Top 10 Songs

Okay, so I’ve done books and albums, but now I’m challenging myself to come up with the top ten songs that have stayed with me. I didn’t come up with this challenge by myself, it’s something else that’s been going around the Facebook.

This is going to be hard because I can barely pick a favourite song by any one band and I’m going to force myself to not repeat bands (I hate myself already). Some of these aren’t “favourite” songs, but are songs that have influenced/inspired me in some way.

In no particular order:

1) Take Off Your Colours – You Me At Six

Take off your colours, who are you wearing them for?

I originally put “Reckless” on this list, for obvious reasons (mainly the tattoo on my wrist). But then I remembered that I probably wouldn’t have even heard “Reckless” if it hadn’t been for “Take Off Your Colours”.  Finding this song (before seeing YMAS for the first time when they opened for The Academy Is… in November 2009) was the reason I gave those five boys from Surrey a chance. And I’ve never looked back.

2) There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of it Yet – Panic! at the Disco

When you’re in black slacks with accentuating off-white pinstripes, whoa-oh; everything goes according to plan.

My love affair with Panic! at the Disco is an ongoing saga. It’s not an exaggeration to say they changed my life, or at the very least, they changed the way I listen to music. This was the first P!ATD song I heard, and it immediately opened my brain to a whole new branch of music that I had previously never explored.

3) All the Small Things – blink-182

Say it ain’t so, I will not go…

When this song came out, I was about 9, and all the other girls in my class made fun of it, while I sat quietly thinking, “I don’t know what he’s singing about, but I flippin’ love it”. If Panic! at the Disco was the band that really cultivated my love for pop-punk, then blink-182 was the band that first planted that particular seed in my heart.

4) Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin

So read your books, but stay out late some nights…

This was the first Andrew McMahon song I ever heard. I owe it so much for introducing me to such an incredible, inspirational singer-songwriter-human. I may not have been a fan since the early days of Something Corporate, but I have faithfully followed Andrew on his musical journey over the past seven years and, as long as he keeps making music, I’ll keep on following him.

5) Color – The Maine

I’m just trying to find some colour in this black and white world…

This isn’t my favourite The Maine song (I have a hard time picking my top 5 TM songs, so I can’t choose just one), but I love the lyrics and the overall sentiment.

6) Slow Down – The Academy Is…

Then we’ll turn it up and we’ll play a little faster…

The first TAI… song I ever heard, it sticks with me because I have such strong memories of hearing it for the first time and learning about this amazing band.

7) Sanctuary – Paradise Fears

Even broken wings can fly away…

The first time I saw Paradise Fears – November 2011 – I remember them playing a great cover of “Stacey’s Mom”, and then, a few songs later, diving into “Sanctuary”. I didn’t know what it was called but it struck a chord with me. By the time I saw them a second time, four months later, I knew that I had stumbled on a very special band. I will never not feel emotional while shouting the words to the “speech”.

8) Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi

I’ve got nothing to prove for it’s you that I’d die to defend…

I spent a lot of time trying to decide which Bon Jovi song would end up on this list. At first I thought “Blood on Blood” because I love how relateable the lyrics are; then I thought “Born to Be My Baby” which is one of my favourites, or “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”, which is one of my other favourites. But I ended up with “Bed of Roses” because I have these vague memories of listening to it a lot with my oldest sister, Vanessa, when I was little (it came out when I was about 3).

9) Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

I wanna free fall, out into nothing, gonna live this world for a while…

I remember loving this song as a kid. I still really like it (sidenote: the cover by The Almost is also excellent). I don’t have any fun stories surrounding this song, but I can definitely remember singing along to it.

10) Take it to the Limit – The Eagles

So put me on a highway, show me a sign…

For most of my life, this song ended every other mixed tape (and later, mixed CD), we listened to on family road-trips. Once, I tried throwing it into the middle of a track list to mix things up, and it just didn’t work. It’s an end-of-the-night sing-along song, and is, essentially, my family’s anthem.

Top 10 Albums

Last week, I wrote a Writing Wednesday post about ten books that have stayed with me. Today, I figured I’d do the same, except MUSIC style.

So here you go, in no particular order, my top ten albums and top two favourite songs per album (because I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned most of these songs in other posts):

1) Sinners Never Sleep – You Me At Six

Reckless (if you’ve ever met me, you’d already know that)

Bite My Tongue (ft. Oli Sykes)

2) Vices & Virtues – Panic! at the Disco

Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)


3) Pioneer – The Maine

Like We Did (Windows Down)

My Heroine

4) Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now – All Time Low

A Love Like War (ft. Vic Fuentes)

Somewhere in Neverland

5) Battle Scars – Paradise Fears



6) Santi – The Academy Is…

Everything We Had


7) Everything in Transit – Jack’s Mannequin


Dark Blue

8) Save Rock & Roll – Fall Out Boy

Young Volcanoes

Alone Together

9) Sempiternal – Bring Me the Horizon


Can You Feel My Heart

10) Hello Fascination – Breathe Carolina

Dressed Up to Undress


Then we’ll turn it up and we’ll play a little faster

I’ve been in a very The Academy Is… mood lately (I’m listening to them right now!). Probably because I put “Winter Passing” on a Christmas mix for myself and listening to it reminded me of how much I love TAI.

Michael Guy Chislett, Adam “Sisky” Siska, William Beckett, Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek, and Mike Carden.

I always refer to them by their full names…except I always refer to Andy as “the Butcher” (side note: I  loooove the Butcher).

You can skip this next paragraph as I reminisce about the first time I heard TAI:

It was a friend’s 17th birthday party and we were listening to a mixed CD. I only heard parts of songs, but for days I had the lyrics “Hollywood hills and suburban thrills” floating in my brain. I’m not sure why I didn’t just google it (unless I did and didn’t find any results?) and I could never remember to ask my friend what song it could be. And then another friend made me a mixed CD and I distinctly remember listening to it at work and freezing mid-slice (I was chopping fruits), because THAT SONG came on and I had to listen to it 7 times in a row (that could be an exaggeration, but I definitely listened to it on repeat for DAYS).

That song was “Slow Down”, which is still one of my favourite TAI songs:


After that, I was pretty much hooked on TAI. I ran around buying their albums (my favourite always has, and probably always will be, 2007’s Santi) and waited anxiously for them to tour, until I finally saw them live in November 2009. They were incredible. William Beckett has insane stage presence and I remember how everyone around me lost it when he leaned into the crowd. I was so close and yet so far (though now I can proudly say I’ve met him TWICE and my inner 17-year old cried after the first time).

That was the only time I saw TAI live, because, two years later, they broke up (I don’t like talking about that…). I’m pretty sure I just listened to this for about a week after I found out:

Take the pain out of love and then love won’t exist.

It’s one of my most favourite videos ever. I always thought it was beautifully done, with everything moving backwards (you know what else is beautiful? Santi-era William Beckett in a leather jacket. YOU WERE THINKING IT TOO, DON’T DENY IT).

But now TAI are no more. I’m not sure what the two Michaels are doing, but Sisky was the bassist for Say Anything at one point (he might just be a touring member). The Butcher has been making music (he may be in a new band!) and William Beckett is now a solo artist (I’ll talk about his new music on a different Monday).

And TAI fans are just left watching the “About A Girl” video and thinking, “yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel right now”: