Search Results for: music recs

Music recs: 10,000 Maniacs, Enya, Loreena McKennitt

…so it turns out I hit the end of my alphabetical “underappreciated music artists I should rec” list. Which means I get to close the tab I’ve had open for (*checks*) more than a year now. Yowza.

Just in time to avoid migrating it to the new computer, too!

But there’s this separate folder of Soft Songs by Soft Female Vocalists that I skipped over, so I’m circling back and doing one last post.


10,000 Maniacs: The softest of alt-rock, with Natalie Merchant as the lead singer. Their peak years happened back when I was a toddler, but their songs give me college feelings anyway. (10,000 Maniacs playlist.)


Enya: Irish singer-songwriter; occasionally gets close enough to “mainstream pop” to have a mainstream hit, but most of her stuff is dreamier, stranger, slow and wistful. Inspiration from mythology, astronomy, and natural scenes around the globe; lyrics in English and Gaelic, and, at least once, in Quenya. (Enya playlist.)


Loreena McKennitt: Canadian composer-harpist-accordionist-pianist-soprano. Lots of influence from Celtic and Middle Eastern myth/legend. First choice if you need a soundtrack for being kidnapped by faeries. (Loreena McKennitt playlist.)

Music recs: We The Kings, Wendy Matthews, Within Temptation

We The Kings: American alt-pop, full of earnest feelings, with just the lightest shiny glaze of fantastical imagery. (We The Kings playlist.)


Wendy Matthews: Clear, soulful, ’80s pop. The playlist gets pretty samey part of the way down, but there’s good stuff at the top. (Wendy Matthews playlist.)


Within Temptation: Gorgeous, epic, symphonic goth rock. (Plus some of those growly male vocals they love in goth-metal. Those tracks, I skip.) The soundtrack for your tormented hero’s fall into anguish, or your fantasy team-up’s desperate last-stand battle. (Within Temptation playlist.)

This first track is another of my Top Favorite Songs, Period:

Music recs: The Veronicas, Vienna Teng, Walk The Moon

The Veronicas: Australian electropop-punk. Lots of powerful, fiercely energized songs about intense yearning in all its phases — for a bad relationship to get better, a bad breakup to be forgiven, a good relationship not to blow up, a hot stranger to, ah, answer their thirst. The singers are identical twin sisters (neither one named Veronica). (The Veronicas playlist.)


Vienna Teng: Soft indie chamber pop. Her performance range goes from “a-capella singing group” to “clasically-trained pianist.” Unmatched at wistfulness. (Vienna Teng playlist.)

That last one is boundlessly joyful — don’t miss it.


WALK THE MOON: Ohio new-wave dance-rock. Energetic, offbeat, if neon lights were turned into music this is what they’d sound like. (Walk The Moon playlist.)

Music recs: Donnie Munro/Runrig, Styx, Tori Amos

Donnie Munro/Runrig: soothing Celtic folk rock. (Solo act & band with a lead singer, respectively.) Think if Dan Fogelberg was more Gaelic. (Donnie Munro playlist.)


Styx: Prog rock that ranges from working-class anthems to weird sci-fi/fantasy scenarios. Apparently they broke up for a decade or so, then came back together? Everything here is from their ’70s and ’80s work. (Styx playlist.)


Tori Amos: Chamber pop with classically-trained piano, and lots of haunting mezzo-soprano lyrics. Apparently she was expelled from the Peabody Institute at 11 for “musical insubordination”, which is a delightful origin story. (Tori Amos playlist.)

Music recs: The Birthday Massacre, The Corrs, Jedward

In the home stretch! Only got about five more of these in the bank.


The Birthday Massacre – New-wave goth rock. Lighter and airier than Evanescence, darker and eerier than Blackmore’s Night, best when they’re doing creepy-cute lovely melodies. (Birthday Massacre playlist.)


The Corrs – Pop rock with Celtic-fusion elements. Covers the whole emotional spectrum, but in particular, they have a talent for making love songs that go “you are so great and I love you and I’m happy and there’s no catch” in a way that feels earnest and joyful, not thin or superficial. (The Corrs playlist.)


Jedward: Teen pop that’s wildly mainstream-popular in Ireland and the UK — they’ve been Eurovision finalists, twice — but somehow hasn’t jumped the Atlantic. Came out of The X Factor, same as One Direction, although they’re identical twins instead of a 5-part boy-band. (Jedward playlist didn’t exist so I made one.)