New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Amanda Rose Riley is on a journey, and she's taking her listeners along for the ride.
On March 2, Riley released her first studio album Sounds I Told to a Soundhole, an eclectic, insightful collection about music and pursuing her dreams. "It's an album about music, and specifically it's mostly about this journey I'm on, and have been on," she says. "I just kept writing song after song about music and about following that dream, and I couldn't stop...When I had all the songs, I was amazed by how many different insights I had inside me about music and following a difficult dream, and how much I needed to share them without knowing it."
Riley curated a fantastic playlist of songs that motivate her. Check out what she had to say about her picks below.
"Self-releasing a studio album completely on your own with a limited budget takes a LOT of motivation, especially when you want to do everything right and not cut corners. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of experience learning what kind of music gets me going in the morning or whenever my energy is starting to flag.
Just like my taste in music in general, there’s some musical diversity in this playlist, but everyone on it totally rocks. I tried to stick to one song per artist, but had to break the rule for Frank Turner and Skinny Lister, really my two go-to artists to listen to when I need to get pumped (not to mention two of my absolute favorites).
It starts with Frank Turner’s “Demons,” which I somehow haven’t gotten sick of after using it as my alarm for more than a year – that’s some powerful music! Then it moves through classic Dave Hause, a nostalgic Our Lady Peace song which I’ve always loved… and then we have a Jenny Owen Youngs song which, according to the songwriter herself, is a romantic “cross-country murder story,” but I find this song very motivating, so I don’t know what that says about me! “Charlie” is one of my favorite songs off of Skinny Lister’s most recent album. Then yes, there’s Shania Twain – she was my favorite as a preteen! This song seems to me to be about an unhealthy romantic pursuit, so again, I don’t know what it says about me to be motivated by it. Then I’ve got Frank Turner’s “Try This at Home” and the Bouncing Souls’ “The Freaks, Nerds, & Romantics,” which for me are two essential songs about keeping a DIY/punk attitude, and they help me remember specifically what I’m trying to do and why. Add on another great, positive Skinny Lister song and another love song, this one by A.W. (I guess you just can’t escape a few love songs in an upbeat playlist). That one has a bit of a retro feel, so I thought it meshed well with the grand finale of “Don’t Stop Me Now,” which of course had to be included just because it’s consistently ranked at or near the top among people’s favorite uplifting songs, and I agree with them!
Listen to Amanda Rose Riley's "Get Pumped Playlist!" on Spotify.