Every year, I celebrate my birthday by reflecting on my favourite musical discoveries from the previous year. Music has that wonderful way of attaching itself to memories, and by defining my favourites from each year, I will always be able to revisit those memories and their unique soundtrack.
Here are last year’s picks!
One of the most common ways I discover new music is when my clients request something I’ve never heard before. This happened a lot over the past year, and soooo many of those client requests have made their way into regular rotation, both for my personal listening pleasure and during other weddings. So if you’re a past wedding client reading this and you see some songs you requested, I obviously think that you and your tastes in music are awesome.
Let’s start out with Pop. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve loved some of the past year’s chart toppers. I might be the only person that still isn’t sick of Justin Timberlake‘s Can’t Stop The Feeling, but I can happily announce that it has filled the dance floor every time I’ve played it… it’s a DJ’s dream!
I’ve really enjoyed a number of tracks Meghan Trainor‘s Thank You album. Upbeat, positive music always makes me smile, and M-Train’s fun tunes fit the bill.
Like the 16-year-old that I truly am, I’ve also been digging each of The Chainsmokers‘ singles – Roses, Closer, and Paris. To further solidify my love for these chart-toppers, my dude The Fitness Marshall made an awesome fitness routine to Closer. If you haven’t yet fallen in love with The Fitness Marshall and his videos, you HAVE to check him out. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Caleb’s happy videos kept me smiling on many a cold winter morning this year.
Both Ryan and I have been loooooving Bruno Mars‘ 24K Magic album. Of course, the singles are awesome, but the other tracks on the album have such a great 90s R&B throwback feel. This album gets played waaay too often in our house. The Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Bruno Mars gives a pretty good overview of the album.
If you know me, you know that in my eyes, Ed Sheeran can basically do no wrong. His new album is just awesome, and I was ecstatic with the release of Castle On The Hill – for the first time in a long time, I’d found a song that deserved to be put on repeat all day.
The first time (and every time thereafter) I watched Grace VanderWaal’s audition video from America’s Got Talent, I got instant goosebumps. There was just something so special about this girl. Well, Grace went on to win America’s Got Talent and put out an EP that’s really lovely. Oh, and lately she’s been connecting and performing with one of our shared heroes – Jason Mraz!
Of course, Vance Joy‘s Riptide has been a super popular song, but as I’ve been asked more and more to play his music at weddings, I’ve fallen in love with the whole Dream Your Life Away album. I can’t recommend it enough.
Speaking of lovely folk-ey goodness, another fave new folk artist of mine is Roo Panes. A number of my wedding clients asked for his music this year, and I am now in love with his songs Silver Moon, Stay With Me and Land Of The Living.
I got introduced to so many great love songs this year, thanks to the awesome couples I got to work with. Some of these are just perfect for first dance songs or ceremony music. My fave finds are:
With the news of David Bowie‘s passing came tons of requests for his music – way more than in past years. I love playing Golden Years (tbh that’s partially because of it’s place in the fun dance scene in A Knight’s Tale) to set a fun and upbeat atmosphere. Let’s Dance is always a hit on the dance floor, and Modern Love, Heroes and Changes are fun to include in cocktails and dinner music.
I absolutely love a good cover! This year I discovered that Sleeping At Last – a band I used to love but haven’t listened to in years – put out two albums filled with amazing, airy covers of some huge songs like I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and As Long As You Love Me (yes, the Backstreet Boys song).
One night, while playing some Postmodern Jukebox during dinner at a wedding, a guest came up to me and asked me if I’d heard Paul Anka’s Rock Swings album. I hadn’t, and was so stoked to discover the Canadian jazz legend’s covers of songs like Oasis’ Wonderwall and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. So awesome!
The next best thing after a good cover is a great remix. I love Kygo’s fun, bouncy remix of Sexual Healing (I guess it’s been around for quite a while, but it’s new to me). I’m also digging the Steve Aoki remix of Pursuit of Happiness.
I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with a few of my new favourite fun jazz songs. Just try to listen to these without smiling – I dare you!
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you discovered in the past year on my Facebook page!