“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” – Lao Tzu

We haven’t even reached the halfway mark of 2016 and already, it has left a gaping hole in the middle of the music world’s heart. While a majority of us may have never had the chance to meet our greatest idols and influences, their death has this seismic ripple effect that can feel deeper than one would expect.  The whole world goes through it with you. It feels as though we’ve lost a piece of ourselves, a time of our lives, even a friend.  Music is extremely personal and emotional, so it is no wonder the loss felt echoes beyond blood or close relationships.

The late Robin Williams could incite many a thrilling wonder to life. Perhaps one of his most cherished roles we remember was that of English teacher John Keating in “Dead Poets Society.”

Speaking of those that paved the way before them, Keating aimed to summon the muse for his students. He posed: “They’re not that different from you, are they? … Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see, [they] are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe — Hear it? Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day…make your lives extraordinary.”

She saunters into the half-light, her emerald dress sashaying with each brush of the snare, unknowingly. His eyes quietly follow her path, carefully shaded away in his corner booth. Palms balmy with nerves, his body suddenly feels like a sinking anchor as her figure becomes smaller with distance.

But as magic moments would have it, she suddenly feels his draw, like a warm electric current in her chest. She turns in time with the song, heart thumping on cue. He rises from the safety of that worn leather barricade, surfacing with the voltage. This is their meet-cute, their story for the ages.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

War.  Terrorism.  Extremism.  Racism.  Hate.  Violence.  Unrest.  Suffering.  Death.

These words should not be commonplace for us in everyday news.

There has been quite a buzz around the music industry this past week with the release of Ryan Adams’ cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Both rave and less than impressed reviews have been flying. On the one side, people are arguing why he shouldn’t be able to snag the spotlight for something she wrote, while others prefer his version to hers.  To each their own.

But when you get down to the brass tax of it all, the definition of a cover song is this: “In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a previously recorded, commercially released song by someone other than the original artist or composer.”

Does it ever feel like life goes by so quickly that if you’re not running at its pace, it’ll all pass you by?

It’s all too easy to get in a pattern of going and doing at such a speed that those things we thought to be life passing us by were actually just marks on a checklist and the really true moments, often the most quiet and easy to miss, in fact … have passed.

There is peace and beauty to be found in an ultimate balance of work and play, of thinking and feeling, of activity and rest. It’s what we do in the in-between that helps us maintain a mindful stasis and not become worn out or stale.

There’s just something about that golden hour, when the sun starts to sink just below the horizon, illuminating everything around with its blanket of deep, golden light. Then, when the setting has passed and the sun has gone to rest, that’s when summer really comes alive.

Free to still roam without chilling to the bone, a freedom awaits in those wondrous midsummer nights. This month’s playlist is created with just that in mind. Gather round the bonfire and throw this puppy on the ones and twos for ultimate summer night bliss.


Behold: we are standing at the gates of summertime! Sun melting upon your face, seeping feel-good vibes into your veins, deadening the harsh winter to mere memories. With such vitality upon us, one must come prepared with the proper tuneage in the event you end up kicking it poolside, fireside, by the seaside, all things outside or any side really, because … summer that’s why!

Fear not, though, for we’ve got you covered like SPF. Here’s a sweet little playlist of crisp newbies to kick off your sandals and sink your toes in the sand to. Ready, steady, go:


Exploring lesser known, more elusive genres can open up a whole new world of music that might never otherwise have been discovered.

This month, we are tapping into the sublime world of Shoegaze music. In the late 1980s, a sub-genre of alternative began emerging that some described as a “wall of sound”. Heavily distorted guitar riffs morphed together and melted into eerily enchanting, misty and melodic vocals. This type of sound was one with a steady, molasses pulse that never really faltered, built or dropped significantly and the lyrics became as esoteric as the entire body of each song.

Ready to learn (and listen to) more?