Modern songs that deal with important topics. Not all of these songs pinpoint specific political or social issues but they contribute to the conversations I believe we need be having in society today. When I am frustrated or angry or scared about the state of the world, these are songs that inspire me to focus my energy. They remind me that art is relevant and in fact an important tool in the global discussion. — Carson McHone
“To the Boys” — Molly Burch
Molly is a local Austin favorite and her latest record covers lots of territory. This one’s very direct and delivers an undeniable punch. Also it’s super catchy!
“Glass Jar” – Tristen
Killer pop songs all over Tristen’s latest release. “Glass Jar” examines social media I believe … great imagery!
“Wild Blue Wind” — Erin Rae
Like Tristen, Erin Rae is based in Nashville and tapped in to some very relative issues including sexual identity and, in “Wild Blue Wind,” struggles with mental health. This song is so beautiful and it makes me cry every time I hear it.
“Bad Bad News” — Leon Bridges
This song is something else. It’s heavy, but it rises above and is groovy in every way. It’s my favorite thing from him so far…
“(Gone Is) All but a Quarry of Stone” – Premix Single — Daniel Romano
Both this song and the accompanying video are devastating. There’s something so beautiful and timeless about the melody and yet the song is haunting and foreboding, suggesting, well, just doom it seems. And I love this premix version.
“Little Movies” — Aaron Lee Tasjan
Another Nashvillian making waves and great music. “Little Movies” I believe also deals with the modern age of technology and social media, how we establish our presence on the screen, definitely a worthy topic for discussion.
“Boyfriend” — Marika Hackman
She’s not afraid to get dirty. Marika Hackman’s lyrics always dig deep. The music on her 2018 I’m Not Your Man album, this song in particular, is more raw and rockin’ than I’ve heard from her before and it’s totally killer.
“Image” — Lera Lynn
Every line is great. Relevant? I’d say especially these days!
“The Body Electric” — Hurray for the Riff Raff
This song does a beautiful job of reaching back in time and bringing a common, and dark, theme into the spotlight of modern times. The tune and the video are working on lots of levels, and they’re all very powerful.
“It Seemed the Better Way” — Leonard Cohen
The timing of his passing was uncanny. It certainly got darker, way darker. But he left us with a lifetime of just the most thoughtful art. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got his words and music to aspire to. Thank you Leonard Cohen.
Photo credit: Laura Hajar