Yes, I’m Still Making Mixtapes. What Songs Should I Add?
Since basically everything else went topsy turvy this past year+, at least we can all take respite in music. And as long as my mom’s Bose system doesn’t crap out, I’mma keep making her mix cd’s as part of her christmas gift.
I’ve been making my mom and sister mix cd’s for christmas since I was in college, which sorry to say, was like thirteen years ago. They tell me they still appreciate this retro wrapped good, and since I’ve been blogging (very sporadically) for approximately the same number of years, y’all have helped
It’s that time again! The time where I put out the call for your favorite songs and songsters!
The guidelines are pretty open. I make 1.) a phenomenal woman mix, which features only female artists (bonus if you recommend diverse performers and styles) and 2.) a cafe mix, open to all genders and nonbinary artists that play tunes more on the mellow side, like you’re chilling at home enjoying a cuppa or fixing dinner with a glass of wine.
Type your favorite recommendations into the comments and I’ll share the final playlists in January (after I’ve gifted the new albums)! Will your picks make the playlist? Find out!
Plus, I give away copies to one lucky participant!
What are you waiting for? There’s new tunes to check out! Thanks so much for helping me put together the perfect playlist.
Here’s a few examples from what made the cut last year:
Phenomenal Woman Mix
Pasttime ~ Samantha Crain
No Roots ~ Alice Merton
Underdog ~ Alicia Keys
Remind Me ~ Emily King
If the World was Ending ~ JP Saxe and Julia Michaels
Home Again ~ Michael Kiwanuka
May I Have This Dance? ~ Francis and the Lights
Bridges ~ Johnnyswim
Shake Your Groove Thing: 2020 Playlists Revealed
With over 50 song recommendations shared by you through social media, I had a lot of listening to do. I was introduced to some great new bands and awesome jams. Like the rest of you, I was happy to see 2020 come to a close. Even if 2021 isn’t starting out too differently, it’s nice to at least dance to something new in your pj’s.
With so many suggestions across music styles and genres, it’s always hard to choose. Not every song can make the list. But here are the 2020 playlists to send y’all out in style.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
- Always Alright ~ Alabama Shakes
2. Higher ~ Bishop Briggs
3. Kids Gloves ~ Serena Ryder
4. Every Heartbeat ~ Grace Potter
5. Pastime ~ Samantha Crain
6. Love Me Wild ~ Hannah Blaylock
7. Family Tree ~ Caylee Hammack
8. No Roots ~ Alice Merton
9. A Beautiful Noise ~ Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile
10. Ride Out in the Country ~ Yola
11. Underdog ~ Alicia Keys
12. Remind Me ~ Emily King
13. Please Mr Jailer ~ Nancy and Beth
14. So Far Away ~ Mary Lambert
15. The Let Go ~ Elle King
16. You are Unstoppable ~ Conchita Wurst
17. Young and In Love ~ Ingrid Michaelson
18. Invisible ~ Zara Larsson
- If the World was Ending ~ JP Saxe & Julia Michaels
2. Slow Dance ~ John Legend
3. Every Now and Then ~ Noisettes
4. Home Again ~ Michael Kiwanuka
5. Too Young to Burn ~ Sonny and the Sunsets
6. Can’t Hold Me ~ Emily King
7. May I Have this Dance? ~ Francis and the Lights
8. Fly Before You Fall ~ Cynthia Erivo
9. It’ll All Work Out ~ Phoebe Bridgers
10. Send the Sun ~ Nikki Lane
11. Texas Rose ~ Ray Remington
12. The Age of Worry ~ Madison Cunningham
13. Skin ~ Rag’n’Bone Man
14. Starry Starry Night ~ Lianne La Havas
15. Where Rainbows Never Die ~ The SteelDrivers
16. Colors ~ Black Pumas
17. Bridges ~ JOHNNYSWIM
There you have it. The mixes that made me feel better about my space in the world. I hope they bring some light to you as well.
And as a thank you, the two lucky winners their own copies of the mixes are Ruth Hage and Jessica Lea! Congratulations, ladies, and thank you for sharing your suggestions with me. Dance on!
Turn Up the Volume: New Playlists Revealed
A new year brings with it new playlists! With over 70 recommendations from you all, these are some of my favorite mix tape songs yet!
