Tag Archives: thursday morning melody

Thursday Morning Melody: A Little Sea Sick

One of the best things about YouTube is the access it provides to independent artists that we may never have discovered through mainstream access. We discovered Ruby Day a few months ago when Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green held a contest for guest hosts during John’s paternity leave earlier this month. Ruby was one of the spotlighted videos and it blew us away.

Her British accent is super charming, but when you think that she’s only 18 and writing such sophisticated songs, it is incredible. This is her sea shanty break-up song. It’s the one John and Hank spotlighted but it’s also our favorite of hers. Our hearts break every time it gets to the “Admittedly I got myself in to this/But now all I really want is to get out/To be the person that I was before/Who looked around herself and saw/A world a little wider/ than the one to which she was bound” verse. You can see the rest of Ruby’s videos here, and we hope that you fall as in love with her and her voice as we have.

What do you think of “A Little Sea Sick”? Tell us in the comments below! 

Thursday Morning Melody: A Case of You (James Wolpert version)

We have posted before how much we like a good cover, especially when it re-does the original. Recently on NBC’s The Voice (the best reality show on television by the way, take that as you will) James Wolpert did a show stopping rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You.”

Now we know that trying to cover Joni is trying to walk on hallowed ground. Many have tried and failed to recapture the beauty and gritty of Joni’s bravado, but James actually slowed the song down even more and his smooth crooning grounded this acoustic version into something really beautiful. Take a look at this and tell us you don’t get chills during his last go at the chorus.

It turns out that amazing vocal power runs in the family. James Wolpert is the cousin of famous Broadway performer and Glee-guest star Jonathan Groff! James was eliminated from The Voice in the semi-finals this week but we think with vocals like this we’ll definitely be hearing from him soon (and look forward to it!)

This song has been on repeat for days in the Intent office though and we hope that you enjoy this beautiful and moving rendition of a classic.

What do you think of James’ version of “Case of You”? Did he nail it or is the original better? Let us know in the comments below!

Thursday Morning Melody: Story of My Life (One Direction)

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 3.12.26 AMWe know what you’re thinking – “Really, Intent? As in the boy band?” If you’ve been anywhere near an FM radio in the past two years, or in the proximity of a conscious tween-age girl then you are probably familiar with the ultra famous Brit boy band (Those stuck with uber fans in their households can probably even name them – Harry, Zayn, Louis, Niall and Liam. We didn’t even have to Google that, and we are not ashamed.)  They are best known for the ridiculously catchy shy-girl anthem “What Makes You Beautiful,” which probably doesn’t register on anyone’s radar as lyrically brilliant. So why are we talking about them on Intent Blog?

The boys just released the video for their new single, “Story of My Life.” While their previous vignettes have been about them playing practical jokes on each other or talking to pretty girls at parties, this new effort goes for the sentimental. It was directed by long time OD collaborator Ben Winston (he also directed their 3D film This Is Us) and starts with the boys in a dark room manually developing photos. As the camera pans around, it zooms in on various photos of each of the boys in their childhood. The shots are then brought to life with the now grown up versions of the people in the photos taking their place, and the boys walking around the recreation of their boyhood memories. We dare you not to get a little choked up when Harry snuggles up to his “mum” in that blue robe or when Louis’s grandparents permanently fade from the picture to show their passing.

The song itself is a stretch for the pop darlings. It’s a steady ballad twinged with a Mumford & Sons style banjo which shakes things up from their usual 70s pop rock sampled catchyness. Could this be a sign they are expanding and maturing musically as they get older? We’ll see when the new album comes out. For now allow yourself a little guilty pleasure (though we maintain you shouldn’t feel that guilty about this) and check out the video for “Story of My Life” below.

Thursday Morning Melody: Sydney (I’ll Come Running)

“…whenever you feel unhappy
All you have to do is call me
I can make you laugh.”

The first time I heard this song, I was at the LAX baggage claim. I heard this wobbly voice sing “Straight from the airport, I’ll come runnin’. Cut through the customs line, I’ll come runnin’.” It probably says something about my modern understanding of relationships when my first thought was “you’d cut through the customs line? That’s serious love!”

Brett Dennen‘s “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)” is our Thursday Morning Melody because it feels like the best way to start a day. But even if you’re anti-music, make sure you watch a couple of Brett’s wilderness survival videos. For disclaimer purposes, please know that these videos are unlikely to help you survive anything. Maybe instead you could just go see him on tour instead.

Have a song you think you should be featured in our Thursday Morning Melody column? Tell us in the comments below or send it to editor@intent.com!

