Weekly Playlist 12/07

Top staff picks from this week’s new music releases

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Joey Lorant / Daily Collegian

By Collegian Staff

Name: Molly Hamilton, Assistant Arts Editor

Song: “Perfect Blue” – Softcult

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A gloomy, shoegaze duo made up of two sisters, Softcult is filling a niche that’s been left empty for far too long. With hints of 80’s new wave and early 2000’s pop-punk, their sound has a comforting familiarity to it. “Perfect Blue,” their latest release, perfectly encapsulates the eerie, sad-girl sound that many of us gravitate towards during the winter months. Lyrics such as, “Expose me, scold me like a child” are delivered demurely enough to only become disturbing after a few listens. Given that Softcult only started releasing singles in Jan. 2021, they’re certainly a group to watch out for.

 

Name: Sierra Thornton, Staff Writer

Song: “Christmas EveL” – Stray Kids

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With November having come to a close, the holiday season and festivities are in full swing. The group, Stray Kids are no exception to the winter spirit, taking their unique sound and concept to enter the usually oversaturated Christmas song market. The verses change from more somber beats to high-electronic bass at their own leisure, linking well with the theme of being both on the ‘Naughty’ or ‘Nice’ list. To aid the instrumentals are lyrics written by the rap subgroup 3RACHA, playing with the mischievous nature of the track. Although the group might receive coal for this chaotic behavior, fans will consider “Christmas EveL,” a gift this December.

 

Name: Astghik Dion, Head Arts Editor

Song: “Happy Loner”- MARINA

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When the days get colder, and the sun begins its descent much earlier than we want it to, it is far too easy to huddle up inside all day. Not talking to anyone, not listening to mundane chatter, merely existing in one’s safe space. This is the reality 365 days of the year for those who feel overwhelmed with life most of the time; whether it be due to the struggles that are tangled with mental illness, or mere introversion. “Happy Loner” is the first single from the deluxe version of “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land,” the newest project from MARINA set to debut Jan. 2022. The Welsh singer-songwriter sings of the comfort that comes with being alone over a hazy piano and soft vocals reminiscent of cupids. The track places a blanket of warmth and understanding over the listener, urging one to forgive themselves for the ways in which they build their walls of protection.

 

 

Name: Mahidhar Sai Lakkavaram, Assistant Social Media Editor

Song: “I Hate U”- SZA

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https://open.spotify.com/track/5dXWFMwD7I7zXsInONVl0H?si=27792b4ba86d4503

Although initially released on SoundCloud a few months ago, SZA’s “I Hate U” finally made it to all major streaming platforms this week. With lyrics that essentially describe your feelings towards anything you hate (terrible exes, the dorm bathrooms, etc) combined with a captivating slow R&B instrumental, believe me when I say you will somehow find yourself relating to this song, regardless of what you’re going through. With the smooth background vocals and entrancing beat, bewitching lyrics that pack a punch and SZA’s divine voice all coming together perfectly to create this masterpiece, you’ll be as obsessed as the rest of us.

 

Name: Sierra Thornton, Staff Writer

Song: “Goosebumps” – ONF

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With every release, ONF comes closer and closer to making their own distinct sound. Their newest release, “Goosebumps” makes this very clear with the interesting combination of EDM and SFX, which never comes off clucky. The slight echo and static of the voices on the track make it seem futuristic, pairing nicely with the cyberpunk-themed music video. If this song catches your attention, I highly recommend listening to the rest of their discography– you won’t be disappointed, but you will get goosebumps.

 

Name: Sierra Thornton, Staff Writer

Song: “Dreaming” (Track Video) – NCT DREAM

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While December signifies the end of the year, it also serves as a reminder that NCT 2021 is on the horizon. As each subgroup teases their involvement in the over twenty-strong idol project, the release that stands out is NCT DREAM’s “Dreaming.” Since it’s only a teaser for the overall album, it’s currently unlisted on Spotify. Thankfully, the track video’s stunning choreography and visuals can be seen on YouTube. The incredibly executed vocals are comprised of a mixture of deeper vocals drenched in bass with a lighter, backing track. Though there’s still a week until the full release, fans will be delighted by this sneak peek.

 

Name: Ashviny Kaur, Collegian Correspondent

Song: “Day After Tomorrow” – Phoebe Bridgers

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Known for her dark, gloomy take on folk songs, Bridgers’ voice echoes on this track like a child yearning for more to come. Relatively fitting for the holiday season, this cover of Tom Waits’ ode to his relatives and missing home rings especially true for those who have been disconnected from their families and friends while away at school during a pandemic. Much like Bridgers’ cover of “That Funny Feeling” by Bo Burnham, this track lingers after the first listen. Its harrowing lyrics, reminiscing trivial and everyday activities remind us that there is a lot to cherish about the little things (even if we don’t want to admit so,) especially during the holidays.

 

Name: Shannon Moore

Song: “Black Man in America” – Polo G

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On Dec. 3, Polo G dropped the highly anticipated deluxe version of his album “Hall of Fame 2.0.” The project features 14 new tracks, including “Black Man in America.” On this track in particular, Polo G raps over an old school type beat, featuring police sirens as part of the background instrumentals. Polo G floats over the sonics with his typical fast, hard-hitting style. Lines like “Whether it’s us or the police, we get victimized/angry and ignorant, we never civilized,” depict the frustrations felt by Polo G as a Black man in America right now. He ends the track with a snippet of a speech by Fred Hampton, a prominent member of the Black Panthers. On “Black Man in America” Polo G speaks about hard issues, while sticking true to his original style and cadence.

 

Name: Catherine Hurley, Assistant Arts Editor

Song: Heat Lightning – Mitski

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“Heat Lightning” is Mitski’s third single from her upcoming album, “Laurel Hell.” Lyrics like, “Though I’ve held on, can’t carry it much longer,” “There’s nothing I can do, not much I can change,” and “I have held on, but feel a storm approaching,” illustrate the late-night anxiety she describes and vulnerability she shares with her audience. Heat lightning in nature comes from a distant storm, and Mitski says “I surrender” to whatever’s coming. Imagery of profound natural happenings are frequent in Mitski’s music, illustrating the overwhelming turmoil that is paralleled inside of her. “Laurel Hell” comes out Feb. 4, 2022.

 

Name: Corinne Arel, Staff Writer

Song: “This is Life” – The Lumineers (featuring Daniel Rodriguez)

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With the holidays just around the corner, The Lumineers’ Dec. 1 release of their song, “This is Life (Merry Christmas)” will without a doubt get you in the holiday spirit. The Lumineers brought their rustic folk sound to Daniel Rodriguez’s 2020 song, “This is Life,” creating a comforting holiday song for their fans. With sounds of jingle bells and children cheering ‘Merry Christmas’ the song encapsulates the joys of spending time with family and loved ones during the holiday season. This short but sweet song is perfect to listen to while decorating the tree, making gingerbread houses or heading to your relatives house on Christmas day. As stated in the song’s music video, all proceeds will be donated to The Recording Academy’s MusiCares.

Astghik Dion can be reached at [email protected].