… Aimee Mann.
I consider myself a lapsed musician. I sang from age five with my family, did countless choirs and musical theater productions throughout school, was music director of my college a-cappella group, and fronted several bands. It’s been a long time since I wrote a new song or sang for a crowd, but I’ve done both. For ages. And Aimee Mann has been one of my musical heros since I first heard “Whatever” back in middle school. The clincher for me? There’s a lyric on that album that goes, “And she’s got the river down which I sold her.” Grammatically correct songwriting is my kryptonite. Helps, too, that Mann writes great hooks and amazing story songs, has a uniquely earnest and plaintive voice, and consistently releases albums that are beautifully produced, engaging to hear, and gobs of fun to sing along to.