Elsa Gebremichael is a familiar face in Saskatchewan music. Formerly of the synth-pop duo We Were Lovers, she now performs as Wild Black (Next Door Records). Hot on the heels of a new single/video “Stay Dreamin’”, she’s playing Amigos with Partner (Aug. 10), as well as the Regina Folk Festival (Aug. 11-13). /Gregory Beatty

Hole, Live Through This (1994)

One of my fave memories is getting to sing on stage with Hole at Edgefest in Saskatoon as a young teen — literally into the mic with Courtney Love, and then her stepping away leaving me to sing “Doll Parts” on my own. I was so relieved I knew all the words and didn’t bomb! YouTube

“The Rhythm of the Night”
Corona, The Rhythm of the Night (1994)

You know when you listen to a song and it makes you feel happy and sad at the same time? It’s this sense of yearning and elation that just hits so good. There’s a term I can’t recall, but it’s similar to nostalgia. It’s a feeling this song gives me from my days as a teen roller-skating at Roller World and listening to Dance Mix ’94 on cassette. YouTube

“At My Heels”
Twin Shadow, Forget (2009)

Seeing Black folks making alternative music growing up, especially at a time when it wasn’t that common, was so special and exciting. I’d never heard anyone make songs quite like Twin Shadow, so was super-inspired. He is so unique as an artist/producer, and a true dream collaborator for me. YouTube

“The Hours”
Beach House, Bloom (2012)

I love their use of analog synths, drum machines, and intertwining melodies that always seem to fit together perfectly. The guitar tones and vocal texture are so hazy yet pure, and  I love how they balance this dreamy softness and fuzzy energy that makes them so lush and unique. YouTube

“I’m Your Baby Tonight”
Whitney Houston, I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990)

I remember lying on my bed reading the liner notes, learning the lyrics, and then singing and dancing around my room for hours on end. As hard as it is to choose my favourite from Whitney’s incredible stack of hits and beautifully written songs, this is the one that brings me back to that time the most. YouTube

“Could Heaven Ever Be Like This”
Idris Muhammed, Turn This Mutha Out (1977)

The first time I heard this song I was mesmerized. As a hopeless romantic, I really felt the melodies and lyrics in the verse and pre-chorus pull on my heartstrings, and thought “Wow, this is exactly how I want to fall in deep and true love.” YouTube