Thursday Morning Melody: Say It Again

We can’t tell you enough how much we love Mariah McManus. Plain and simple. This California girl is equal parts indie pop star, Celtic folk singer and the cutest dollface around. Her album “Nice to Meet You” has been out a couple of years but it’s stayed on repeat for us since we got a hold of it. It’s full of heart, enchanting melodies and  occasionally gut-wrenching lyrics written by an old soul.

NPR Music
said “At 19, Mariah McManus has the kind of voice that L.A. producers pull all-nighters to replicate. Twinkling xylophone and resonant piano intersperse with 808 in “Say It Again,” a love song which nuzzles somewhere between Taylor Swift’s earnest puppy love and The Fray’s “Over My Head,” but without all the mess.”

We agree, NPR.

Think about the last time you fell in love. Then play her video for “Say It Again” like a soundtrack. Trust us. Then stop by iTunes and get yourself a copy of this brilliant little album.


Visit Mariah’s website or follow her on Twitter.
Find out when she’s playing and then be there. You won’t regret it.


Have a song that inspires you and want to see it featured in our Thursday Morning Melody column? Submit it in the comments below! 

Thursday Morning Melody: Always

180447_1631122743643_2327969_nThere’s a tattoo on my left ankle that says “It was always you falling for me.” When people ask me what it means I sort of brush it off with “They’re my favorite lyrics by my favorite band, Panic! at the Disco.” At that point they either give me a puzzled look because they have no idea who I am talking about or laugh because the few that have probably stopped taking them seriously in 2008.

So I don’t explain that I started listening to them in 2005, the fall of my junior year of high school when I coincidentally moved out of my house for a two year intensive math and science boarding school. Seeing as how I’m editor of a wellness blog and an aspiring screenwriter I think you can guess how well the whole “Science & Math” thing worked out for me. Those were the toughest two years of my life. I lost my identity as the smartest girl in my class. I had a lot of family issues. I lost all the friends I had to leave behind at home and making new ones didn’t come easily to me. I was in a really dark place. Given the epidemic of teen suicides in this country over the past few years I don’t like to be as dramatic to say I was suicidal; but I also like to say that if it hadn’t been for Panic!’s debut album that I had on constant repeat I would have probably taken my wondering what it would be like to not have to exist anymore a bit more seriously. I could write 5,000 words on why that album meant so much to me but the moral of the story is that it gave me something to hold on to. It was the only thing that made me feel like a human in those two years. Those songs helped me survive and I’m a stronger, better person for it, because of this band.

People stopped taking them seriously in 2008 because that’s when their second album came out, after they had basically transformed into a Beatles tribute band. It’s not their most heralded album, but there’s a song called “Northern Downpour” on it that they wrote for their fans. That was originally going to be the tattoo. The second verse starts “And then she said she can’t believe/Genius only comes along/In storms of fabled foreign tongues,” that broke my heart. There’s a history there because they had to scrap the original sessions for the second album and briefly thought of disbanding under the pressure of trying to create a follow up to their debut “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” – which sold 1.9 million copies worldwide. The first proposed second album was supposed to be a rock-opera of sorts, and their first album was composed of songs based off lyricist Ryan Ross’s short stories and favorite books (fabled – because the stories were made up – foreign – because some of them weren’t his – tongues, get it?) His at-the-time girlfriend told him not to give up, that he had genius of his own from his own experiences and so the band forged on to write “Pretty. Odd.” The first time I met the band I handed Ryan a letter thanking him for not giving up and quoted those lyrics. To this day I kick myself for not including my email address because I like to think he would have written back.

Of course, my idol worship was to be short lived. Apparently taking on the Beatles persona gave Ryan a case of John Lennon disease and he let his new girlfriend Yoko Ono the band. That’s rumored of course. The public story is that they had creative differences, but Ryan and bassist Jon Walker left all the same. This time it seemed Panic! was done for real. I mean, how do you write a third album when your main songwriter bails? You thank the heavens for a lead singer who knows how to step up. Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith forged ahead. Brendon got out a notebook and started writing – and two years later “Vices & Virtues” was released, proving he was more than a powerhouse vocalist but a wordsmith to be reckoned with. “Always” is on that album and it’s the only ballad. Actually, it’s just an acoustic guitar and Brendon – vulnerable and austere as he sings out “It was always you falling for me/Now there’s always time calling for me/I’m the light at the end of the road/Blink back to let me know“. In interviews after the album he said the only reason the album exists is because his mentor/”Pretty. Odd.” producer Rob Mathis told him to “just show up.”

