186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Tag: Music

“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!

“Finals Week Study Music: Get Excited for the End of the Semester with These Tunes” by John Salsini-Tobias

Some songs will bring your mood up no matter what — a necessary thing in stressful times like this finals week. Whether you like to listen to music while you study, or while on snack breaks, every college student racks up the minutes on Spotify (or their other choice of music streaming service). End the semester with these songs and you’ll surely ace your finals. 

1. Too Much Coffee – SWMR

Let’s start with a relatable song for those pulling all-nighters before their exams this week. This song ramps up the energy for the punk band SWMRS, and will keep you awake just long enough to finish your cramming session. A catchy guitar riff is laid overtop the drum-and bell-center beat, distorted to achieve a grunge sound. This is then contrasted with the melodic background vocals and finally joined by the calming and defiant lead vocals. A youthful song for a youthful time in our lives, no exam will stand a chance against anyone listening to “Too Much Coffee.”

2.  Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet

Need a throwback to study for a history exam? Look no further than this rocker classic. Another guitar heavy song, the singer’s vocals undergo many changes from a whisper to shouting. Sharp dead notes provide perfect tempo behind the vocals, but once the guitar is free to sound, its power chords will resonate in your earbuds. Anyone near you in the library might be surprised when you start dancing, but there’s always time for a break in Club Morris. Once the overdriven guitar solo hits you, you’ll be grinding out any remaining you work you have in no time. 

3. Another You (feat. Kanye West) – The World Famous Tony Williams

A Kanye song you haven’t heard before? Such a thing won’t exist again after you press play on this bop. Bass thuds start this song, which quickly shift into jazzy piano and a drum beat. Tony Williams brings the soul on this track with a smooth chorus and verse. Kanye jumps in with heart and as always, the heat. Study sessions will feel shorter with this rhythmic and melodic track as you bump your head in time with the bass line. 

4. When I Grow Up – NF

The eerie chime of a glockenspiel starts this rap banger before NF jumps straight in with a verse. The drum jumps in, followed by a heavy triplet kick as the tone grows darker and heavier. Once the chorus hits, students can follow along and consider a musical career if their finals don’t end up going as planned. This is a great song for relieving stress, whenever your roommate isn’t there you may be jumping around while you sing along. 

5. Home (Remix) – Snoh Aalegra feat. Logic

Another jazz track, ghost notes on electric guitar set the mood of the song even before a slamming bass line or smooth vocals come in. The slow buildup from the intro verse to the pre-chorus and chorus makes the lyrics pop out at any listener, especially with the layers of background vocals assisting the depth of the words. Logic hops on the remix with his own blend of quick fired raps and slowed down lyrical breaks. The two then combine their musical talent on the ending chorus for a powerful feeling of comfort. If you ever need to take a quick walk to stretch your legs during the study grind, put “Home” on for your stroll. 

For the Love of the Music by Emily Fudge

According to urban legend (mostly my mom), I have been humming, singing, dancing, and toe-tapping my way through life since I was but a small human. Not a single car ride would go by without me requesting my favorite cassette tape be popped into the car player; I wouldn’t be able to sleep unless the “lullaby tape” was played at night. My parents, both lovers and players of musical instruments, raised me and my siblings in a house full of song. We all play different instruments and no family dinner is complete without turning on our favorite radio station or picking out a CD to play. You probably won’t catch me on campus without some earbuds in ready to take on the day. Not to mention that walking to the beat of a good jam throughout campus can make me feel extremely important and like the star in my own music video. Anyone else? If not, please try it and let me know how I changed your life for the better.

I have been taking a music education class about incorporating the arts into a classroom. As a future educator, I am looking forward to being able to weave various forms of the arts into my lessons. The power of the arts is vast and wonderful. It is far reaching, and affects every single person in a different way. Music is so beautiful because, as some people say, it is the universal language. What words cannot express, song fulfills. The other day I witnessed yet again how music can enrich our lives. On Wednesday nights, UD’s chapter of Yes U Can hosts swim nights, where adults with limited mobility or disabilities work on rehabilitation in the pool. I volunteered to help out, and was paired with a woman that wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do. She seemed like she just wanted to get out of the pool – I don’t blame her, it’s pretty cold in there! After trying a couple of different exercises, we were having trouble getting into a good rhythm. Then, like the sound of angels from above, Fergie’s “Fergalicious” began playing over the loudspeakers. As a Zumba aficionado who had recently taken an “Aqua Zumba” class, I asked the woman I was working with if she wanted to dance. As soon as we started to exercise to the beat of the music, our moods both brightened. We were smiling, laughing, singing along, and ended up forgetting all about the cold pool water. She ended up leading an arm workout to the next song that played and I was sore for two days. I am constantly amazed at how something as simple and wonderful as a song can change a moment.

UD has an abundance of ways to feel the beat. The music department has an event almost every night, whether that be from a senior recital to a faculty jazz concert. Next time you’re looking for something to do, maybe check out your talented peers playing in the symphonic orchestra, band, and wind ensemble. I recently saw HTAC’s performance of Dogfight, where a cruel event in which Marines try to take the ugliest girl they can find to a bar turns into an unintended romance. Completely student run and produced, the RSO’s take on the show was both moving and hilarious, leaving many in tears after the first and second acts. They are putting on Pippin May 3, 4th, and 5th and I think you should definitely come. If not for the wonderfully talented cast and crew, check out the pit (of which yours truly is a part of). Not into showtunes? Tune into WVUD, UD’s student run radio station! All I ask of you is to take a moment to fill your life with music. It brings us together in adversity and celebration, and I think we can all better live and understand each other with the help of a song.

 

Image credit: http://debrahurd.blogspot.com/2015/08/bach-invention-art-painting-abstract.html?m=1

© 2020 186 South College

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Subscribe By Email

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar