Tag: Music (page 1 of 2)

“Advice for College Students (Taylor’s Version)” By Sara Klemow

Ever since Red (Taylor’s Version) was released on November 12, I have been listening to it on repeat as I walk around campus. I found out that I can actually walk from Louis Redding Hall to Purnell within one listen of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” Notoriously known for messages in her songs about passion and heartbreak, there is a lot of advice Swift gives through her poetic lyrics. Most of this advice has to do with relationships, but there is so much more Swift reveals to us.

Here is advice I have found from Red (Taylor’s Version) that can make your life as a college student much easier.

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“The It-List of Summer Hits” by Abigail McGraw

As any former high school performing arts student will tell you, music is a way of life. While I’ve moved away from orchestra and Broadway musicals since high school, my Spotify Wrapped will clearly show that I’m still entrenched in music. The “I listen to everything” cliché is almost true when it comes to my music taste, and while I’m not proclaiming myself the end-all-be-all of critiquing music, I do have some ideas of what good music is. 

I can’t predict every music shift that we’ll see over the course of the summer, what with TikTok trends rapidly falling in and out of style, the boundless music releases to come, and whatever Emma Chamberlain decides is trendy. However, we are already seeing some clear front runners for those summer nights and road trips. Continue reading

“this is me trying” by Alex Stone

This past year has been very isolating, physically as well as emotionally. I remember how much in disbelief I was when we got the email last spring saying that we had to go home and take classes online for the rest of the semester. I honestly believed that by the summer, life would be back to normal. I believed that I would be returning to campus in the fall and seeing my friends very soon. I did not picture spending many long months in quarantine, isolated from everyone. I did not imagine the toll this would take on my mental health. I did not expect to feel so anxious, lonely, and fearful of the future. But something else I didn’t expect was to be listening to three new albums by Taylor Swift. This past year, Taylor Swift released the albums folklore and evermore, and just recently, her 2008 album, Fearless, but rebranded to Fearless (Taylor’s Version). I do not know if it was fate or some higher power that knew I needed these albums when I did, but every single one was released right when I needed her music the most. Continue reading

“Top Songs I Listen to When Doing Homework” by Rachel Gray

I don’t know about you, but I end up being the type to need some type of background noise when I work, whether it is my Spotify playing in the background, an old episode of The Office on Netflix (R.I.P. The Office 2021), or some random “MrBeast” video I click on while scrolling through YouTube. Unless I was writing an essay, I’d hate it when teachers would tell the class that we couldn’t listen to music or watch videos while working. One time, in my AP World History class, I attempted to watch Step Brothers while going through the packet, but the teacher was like, “Yeah, no.” I’m still petty to this day. So, I thought I’d take the time and go through the top songs I listen to while studying for my Honors classes, both popular and not so popular.

 

First up: “Control” by Zoe Wees. This is a really good song that 1) kind of puts you in your feels but 2) has a really good beat. If I’m going through a Math WebAssign, I can sing my heart out and just pour my emotion into the lyrics. But if I’m reading something for Spanish, I can vibe with the beat of the music without worrying too much about what the lyrics are. I think this song overall is definitely a good one to put on your playlist. I give it an 8/10. Continue reading

“The End of the Year & My Spotify Wrapped” by Lauren Mottel

There is something special about December. It holds a certain nostalgia from childhood that is almost tangible — the warm, gentle glow of a fireplace; being bundled in a love of family and friends; the wafting scents of gingerbread and pine; that feeling you get where the clouds hang heavy and the air smells like snow’s about to fall. And, of course, there’s nothing compared to the unbridled joy of getting a call for the all-holy Snow Day.

 As we grow older, we make more and more associations with December, whether it be important deadlines, dreaded finals, or feeling as if we’re running out of time — especially with this year marking the end of not only the year, but the 2010s. This month also becomes a time of self-reflection, which brings a newfound sense of fulfillment, brimming with potential, and not to sound like a cliché motivational Instagram page, but it truly is crazy how much happens in one year, especially for freshmen such as myself. A year ago today, we were submitting college applications, with proms, graduation, and a genuine summer with no school work sitting as far specks on the horizon. A year ago today, we had no clue about the walks from Redding to Willard, building an automaton out of posterboard, or the bottomless pit of Turf rocks that collect in our shoes. We were completely different people then, with completely different people in our daily lives than those who are present now. 

December truly is a contemplative time when we can reminisce about our childhood and witness how much we’ve grown as individuals, and it just so happens that in recent years, we’ve been able to reflect on the past year in another fun and fresh manner: the annual Spotify Wrapped playlist (my condolences to all my AppleMusic users — this won’t be 100% relatable content, and if you still use Pandora — we need to talk). An in-depth analysis of your past year in music, from summer jams and lo-fi study beats, to songs to sing in the shower and songs from your “Mercury is in Retrograde, and Now My Life is Crumbling”-esque playlist, all wrapped up in one collection. 

In my (very humble) opinion, Spotify’s algorithm and graphic design team really outdid themselves with both the stats and presentation this year. I appreciated how Wrapped showed how your music taste shifted in the season — from wistful acoustics in the winter to the upbeat melodies of summer — because it’s representative of how we felt in those moments during the year, capable of bringing up memories long forgotten and reminding you of how those memories molded you into the individual you are today. 

Another new feature I appreciated was the World Citizen, where it broke down the countries of various artists; of course, some of mine were really obvious, with Lorde in New Zealand and ABBA for Sweden, but it also led to pleasant surprises, like discovering Hozier is from Ireland (the more you know!). The World Citizen feature is not unlike how we are broadening our horizons here in college — every day is a new opportunity to meet new people and have conversations about worldviews different than your own. This extends into another graphic in this year’s Wrapped, which included a bar graph of your top five genres listened to. In displaying the variety of genres you listen to most, I was reminded of how we as individuals  (and sleep-deprived college students) are not subject to only one genre, but rather contain multitudes and contain the most potential to explore what we desire to any extent. 

And, of course, the stats we all look for in our Spotify Wrapped: Artist of the Year, this time including Artist of the Decade in celebration of the end of the 2010s. I regret to report that after four years of having Sleeping At Last as my top artist (highly recommended, by the way), he has been dethroned by the (equally talented and lovely) Florence + the Machine. I won’t lie, it was a lot to take in. I had to sit down. Spotify pairs this by showing how much time you’ve spent listening each year toughout the decade, and like showing the top artists, it shows the time and dedication you have put into supporting these artists, appreciating their work, and catering to your study session needs. It also demonstrates and promotes the connections made between artists and their fans, which I found to be particularly beautiful, because it proves that we are truly never alone. 

Ultimately, December can bring many things: the holidays, finals, cozy nights in, existential crises, etc. — y’know, the usual — but it also brings self-reflection, and what better way to look back on your year than to listen to its very soundtrack? Obviously, growing up and finding our place in this world can be anything but easy, but at least we are able to shed some light on our troubles and embrace those feelings through music to help us cope. In the wise words of Smash Mouth, “the years start comin’ and they don’t stop comin,'” but we can at least say that for this semester, that’s a wrap!

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