Die Alone (2007)/Hell No (2016)

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Die Alone” was the track that sowed the seeds for a blazing love of Indie in me. I discovered this gem a few years after the album from which it hailed, Girls and Boys, dropped. But it was new to me, and it kick-started my weakness for any and every smither of sound that would fit right in on Grey’s Anatomy (to this day, I’ve never seen so much as one episode of Grey’s, but what I do know is that their music choices are nearly always on point.)

I might have been several life stages behind the age threshold for personally relating to the lyrics of “Die Alone,” but it was undeniably well-written, well-instrumented, and in my humble but firmly held opinion, should have been well-known throughout the whole world. Michaelson’s one-of-a-kind voice and quirky, original lyrics struck a chord with me and played a part in shaping my eclectic music taste. With lines like “I’m just a stranger, even to myself/a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf,” the word nerd in me basked in the punch-packing lyricism. The genuine emotion that shone through and the unapologetic, real deal vibe of it all blew me away and has me fall in love with this song once more every time I put it on after going months without giving it a listen. It’s timeless.

When “Die Alone” had me craving more Ingrid goodness, I found myself plowing through her entire discog and digging just about every piece I could get my hands on. For a brief period, I was so inspired by her artistry that I grew dead set on one day becoming a singer, and practiced singing along to her most dynamic ditties, certain of my destiny for fame. This was short-lived, and I have since given up on this dream. I think I’ll stick to honing my writing voice. It’s much less likely to crack or give out and doesn’t require the gargantuan effort of getting over my general propensity towards stage fright.

Ingrid Michaelson has branched out from her independent beginnings and adopted a more “poppy” sound that maintains her authentic feel that strung together her earlier work. Her latest release, “Hell No,” is the go-to break-up theme you’ll have on full-blast as you delete all evidence that you and that blimp-headed, egoistic ex were ever a thing. This song is catchy as all get out and highly sing-alongable to boot. The sweet spot of this song hits right after the ambivalent “did we make a big mistake?” fades and IM boasts the titular “Hell no!” The quiet sass slays big and satisfies my soul on a deep level. Even though I just can’t get into the video (maybe because I don’t fully grasp the diversion of Snapchat?), her ability to remain true to herself is an asset I can stand behind. I have a hunch that this song could make any video shine. Even if she were to post a vid of her pet rock sleeping soundly, “Hell No” would still have me looping it on repeat with my gaze glued to the screen.

Ingrid Michaelson may no longer be independent, but make no mistake–this chick’s music is all her. And if you’re anything like me, you’re down for streaming all and any of her tracks, be them fresh out of the studio or dating back to her green years. Let’s face it, Michaelson is just one of those artists. Her music gets better and better with age.



  1. tristinet · June 6, 2016

    I had pretty much the same experience with Ingrid. I listened to Girls & Boys on a whim – I checked it out from the public library – and fell in love with her voice. All these years later and now I’ve seen her in concert 3 times and spread my love for her music pretty much evangelically.


    • Mary Sukala · June 6, 2016

      I’ve never seen her in concert. You’re so lucky! She is quite a special lady and her music deserves to reach the ends of the earth, so we should just evangelize the love to the ends of the earth haha. 🙂


  2. tristinet · June 6, 2016

    Agreed. 🙂


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