Summer Mix Series

Summer Mix 2015

2014 moved along and so did I. Flash forward a year, and I was working at an engineering firm. Fun fact: most people have no idea how little most engineers evidently think of other peoples’ intelligence. It wasn’t the dream job, but it was a job. I adopted a puppy. I was steadily dating my S.O. of the time, going on a year plus of bliss.


Summer Mix 2015 is an odd mixture of conflict. A mix of budding happiness and conflict. I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. My first choice had been taken away from me. My job paid well, but working with people who didn’t respect me solely because of my liberal arts college degree was slowly crushing. I was constantly trying to figure out what my goal was. Did I want to be happy in a career I loved? Or did I want to learn to work hard and excel at something that would make me money?

Blowin’ Smoke – Kacey Musgraves
Hold On – Alabama Shakes
Jackie and Wilson – Hozier
Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
Big Blue Wave – Hey Ocean!
Head Underwater – Jenny Lewis
High Society – Betty Who
New in Town – Little Boots
Skeleton Key – Dessa
Crazy Vibes – Selah Sue
Nothing Ordinary – Lucius
Better Man – Beth Hart
Demons – Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
Cherry on Top – Oh Land
Musical Chairs – Atmosphere
I’m the Best – Nicki Minaj
Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott
Hearts Like Ours – The Naked and Famous
Beggin for Thread – Banks
Pilgrim – MO
5 O’Clock – Lily Allen and T-Pain

The confusion around my personal state is so clearly evident in my song choices. The first two songs are restless anthems about going nowhere fast. The next three are romantic happiness.  That theme resonates throughout. “High Society,” “New in Town,” and “Better Man,” all tout the happiness of new relationships.

“Skeleton Key,” “Crazy Vibes,” and “I’m the Best” have positive, independent messages. But “Cherry on Top” and “Musical Chairs” are another story–a reminder that some people will never be satisfied.

“Look at Bobby, he doesn’t even know that you’re supposed to set a new one after you achieve a goal.”

“Beggin’ for Thread” and “5 O’Clock” indicated that maybe even my wonderful relationship struggled a bit.

Maybe Summer Mix 2015 is so strange to me because Summer 2015 was so different. It was my first ever summer as a person with a year-long 40-hour-a-week job. I’d worked 40+ hour week jobs during the summer before. But there was always school or another adventure looming on the horizon. I’d find makeshift gigs or volunteer work to occupy my time between research trips and language camps.

That was not 2015. That summer I spent a lot of time with my puppy. I spent a lot of time at concerts. I went camping and insisted on seeing the butter cow at the Iowa State Fair for the first time. I took short weekend trips to visit nearby friends and remembered that the 8+ hour car trip isn’t really that fun.

Summer Mix 2015 Highlights

I love Kasey Musgrave’s “Blowing Smoke.” I love that she makes social commentary without being really judgmental.

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