While not every song shared can make it onto the mix lists, I enjoyed checking out all the artists and songs you suggested, and I downloaded many to my own library for further listening.
Here are the songs that made it on the 2018 Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mixes!
Phenomenal Woman Mix
1. Falling Water ~ Maggie Rogers
2. Pegasi ~ Jesca Hoop
3. Good Thing Gone ~ Elle King
4. Shine On ~ May Erlewine
5. Hearts Beat Loud ~ Keegan DeWitt & Kiersey Clemons
6. Only Love Can Hurt Like This ~ Paloma Faith
7. Don’t Wait ~ Maipei
8. Great One ~ Jessie Reyez
9. Light On ~ Maggie Rogers
10. Dream ~ Bishop Briggs
11. Armor ~ Sara Bareilles
12. Always Remember Us This Way ~ Lady Gaga
13. She’s Got You ~ Rhiannon Giddens
14. Best Years of My Life ~ Pistol Annies
15. Space Cowboy ~ Kasey Musgraves
16. Boy Band Hero ~ Emily Kinney
17. Shadow on the Wall ~ Ruby Amanfu
18. Something American ~ Jade Bird
19. Yours ~ Ella Henderson
20. Velodrome ~ Dessa
1. Fine ~ Noah Kahan
2. Blue Ridge Mountains ~ Larkin Poe
3. Two Blue Eyes ~ Tall Heights
4. Famous ~ Serena Ryder
5. Heart of Somebody ~ Caroline Spence
6. Kings & Queens ~ Mat Kearney
7. Slow Burn ~ Kasey Musgraves
8. Us ~ James Bay
9. Hurt Somebody ~ Noah Kahan & Julia Michaels
10. Roll the Bones ~ Shakey Graves
11. Say Love ~ James TW
12. Beyond ~ Leon Bridges
13. If I Say ~ Mumford & Sons
14. Leave a Light On ~ Humbird
15. Telluride ~ The Lone Bellow
16. Stranger ~ Sawyer Fredericks
17. The Gold ~ Manchester Orchestra
18. Everytime I Hear That Song ~ Brandi Carlile
19. Unraveling ~ Frances Cone
20. Your Water ~ Parker Millsap & Sarah Jarosz
Now, without further ado, the winners of the mix tapes themselves, and with great gratitude for their suggestions as I used some from each of them, the 2018 mix tape collections go to Darla from She’s a Maineiac and Mark from Swinged Cat!
Until next time, keep dancing, friends!
And feel free to share more of your favorite songs below
as the search for this year’s fave tunes begins NOW!
The Phenomenal Mix Playlist Winners Revealed
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.
The winners are Serena Dracis and Amber West!!!
The Ultimate Mixtape: 2016 Edition
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
Call for Music Suggestions: The 2015 Phenomenal Woman Mix
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!
The Ultimate Mix CD Project 2014
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!
The Ultimate Mix Tape…For My Mom
Hey Everyone! This Guilty Pleasures Friday, we’re doing something a little different. I’m asking for your help and recommendations for a present for my mom!
Every holiday I give my mom a Phenomenal Woman Mix as one of her Christmas gifts and this year I’m finding lots of tunes, but in really different styles. So I’ve decided to give her both a “Cafe’ Mix” and a Phenomenal Woman Mix (upbeat music that makes you sing in the car or dance to).
So now, I’m about halfway through both and I need suggestions!
I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite music finds for the two compilations, and would love to hear your ideas for additional songs to go on either cd!
I thought we needed a fun contest!
I will pick 3 commenters at random who will win their choice of the following:
- a chance to do a guest post about their guilty pleasure
- a guest post from me on a topic TBD
- a mix cd of tunes selected just for you!
Let the jam begin!
Here’s some of the tunes for the Cafe’ Mix so far:
Where’d All the Living Go – Imaginary Cities
Never Quit Loving You – Jill Barber
You and Me – Sara Watkins
Tunes for the Phenomenal Woman Mix:
Let Me Out – Imelda May
Wild Young Hearts – The Noisettes
My Heart – The Ettes
Blue Bird – Lindi Ortega
Did you notice a trend?
All recommendations should be female artists please! That’s what makes it a phenomenal women mix!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Did you find some new tunes you like too?