up in excitement as he said, “Do you know what this is?”
“Think Tia Carrere.”
It was Dreamweaver by Gary Wright.
“This should be our song,” said Joe.
“Um, I’m not sure I agree with that. Even if it is the soundtrack for a great scene in Wayne’s World.”
I politely suggested another song.
Bird on a Wire by Aaron Neville.
And that, is when my husband gave me a look that said “we will not be figuring out what our song is today.”
Also, he was less than enthused when I started playing this song after he exited the bathroom later that day. *shrug* I still say it’s got a good groove.
What’s your song? How did you choose it?
What song recommendation do you have for Joe and I?
Because clearly, we can’t be trusted.
Hey fellow songsters!
Thank you all so much for the many music suggestions for the phenomenal woman and cafe mix cds this season! You fantastic people gave me 58 songs to check out!
I had a literal dance party listening to all the tunes you shared.
So it’s time to reveal the final playlists aaaaaand the cd winners!!
Check em out! Did your favorite bands and musicians make the cut?
Congratulations to this year’s winners of the mix cds –
Amy Kennedy Fosseen and Julie Glover!!!
Happy jamming, ladies!
Phenomenal Woman Mix
1. Little Red Wagon – Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound
2. Wherever is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
3. Flashlight – Jessie J
4. Dangerous Days – Zola Jesus
5. Burning House – Cam
6. Alive – Sia
7. Night Like This – LP
8. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
9. Lights and Camera – Yuna
10. Glow – Ella Henderson
11. Sound of a Woman – Kiesza
12. Hold Me Down – Halsey
13. Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
14. Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld
15. She’s Not Me – Jenny Lewis
16. A Change is Gonna Come – Leela Jones
17. Water Under the Bridge – Adele
18. Get Up, Get On – Jill Andrews
19. Buffalo Stars – Leila Broussard
20. Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
1. Make This Leap – The Hunts
2. Diamonds – Johnnyswim
3. Riptide – Jasmine Thompson
4. Empress – Morningsiders
5. Hold Each Other – A Great Big World
6. Accustomed to the Dark – Theresa Andersson
7. America – First Aid Kit
8. San Andreas Faultline – Sugarcane Jane
9. The Heartache Can Wait – Brandi Carlile
10. Slow Motion – Phox
11. Sinner – Jeremy Loops
12. The Crossing – Meg Hutchinson
13. The Fairest of the Seasons – Anna Nalick
14. Let No Grief – The Wild Reeds
15. Shadowplay – The Saint Johns
16. Rox in the Box – The Decemberists
17. It’s Only Me – Dessa
18. Emmylou – First Aid Kit
19. Ends of the Earth – Lord Huron
20. Gulf Coast Highway – Red Molly
21. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
Find any new favorites?
What are you listening to now?
Since 2007 I’ve made my ma and sis a Phenomenal Woman Mix CD at Christmas. It’s a collection of the best songs sung by women. In 2012, I expanded that to include a second CD called the Cafe’ Mix, which basically housed all my favorite tunes heard at coffee shops (which is where I hang out). This CD can have female or male singers on it.
Sure, in the age of ipods and wireless mini-speakers, a gift like a mix CD could be considered outdated, or worse…lame. But this remains one of their favorite gifts and one of my favorite giveaways of the year!
Because this is the part where you give me music suggestions!
And in turn, once it’s completed, I gift the cds to TWO lucky commenters who shared suggestions with me!
To get started, here’s a look at last year’s line-ups. And here’s a few I’m currently thinking of for this year.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
“Hello” by Adele
I don’t really feel this song needs explanation. It’s Adele’s new hit. It’s going on the cd.
“Alive” by Sia
I’m a Sia fan, especially of her music videos. This one did not disappoint.
“Lights and Camera” by Yuna
Yuna is an artist that has crept up the past three years, and I’m happy to add this tune to the mix.
“Empress” by Morningsiders
I’m loving the piano part in this song.
“Sun Hands” by Local Natives
The final verdict on this one is still out, but I do like it.
“Lost Cause” by Priscilla Ahn
This melody is haunting and beautiful.
Now, as Joan Jett says, hit me with your best shot!
What song recommendations do you have for me to add to the
Phenomenal Woman and Cafe’ Mixes?
I can’t wait to listen!
I thought it was time I revealed the master playlists from the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mixes. Every year I create 2 mix cds as gifts for my mom and sister – a phenomenal woman mix full of upbeat dance tunes, and a cafe mix for relaxing at home. I’ve enlisted help from the blogosphere for the past several years in finding just the right tunes to add and I hosted a giveaway for those that shared ideas.