That’s what my tattoo is a reminder of – to show up for my life. And I’m glad I waited for the third album, that I picked this song over “Northern Downpour.” This is a song about finding strength, on an album that was born out of the ashes of struggle and ego. This song, these words, are the rainbow on the other side of the storm for me. Listening to “A Fever” 8 years ago pushed me to show up every day at that school no matter how hard it was. No matter how angry I was at my parents, or how hopeless my future felt. Fun fact, despite falling to a C average, my entrance essays (about the importance of participating in your life!) got me into NYU, BU, Tufts, UNC Chapel Hill and Northeastern University. The latter gave me a full-tuition scholarship, so that’s where I went and majored in Music Industry. By my senior year I was a paid freelance writer for Billboard and interviewed Panic! at the Disco, in person, in a quiet corner of the Atlantic Records office. I don’t say any of that to be arrogant or to brag. I’m saying I got there by doing what their music inspired me to do, what Brendon had to do – by showing up, and those 28 minutes and 43 seconds were absolutely worth the two years of desperation I had to survive beforehand.

Thus I couldn’t think of a better choice than “Always” for this week’s Thursday Morning Melody. Enjoy!

For those that have made it through all this intense obsessive history and still find yourselves interested – Panic! at the Disco released their fourth album “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” on Oct. 8. Shortly before the release, Spencer confessed he’d been battling a prescription drug addiction for the past couple of years and had been absent for most of the recording process. Since he is in the beginning stages of his recovery he also sat out their nationwide arena tour with label-mates Fall Out Boy. This means that Brendon has largely been carrying the creative load for Panic! squarely on his own shoulders. Their new single “This Is Gospel” is a song he wrote about the frustration, anger and fear of losing his best friend to addiction. “If you love me let me go/These words are knives and often leave scars/(This is the fear of falling apart)/The truth is I never was yours/(The fear, the fear of falling apart)/This is the beat of my heart,” rings out the chorus – proving definitively that genius doesn’t only come in storms of fabled foreign tongues, but in honesty, creativity, and having the guts to show up. It also reminds me my right ankle is pretty bare…You can check out “This Is Gospel” below as well.

Are there songs or works of art that inspire you to show up? Tell us in the comments below. If you have a song that inspires or moves you submit it to our Thursday Morning Melody column by emailing editor@intent.com!

Thursday Morning Melody: I Want You Back (Cover)

The first cassette tape I ever listened to was by the Jackson 5. My dad would drive us around in his 1992 Toyota Corolla and we’d sing all the classics. The first song on the tape was “I Want You Back” and it was my favorite. It was the first of the Jackson 5 four consecutive Number 1s on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching the summit in 1968. That song had a foundational impact on my childhood and will forever hold a spot in my heart.

You should know how important the song was to me before I introduce this video so you know exactly what it means when I say this cover is even better than the original. That isn’t said lightly (I don’t say anything about Michael Jackson lightly). You’ve probably heard of The Civil Wars from their song “Poison & Wine” or “Safe & Sound” from The Hunger Games soundtrack. They are a folk/country western duo comprised of guitarist John Paul White and singer Joy Williams. Their harmonies are downright haunting, and John’s stripped down, acoustic take of this classic will give you goosebumps. The original was an upbeat pop anthem, but The Civil Wars transformed it into a compelling, melancholy break up tribute that will break your heart.

You can watch a live version of the cover here:

I apologize if this is your first introduction to The Civil Wars since they recently broke up over creative differences. Their debut album “Barton Hollow” is worth a serious listen though.


Have a song that inspires or moves you? Submit it to our Thursday Morning Melody column in the comments below!

Thursday Morning Melody: Just a Little Heartbreak

1236481_10200608501559657_666006289_nWe first heard of Micah when he was a student at Northeastern University, performing acoustic ballads and winning hearts in the campus Starbucks venue, AfterHours. Micah started touring around the country post graduation – playing in small venues and at college campuses all around. On Tuesday, Micah released a new EP “Just a Little Heartbreak,” seven songs recorded in Nasvhille about the pain of breaking up (which we can all relate to).

He was awesome enough to share the title track with Intent, which you can listen to below. He sent it with the following note:

An unexpected and rough break-up was the real catalyst for this album. I had been on the road for the good part of 3 years, promoting my last album and had fallen into a bit of a rut, musically speaking. Truth be told, the break-up pushed me to write with a purpose and energized me to pursue making another record. Just a Little Heartbreak was a labor of love that started in late spring. The concept of the album was to “keep it simple”. It’s very much a stripped down record, done intentionally, as I felt that was representative of where my music is at now. The title track sums up the overall feel and tone of the album. It was an absolutely incredible experience to make this album and I’m excited to see where my next step is from here.


