songs from a hardwood floor: the playlist.


People always say not to dwell in the past. But I personally kind of like it there.

That is not to say I neglect the present, or that I live in the past any more than the next person (admit it; we all do it). But I think we are often too quick to discount days of old, thinking, “It happened, it’s done, ciao bella.” We often fail to acknowledge just how instrumental it was in shaping who we are today.

As of late, I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on the details of my past. Call it a fleeting introspective spell. Maybe it’s turning 24; maybe it’s fielding a six gallon Diamond baseball bucket of life changes; perhaps it’s just a phase. Regardless, here I am.

As I am sure you have too, I have found that memories don’t always come back all that easily. I don’t know where they go or why they run off so quickly, but they’re slippery little buggers. In the end, though, I find that, if you spend enough time trying to grab them, they always come back. And they’re almost always accompanied by a song.

Bear with me here, and think about it: Your life has a soundtrack. Almost every moment has a song accompanied with it in some capacity. Whether it was playing at the time or a certain tune merely reminds you of a certain place in time, it is there. Maybe Believe by Cher was the go-to song in the back of your dad’s Toyota Camry on the way to work with him. (It really was). Maybe your first concert was Hootie and the Blowfish at age three, hoisted on your mom’s shoulders so you could see. (Again, sure was.) Maybe Patty Loveless always makes you think of playing in the backyard while your crappy boombox blared ‘Trouble With the Truth’. (It did.) All in all, music is there.

With the release of my newest single, ‘Songs From A Hardwood Floor,’ I have reflected even more on the soundtrack of my life and the songs that have made me both the human and the musician I am today. I made a playlist of them here, but also chose ten of them to expand upon, pinpointing either the place in time where I go every time I hear it or the way it shaped me.

Welcome to The Soundtrack of my Life.

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12. Come A Little Closer by Dierks Bentley

(Disclaimer: I did not know what this song was about at the mere age of ten. It should be noted.)

{Ten years old at McElroy Auditorium in my hometown of Waterloo, IA.} Miranda Lambert was opening for Dierks, and they were both just starting to gain momentum. I’ll never forget; the opening notes of this song started playing, and all of a sudden, flocks of people came running back from the restroom lines and concession stands. These empty caverns of light marked by exit signs were instantaneously populated by droves of people— and all because of a song. I vividly remember thinking, ‘Someday, I’m going to write and sing a song that causes hundreds of people to forfeit their spot in the beer line.’ And the day I do it, I will immediately recall this song to mind.

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11. The Black & White by The Band Camino

{Sophomore year of college. Mary Benedict Hall, Fourth Floor, West Wing.} I was blaring a Spotify radio station through my dorm room, and as soon as the first notes hit, I went running to my computer to see what it was. Five years later, it is still one of my top songs. Not only has this song become my go-to running song, but it is the threshold for good melody writing for me. Whenever I am writing a song, I try to one-up this powerhouse melody.

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10. The ‘Millennium’ Album by The Backstreet Boys

{Seven years old, dancing around my room with my mom, singing every word into a hairbrush.} The take away? “No, Natascha, you’re not going to marry Nick Carter someday.” But in all actuality, it was a big part of my childhood. Regardless of what you think of The Backstreet Boys, this album deserves a spot on the playlist.

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9. ‘The Essential Ray Price’ Record

My dad sent me a slew of Ray Price songs a few months back, and I was instantly hooked. He has such a classic voice and is a hopeless romantic, just like yours truly. Traditional country music in general is such a big part of my own sound as an artist. I strive to bring to life the morals, sound, and storytelling that country music was first built on, in a way that is still accessible to consumers today. Furthermore, being the old soul that I am, this kind of music simply makes me happy in a heartbeat. Especially if its on vinyl!

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8. Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

I can’t recall the exact point in my life (eighth grade is ringing a bell), but I do remember that my mom and siblings weren’t home, and my dad had heard about this indie movie that was apparently gaining loads of attention. I was starting to get more serious about music, and he thought it would be a good idea to watch this together. So we had a father/daughter movie night.

First of all, if you haven’t seen this movie, do (with humble expectations; the filming is intentionally amateur). If you get the chance to see the musical adaptation on stage, do that too. Glen Hansard plays himself and starts out as a busker in the streets of Ireland. He meets a girl that urges him to take his songs to the next level. Not only does he do that (and spoiler, is now a very successful touring musician), but the man can SAAAAANG. He throws every ounce of emotion into conveying a song to his audience, and I always strive to even meet him halfway.

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7. That Hotel by Donovan Woods

{Seventh period study hall my sophomore year of high school. Mr. Gee’s classroom, four rows back.} It was the first of many Donovan Woods’ songs I would hear (he is, hands-down, one of my favorite songwriters), and it stopped me in my tracks. I started crying in study hall because it’s a really flipping sad song, and everyone was staring at me. From that point forward, not only was I The Girl Who Always Cries, but that’s when I knew I wanted to write songs.

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6. ‘The Trouble With The Truth’ Record by Patty Loveless

This CD was constantly playing on my crappy grey boombox with tape-playing capacity, along with Lee Ann Womack’s ‘I Hope You Dance’ record. Constantly.

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5. ‘Somebody Like You’ by Keith Urban

{Nine years old, in the nose bleeds of McElroy auditorium in my hometown.} Apart from Hootie and the Blowfish at age three, this was my first REAL concert. Since then, I have seen him in concert four times, and he continues to be one of my favorite performers.

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4. The Time I’ve Wasted by Lori McKenna

I will forever argue this is one of the best songs ever written. Not only do I consider Lori McKenna to be one of my primary influences and musical role models, but I set this song as the pinnacle for all songs I write myself.

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3. She Is Love by Parachute (and basically any other song of theirs)

This band is easily one of my more formative influences. My sound doesn’t reflect theirs in the slightest, but I spent my high school and college years watching their every move. I’ve been to eight of their concerts, countless VIP experiences, and was even runner-up in a competition to open for them. I can sing every word of every song back to you to this day (challenge accepted), and my home studio is basically a Parachute paraphernalia shrine, despite the fact that I have “grown out” of my role as an uber fan. All in all, I give full credit to this band for making me want to pursue a career in touring music. Without a doubt.

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2. Fix You by Coldplay (and anything else they touch)

Coldplay is my favorite band of all time. Bold statement, I know, but I mean it. I don’t recall why, because I didn’t know them from Adam at the time, but I ended up with tickets to see them at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA on their Viva La Vida tour. I spent the entire day of the concert locked in my room, learning every word of that record so that I could sing along. (It used to be my biggest pet peeves not to be able to sing back every word at a concert.)

If you know me well, you know why,, but ‘Fix You’ is, and will continue to be, one of the most important songs of my existence.

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  1. Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty

    My lifeline, my dance-it-out song, the song I will stop what I am doing anywhere and anytime to sing along to, the tattoo on my wrist. This is, unequivocally, my favorite song of all time.

Natascha Myers