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Music That Rocks: Jammin’ Through January

With a new year comes the many songs of 2014 that are still stuck in your head. At The Rock, we love to share the music we love and feel should be known, and 2014 had some great releases. Here are the songs that we have been listening to to start 2015 off right.


“Chandelier” – Carrie Manolakos

“I know that I’m putting a live cover up on this, get over it.  For this version of Sia’s hit song, the band behind Carrie Manolakos has created an arrangement that does not steal attention, but is still lovely.  Manolakos, a singer who played Elphaba in Wicked and received a lot of attention for her cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, has an obscenely beautiful voice that is delicate where it needs to be.  But, when the song needs power, she has the ability to literally take any and all tension out of her throat and let those powerful notes soar out of her.  The end result is a truly beautiful sound that I wish was on iTunes.” – Chris Pinto ‘16

“Bonfire” – Childish Gambino

“If you don’t get hype for this song, we can’t be friends. Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) is, in my opinion, one of the most underratedly talented people at the moment. His rather successful acting career (most well-known role on Community) stemmed from his stand-up comedy that clearly infiltrates his now-Grammy-nominated rap style. I’m a big fan of lyrics that make you think in songs, and Childish Gambino does just that in ‘Bonfire’–spitting out clever lyrics and delivering some more humorous ones, as well. The song’s got a heavy beat and Gambino’s aggressive rapping that’ll pump you up, for lack of a better term. Check out the rest of his earlier stuff from Camp, too.” – Edward Byrne ‘18

“Rather Be” – Elephante Remix

“Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’ took over the airwaves this summer because of its catchy tune and relaxing, female vocals. I personally love the song, and haven’t met anyone who wholeheartedly dislikes the tune. For some reason, when I hear a nice chill/alternative/pop song, I immediately begin to scour the internet for electronic remixes. I love hearing how DJs can take songs, add their own twist, and end up with an uptempo, yet still beautiful track. Elephante is one of my absolute favorite remix artists, and his remix of ‘Rather Be’ is beautifully paced. Check it out.”  – Mike McGee ’18

“Papaoutai” – Stromae 

“I never thought I’d be recommending a French Pop song, but I wrote an article on a J-pop/heavy metal band earlier this year, so I guess it’s not that surprising. This song features almost rap-quality French lyrics, and the mandatory Euro techno vibe is definitely there. The beat is infectious, and even though I barely know any French other than croissant and omelette du fromage, the chorus is easy to catch on to and you’ll find yourself singing along in no time. Also, the English translation reveals that the lyrics are actually kind of sad; it gives Stromae an almost Macklemore-esque edge…but Frenchier.” – Danielle Dybbro ‘15

“Budapest” – George Ezra

“I’m not entirely sure if this song has hit this country yet (yeah, I know that makes me sound like a tool, but it’s a genuine observation!) BUT I heard about it over Christmas break because my aunt, who lives in England, was raving about it to my mum. As she so aptly described George Ezra, ‘he’s just an ordinary-looking guy that opens his mouth and suddenly has a voice as impressive as Adele’s!’ Whether he has made his debut in the U.S. or not, whether you think I’m a loser for listening to British artists or not, give this song a listen. It’s got a beautiful, catchy tune to it. Very Mumford & Sons -ish, with fewer inexplicable metaphors. (His song ‘Blame It On Me’ is also really good!!)” – Saidhbhe Berry ‘17

“i” – Kendrick Lamar

“Just like every song that he’s ever been a part of, Kendrick absolutely kills it, and there’s no other way to say it. Kendrick completely switches things up on us with this one, unleashing lyrical fire over some sampled sections of the Isley Brothers funk/rock/R&B hit ‘That Lady’. Not at all the style we saw on good kid, m.A.A.d city, or really anything of Kendrick’s before, but maybe that’s a good thing? Adding some variation of style to the music to keep us on our toes? Who knows, but there’s no way around the fact that Kendrick keeps evolving as an artist. Everything that he puts out just continues to get better and better, which might explain why this song’s been on repeat on my phone since the day he released it.” – Korey Ryan ‘18

“Get It” – Matt & Kim

“Full disclosure: I planned on picking this song before I even listened to it, because…new Matt & Kim! Their song, ‘Daylight,’ is still their most iconic and popular number, and while ‘Get It’ still has the same happy vocals that made me fall in love with them, it’s definitely written to appeal to a bigger audience, with a breakbeat driven rhythm that’s somewhat hip hop-ish. It still feels like a ray of sunshine, just a little bit more grown up. I’m calling this now as the anthem for parties and festivals this summer, with its effortless blend of a danceable beat and lyrics like ‘At 1 AM / Let’s make mistakes.’” – Grace Rice ‘18

“Stolen Dance” – Milky Chance

“I’m probably so attracted to Milky Chance because they’re one of the most eclectic groups I’ve ever encountered. The group is native to Germany, but they’ve got a sound that combines the reggae, acoustic rock, and electronic genres. ‘Stolen Dance’ is strangely addictive with its sultry verses and bouncy acoustic pop/rock chorus. Essentially, Milky Chance combines all the things that I love into one perfect concoction of a song. Check it out if you’re a fan of Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’ or Grouplove’s ‘Tongue Tied.’” – Alexa Kilroy ‘18

“Gold” from the musical Once

“While I was in NYC over break to watch BC football embarrass itself on a national scale the Pinstripe Bowl, I went to see Once–a Tony-winning musical based on the 2006 film of the same name–on Broadway. It was an amazing show on so many levels: the story is heartbreakingly wonderful, the performers (including Newton, MA native and my dear cousin Ryan) were incredible, and most of all, the music was fantastic. I can’t stop listening to the whole soundtrack, but this song is particularly infectious. The charming folksy tune and Steve Kazee’s smooth Irish singing voice keep me hitting repeat. The a cappella reprise, though different, is also worth a listen. Though Once closed its Broadway run on January 4, its music will surely continue to enjoy lasting popularity.” – Kate Lewis ‘15

“Octahate” – Ryn Weaver

“Don’t ask me what the title means, don’t ask me if Ryn Weaver sings anything else, don’t ask me how I got so lucky as to stumble upon this catchy-as-hell little gem, don’t ask me anything. Just open your computer and jam. It’s finger-snapping, remixable, danceable, stuck-in-your-head-all-day perfection.” – Melissa Warten ‘16

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

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