As we finish out March in the Nashville Fellows Program, I sense a growing anticipation for the future, restlessness in our current jobs, exhaustion from all of the Fellows’ responsibilities and the slow, quiet sound of deepening friendships. 

To communicate the many feelings, lessons and overall Nashville Fellows experience, I have created a playlist. I have explained my reasoning for each song below.

Please jam on…

1. Rihanna/Drake, “Work”

When I pull into my job at Guidant Partners, I’m faced with a bouquet of emotions and thoughts. On the whole, I like my job. Not because I’m killing it, but because I truly enjoy the people I work with each day. My role’s responsibilities require an acute attention to details and tireless affection for Excel, which is not my natural set of abilities. As Rihanna almost frantically chants, “work,” I can identify. When I look at color-coded Excel spreadsheets my mind can only churn out one thing: “work, work, work, work (words I can’t understand) work, work, work.”

2. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”

I think a lot of twenty-somethings can hear their worries and anxieties laid out pretty clearly in this song. I’ll just let this song be. 

3. Dr Dog “Lonesome”

Dr. Dog is one of those bands that I’ve always listened to, but only recently have I started to actually love. I mean, listen to this, “What does it take to be lonesome? Nothing at all.” Move to a new city and you’ll find how achingly true that is; we have to build community. 

4. Dr. Dog “How Long Must I Wait”

A really poetic way of talking about hopeful dreams for the future. 

5. Sly and the Family Stone “Everyday People”

God works in a particular place with ordinary people every day. It is His promise and only plan for redeeming the world - an extraordinary truth which allows us to be humble, joyful and confident that the mundane parts of life are not forgotten. Take it away, Sly. 

6. The National “Slow Show”

In Fellows we’re pretty intentional and vulnerable with each other. At the same time, we’re still humans trying to get to know other humans, which is full of pride, introspection and self-absorption. Only with time are the layers of self-protection stripped away. I think this song talks about the kind of relationship we all long for; Matt Beringer is no stranger to feeling rejected (cite: the entire National’s discography). In this song, we see him in a relationship that doesn’t require any pretension or airs. In Fellows, we’re working towards this kind of community. 

7. Valerie June “Workin’ Woman Blues” 

My Bayou, Medusa-hair croonin’ queen. Love this woman and I wish she would release more stuff. In Fellows we’re still taken care of pretty well because we live with host families. But in a few months, it’s adulthood for real: “Got no food in my refrigerator…”

8. Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment “Pass the Vibes”

I literally listened to this song for weeks on end. I don’t have anything deep to say, it’s just a jam worth passing on.