The honor of being the first inductee into the Ty Johnson holy trinity of dark-haired lyricists belongs to Vanessa Carlton.
You likely know her as the “Thousand Miles” singer, but as I mentioned before, piano-infused pop music is a weakness of mine.
This means that in a CD-driven world (early 2000s) I bought her album “Be Not Nobody” and proceeded to memorize every song on it, including Ordinary Day.
I just stumbled through Wikipedia and learned that Ordinary Day actually charted in the U.S., but that wasn’t on any radio stations I was listening to.
I just really like her strains and the simplicity of the song. It’s just a piano and a voice. Plus it’s kind of an uplifting tune that’s fun to belt really loudly in the car.
TJHTODHL honorable mention #2: Regina Spektor
Sonja suggested Spektor to me when she learned of how much I loved Kate Nash. The two have very similar musical styles, but I wasn’t buying it…until I became the editor of Technician.
My managing editor, Ana, was the DJ of our shared office, so I was submitted to her music often and one of the songs I fell in love with was Fidelity, mostly due again to the simplicity of the song.
It became an audio sanctuary for me during rough nights. Sometimes I needed only to call out “Ana, play me a song” and Fidelity would fill the room in seconds. It soothed my head and allowed me to collect my thoughts…I don’t think I ever accomplished anything while that song was playing, but I also never murdered a writer/editor/designer during that song either, so that’s a plus.