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“Doing Good” – Milky Chance
Jessica Pickering: Hipster, indie, boring. I literally forgot I was listening to this. (I mean I got distracted by a Facebook video, BUT STILL.)
Paloma Pendharkar: This song catches the ear right away with that poppy guitar riff. I can only understand about half of the lyrics, but I don’t really care because I don’t think the singer is saying anything revolutionary. It’s basically your run-of-the-mill four-chord pop song to give a slightly peppy start to your morning.
Rita Ovis: If you’re wondering how Milky Chance is doing, “he’s doing doing doing doing doing doing so good.” There’s not much to this jam, but the funky guitar riff does a decent job of hooking in the listener, I’ll give it that.
“Paris” – The Chainsmokers
JP: Maybe I’m confused about who The Chainsmokers are because this is not what I was expecting. It’s better than I thought it would be, but I still don’t care for it.
PP: The only thing that makes this song catchy is how repetitive it is. The lyrics also seem unrelated to each other. So they were in Paris, and if they go down they’re going down together? What exactly went down in Paris?
RO: This seems to be a less-catchy variation of the song “Closer” set in Paris, except Halsey couldn’t make it due to a family reunion or something. The drop leads into an Owl City-esque mish-mash of twinkling and I’m definitely left a little disappointed.
“Not Afraid Anymore” – Halsey
JP: Halsey, babe, what are you doing? Why did you sell yourself out like this? This song is terrible, which is good because it’s for a terrible movie. Halsey, please find your self-respect again soon #Pray4Halsey
PP: I love Halsey’s voice. Something about her tone or the way her vocals are edited make her sound like a glittering martian from the beyond. This song also has a nice ebb and flow. Unlike some of the other songs on this list, I didn’t feel like I had heard everything after a verse and a chorus.
RO: Oh there’s Halsey! This song definitely has an air of mystery and sexiness, I can definitely understand why this is on the Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack. The second half sorta gets Rihanna-y. Honestly, this song is better than I expected.
“Brave For You” – The xx
JP: I miss when my old roommate Sarah Finley use to do NMF with me because this is totally the kind of song we would have annihilated together. I guess I’ll just have to tell you how shitty it is by myself. It’s super shitty.
PP: Is the guitar out of tune? I do feel that the xx’s raw vocals and home-baked sound is part of their trademark, but sometimes their vocals still turn me off. There are moments of sweetness in this song, though, both vocally and in the buildup after the chorus. I’d listen to it again.
RO: This song is quite simple and inspiring almost. Her voice is wispy and charming in all the right ways, which with the guitar melody that weaves throughout the song, creates an effective duet. I feel braver after listening to this :’)
“Wild Fire” – Laura Marling
JP: I can’t believe I’m wasting my limited free time with this terrible song. I have things to do Laura Marling, hurry this trainwreck up.
PP: What sweet, sultry vocals. Something about the way she strings the words together feels really honest. I love the comfortable, slow groove. Is that a washboard? This song uses a nice array of sounds. Sonically, it has a nice blend of acoustic and ethereal vibes.
RO: I’m very into the chill talk-singing in this bad boy. When she does sing it’s like “Ooh girl, you go get it!” It’s a mix between jazz and folky country that really works — I could really see it as a soothing winter jam and I’m digging it.
“No Diggity” – Alice Jemima
JP: Ah yes, because if there was ever a song that needed a slowed down cover, it’s “No Diggity.” Copy and paste my response from the last song.
PP: I’m a sucker for a good cover of “No Diggity,” but who isn’t? While I don’t usually appreciate artists changing lyrics to fit their gender, in light of the current political climate, the choice to change “perfect ten” to “perfect man” strikes me as thoughtful rather than inauthentic. The sparse arrangement suits her vocal style really well. I dig it.
RO: Who hasn’t covered “No Diggity?” This is a very subtly groovy rendition. Alice Jemima’s soft voice teases the listener as the chill electronic beats soothe you into the depths of this sweet, sweet jam.
