Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The second edition of the Weekly Playlist highlights picks from the first two weeks of October

From Paramore to Stormzy, the Collegian staff discuss the music they’ve been streaming through midterm season
Graphic by Joey Lorant

“Up Up” by Elusin

Jackson Walker, Collegian Staff

From her debut album “SYNFUELS,” Norway’s Elusin continues the delicate soundscape this nine-track project establishes. This song features a simple guitar melody with the contrast of 808s, white noise, heavy bass and layered backing vocals. In addition to producing, Elusin contributes the ethereal vocals to this two-and-a-half-minute track.


“This Is Why” by Paramore

Ashviny Kaur, Collegian Staff

Five years since their last release, Paramore’s comeback single “This Is Why” feels refreshing but familiar. It draws from “After Laughter,” their last full-length album, yet this track feels a little hazier and more mysterious. The chorus speaks of something ominous that lies outside, and lead singer Hayley Williams echoes time and again, “This is why/I don’t leave the house.” It’s a paranoid track, yet it sounds so fun that it’s almost impossible to not dance around as it plays.


“90 Proof” by Smino featuring J.Cole

Olivia Patt, Collegian Staff

Released on Sept. 30, Smino’s song “90 Proof” will be a part of his third album, “Luv 4 Rent,” set to drop on October 28. This song intertwines hip hop and blues and incorporates rap, singing and soul into this catchy track. This song is about Smino struggling to commit to a relationship even though he is trying, which is a contrast to J. Cole’s verse where he raps that he is trying to stay “untouched” and keep to himself. This track is for sure a hit, building up anticipation for his album.


“How Long Will It Take” by Orchid Mantis

Shanti Furtado, Collegian Staff

In the title track off his seventh full-length project, Thomas Howard continues to prove he is a strong force in the world of experimental dream pop. True to his past work, “How Long Will It Take” conveys the intoxicating guitar synth sound so consistent throughout his entire discography. Howard lyrically continues to evolve, this song delving into the candid, oftentimes difficult process of relinquishing the past and continuing forward. The easy-listening nostalgia of Orchid Mantis is the perfect hidden gem to set the soundtrack of your fall. “How Long Will It Take” the album is set to be released on Nov. 11.


“Walkin – Cold Blooded Soul Version” by Denzel Curry

Kelly McMahan, Head Podcast Editor

On Sept. 30, Curry released an extended version of “Melt My Eyez See Your Future,” featuring a collaboration with the neo-soul band Cold Blooded Soul. With twinkling snares, harp-like piano runs, and big band trumpets, “Walkin – Cold Blooded Soul Version” fuses the cool-toned hype of the original with the intimacy of a velvety jazz lounge. Additionally, Curry often draws inspiration from animation and cartoon aesthetics. With his yellow and black Japanese album design and vaporwave sound palette, I can’t help but pair this composition with the jazz-adorned “space western” anime classic “Cowboy Bebop.” In other words, this effortlessly cool jazz retooling of “Walkin” is cinematic — one can only imagine slow head bops while speeding down a futuristic urban highway. Though melancholy, it pushes onwards into an unfamiliar and hazy world.


“Beauty and Grace” by Witch Fever

Molly Hamilton, Assistant Arts Editor

Hailing from Manchester, England, Witch Fever aims to revive punk and grunge for a new generation. Their latest release, “Beauty and Grace,” a single from their upcoming album, offers a haunting exploration of the horrors and pleasures of femininity. The track is laden with an undeniable sense of power and a total lack of shame. Dark, gritty production and harsh, in-your-face vocals combine to create something reminiscent of female-fronted ‘90s bands like Veruca Salt and Hole. With lyrical references to the occult and Satan himself, it’s the perfect song to listen to in the weeks leading up to Halloween.


“Hide and Seek” by Stormzy 

Shannon Moore, Assistant Arts Editor

The first promotional single released in anticipation of Stormzy’s new album, “Hide and Seek” is smooth and sultry. In contrast to Stormzy’s usual singles, which are upbeat and hard hitting, “Hide and Seek” is, in a word, angelic. With a light, jazzy beat and angelic background vocals from various Nigerian singers, Stormzy’s rich, deep voice shines. The lyrics describe a relationship that has failed, chronicling Stormzy’s regrets and heartbreak. This track is in strong comparison to other promotional tracks, like “Vossi Bop,” but it’s a welcome change. The smooth beat works perfectly with Stormzy’s rich vocals, and all combine to make a perfect track to wind down with at the end of the day.


“My Girl” by Slaughter Beach, Dog

Kelly McMahan, Head Podcast Editor

Philadelphia-based band Slaughter Beach, Dog released their newest album “Live At The Cabin” on Oct. 14. In the first song on the 17-song EP, “My Girl,” the charm of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s characteristically “polite” emo indie is further softened by the folkish twang of a single acoustic guitar. “Live At The Cabin” diverges from previous albums in that each song is recorded live, stripped-down to its most basic instruments and threaded by lead-singer Jake Ewald’s unproduced and raw vocals. “My Girl” is an ominous love letter. As a lyricist, Ewald tends to fixate on intimate details and vignettes. As if stringing polaroids on a line, “My Girl” creates a collage of a relationship where one can only determine the singer’s unrealized fears by taking a step back and looking at the whole collection. It’s a cozy track with pensiveness that sets the mood for a lonely autumnal morning.

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