Thank you all so much for sharing your musical suggestions with me. To see all the recommendations, check out The Ultimate Mix CD Project.
Here are the winning contenders!
Phenomenal Woman Mix:
1. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
2. Hideaway by Kiesza
3. Mother and Father by Broods
4. His Gorgeousness by The Shoe
5. Tough Love by Jessie Ware
6. Ghost by Ella Henderson
7. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit
8. The Chain by Brandi Carlile
9. Knots by Lisa Hannigan
10. Gun by CHVRCHES
11. Coffee by Sylvan Esso
12. Wings by Birdy
13. Safe & Sound by Savannah Berry
14. Pompeii by Jasmine Thompson
15. Wolf by First Aid Kit
16. Last Bus Out by Jillette Johnson
17. Spectrum by Florence + the Machine
18. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding
19. Higher by Lia Ices
20. Rockstar by Emily Kinney
21. Enough by The Mrs.
1. Paper Cup by The Shoe
2. Long Way Off by Gungor
3. Fare Thee Well by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford
4. Kids by Emily Kinney
5. Stay With Me by Bernhoft
6. Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids
7. Li’l Red Riding Hood by Laura Gibson
8. Just Another Day by Stacey Earle
9. I See Fire by Ed Sheeran
10. Come Out Wherever You Are by Paul Cook & The Chronicles
11. Like a Dream by Francis and the Lights
12. Woodstock by Joni Mitchell
13. Somebody That I Used to Know by Madilyn Bailey & Jake Coco
14. Mull of Kintyre by Wings
15. Be Not So Fearful by A.C. Newman
16. Shadow on the Wall by Brandi Carlile
17. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars
18. 18th of December by The Deep Dark Woods
19. You and Me by You + Me
20. Go To Sleep by The Avett Brothers
There are the ultimate playlists! Happy listening.
And the winners of the cd giveaway are…
What were your favorite tunes of the past year?
Find any new favorites from these playlists?
With Christmas just a month away, I’ve got to get cracking on my go to gift for my mum and sis.
The Ultimate Mix CD Project
Since 2007 I’ve given them each a Phenomenal Women’s Mix CD, a compilation of all female artists and the songs are usually upbeat and dance-worthy. A few years ago I added in what I call a Cafe’ Mix – mellow music for hanging at home and which allows male and female artists. Since 2012, I’ve enlisted YOUR help with creating those awesome playlists.
I need your brilliant ideas again now!
And to thank you, I’ll pick 2 commenters at random to win copies of the 2 cds!
I’m guessing no one wants my fake NaNo album – created in a black hole of stress rage. I called it Blames it On the Hormones.
No takers? None? Ok.
Then here are some ideas to get you thinking about types of songs to suggest!
For the Phenomenal Women Mix:
My Silver Lining ~ First Aid Kit
This is the song I keep playing on repeat. Lurve!
Hideaway ~ Kiesza
She did this music video in one take. One take!!!
Enough ~ The Mrs
The ladies behind the magic talking mirror. Had to be included!
For the Cafe’ Mix:
Paper Cup ~ The Shoe
Did you know actress Jena Malone has a band? And it’s awesome! This video is flippin’ weird, but I love this song, and every other song on their debut album I’m Okay.
Poison & Wine ~ The Civil Wars
Haunting and beautiful. Hurt and yet thankful. Haven’t we all felt this way at some point?
Stay With Me ~ Bernhoft
A great male addition to my mix. Love the song, and hadn’t heard much buzz about him before, but found this song via my Songza app.
What do you think of these tunes so far?
What other songs should I add? Share your favorites!
How was everyone’s Christmas?
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter! I’ve got more goodies coming your way!
Today’s the day I get to announce the playlists for the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe’ Mixes!
