Whether you’re looking for some new tunes or interested in reading about our musical knowledge, you’ll find it below
Music plays a huge role in everyday life, whether you’re jamming along to the radio on your drive, listening to your favorite songs during a workout or feeling more intense emotions while watching a show or movie with a perfectly matched soundtrack. In fact, music means so much to the members of The Editorial Board, we have our very own collaborative playlist on Spotify. Although some of us will never accept additions of songs by Taylor Swift to this playlist (sorry, Anjini), taste in music can be an excellent way to bond with your friends and many of our favorite songs have been introduced to us from friends and family. We share some of our favorite songs, albums and artists and what they mean for us below.
Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief
My over-professed love for gloomy weather is only rivaled by my love for Kacey Musgraves’ 2018 album “Golden Hour,” which always makes me want to spend a lazy summer afternoon laying in a field. Each song in the album is expertly written and on my first listen, I was shocked at how the ethereal melodies and magnetic lyrics conflicted with my preconceived notions of country music. “Happy & Sad” and “Lonely Weekend” are comforting odes to solitude, especially during what has been a particularly isolating year. The album’s vivid imagery almost makes you feel frozen in a moment; that cohesion is precisely what golden hour is all about. A recommendation: “Golden Hour” provides excellent driving tunes, especially when included in a playlist with the entire soundtrack of 2011 Bollywood hit “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.” Feel free to amplify the soft and summery vibes by tossing in a few Maggie Rogers, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift songs while you’re at it.
Margo Rosenbaum, Managing Editor
I tend to fill my playlists with songs that bring me up, as music is one way I find joy in this dreary world. If anyone read my latest Culture Corner, then they know I am a bit obsessed with Tennis and their album “Swimmer.” The indie pop duo’s soft pop-rock sound feels nostalgic yet simultaneously so fresh. “How to Forgive” and “Need Your Love” are exactly what the world needs to listen to find respite during this pandemic. At least for me, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley’s songs bring sheer joy the second they come on—making me have an impromptu dance party no matter where I am. Another amazing artist I’ve been listening to lately is Shannon Shaw, of the band Shannon and The Clams. Her solo album, “Shannon in Nashville,” is filled with lines promoting women empowerment, such as “I won’t do anything that I don’t have to,” which I find incredibly compelling. Her song “Lord of Alaska” makes me feel as though I can conquer anything as a woman—which is always a nice reminder. Lastly, it would be wrong of me to not share the work of my lovely boyfriend and his band Carpool Tunnel. They released a few singles in the past few months—as a part of their debut album coming Feb. 26—and although I know I am quite biased, I think their music is beautifully written and performed.
Sabrina Habchi, Campus News Editor
In my continual pursuit to live up to Southern California stereotypes, my first car was a convertible. I was completely obsessed with it and drove everywhere with my top down—a remarkably easy feat given San Diego winters. What more classic of a song to accompany a coastal drive in a convertible than “Island in the Sun” by Weezer? Every time I listen to it now, the nostalgia of my high school days comes rushing back, and I am immediately transported to driving past the breathtaking views on the 101 and pulling over at times to take it in. For a less mainstream vibe, I highly recommend the Scottish band, Niteworks. The band takes a modern twist on classic Scottish music and any lyrics are in Gaelic—an excellent choice for people who love listening to music while studying but cannot stop themselves from singing along to songs they know. Plus, you can totally brag to your friends about how you’re one of their only 17,000 monthly listeners, so you can convincingly claim you used to listen to them all the time before they made it big.
Eden Winniford, City News Editor
Whenever I’m down and need encouragement, I listen to Bruce Springsteen. Even though we were born on different sides of the country, I feel like we could have shared a hometown. His songs always make me think of the river I used to spend my summers swimming in and the dusty streets of the small town I grew up in. “The Promised Land” never fails to remind me of the goals I’m striving to achieve, and I can picture my future just in front of me while I’m belting out the lyrics. But “I’m on Fire” will always be my favorite of his songs. It’s simple and quiet, with Springsteen’s voice and a harmonica being the only prominent sounds, but it captures so many intense emotions. I consider it Springsteen at his best: simple and without embellishments, delivering an incredibly vivid narrative through his lyrics and voice inflections.
