My life has a music river running right through it, and various songs leap out like salmon forging upstream to get stuck in my head. Sometimes they stay for only a while. Sometimes they take residence and refuse to be evicted.

My current crop of ultra favorite songs:

1. Washington by Sarah Harmer–Several other tracks on her album Oh Little Fire were my favorites first. Then this one really caught my attention and I would listen to it exclusively, if other songs by other singers weren’t constantly vying for the top spot in my brain. Washington has an intriguing melody. Or double melody. There’s a really hooky acoustic guitar thing going on, with an intriguing underlying electric guitar accompaniment. My brain keeps trying to listen to them separately, as well as to the lyrics, so it’s a bit of a different music listening experience. One I can’t get enough of.

2. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens–I love the movie Harold and Maude, and this song always makes me think of it and smile. It wasn’t available for a long time, that I know of, so when I found it on Amazon I jumped on it. When I listen to it I think of the gloriously quirky movie and the effervescent spirit of Ruth Gordon as Maude, with her unlikely soulmate Harold, played by a delightfully mournful Bud Cort. They broke the mold when they were finished with that movie, and I think I’m glad. One of a kind can be a very high compliment and it is when it refers to Harold and Maude.

3. I Once Loved A Woman by Son to the Boy (James Paige Morrison)–This is the kind of song that springs from the imagination of the songwriter straight into the imagination of its listener. As if a visual track gets downloaded along with the music, listening is an immersive experience. I suspect the imagery is different for different people, and probably nothing like the songwriter’s own mental experience with it. Maybe everyone doesn’t get visuals with music, but when that kind of connection is made it can transcend the typical concepts common to both music and imaginative thinking The songwriter in this case is James Paige Morrison, whose background as a very talented actor and poet no doubt influences the evocative nature of his music. I Once Loved a Woman is on his band Son to The Boy’s recently released CD I Broke Free.

4. Beneath Your Beautiful by Labyrinth (feat. Emeli Sande)–A unique sound. I’m not familiar with Labrinth other than through this beautiful song. I really enjoy the way it opens as a dreamy soulful ballad with Labrinth, then segues into a more dance pop vibe when Scottish singer Emeli Sande begins to sing. A soaring tribute to beauty beneath the surface, this gorgeous duet weaves its way beneath the surface waves of typical radio fare to emerge as an earworm extraordinaire.

5. Heart Attack by Demi Lovato–Demi Lovato is perhaps better known as an actress, but I know of her mostly through her music. There are young women swarming the airwaves with pop flavored ear candy, and then there is Demi Lovato. That girl can sing. Seriously. Not only does she rock out, she belts out. When I say I have eclectic tastes I am not kidding around. One of my old, old, oldie favorites is the grandmother of Broadway belters, Ethel Merman. She didn’t just sing. She…empowered songs. Gave them heft and zest and well worn life. Demi Lovato is well on her way to becoming my Ethel Merman of popdom come. If she can sing songs like Skyscraper and Heart Attack now, the sky’s the limit for those awesome pipes she’s not afraid to use. Heart Attack is on her CD Demi.