The three lucky winners of these mixes (and a bonus Dudes’ Mix cd) are:
Out of 73 song recommendations from YOU, plus what I found trolling around on I-Tunes, behold…
The Phenomenal Woman Mix
1. Hard Way Home by Brandi Carlile
2. Torpedo by Jillette Johnson
3. From Where I’m Standing by Schuyler Fisk
4. Circle of the Sun by Serena Ryder
5. Supermarket by Leddra Chapman
6. Unconditionally by Katy Perry
7. This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey
8. With Love by Christina Grimmie
9. My Kind of Love by Tessanne Chin
10. Every Mile of the Ride by Lindi Ortega
11. Cannonball by Lea Michele
12. Neon Lights by Natasha Bedingfield
13. Mary Go Round by Serena Ryder
14. Burn by Ellie Goulding
15. Closer by Tegan and Sara
16. What Now by Rihanna
17. Loved Me Back to Life by Celine Dion
18. The House of the Rising Sun by Jacquie Lee
19. Love Me Right! by the Swag Geeks
20. 365 Days by ZZ Ward
21. The Race by Caroline Pennell
The Cafe’ Mix
1. Heart Beats by Johnnyswim
2. Radioactive by Pentatonix & Lindsey Stirling
3. My Blood by Ellie Goulding
4. People Help the People by Birdy
5. The One That Got Away by The Civil Wars
6. Basset Hound by Jillette Johnson
7. I Will Fall by the Nashville Cast
8. Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth & Emeli Sande
9. Everyday by Rogue Wave
10. Heart’s Content by Brandi Carlile
11. It’s Too Late by Wild Belle
12. Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
13. Castin’ My Spell by Johnny Otis
14. Let it Go by Idina Menzel
15. Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera
16. Please, Baby Please by Serena Ryder
17. Babylon by Nina Nesbitt
18. Ho Hey by the Nashville Cast
19. Skinny Love by Birdy
20. Give Me Love by Alex & Sierra
21. All I Want is You by Tristan Prettyman
Happy listening! And a Happy New Year!
Last week you all shared 57 song suggestions with me! BAM!
Nice work! I had some listening homework to do, but it was fun, and I have a loooooong list of possibilities now.
Today I’m sharing a few favorites and I hope you keep the recommendations coming! I’ve actually got 3 mix cds to make: the Phenomenal Woman Mix (all female dance mix), the Cafe’ Mix (chill, coffee mug in hand mix), and a Dude’s Mix (all male mix cd).
So if you hear something ya like, *raises eyebrows up and down*, don’t keep it a secret!
Three random commenters will win all 3 CDs!
Favorite Phenomenal Woman Contenders:
Love Me Right by Geek Swag ~ From Ginger Calem
Ginger said this is the song that makes her dance no matter what. I couldn’t agree more! And it has a very Sex in the City kind of vibe, I think. Brunch tomorrow, ladies?
Into the Nightlife by Cyndi Lauper ~ From Emma Meade
Definitely a dance song, and a nice throwback to the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Queen!
Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert ~ From Julie Glover
I would describe this song as a 3 part harmony involving the True Blood theme song, Mad Men’s wardrobe, and the Desperate Housewives wig collection. In short, it’s kinda awesome.
It’s Too Late by Wild Belle ~ From Dawn Sticklen
Still a great dance song, but it’s probably played at some french club I can’t get into. Thanks Dawn!
Favorite Cafe’ Mix Contenders:
Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera ~ From Misty Laws
Sad, poignant, haunting, lovely, honest, heartbreak, hope. This is the kind of thing you’ll play on repeat.
Stop Signs by The Moondoggies ~ From Mark Petruska
This could go on the Dude’s Mix or the Cafe’ Mix. Love his voice. Sounds like something you’d hear in a movie while the main character embarks on a long road trip.
What songs did you love?What else would you recommend?
What’s new with you?
The first is called the Phenomenal Woman Mix – it’s a collection of all female artists/bands that are feel good and dance worthy!
The second I’ve dubbed the Cafe’ Mix – a more mellow, relax at home with a cup of coffee blend of male and female artists.
I need your help!
What songs/artists do you recommend I add to the mixes?
Here’s some of the songs I’ve already compiled to give you an idea…
For the Phenomenal Woman Mix:
Torpedo by Jillette Johnson – Power number to start the day feeling like you can conquer the world.
Closer by Tegan and Sara – Definite dance in your underpants all weekend!
This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Ray – I love Lana’s retro Nancy Sinatra look and velvety voice. This is her latest song.
For the Cafe’ Mix:
The One That Got Away by The Civil Wars – Haunting and amazing. Perfect for staring out the window and reflecting on your past.
Please, Baby Please by Serena Ryder – Serena’s been on the last 2 mixes as she is my favorite musician. She just released her new album this fall, called Harmony, and every song is soulfully wonderful.
Heartbeats by Johnnyswim – Romantic and moody, I love both of their voices immensely.
What do you recommend for these mixes?
Please share! I’ll put my favorite suggestions in next week’s blog post and THREE lucky commenters will receive their own copies of both cds as well!