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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As December rolls around, Christmas carols are inevitable. You’ll hear the cheer almost everywhere you go, especially as we get closer to the holidays. Although there’s nothing wrong with hearing the iconic likes of Wham!’s Last Christmas or Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, new music is still being released as we wrap up the year, ready to be unwrapped like presents underneath the Christmas tree. Listed below are some of the newest tunes to accompany you through late nights studying, or mornings around the city, and why you should give them a try:

INDIGO BY RM
(RELEASED 2ND DECEMBER 2022)

“FROM THE COLORS OF NATURE, HUMANS, ETC. THE LAST ARCHIVE OF MY TWENTIES.”

RM (real name: Kim Namjoon) is one of the seven members of BTS, the Korean boy band that has made an impact the world over. Any song written by him is sure to bring listeners comfort, whether from BTS’ extensive discography or his own mixtapes. If you’d like a taste of this Grammy-nominated artist’s lyricism before jumping into the newest album, I’d highly recommend listening to mono, a mixtape released in 2018.

Indigo is RM’s first solo album, consisting of 10 songs which feature an impressive lineup of artists and producers (such as Erykah Badu, Anderson .Paak, HONNE, and Mahalia, to name a few). The promotional images done for the album are beautiful. The simple yet mesmerising cyanotype artwork and the tranquil images of Namjoon in a quaint, sunlit room perfectly embody the solemn themes and emotions that prevail in his music (and more so in Indigo). Although I’d love to rave about the album in its entirety, perhaps it is best to talk about Wildflower.

The title track Wildflower perfectly encapsulates the theme of Indigo: a reminiscence of the past and a cathartic breakaway into the future. Originally titled Flowerworks, the song touches upon the nature of fireworks— an ephemeral burst of splendour before fizzling out into the dark —and how Namjoon wishes to live instead: a “flower-work,” a beautiful wildflower tossed in the air, emulating a firework, and then returned to your hands or onto a field of identical flowers. In short, perhaps the song emphasises the wish to become a peaceful constant in a world where everything quickly comes and goes. The track features Cho Yujin, vocalist of the Korean rock group Cherry Filter, whose powerful vocals wonderfully accompany Namjoon’s rap. The music video further evokes a deep feeling of reminiscence and yearning through its dreamy imagery, making the listening experience for this track absolutely phenomenal.

On my first listen to this album, I immediately understood why this album was described as “the last archive of his twenties.” Where listening to mono felt like an aimless late-night drive through the city, Indigo felt like sitting down at your favourite cafe and pouring your heart out into your diary. There is comfort, reassurance, and understanding in every carefully woven lyric. It’s an album with lyrics that can be a friend to those who may feel overwhelmed with the world and the future, a sentiment that may resonate with a lot of university students and those in their twenties.

If you want to give the album a try, you can find Indigo on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music, and more streaming sites.

Conditions of a Punk by half•alive
(released 2nd December 2022)

half•alive is an American band specializing in the indie pop and alternative rock genre. Popularized by their hit song still alive, their songs have characteristic beats and sounds that provide their listeners with a unique listening experience. The band shows some duality, often delving into Christian themes in their songs.

Unlike their debut album Now, Not Yet, half•alive delivers a more solemn listening experience with their newest album, Conditions of a Punk. However, each song still retains the band’s signature funky and groovy tunes. The title track Conditions of a Punk, Did I Make You Up?, Lost and Call Back are some of the songs off the album that would be perfect for a warm day inside with a warm cup of your favourite beverage. Meanwhile, songs like Summerland, Hot Tea, Everything Machine and Nobody are more energetic, fitting for a walk around the cold and windy streets of Bristol. Fans of their previous album may find it worthwhile to listen to Everything Machine, which seems to be the closest you’ll get to their older sound in this album.

Perhaps it is natural with the nature of December —the beginning of winter, a step into change— but this album touches upon themes of growth, self-reflection, and the mortifying ordeal of being known. These themes are prevalent in Nobody, reflected in lyrics such as “it’s hard to be someone /and it hurts to be nobody.” Like the aforementioned Indigo by RM, songs that touch upon these themes may be comforting to some of us; thus, I cannot recommend it enough to accompany us through the winter months.

If you’re interested in the album, you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming sites.

SAGITTARIUS BY UPSAHL
(RELEASES 9TH DECEMBER 2022)

UPSAHL (real name: Taylor Cameron Upsahl) is an American singer-songwriter, mostly involved in alternative, pop-punk, and indie music. Upon further listening to UPSAHL’s songs, I can commend her ability to allow a listener to imagine a certain setting through the beat and lyrics of her songs. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into her music, I recommend listening to People I Don’t Like. If you’re looking for a taste of what the Sagittarius EP might offer, I suggest listening to Into My Body, one of the 5 songs to be included. On the official website for the EP, UPSAHL shares short 17-second teasers into the songs off the EP, as well as her thoughts on the songs, making for an interesting insight into her writing process.

If you’re interested in the EP, it will be released on December 9th 2022 on Spotify and Apple Music.

sznz: winter by weezer
(Releases 21ST DECEMBER 2022)

Weezer is an American rock band specializing in alternative rock, pop-punk, and emo genres. Though they’ve been active since their debut in 1992, the band has continued to grow in recent years —perhaps due to a sudden surge in online meme culture. One of their most popular songs is Island in The Sun released in 2001, which takes on a lighter, laidback tone as compared to songs from their most recent release, SZNZ: Autumn.

The band has taken to season-themed albums for 2022, with other previous releases named SZNZ: Spring and SZNZ: Summer, ending with the upcoming SZNZ: Winter. After a quick listen to SZNZ: Autumn, I believe that SZNZ: Winter will capture the sounds and feelings evoked by the changing seasons perfectly. For those interested, I’d recommend listening to the aforementioned Island in the Sun if you find yourself missing the summer sun, and Francesca as you bundle up for the cold of winter.

If you’re interested in the album, it is set to release on the first day of winter, December 21st, 2022, on Spotify and Apple Music.

Although there are many artists that will release music throughout December, this is some of the music that I’d recommend giving a listen to as they release or right now! I can’t recommend listening to music you’d never normally try out enough; for this article, I listened to Weezer and was pleasantly surprised with some of the tracks I found. As winter rolls around and another year comes to a close, I hope that listening to your favourite songs and artists can provide warmth and comfort!

Hello! My name is Keisha, and I'm a first-year at the University of Bristol, on the road to getting a BSc in Biology. I'm an international student from Indonesia, and I hope to one day make Bristol my home away from home. I'm an editor for the music section, though I'm most versed in all things BTS.