By: Sarah Finley, Courtney Miller, Zach Siddiqui, and Jessica Whitesel
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“King of the World” – Weezer
Jessica Whitesel: This is a classic Weezer song. When you hear it you know it is them, but that is about all I can say about this song. It’s well done, but there is nothing new about it overall.
Sarah Finley: I’ve never really been a huge fan of Weezer’s style of music. The lead singer uses very little of his vocal range, and the guitar / drum pairing sound entirely boring to me. I honestly can’t even believe they’re still a band.
Courtney Miller: Love the music, definitely has that punk rock, emo vibe. As much as I respect Rivers Cuomo for his songwriting abilities, I don’t like his voice. This will take you back to high school if not earlier, guaranteed.
Zach Siddiqui: That must be one aquadynamic Greyhound.
“You and I” – Pvris
JW: This song is a soaring electronic-pop almost ballad. Songs like this have been done successfully by other artists and this one is no different. I would definitely listen to it again.
SF: I’m a sucker for desperate sounding love songs, and that’s exactly what this is. That being said, I was disappointed. Ghostly vocals begin the song, interchanging themselves with classic pop, likely autotuned, vocals. The lyrics are fairly boring, as is the repetitiveness of the song.
CM: I like Pvris; Lynn Gunn has an amazing voice, but I don’t think this was their best work. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd as much as their other work, but it’s still baseline highly enjoyable and well-crafted.
ZS: A voice with a lot of strength behind it. Cliché title aside, it’s a powerful song with emotional pull and a sense of purpose that I find very engaging for listeners.
“Candyman” – Zedd and Aloe Blacc
JW: Aloe’s voice, paired with Zedd’s super production skills makes for a solid dance track. But if you are just sitting and actually listening to the lyrics, it is a little repetitive and eventually you just want it to stop.
SF: I LOVE ALOE BLACC. This song flawlessly combines Blacc’s beautiful singing with upbeat electronic leads that reminded me of Flume’s style. And now all I want in life is an Aloe Blacc and Flume mash up album.
CM: Zedd’s mix perfectly complements Blacc’s soulful, powerful voice. Definitely worth a few listens.
ZS: Stellar vocal work with sweetly feel-good lyrics. It’s hard to resist letting your mood rise with the music, and you probably wouldn’t want to, anyway — definitely a fun little piece!
“Howling” – Cathedrals
JW: I like this. It is hard to pin a genre to this song and I think that’s what I like the most. Sometimes it’s pop, others rock and electronic. It also doesn’t hurt that Brodie Jenkins has an amazing voice.
SF: There has never been any doubt that Brodie Jenkins has a beautiful, ethereal voice, and Johnny Hwin is the extremely talented instrumentalist; this song just serves as a reminder. The pairing of Jenkins and Hwin is just one of the many beautiful things to come out of San Francisco. Bless that city.
CM: The intro sets me up to dig this track, with poignant guitar notes. Followed by majestic vocals and a slow increase to the tempo, I’m not let down completely, but I was left hoping for something unique about it.
ZS: A gentle, pacifying tune with a mystical mood. It’s almost mournful, really — this would be appropriate as a dark lullaby after a bad day. It’s a song to feed an inner muse.
“Inside Your Mind” – Gypsy & The Cat
JW: It is an electronic-y song. Not good, not bad. It’s solid but forgettable.
SF: Catchy guitar riffs begin the song, but are oddly combined with head-voice vocals and an interesting choice of keyboard chords. While all the elements of this song are well done separately, when combined, it’s simply strange.
CM: A little bit indie, a little bit alt, the guitar and stuff is nice, but again, nothing pops out about it. It’s kind of forgettable.
ZS: Phantasmal and very “other.” I enjoy the dusky tone and rapidly shifting rhythm here, and the instrumentation here is lovely. Juggling suspense and catharsis expertly, it’s an all-around success.
“Hungry” – White Lung
JW: This song reminds me of a non-single Metric song. It isn’t a bad song, but there were just too many things happening in it. There should have been a stronger focus placed on the vocals because clearly that’s White Lung’s strength.
SF: There isn’t a lot of variation in the instrumentals, vocals, or lyrics in this song, but badass female lead vocalists — which Mish Way definitely is — are on the fast track straight to my heart. Not a lot of women succeed in the punk scene, but this song demonstrates that the group is definitely worthy of success.
CM: This song left no impression. It was that monotonous and homogenous.
ZS: In one word, “powerful.” Forceful and demanding attention, this whirlwind song intensifies any moment. It’s the sort of song that manages to stay very distinct from the majority of its genre and I applaud that.
