Stop and Listen

Good morning! I hope your week is off to a good start so far, in spite of the weather (if it happens to be inclement, where you’re located). Here, in Pennsylvania, it’s rainy, dreary and chilly. After the beautiful weekend we had, it’s quite a contrast. Though, as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Let’s hope that is the case!

Anyhow, a couple months ago, I started working a temporary job (which recently came to an end), which required me to often be in the car, traveling from one place to another. As a result, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio, hearing the latest and newest songs, my favorite DJ’s and the latest celebrity and local gossip. Having always been a fan of my local radio stations (i.e. 94.5 PST, 106.1, 102.1 and occasionally 96.5), I didn’t mind having the opportunity to listen more regularly. Of course, I’m not the biggest fan of driving, but listening to the radio made it a little less agonizing. Two songs in particular have lingered on my mind since first hearing it and I thought it was worth mentioning. The first song I’ve come to really love is one by a band you may or may not be familiar with, since they are relatively new on the music scene, despite having several singles already:


Echosmith 2

Hailing from Chino, California, Echosmith is a band which formed in 2009 and is comprised of siblings (Graham, Sydney, Noah and Jamie). They are young, but considerably talented, ranging in ages from 16-22) and are most noted for their songs, “Cool Kids,” and most recently, “Bright.” Their lyrics and musical abilities are impressive and captivating. Often when their songs are played on the radio, I stop and listen not only to the music, but to the lyrics, personally relating to them. The lyrics might be simple, but sometimes, simple is best and often most powerful.


I heard them perform “Cool Kids,” live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show a couple months back and they did not disappoint. Unlike many other bands and musicians, they sounded nearly identical to their recording and their passion for music proved to shine through.

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth:

Wiz and Charlie

If you’ve listened to the radio lately, watched several talk shows, or saw the latest Fast and Furious movie in theatres, then you’ve probably heard or encountered the song by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth“See you Again.” If you haven’t then I hope you’ll take a listen when you get a chance. When I first heard it, I didn’t realize it was a dedication to the late Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker. However, after watching Wiz and Charlie’s performance of the song (also on The Ellen DeGeneres Show), it became clear to me.

See You Again

The lyrics of the song are powerful and appropriate and emphasize the relationships between Paul Walker and his castmates. It suits how heartbreaking and devastating Paul Walker’s sudden death was and generally, I’m not a fan of a voice like Charlie Puth’s, but something about it, perhaps how raw and emotive it is, captivates me and it works for the song. There is passion there and to me, that is more important than any other minute detail about someone’s voice that might not be “perfect.”

Kelly Clarkson:

Kelly Clarkson 2

Given the release of her latest CD, I couldn’t possibly post about music without mentioning one of my favorite singers, Kelly Clarkson. Since first appearing on American Idol on their first season, I’ve been a fan and follower of hers. I’ll never forget the first time I heard her voice, I was an impressionable middle-school student, sitting at the large desktop computer upstairs in my house, with the TV blaring in the background. I wasn’t paying attention to the TV, but suddenly turned to watch when I heard a powerful voice echoing. From that moment on, she has been a favorite of mine, not only for her incredible voice and catchy songs, but also for how secure she appears to be within herself. Lately, the media and people in general have not been quite so kind to her in regards to her body, but she has maintained a confident presence, staying true to who she is and emphasizing she is happy and in life, that is what is most important. Her confidence and trust within herself is something to me I aspire to emulate. In life, it is often so challenging (or at least it is for me, personally) to ignore the words others might say about me or what I think they are saying about me, but Kelly is a constant reminder of how possible it is to overcome these harsh words and criticisms. I love how she is teaching her baby daughter, River, to trust within oneself and realize health and happiness is paramount over numbers on a scale or the way clothing fits one’s body. People are often so quick to place judgments and assume people are one way simply because of how their body appears. We are more than our bodies and I’m so glad Kelly is an advocate for this perspective.

Music has always been a consistent presence in my life. I often forget how powerful and inspirational it can be. Often when I become overwhelmed, simply listening to a favorite song, or singing along to a favorite song has the ability to transport me to place of calm, where I can delight in the lyrics and the melody and recall fond memories.

Music quote


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