WARMER MIXTAPES #341 | by Jay Brannan

1. Lisa Loeb | Stay (I Missed You)
This song came out when I was in middle school, and it's still one of my favorites. I remember being at a junior high dance and they played this song, with the video projected onto the screen. It was the first song I ever heard of Lisa Loeb (same for most people, I guess), and she would go on to become one of my favorite singers of all time.

2. Sinead O'Connor | Troy
I wasn't really exposed to Sinead O'Connor until recent years. I come from quite a conservative background, and Sinead wasn't the type of music you'd ever hear around our house. A few years ago on a jet blue flight with direct tv, I ended up watching a live concert and was blown away by her voice. Over the next couple years, I bought 3 of her albums and am in awe of her ability. She's become one of my favorite artists, and this is one of her best songs. I like to cover this one, but only if the sound system at the venue is just right. It has to sound like it's being sung in a silent stadium!! Haha!

3. Meiko | How Lucky We Are
Meiko's album is one of the few albums to be released in the past 10 years that I've gotten really excited about. So much so that I asked the manager I was working with at the time to get in contact with the man who produced it, Will Golden. Will ended up producing my first album, Goddamned. And this is one of my favorite songs of Meiko's.

4. Alana Davis | I Don't Care (Lonesome Road)
Blame It On Me was such a great album that I discovered after Alana's cover of Ani DiFranco's song 32 Flavors broke through on radio. I Don't Care (Lonesome Road) is from her sophomore album, and it's one of those tunes that has been stuck in my head ever since... I still find myself humming it from time to time all these years later. My favorite image from the lyrics is Smiled, someone at the red light smiled... Saved me, saved me from my inner strife... Baby, he just saved my life... As someone who has lived with a lot of depression and feeling isolated, that concept of a stranger being kind in the smallest way and just for a moment really resonated with me. I try to remember that as I go through my own life.

5. The Cranberries | Empty
This was probably the first CD I ever listened to over and over and over non-stop, just locked up in my room as a teenager in Oklahoma. The Cranberries are my favorite band ever, and Empty is one of my favorite songs by them. Though it's difficult to choose a favorite track from their album No Need To Argue, this song definitely brings me back to a certain time, place, and feeling.

6. Paula Cole | Carmen
I love Paula Cole's album This Fire! I'll just be blunt about this one, I lost my virginity while it was playing haha. Carmen is one of the album's most memorable tracks for me.

7. Tracy Chapman | Fast Car
I remember recording this onto a casette from the radio. It was on one of my first mixtapes, and I can still remember riding around on our huge lawnmower listening to this in my walkman and singing at the top of my lungs!

8. Ani DiFranco | Untouchable Face
My friend Brent first introduced me to Ani DiFranco when I was in college. He played this song for me, and so it is really memorable, since Ani would later become one of my favorite artists and inspirations. I like so many of her albums, but this song is the one that sucked me in.

9. TLC | Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes (feat. André 3000)
CrazySexyCool is one of my favorite albums of all time. There are SO many good songs on this album, and -- although it was never a single or a radio hit -- this one is my favorite. I've always dreamed of Left Eye doing a rap interlude on one of my songs, but unfortunately that will never happen. May she rest in peace!

10. Jay Brannan | Housewife 
One song by me.