“Girls Like” – Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson
JW: Everytime I hear Tinie Tempah, I forget how much I like him. He is a solid rapper, but the verses of this song that are not him and Zara Larsson suck. She reminds me of a mix of Ariana Grande and Christina Aguilera when she was at her lowest point musically.
SF: Tinie Tempah and Zara Larsson come together in a long predicted pairing to produce a new hit. Larsson brings forth a more powerful voice than we’ve heard from her so far, and Tinie brings both his adorable British accent and lowkey misogyny to the table. The song is 50 percent drinking, 50 percent fucking. But so is college, so whatever.
CM: Zara makes this song worth listening to. That being said, I don’t think it requires more than one spin, but it is fun.
ZS: This song tells me to throw caution to the wind and go clubbing until my legs burn to ashes. I’m not doing that, ‘cause I’m not old enough and my mom would tell me not to, buuuuut it’s still a very party-it-up and exciting piece!
“Hollywood” – Young Bong
JW: I am too sober for this song. This is a straight up club song, the lyrics are incoherent and sometimes Danish, but if the bass were turned up to full, it would the perfect song to use as filler in a dance playlist.
SF: I want to take a second to appreciate the fact that this artist’s name is literally Young Bong. The song is as boring and uncreative as the name; expressing the same love for Hollywood that virtually every other musical artist in the world has, only this time in the same line that’s repeated over and over and over and over.
CM: I was cautious when I saw the artist name. Too much autotune and he doesn’t seem to be saying anything worth listening to. Hard pass.
ZS: The calm lyrics and melody of a lazy road trip in the spring. I’m liking the mildness and the chill aesthetic here, and this sort of music is great for de-stress. Which we all need. Horrifically so.
“Malibu Directly” – Yellowbellies
JW: Nope. It’s trying to be a country-rock with a little bit of Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” thrown in. It is trying to do too many things at once and failing at all of them.
SF: I can’t believe our Arts Editor made me listen to a country song. This has to go against the Geneva Conventions. Like, we get it, you want to move to Malibu and be heartbroken on the beach. So do I. Deep male vocals, melancholic lyrics, and boring guitar make this a carbon copy of every other country song ever.
CM: Loving the guitar, but the vocals — despite fitting the song — let me down with the lyrics; they seem like they were awkwardly tacked on to the melody and I don’t know that it works very well.
ZS: A bit boring instrumentally, and it didn’t take long for me to get tired of the voice. However, it’s still quite pretty and soothing at parts, and overall it’s rather decent.
“iT’s YoU” – ZAYN
JW: I don’t know what Zayn is trying to do with this song. Is he trying to be the male version of Adele or is he trying to be more like Usher? I don’t know if we’ll ever get an answer, but he isn’t doing either and should stop.
SF: I’m the rare one who isn’t a fan of Zayn’s solo career so far. He has a beautiful voice, but I’m not convinced he knows how to write interesting songs. The dreamy vocals combined with the soft melodic background made me sleepy, but didn’t captivate me.
CM: Sorry, Zayn, you’re hot and all but this song is not. It’s boring, repetitive, and unimaginative.
ZS: Not my favourite, to tell the truth — lyrically and sonically, it’s nothing especially impressive or new, but I also might be a little biased given how much it differs from my typical tastes. It does have some cool pump-up factor to it though!
“All We Know” – Brevner
JW: It is another rap song about money and how having money is better than not. But the song isn’t really lying: it does sound like that is the only thing they know. But they also know one more thing — how to make bad music.
SF: Lyrics like, “Getting money is all that we know, being broke won’t cut it,” bring out the sad, poor, college girl in me. This song is fairly straight-forward rap, until about two and a half minutes in when the song morphs into first gentle singing, then deep and distorted vocals, which end the song, leaving me confused.
CM: Nope, nope, nope. This is like the rap song you show your friend if you want them to hate it. Mission accomplished. Next!
ZS: Very futuristic and fluid. It makes me envision a field of great lights and boundless opportunities. The beat here is enrapturing!
“On My Heart” – School of Seven Bells
JW: It is okay-ish, but the weird autotuning wrecks it for me. I think that under the weird layering of all the sounds the vocalist might have a strong voice, but it’s not given the opportunity to shine.
SF: The lyrics are immediately catchy and make your head subconsciously bob, your foot tap. Quick vocals speed up the tempo of the song, then seamlessly slow down into romantic melodies. This repeats throughout the song, an excellent way to end the playlist.
CM: I think the intro drags on a bit too long, but other than that I think it’s a solid track. Lyrics are quick and well-delivered, and, if you know Broods, there’s a hint of them in School of Seven Bells.
ZS: A buzz of energy and joy, this is a song for one of those days you’ve been looking forward to since forever. I feel like nothing could go wrong listening to this!