“Sex for Breakfast” – Life of Dillon
JP: This guy sounds like a really entitled prick. This is just a list of stuff he wants, a shout out to how Jesus is his best friend, and a slightly reworded Drake line. I don’t care how your sentence ends, if it starts with the phrase “started from the bottom” it’s not original.
PP: I’ll be honest, this song is not my cup of tea. I mean, come on, “I get so high I’m friends with Jesus?” He’s really scraping the bottom of the lyrical barrel. I also really hate the clapping. Whose idea was that? Get your act together.
RO: What is this song about? References to religion, sex, drugs, texting, life problems — just pick a topic please. I do like the surprising banjo cameo. Otherwise, the lyrics are borderline nonsensical and I’m just not feeling it.
“Saga mig” – Linnea Henriksson
JP: The cover art looks like young Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy. Overall, this song is. . . not English so idk. The lyrics could literally mean anything, but they seem nice?
PP: It doesn’t matter that I have no idea what she’s saying because whatever it is, I feel it in my heart and soul. Her voice is sweet and pure, and then powerful. This is one of those songs that will give anyone the feels.
RO: This Swedish ballad is killin’ it! I have no idea what it’s about, but I guess that’s irrelevant ‘cause Linnea Henriksson kills it with her powerful voice and I can tell she’s either really excited or mad about something.
“Bite My Tongue” – The Beach
JP: I would kill for a song I like on this playlist. I’m so done with this weird folk-electric-whatever-it-is genre that all sounds the same. All the singers look the same, too: denim jacket and in need of a shower.
PP: The general style of this song is suspiciously reminiscent of the Lumineers. Gang vocals, simple melody, that four-on-the-floor feel. . . you’ve basically got a “Hey-Ho” formula with a few more synths in the post-chorus. I’m sure the general public will drink it up, but it’s not a song I would want to listen to a million times.
RO: This song includes all the ingredients for an indie pop hit: harmonies, acoustic guitar, clapping, heartbreak, and an electronic breakdown. It’s super addicting to listen to; I could see this playing in frozen yogurt shops left and right!
“Ultra Violet” – The Katherines
JP: This feels like the 2017 version of The Veronicas. I’m not sure why, but that’s the vibe I’m getting. Maybe it’s the all dark haired women group pandering to the most popular music genre? Or it could be something else.
PP: I feel like this song is a ballad trying to be a club anthem. It has a catchy melody, but I feel like it would work better with a more sparse arrangement or as an acoustic piece. Her voice just doesn’t really complement the beat behind the choruses for me. I’m sure after a few listens I wouldn’t be able to get it out of my head, though, so someone did their job.
RO: This fast paced song sort of sucks you in like a vacuum and then you’re bobbing your head and just can’t stop. It reminds me of a modern version of early 2000’s girl pop.
“Fuck It Tho” – Keshia Chante
JP: I am here for this title. Fuck it. Fuck everything. I mean, fuck this song, too (and entire playlist tbh), but like, bless that title.
PP: When I saw the title, I expected to hate this song. It surpassed my expectations, though. It really is the perfect mood for ceasing to give a f***. There are some playful beats in there as well. I would dance to this quite happily.
RO: Unpredictable pacing keeps things super fresh in this song. I’d still qualify it as a banger, but it has an extra element of interest. Then, there’s a surprising almost dubstep-like breakdown, again keeping things interesting! If you haven’t caught it yet ,I think this song is interesting!
“Awake” – Freedom Fry
JP: I just don’t care. Like this isn’t bad, but every song before this has made me too apathetic to describe it further. Everyone please treat yo’ self and listen to your favourite artist after this. Self-care is important, especially after bullshit like this.
PP: Here is another carefully formulated indie folk-rock anthem, complete with whistling. Why is whistling so catchy? Also, what’s with the rampant use of ukulele these days? I would be interested to see some scientific research on these topics.
RO: A ukulele, a duet between a girl and a guy, whistling, these are all elements of a cute song. It sounds like it could be in a commercial featuring baby animals, it’s just so cute.