The Soundtrack of My Soul: 11 Albums I'll Always Love

Music is much more than just music. Music isn't music without passion, emotion, & a soulful connection. Here are albums filled with poetry, hymns, and lyrics that live deep within my soul. Here are albums I will always love regardless of the circumstance. It was hard to narrow it down to eleven, yet I did it. Come and take a peek inside the depths of my soul and perhaps you'll find something you like. XO

1. Valdosta EP - Mayday Parade
Mayday Parade has so many good albums, yet the Valdosta EP is too much emotion to handle. Full of acoustics of heart wrenching, soulful ballads that never fail to make me feel. 'Your Song' always makes me reflect on my life more than I usually do. From nostalgic skylines, to dreams I've always wished could've been real, to heartbreaks that never can fully heal. Mayday Parade, why must you always make me cry? You beautiful, depressing, yet BEAUTIFUL people.

2. Ceremonials - Florence and the Machine
An album of such spirituality, rebirth, and renewal. Whenever I hear 'Shake It Out,' I feel like dancing in a field of lavender and roses in a long plaid dress. Florence makes me feel like I can do anything with this album and I couldn't thank her enough for guiding me through hard times. Bittersweet goddess Florence - thank you for making me dance in my backyard through darkness. "It's always darkest before the dawn..."

3. Born to Die - Lana Del Rey
Sonically, visually, and poetically: Lana kills me with her effortless artistic gleam. She is a beautiful soul with more depth than most people - and that shows throughout this entire album. In fact, this is my all time favorite album. Lana tells a story with each and every lyric and takes me to another realm. True love is redefined through honest poetry. Born to Die taught me a lot about love, and helped me realize who I am. Born to Die is the summer I came alive. The summer I loved. The summer of life.

4. Year One - Never Shout Never
Never Shout Never has had several albums within the past decade, but this remains my favorite. Full of demos, youth, summer and passion. Ukelele and autotune never sounded so lovely. This album takes me to blonde hair and making mistakes in middle school. Yet here I am - still listening to this album while driving around. I love this album because it's so raw. It's not trying to be anything. It's just there, yet I seem to connect with it on such a deep level. Eternal youth is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

5. The First Days of Spring - Noah and the Whale
Never has spring felt so painful. Freedom, moving on, letting go, looking towards hope: themes that radiate from this work of art. This album is like a novel: different for every person that reads it. You can interpret the lyrics however you wish, but The First Days of Spring is one of those albums that really go together. As an artist, I appreciate that more than ever. "Blue skies are coming, but I know that it's hard."

6. Where the Road Parts - Chase Coy
The soundtrack of so many stages of my life. Chase has always been an underrated artist in my opinion. His soft voice, his nostalgic words that shine light on every season - full of imagery of autumn leaves and sunshine. I could lay in the grass and look at the stars for hours while listening to this album. 'All Those Nights' is actually on my top 25 songs of all time. "All those nights we danced by the moonlight, conversations about nothing till midnight.."

7. Pure Heroine - Lorde
Musically speaking, Pure Heroine is one of the most innovative albums I've heard in years. Yet lyrically, I can't help but feel like I'm walking the halls of high school wanting to escape. I can't help but remember falling in love for the first time. I can't help but feel like driving around my hometown. Thank you Lorde, for taking pictures with lyrics.

8. Speak Now - Taylor Swift
I started falling for Taylor when she was featured in the corner of a page in some indie teen magazine back in the day. Speak Now is my favorite album by her - filled with ballads of heart break, friendship and love. The memories are painted onto each and every song. It's impossible not to relate to this album in someway. While Taylor knows her impact on the world, she will never know what she did for me in 5th grade, high school, college, and beyond..

9. The Scene Aesthetic - The Scene Aesthetic
Two men named Andrew and Eric form an indie band called The Scene Aesthetic. They dominate my life with music that speaks to my soul and makes me cry. The end. 'Beauty and the Breakdown' became a huge hit and their music traveled through all levels of myspace and owned it. Yet us myspace kids remember The Scene Aesthetic and how they sound like divine angels. I'll always be happy that The Scene Aesthetic exists.


10. Made of Bricks - Kate Nash
Cutesy wishful thinking mixed with badass feminism. Insecure tears and lonely obsession. Missing and longing for something, for someone. Yet at the same time, not caring....prancing down the road. Kate Nash makes me feel like me again. Kate Nash makes me realize I'm worth it, no matter what anyone says to me. She never was one to worry about the proper form of how a song should be, she just writes and sings. I always respected that and found her music so unique. Kate uniquely pieces this album together with honest lyrics and a different take on life that I've always found inspiring. 'We Get On' is the anthem of so many stages of my life.


11. The Princes Tale - Lauren Fairweather
This entire album reminds me of Severus's and Lily's relationship. Oh wait, because it IS about that. Take me back to Hogwarts...take me back to Orlando. While this album is about a fictional relationship (that I cared about very much), I related to the feeling of being a misfit, the feeling of wanting to get on that train and go far away to a world of unknown. Severus, thank you. Lauren, thank you.