A Very Majestic Thanksgiving

Sometimes you love a song for more than just its surface value and aesthetic enjoyment. Sometimes it goes deeper than that. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve reached out to handful of Majestic staff to tell me about songs they’re thankful for – ones that have impacted their lives in ways much deeper than what may come from a casual listen. For some the songs brought about change, for others it revealed new perspectives, still others discovered new sounds or genres through one particular song. At any rate, this time of year is a time to give thanks, and below are some songs to which we owe our gratitude.

1. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World (Zach Keenum, Blog Contributor)

“From the first time I saw this music video on MTV in 2001 (back when they played music videos), I fell in love. It’s as if Jimmy Eat World had taken the less-is-more approach in creating straightforward, honest pop-rock and just ran with it. It worked to their benefit. The Middle is a super popular song that’s still in regular rotation in bars, at venues, and at house parties today. I’m thankful for The Middle because while it’s not my favorite JEW song, it piqued my interest in them and gave me the incentive to dive deeper into their catalog. It also made me realize that in 1999 I was listening to Enema of the State by blink-182 when JEW’s emo staple Clarity came out in the same year. Should’ve checked that out instead. Fast forward sixteen years – Jimmy Eat World is one of my absolute favorite bands and have influenced my songwriting more than almost any other band.”

2. Anabelle – Dessa (Dayana Kupisk, Blog Editor)

“First off, this song is just beautiful to me. I tend to lean more into the lyrics of songs, and this whole piece has this convincingly sad and struggling imagery of being stuck that spoke to me the first time I heard it and has ever since. It was one of those songs that reminded me of feelings, people, books… just a combination of feelings I’d been pulling from different places all wrapped up into one song. But then, I read this interview where Dessa talks about what she was going through that prompted the writing of the song, and what experience she had been drawing from, contrasted with the experiences most people who mention the song to her say they were going through when they could relate to the song. I know that music has an ability to connect and is uniquely meaningful to people, but this was the first time where I saw it laid out so clearly that people can pull drastically different meanings from songs based on their own vantage point, their only circumstances. Since then, I’ve been much more aware of how the feelings music evokes from me may be a bigger reflection of where I’m at in my life than the song itself. It’s like a window into my own world, and that’s powerful.”

3. Copycat – Billie Eilish (Haley Schmidt, Snapchat Captain)

“This is my go-to every time I get into my car. Billie Eilish proves that there is more than just a happy or sad song. “Copycat” is dark and honest, and her lyrics “silver dollar, golden flame. Dirty water, poison rain” show that originality will always be better than a clone. Also, she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do… “I don’t belong to anybody, but everybody knows my name.” Intimidating. Oh, and she’s only 15.”


4. Full Circle – Half Moon Run (Celeste Benzschawel, Blog Contributor)

“I can listen to this song on full volume and it still won’t ever be loud enough. The lyrical rhythm is absolutely entrancing, and paired with the instrumentals, makes it irresistible — you can listen to it 15 times in a row and not get sick of it. It has so many tones: mysterious, gentle, yearning and fiery, all at once. It makes me want to curl up and cry, but it also makes me want to dance harder than I’ve ever danced before (those drums!). In simplest terms, this song makes me both happy and sad, and songs that make me both happy and sad are one of my five favorite things of all time! A song that can speak for one of your favorite things is definitely something to be thankful for.”

5. Scare Away the Dark – Passenger (Nolan Meilinger, Street Team Captain)

“I first heard Scare Away The Dark by Passenger at his concert in Milwaukee in I think 2013. The song was unreleased at the time. I just remember how gripping and inspiring the lyrics were. The major themes revolve around living life a little bit differently, getting out of the mundane rut we seem to be pulled into, truly living in a way that is present, adventurous, purposeful and ultimately from a place of love. It’s got a starry-eyed charm to it. The song was stuck in my head for a long time and remains one of my favorites. I am thankful for the message of unity and pursuing a way of life with love at the forefront of what you do – something I try to do in my life. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like my tea sweet, and this is just that.”

6. Never Be Like You – Flume (Haley Schmidt, Snapchat Captain)

“This song proves that classically trained individuals can carry over their skills to electronic music. There are so many layers to pick out and listen to, it never gets old. Flume introduced the important connection between new sound and visual artwork, creating a sense of depth and personal interpretation for the listener.”

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