Illustration by Kati Yewell.

Growing up with a dad whose sense of self hinges on the devotion to “good” music, my childhood was peppered with songs that not only sounded great, but also told confessional stories. So, here I have for you an assembly of well-composed and deeply moving songs that will make you feel an extensive variety of emotions. These are the songs of my youth: the ones that I danced to before I knew the gravity of their lyrics, and the ones I still listen to and have come to relate to. They have lyrics that battle with expressing the inexpressible, accessing the lives of ordinary people who deal with complex circumstances. ♦