Calvin Coffee, Opinion Editor
Gustavo Santaolalla’s soundtrack for “The Last of Us” is unrivaled among soundtracks. The 30-track album is always my go-to when I write. Increasingly complex and eerie iterations of “All Gone,” “The Last of Us” and “The Path” make for a soundtrack that tells the story of the game without words—it’s phenomenal. Another album I can’t go too long without hearing is Jason Isbell’s “Southeastern.” Beginning with possibly the greatest love song of all time in “Cover Me Up,” Isbell puts on a masterclass of songwriting and storytelling—I don’t know if there’s a better collection of 12 songs out there. And last but not least, “was in The Story of Sonny Boy Slim” by Gary Clark Jr. is one of the best 54 minutes in all of music. It’s the perfect combination of Clark Jr.’s mind-bending guitar skills and a mix of R&B and Hip-Hop that will make you want to dive into his full catalog (It’s worth it).
Sophie Dewees, Features Editor
Among the many female folk artists that I’ve come to love over the years (from Kate Rusby since age 10 to Olivia Chaney, whom I discovered last year), Laura Marling will always have a special place in my heart. Her newest album, “Song For Our Daughter,” features her characteristic nylon string guitar playing and her beautifully soothing voice. Though the album was literally written for a fictional daughter, Marling has said that, in some ways, she wrote it for a younger version of herself. As a woman in my early 20s, many of the songs’ feminist themes and musings on the modern female experience really speak to me. It offers incredible emotional complexity and musical intricacy for its relatively short length of 36 minutes. Since its release in April last year, I have listened to the album on repeat. Its lovely acoustic sound unique to Laura Marling is perfect for any time of day, from sunny mornings to softly-lit evenings.
Allie Bailey, Arts & Culture Editor
A movie soundtrack is the best type of album: it gives me the variety I want in a playlist, with a common theme connecting what might otherwise be an eclectic mix of genres and artists. “Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack” does this perfectly. The movie’s themes make way for a song for every mood—”Doomed” will make you genuinely sad, and then “Ride Or Die” comes on and Megan Thee Stallion and VickeeLo remind you who you are. But no matter what plays first when I hit shuffle, I’m happy to listen. My favorite has to be “Collide” by Tiana Major9 and EARTHGANG, for its laid-back and heartwarming melody, but there are several close seconds, including “Catch The Sun” by Lil Baby, “Searching” by Roy Ayers and “Yo Love” by Vince Staples, 6LACK and Mereba. As made obvious by the artists, you get a little bit of everything in this soundtrack, from rap and R&B to neo soul and pop. There are a couple of tracks you know would sound better while playing over a movie scene, but are worth a listen all the same. No matter your taste, or your mood, you’ll find something you like—10/10 recommend.
Omar Navarro, Sports Editor
One quick look at my playlist and you can see that the mood of my music is all over the place. My genre has and always will be hip-hop, as I believe it is a genre that is limitless. 2020, in my opinion, was one of the best years for hip-hop in a long time, as it seemed like every artist dropped an album. Polo G’s “The Goat” is one that I have had on repeat since it was released almost a year ago, as its tracks such as “21” and “Heartless” have had me hooked for the lyricism and catchiness. From top to bottom, the album continues to give even to this day and is near the top of my recommended list, as well as Lil Baby’s “My Turn” and its tracks “Commercial” and “Grace”.
I truly love music, hip-hop especially, and I can go on and on naming my favorite works that I listen to daily by artists like Juice WRLD (who’s “Goodbye and Good Riddance” is my favorite album ever), Future, Giveon, J. Cole, Drake and countless others that continue to deliver timeless work. I personally believe that an artists’ best work is done when they place their emotions on their tracks, so all of my favorite artists have music for any mood.
Madeleine Payne, Science Editor
The most recent album I’ve saved on Spotify—joining the ranks of “Blonde,” “Ctrl” and “Harmless Melodies”—is Arlo Parks’ debut album, “Collapsed in Sunbeams.” Released only a few weeks ago, the album delves into the darker side of being a teenager, giving listeners a glimpse into struggles Parks dealt with growing up in London. Her songs openly confront the daily pain and burden of living with depression (“Black Dog” and “Hurt”) and explore the challenges of navigating the complicated and sometimes blurry lines of friendships and relationships (“Too Good” and “Eugene”). “Caroline,” my favorite song on the album, describes the dramatic end of a relationship at a bus stop. Parks’ has been a great companion during rainy afternoons these last few weeks; her soothing and steady voice reminds me of listening to Norah Jones during stormy drives with my mom growing up (though with a little bit more hip-hop and R&B influence). Though now, with my teenage years behind me, listening to “Collapsed in Sunbeams” has led me to reflect on my life before the pandemic—which for me, is also life before my 20s—teaching me to appreciate the growth and vulnerability of teenagehood.
Written by: The Editorial Board