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

Weekly Playlist: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

These are the standout tracks by AAPI identifying artists in 2023 so far
Graphic by Nick Archambault

“For Granted” by Yaeji

Thomas Machacz, Collegian Staff

Since her first EP in 2017, Yaeji has blown up in the world of electronic music. “For Granted,” a single off her latest album, shows that she is wary of her success. With her trademark mix of punchy synth beats and soft vocals, the song reflects the anxieties that come with any success: the fight with impostor syndrome, the pressure to be grateful at all times and above all, the worry that you’re not truly living in the success of the moment.

Her latest sound is more abrasive than the flowing smoothness of her past albums, perfectly suited for the more self-aware lyrics. It’s a song that sounds like it lives on a computer, but one that could easily bring life to a club’s dance floor.

“Glue Song” by beabadoobee

Shannon Moore, Assistant Arts Editor

“Glue Song” by beabadoobee is one of the sweetest songs I’ve heard in a minute. Beabadoobee’s lyricism shines over bright and light instrumentals consisting of strings, trumpet and piano. With a soft and sweet voice, beabadoobee chronicles falling in love, using a metaphor of glue to express how attached to the person she feels: “I’ve been stuck by glue, right on to you.” One can’t help but smile as they hear the sweet words and instrumentals; this song feels like a hug from someone you love.

“Oh No Darling!” by Sarah Kingsley

Molly Hamilton, Assistant Arts Editor

Sarah Kingsley’s most recent release explores the terror and loneliness of growing up. Falling somewhere between Kate Bush and Mitski, Kingsley’s voice can shift and transform at just the right moment. The lilting, unhurried melody is contrasted by a beat that doesn’t stop for anything — the dissonance between the two creating an uncomfortable urgency. In the middle of the second verse, Kingsley makes the heartbreaking statement, “I was a kid until I fixed it.” The magic of this track lies not only in Kingsley’s timeless vocals, but in the questions it poses about how much of our past selves we can hope to retain as time passes.

“Eye for an Eye” by Rina Sawayama

Jarius Kidd, Co-Head of DEI

Japanese-British actress and singer Rina Sawayama graces the silver screen with her role as Akira in “John Wick: Chapter 4” and ending credits, with her single “Eye for an Eye.” A dark James-Bond-esque theme backed by heavy riffs of an electric guitar, the lyrics are a ruthless call to action against the opposition who have committed the unforgivable.

A tension-filled track, it holds nothing back when it comes to the central theme of revenge, especially with its brutal chorus:  “An eye for an eye/A life for a life/I’ll see you in Hell on the other, other side.” While the instrumentals are industrial and grungy, the vocals are clear; this  message is not a threat, but a guarantee. It is a perfect pair with the nonstop, relentless action of the movie and will have you ready to “see red.”

“UNDERSTAND (Sped Up)” by Keshi

Caitlin Reardon, Assistant News Editor

Alternative pop and R&B artist Keshi released a sped-up version of the 2022 track “UNDERSTAND” from his album “GABRIEL.” Contrasting to his usual beat-driven and eclectic production style, the Houston-born artist explores the idea of embracing vulnerability in love through a simple but sweet ballad. Keshi’s falsetto feels easy and light, complimenting the exposed reverberation of stripped-down acoustic plucking. Soft vocalization combined with a growing string orchestra deepens the emotional pull that Keshi paints for his listeners. The melody rides out unrushed, it but proceeds in a quicker pace through this sped-up rendition. Crafting an organically warm sound that expresses instrumental and vocal delicacy, Keshi’s magic is reminiscent of a dreamy lullaby.

“Cupid” by Fifty Fifty

Samourra Rene, Assistant Arts Editor

This song would make the perfect addition to the soundtrack of a classic early 2000s teen rom-com. Imagine a shy protagonist getting ready for her long-awaited date with her dream guy. She tries on an assortment of outfits, from sparkly mini dresses to dramatic tulle ensembles, until she finds that perfect dress. She shimmies around with her best friend by her side, beaming with joy that her crush finally likes her back. This infectious airy dance-pop track would instantly capture that blissful cloud-nine feeling. The South Korean girl band’s lead vocalist, Aran, shines with a  light, floaty soprano voice. The dreamy catchy tune is reminiscent of Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More” ethereal pop hit with its chill piano chords and calming harmonious vocals and is a song that will have you daydreaming for days.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *