Arts & Culture, Featured, Spotlight

Music That Rocks: Fall Into These Awesome Songs!

November can be a dull time of year–but don’t let the grind towards Thanksgiving get you down. Our staff is surviving the November doldrums with these great tunes. Toss a couple on your study playlist and you’ll be rocking all the way home!

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“Ugly Boy” – Die Antwoord

With their music video for “Ugly Boy” recently released in early November, the South-African electro-rap group Die Antwoord makes its already weird and other-worldly mystique even stranger. This song comprises of the lead rapper Ninja and his partner Yolandi Visser (Whose voice sounds like that of a soft-spoken Japanese geisha). They sing about their love and the ways they live their lives. The song has such a simple meaning but a bizarre way of going about it. – Christian Petro ‘15

“Ghost” – Ella Henderson

I heard this breakout single from Ella back in June. She’s a new singer/songwriter coming out of the UK, and I remember watching her audition in The X Factor UK in 2012 when she was just 16 years old. Her audition was possibly the best I’ve seen in any singing show, ever. Fast forward two years later and her first studio album, Chapter One, debuted at number 1 in the UK, and “Ghost” showcases the 18-year-old’s amazing and breathtaking vocals. Additionally, watching some of her live performances of “Ghost” on The Ellen Show, Jimmy Kimmel, and The X Factor Australia are almost unbelievable. She’s the best live vocalist I’ve heard in years, and her range is absolutely ABSURD. “Ghost” is available as a single on iTunes in the US, so go out and get it! If you’re interested I would highly recommend watching her original X Factor audition. Make sure to have some tissues handy, her audition was an original song dedicated to her late grandfather. – Danielle Dybbro ‘15

“Take Me to Church” – Hozier

Hozier was a relative unknown when he made his first live appearances in America this fall (including a stint as musical guest on Saturday Night Live), but this Irish treasure has taken the States by storm. He played locally at the House of Blues to a sold-out crowd on Halloween night, and will be returning to play a second gig in Boston in March, which is sadly already sold out as well. I know, I’m also devastated. Join me in drowning your sorrows in repeated listenings to his self-titled album, particularly this leading track. The melancholy, soulful vocals on “Take Me to Church” are haunting, and Hozier’s voice mingles perfectly with the sensual tone of the song. This song is so infectious–I honestly can’t stop listening. – Kate Lewis ‘15

“Silk” – Giselle

This is a very cool and catchy song, BUT this is not why I put this up here. This video contains an AMAZING display of skill and bodily discipline in the dance this guy does to accompany the song. Don’t get me wrong, I do thoroughly enjoy the song, but the video is reason enough to watch this. The song is “Silk” by Giselle, but it’s remixed by Favored Nations. They are self-described as “an eclectic, trans-Pacific three-piece band bridging land and sea, creating entrancing music from studio bases in both Los Angeles and Australia. – Jack Donovan ‘17

“Afterlife” – Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson has been a well-known musician since her 2007 breakthrough single, “The Way I Am”, but she still seems underrated. “Afterlife” is the second single off her Lights Out album. It is a bouncy single filled to the brim with optimism, and was released after the death of her mother. Its central message is that “we can go forever if we want to.” The music video really brings the single to life by showing Ingrid’s fans try activities they are afraid of, and thus conquering their fears. Based on the amazing way Ingrid connects with her fans, and the recent success of “Girls Chase Boys”, this is sure to be another hit. – Kyle Donohue ‘17

All of The People” – Panama Wedding

So I only happened upon Panama Wedding because I was bored writing a paper and searching the bowels of Spotify for new music seemed like a good idea. But I’m so happy that I did, because sometimes you find little diamonds hidden amongst everything else. Panama Wedding is still very small–they only have 4 songs out at the moment–but they are bound to get big soon. They have a very catchy lyrical set-up, pleasant vocals, and a very easygoing and mellow attitude to their music. It is perfect for a relaxing afternoon doing homework, playing FIFA, or other college-y things. I have been listening to their EP on repeat for like an hour at this point and it has been awesome.  – Joey Dorion ‘17

“Content Nausea” – Parkay Quarts

In the recent mid-term elections, youth turnout was dismal. Sadder still, it was on par with past elections, indicating that Millenials share a chronic indifference towards political action. Parkay Quarts might be angry about that. “Content Nausea” is a scathing criticism of modern life, technology, and the complacency that they induce. Lines like “Protesters stayed home this time around / Some enlisted, some never heard the first shots” serve to express frustration with the current state of things. Andrew Savage chants in rhymes, with a distant, casual cadence over a manic beat that drives forward like the entrapment of daily life, absent of meaning and engulfed in technology. At times, the lyrics are poetic, conjuring powerful images. “Content Nausea” can also seem hokey, as if it were a regurgitation of internalized diatribes flung by aging luddites against a quickly advancing society. But that’s part of the point: “And do these thoughts belong to me/ Or just some slogan I ingested to save time?” If Parkay Quarts were older (*cough* Dave Eggers *cough*), “Content Nausea” might be annoying. But it’s potent, and it works. – Ciaran Dillon-Davidson ‘18

“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift

The only reason I’m writing about this song is because Taylor Swift released the music video earlier this week, and it is just as phenomenal as the song. “Blank Space” may be about a boy, but it’s definitely not your average Taylor song. With her transition to pop music, Swift has seemingly matured in her songwriting, learning to be independent and not crying over boys. This song, with a heavy beat and attitude-infused lyrics from Swift, is catchy like “22,” but with the passion of “I Knew You Were Trouble.” It doesn’t really compare with earlier songs of hers, but “Blank Space” still has the Taylor Swift charm that will make it a chart-topper for a while. – Edward Byrne ‘18

“You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” – Sia

There are two reasons why I love this song. First, Sia adopted the idea for this song from the musical Annie. Two, Sia is Sia and Sia is life. To say this song is catchy is an understatement. Sia’s pop vocals combined with heavy synth make this the perfect song to work out to.  The best part about this song, however, is its accompanying music video. If you’re ever having a bad day, I highly recommend listening to this song and watching the video. I don’t want to give it away, because it’s more than worth watching, but the video is designed to brighten your day. Sia is such an incredible talent with a beautiful vocal range. Fun fact: she’s almost forty years old, but consistently writes chart-topping pop music. – Alexa Kilroy ‘18

“Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon

So this song has been floating around for a month or two, but I am not about that whole “spending money” thing, so I decided to write about it this week because it’s the iTunes Song of the Week, aka IT’S FREE THIS WEEK ON ITUNES. SO GET IT. Walk the Moon (most famous for their song “Anna Sun”) is back with another fun and upbeat that track that you just want to throw on repeat. Plus, it comes with an absurd video that does not shy away from the cheesy 1980’s vibe Walk the Moon has made for themselves/improved upon. Long story short, get this song FOR FREE (can’t stress that enough) and just listen to it a lot, you’ll be happy you listened to me. And this song. But mostly me. – Chris Pinto ‘16

Check out all of our staff’s favorite hits by subscribing to the Music That Rocks Spotify playlist!

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