Why Sara Bareilles is the Best Singer Songwriter You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you haven’t heard of her then you have probably heard her songs. “Love Song” and “King of Anything” were Top 40 hits. Although Sara doesn’t get the coverage of Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, she should. She has much more talent. She plays numerous instruments including the piano and guitar. She also writes all her songs. And her voice is both big and sweet. She doesn’t, however, dance or wear costumes. She does tell funny stories and drop a few f-bombs between songs. She’s the kind of performer that creates an intimate experience. Not a media circus.

I’ve listened to her albums relentlessly, looking for solace and inspiration in her songs. They have helped me heal and given me comfort. So much so I had a lyric from “Many the Mikes” tattooed on my back. Give these tunes a try. It might help you get over that hurdle or at least realize one’s there.

“Gravity” Little Voice – a spell bounding, piano solo. Her voice is enchanting. It’s a sadness we’ve all had. Sometimes love can’t hold us together. Sometimes love cages us. This beautiful, simple plea still holds my breath every time I hear it.

“Many the Miles” Little Voice – Having one of those days when you realize you should’ve never gotten up? This upbeat anthem makes me feel strong when I sing along. It’s about bringing yourself back and remembering “I’ve been given this one world, I won’t worry it away.” there are so many transcending and empowering lyrics. I feel brave and ready to keep fighting this eternal war we call life.

“City” Little Voice – This song is smart. It’s not the same old cliché. She commands on the piano and with her voice. She will make you listen to her. You want to; it’s a song that you don’t want to end. If you have ever needed something to hold on to, listen to this song.

“Gonna Get Over You” Kaleidoscope Heart – I love the snaps first of all. But the truth in the words is what really slays me. It really helped me feel like I was going to survive the break up. I knew I would eventually be alright but it didn’t have to be tonight. Sara was with me in the times that I thought I just might die of a broken heart. When I hear it now, it serves as a reminder that all these hurts and scars and pain make us who we are. You can come back from more than you thought possible.

“Hold My Heart” Kaleidoscope Heart – it reminds of a conversation many years ago with a man I loved. It wasn’t just a regular conversation. It was one that changed everything. He and I were not going to be. It was this ugly truth. Yes we loved each other but it wasn’t in the stars. Sara’s voice is so aching. I feel like my sorrow was intertwined into the DNA of this song. It somehow gives me closure to a long ago summer evening conversation that ended with us apart.

I’m still digesting her latest album, “The Blessed Unrest,” but here are my picks:

“Satellite Call” – The rhythm and beat imply the depth of this song. The echo changes Sara’s voice, but not in an auto-tune parody kind of way. She’s present in her songs and that causes me to be as well. Sometimes hearing a song can change the rest of your day. When I hear this one, I want to be a more connected person to my own experience.

“Little Black Dress” – Love the few notes that set off this sing along anthem. It’s what we all want to do “dance until you’re all gone.” Sara never feels sorry for herself, and she doesn’t want us to either. Because we can all put on our favorite song, sing defiantly and rise above whatever thinks it can keep us down.

“December” – I can only say that this is a month that I would rather skip. And this song captures that feeling in a cool, not too bleak way. Because it’s not like I can skip December. It comes every year and makes quite a big deal about itself. So maybe I feel a little be more ready for it when I hear this song.

So this has been my love letter, disguised cleverly as a blog entry, to Sara B. saying why she and her music mean so much to me.

 

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I’m 35, Single and Not Freaking Out

Yes it’s true. I am an actual 35 year old, single woman who isn’t freaked out about it. Of course every rom-com movie and chick lit book, tells me the opposite. But my life is not a romantic comedy. Maybe a dark romantic comedy!

The point is that I’m single by choice. No one has broken up with me since I was 15.

I have several friends who are just now getting married, and I say – good move! Although I have other friends that married young and are surprisingly still happy. Not everything works the same for every one. I respect that yet some people seem almost horrified when I say marriage is not in my future. When I was married I felt like I was trapped. Yes a lot of that had to do with the fact that I married the wrong person, but I also think I’m too unconventional to be pressured by society norms.

Maybe the biggest reason I’m without worry is that I have not lost hope in love, which is saying a lot considering my long line of disastrous relationships: a liar, an alcoholic, a man with no backbone and one who always made sure he was the most important person to himself. Not that I’m perfect, but seriously if someone asked me my type, I would have said, “emotionally unavailable.”

But that’s not what I see in my future. I see the possibility of love. I’ve been in love twice in my life. My first love died several years ago, and I never got to say goodbye. The second one nearly killed me or at least my heart.

Lessons learned, right? I think so. The man in my life now has nothing but respect and affection for me. So yes I must be making better choices, but I still say no to another walk down the aisle. Because that’s not THE happy ending for me. I’ll make my own happy. No ending required.