You can check out a few of Micah’s other tracks (that are just as heart-achingly beautiful) his Soundcloud page and you can get your hands (and ears!) on the entire “Just a Little Heartbreak” EP on iTunes. If you want to catch Micah live (which we highly recommend! And tell him the ladies of Intent request his rendition of MGMT’s “Electric Feel” because it is magical) he’ll be performing on the following tour dates:

October 11th at Rutgers University
October 15th at University of San Diego
October 16th at Spokane University
October 22nd at Valdosta State University
October 23rd at Georgia State University
October 24th at University of Miami
November 6th at Westminster College (Missouri)
November 13th at University of Redlands
November 14th at CSU – Fullerton
November 20th at Washington and Lee University
November 21st at Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse (Washington DC)
December 12th at Smith College
February 27th at Middle Georgia State College – Macon

Photo credit: Lisa Frare
This post is part of  our Thursday Morning Melody series. Every Thursday we feature a song that touches us deeply. If there’s a melody you wish to share with the Intent community, please share it with us in the comments below! Click here to listen to past Thursday Morning Melodies.


Thursday Morning Melody: All We Are

If you had to pick one song to be the last one you heard for the rest of your life, what song would it be? Do you think you’d be able to choose? Jessica Stone faced that choice five years ago when doctors discovered tumors in her ear drums. The surgery to remove them would save her life, but it would also leave her deaf.

Jessica chose “All We Are” by Matt Nathanson – a Boston native transplant to San Francisco who is known equally for his self-deprecating, witty stage banter as he is for his heart breaking ballads. “All We Are” is the last track on Nathanson’s breakthrough album “Some Mad Hope.” The song ends the record on a positive note, hoping to push people to be more than they are and into what we could all be. No wonder Jessica picked it as her last song.

Good Morning America  chronicled Jessica’s journey leading up to the surgery and afterwards, including getting the VIP treatment at one of Matt’s shows before she went into surgery. The cameras caught her listening to the song on her iPod as she was rolled into surgery.

You can listen to a stripped down acoustic version of the song in the video below.

Six months after the surgery Jessica Stone found out that she was a candidate for cochlear implants and had them put in! So all in all she was deaf for less than a year, but she still made the courageous leap to have the surgery, and “All We Are” will always have her story attached to make it even more special.

PS. If you loved this song and are in the LA area, Matt is performing at the Wiltern Theater tonight. You should definitely check it out because he has an amazing live show.

What are the songs that touch your heart? Send them to us for our next Thursday Morning Melody! 

Thursday Morning Melody: Do I Wanna Know?

Screen shot 2013-09-26 at 1.56.16 AMIt’s late. You’ve had a little bit to drink. Your fingers are itching to call the one person who’s been running through your mind on repeat for God knows how long. It’s probably a bad idea – no, it’s definitely a bad idea – but you can’t help wondering if they feel the same way that you do. Is it safer to just wonder or do you go for it?

Maybe you should just put on the latest from Sheffield (England) natives The Arctic Monkeys. Frontman and lyricist Alex Turner captures the moment perfectly in “Do I Wanna Know?,” the second single from the band’s fifth full-length effort, AM. 

The Arctic Monkeys have been around since 2006, but this album is getting rave critical reviews from US press. It’s a combination of loose rock ‘n’ roll and early Dr. Dre influenced beats paired with clever songwriting.

“Do I Wanna Know?” hits the spot for two reasons – first the seductive guitar riff that gives the ballad a late 70s vintage rock feel. The second is Turner’s earnest crooning, “Ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few?/’Cause I always do/Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new/Now I’ve thought it through.” There’s a reason he was voted one of NME Magazine’s Greatest Lyricists of All Time. Turner has a way of turning universal every day experiences into poetry and emoting those occurrences with his northern accent in a way that makes you swoon. AM is the fifth consecutive album from the Monkeys to debut in the UK at number 1, making them the first indie act to ever do so. Our friends across the ocean have figured out what the US seems slow to pick up on – this band is something special, so stop missing out!

Check out the song and the official video below:

AM was released September 9, 2013 and available wherever records are sold.


This post is part of  our Thursday Morning Melody series. Every Thursday we feature the music video and lyrics to a song that touches us deeply. If there’s a melody you wish to share with the Intent community, please share it with us in the comments below! Click here to listen to past Thursday Morning Melodies.

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