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Sounds of Summer: Songs for relaxation

sos alayna fuller

Alayna Fuller kicks off this season’s “Sounds of Summer” with a collection of modern singer/songwriters with emotive styles.

With the official start of summer only a week away, it’s time again to share some music picks chosen by the staff of The Charleston Gazette-Mail for our annual “Sounds of Summer.”

Some of it might be new music or just music listened to and enjoyed from a new perspective.

This week’s selections come from Alayna Fuller, one of the Gazette-Mail’s summer interns.


With summer in full bloom, I love spending time outside and listening to music that pulls me closer to the world. I’ve lived in West Virginia my whole life and when I think of summer in Appalachia I think of relaxation, warm weather and lush forests waiting to be explored.

My music choices reflect that sense of relaxation, being in nature, and feeling of home.

I tend to gravitate towards folk/alternative music, especially in the summertime, though I do listen to a wide variety of other music as well.

Traveling throughout the state is something I do often in summer, and any time I’m driving through the winding roads of West Virginia, I have music pouring out my open windows.

Here are some of my favorite artists and my favorite songs by them.

Ben Howard

If I’m ever feeling frantic or stressed about anything, listening to his music immediately calms me down and focuses my mind back in.

Many of his songs are uplifting, and I particularly like to listen to him when I’m getting ready in the morning and starting my day.

Favorite songs: “Time is Dancing,” “She Treats Me Well,” “Keep Your Head Up,” “Under the Same Sun.”

Lord Huron

His songs transport me to another place. When I hear his lyrics of travel and the soothing rhythm of his guitar, I picture myself driving through a forest or traveling to great places I’ve never been to before.

His warm acoustic tones are perfect to listen to in the sunshine of summer and his uplifting sound always puts me in a good mood.

Favorite songs: “Ends of the Earth,” “She Lit a Fire,” “The Night We Met,” “Meet Me in the Woods.”

Ed Sheeran

He’s not afraid to take risks, and that’s what I love about Ed Sheeran’s music. Some songs are soft and sweet, and others contain lyrics that are sometimes difficult to listen to. However, his familiar, reassuring voice always sounds like an old friend, which is why I find his music so enjoyable.

A lot of his songs remind me of home and all the memories I have with my family and friends.

Favorite songs: “Photograph,” “Lego House,” “Small Bump,” “Perfect.”


There’s a power that surges from his songs that is so compelling to listen to, and his lyrics carry such depth and meaning that it’s hard to stop listening. I especially like his softer songs, where in their slower rhythm, beautiful, powerful words break through the music like sun rays through the clouds.

After his debut album came out, I was immediately hooked on his songs, and I was thrilled when he finally released his new album, “Wasteland, Baby!”, this year.

Favorite songs: “Moment’s Silence,” “Shrike,” “Almost (Sweet Music),” “Someone New.”

Reach Alayna Fuller at,

304-709-1950 or follow

@alayna_fuller_ on twitter.

Funerals for Saturday, September 14, 2019

Akers, Sandra - 1 p.m., Greater New Jerusalem Worship Center, Charleston.

Blankenship, Robert - 5 p.m., 458 22nd Street, Dunbar.

Brown, Edra - 3 p.m., McCullough Raiguel Funeral Home, Harrisville.

Brown, Misty - 11:30 a.m., Adams - Reed Funeral Home, Cowen.

Bumgarner, James - 2 p.m., Victory Freewill Baptist Church, Pecks Mill.

Fisher, Sue - 2 p.m., Cunningham - Parker - Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Hager, Sherry - 11 a.m., Hopkins Fork Community Church, Seth.

Honaker, Larry - 11 a.m., Grandview Memorial Park, Dunbar.

Hughes, James - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Kee, Esten - 10 a.m., Elk Hills Memorial Park, Charleston.

Loveday, Homer - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

McCarthy, Melanie - 2 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Pyle, Joe - 11:30 a.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.

Smith, Ruby - 1 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Southall, David - 2 p.m., Edgewood Country Club, Charleston.

Stover, Harold - 1 p.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Tabor, Brenda - 11 a.m., McGhee-Handley Funeral Home, West Hamlin.

White, Orah - 2 p.m., Bollinger Funeral Home, Charleston.

Wright, James - 1 p.m., Popular Ridge Church, Sutton.