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  • Writer's pictureAmi Row

5 Songs That Made Me Feel Human w/ Eli Lev

Singer-songwriter Eli Lev returned on July 30th with his foot-tapping indie track Dancin' on the Lawn. The upbeat track is a celebration of being able to reunite, dance and sing with our loved ones again following the pandemic. Now with life returning to normal - we thought we'd hear from Eli on what 5 tracks give him life!

1) Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog from The Muppet Movie

The first time I heard this song when I was a child, I remember being happy and sad at the same time. That had never happened before, and I knew it was a special feeling that meant I was probably growing up and learning new things. Whenever I sing this song, the same thing happens, and I get the idea that a new layer of life has been revealed and new meaning comes to what it means to 'dream'. How a frog puppet playing pretend banjo can get me to that place everytime I will probably never know - but it does.

2) MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This

Fashion, swagger, and beat drops: there were but a few things I had never considered in my short lifetime growing up in the suburbs outside of Washington, DC until I heard this song and saw this video. It made me want to dance, it made me want to learn the words, it made me want to stop and then dance even harder every time there was that rhythm space and beat drop - and introduced me to pop culture.

3) Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night

I died and was reborn when I first heard this recording. Steeped in the blues tradition of Lead Belly, with a 90s grunge twist, and delivered with all the physical and emotional pain on one man channeling an entire generation of angst and displacement. I tried to sing it once like Kurt and vowed never to try it again. For me, this performance goes down as one of the greatest in the history of music.

4) Phoenix - 1901

This song, this festival, and this moment made me feel human. You might actually see me in the sea of concert-goers if you look hard enough ;) It's hard to match the collective energy, the pure pop, the festival family, and general celebration and collective voice that happened that night - and it was big reason why I started performing my songs for people full time six years later.

5) Bon Iver - "Heavenly Father" (Acapella)

I've always been a fan of Justin Vernon and Bon Iver, but this song took it to another level for me. I feel in love with the pureness of the lyrics and the harmonies give me chills every time. I learned a lot about meaning, message, and delivery from this song. When a performance fills me with tiny charges of electricity and wakes up my entire being - that's when I feel alive and why I do what I do.

Don't forget to check out Eli Lev's new track Dancin' on the Lawn:

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