1. “Mmlj” by the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers. (I love saying the title out loud!) An acronym for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, this song reminds me that DAILY NOURISHMENT comes from the gospels. The lyrics are so joyful, and the singers have voices to match!
2. “I Will Never Let You Down” by Rita Ora. *GIRLY POP WARNING* Yes, it’s a throwaway pop song — nothing deep — but it’s got one of those melodies (with pristine production) that chemically alters my brain and makes me HAPPY! There’s a science to it, I’m sure.
3. “In the Dark I See” by Lights. Oh man, LIGHTS. Everything she sings is magic in my ears. This song made me fall in love. Just her and a guitar. I’m not sure what this song means to her, but I know what it means to me. (I tend to sing it vertically, to God.)
4. “Brighten My Heart” by Sixpence None the Richer. This song does what the title suggests: it brightens! I love the poetry and simplicity of the lyrics, paired with a humble melody and Leigh Nash’s childlike vocals. It’s a prayer I’ve sung on many occasions. Keep it handy for a pick-me-up!
5. “Grace’s Amazing Hands” (and pretty much everything else) by Dave Barnes. That voice… Yummy. But this song in particular stands out because it personifies grace so beautifully: her hands are “ugly” and “bruised” because of the hard work they’ve accomplished, but they’re “soft as a feather bed” to those who’ve felt their loving touch.
6. “Extraordinary” by Liz Phair. I admit this isn’t the HAPPIEST song on the planet… But I’d put it in the “angsty happy” category — a sort of liberating breakup song. Maybe it’s the happy memories that accompany the track, but it definitely belongs on my list. Maybe it’ll make the cut for you, too!
7. “Every Time I Close My Eyes” by Mariah Carey… Err, I mean, Babyface. But really, this song is all about Mariah’s “background” vocals. This diva can’t just shrink into the background. Nuh uh. Poor Babyface takes a backseat when MC brings her signature vocal runs on the bridge. It’s PURE GOLD! *Pressing replay now*