Ever wonder what our editors are listening to? Here, in their own words, our editors share their top picks, from their running jams to dinner prep, happy hour tunes to sentimental favorites, and everything in between.
Scroll down to the bottom for our ready-to-play list of all of these favorite songs.
Ashley Twist Cole, Editor-in-Chief
1. Taylor Swift: “...Ready for it?”
I have and always will love TSwift. This song gets me psyched up to run and is now the first song I put on when I hit the pavement.
2. Hall & Oats: “Rich Girl”
This is hands down my all-time favorite song. I have a thing for Hall & Oats.
3. Ed Sheeran: “Dive”
Overall, I really enjoy Ed’s new album. This song is a little more stripped down and raw than his more popular stuff, which is what I love about it.
4. Thomas Rhett : “Unforgettable”
This song feels like summer. It’s fun, upbeat, and lighthearted and makes me want to get up and dance. I’ll pass on the mango-rita the girl in the song is drinking in the song, though.
5. Sara Bareilles: “Bright Lights and Cityscapes”
Sara has one of the most beautiful voices in the world to me. She’s great live, and I love every single one of her albums. I put this song on in the car and pretend I have a good singing voice.
6. Kid Cudi: “Day ‘n’ Nite”
This song has been on my running playlist for years. It recently came on in the car when I was driving with my husband, and he mentioned that it’s one of his all-time favorite songs, too.
7. Sia: “Elastic Heart”
Another one on the running playlist (sensing a theme here?). It’s usually the song I end a good run with — something about her voice and the music motivates me to run faster.
8. Sam Hunt: “Body Like a Back Road”
Straight out of Cedartown, Georgia, Sam Hunt is a country artist with some hip hop influence. To me he represents new country, and this particular song is a fun jam with clever lyrics.
9. The Beatles: “In My Life”
I recently developed a light obsession with The Beatles. (Thanks, Beatles Channel on Sirius XM.) I even bought The Beatles: A Biography by Rob Spitz (a cool 2,700 page history) that I’m very very slowly creeping my way through. This tune is one of those that makes me pause every time I hear the opening chords.
Mike Jordan, Associate Editor
1. Luther Vandross: “Never Too Much”
It feels so crazy to admit I’m listening to Luther Vandross these days, but I am! This song just jams and jams and jams. My mom is reading this and laughing at me because she’s the world’s biggest Luther fan and I hated it growing up, but she was right as usual. I’ll probably dance if someone plays it.
2. Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar: “Never Catch Me”
Uptempo hip-hop is something the South used to be famous for, but the last time anyone down here really did it well (in my opinion), was when OutKast had “Bombs Over Baghdad.” This cut from Flying Lotus — a brilliant producer with family ties to the late jazz giant John Coltrane — is just pure quickened, freaked-out energy that will force you to do a little dance. People should dance more.
3. Alabama Shakes: “Gimme All Your Love”
I was raised in north Alabama, so I’m very much a fan of homegirl Brittany Howard and her gang. This one from their second LP gets into your stomach, then lets loose with a climactic uprising at the end.
4. Cream: “Sunshine of Your Love”
I’ve always loved this song, so I’m kinda always listening to it.
5. Rebirth Brass Band: “I Feel Like Funkin’ It Up”
This song reminds me of New Orleans more than anything else. I always play it a few times when I’m making gumbo, which either my mom or I always make for the holidays. It’s great distraction/motivation when you’re stirring roux, especially if you cook with bourbon. ;-)
6. Sade: “Paradise”
This is one of the most underrated Sade songs of all time, even though it’s not the super-mellow version most people expect when you say “Sade.” I can be in traffic, on a plane, on Atlanta’s MARTA train or wherever, but this song always takes me right to the Caribbean. And the live version is even better because you can hear the crowd go nuts when the bassline drops.
7. Prince: “Housequake”
Another one my wife mandates gets play around the house. Prince went extra on this fun, funky and drummy extended dance cut. Again — dancing! Don’t forget to dance.
8. Stevie Wonder: “Higher Ground”
There’s never a bad day or time to listen to Stevie Wonder. I’ve always loved the resilience and how the bass melody is on an endless loop of walking, building and climbing, and coming right back to where it starts just to try again.
Kate Williams, Associate Editor
1. Tom Tom Club: “Genius of Love”
This is one of my favorite songs to listen to in the kitchen — bouncing around to the catchy beat makes even a pot of water seem to boil faster.
2. Jon Connor, Chelsea Blare, Tito Lopez: “In My Sleep”
Even though it was released in 2013, this song captures much of our generation’s feelings about 2017.
3. The Bulitts: “Close Your Eyes”
Just wait ‘til the beat drops.
4. Al Green: “I’m a Ram”
I like to listen to this groove while I’m walking my crazy dog on the Beltline.
5. Glass Animals: "Pools”
I turn on this tune from the English indie band’s debut album when I pop open a happy hour beer.
6. CHVRCHES: “Lungs”
I am incapable of listening to this song just once.
7. DJ Crazy J Rodriguez: “Party & Bullsh*t in the USA”
This mash-up of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Party and Bullsh*t” and Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” is just too good to leave it back in 2010.
8. James Blake and Bon Iver: “I Need A Forest Fire”
James Blake is one of my all-time favorite artists, and this haunting song from his 2016 album “The Color in Anything” gets me in the gut.
To listen to the playlist now, click the playlist image below.