“Violent Femmes” – The Violent Femmes
This 1982 self-titled album by the Violent Femmes, is 43 minutes of perfect walking songs. Michigan State’s campus is so big, I find myself walking at least 20 minutes to every class, club meeting, or trip to Grand River. For a debut album, The Violent Femmes expertly perfected their dynamic, bouncy, and just a little bit gritty sound. This is a no skip album and the perfect soundtrack for a morning walk.
“Harry’s House” – Harry Styles
This one is in part due to my lovely roommate who loves Harry more than any reader could comprehend. We went to Chicago to see him in October and it was one of the best days of my life. Styles’ sweet melodies and alluring lyrics have been the soundtrack to many late nights in the dorm, pre games, and once the 1855 Starbucks.
This one is special. Guero is complicated, smart, impossibly catchy, and has that mid 2000’s indie rock charm that just speaks to me. I’ve listened to at least one song off this album every day since my arrival here in Michigan. Beck has always been several steps ahead in the music industry which is a big part of what keeps this album so prevalent in my daily routine. I would argue at least half of my homework has been completed while listening to “Guero” or its remix sister album “Guerolito”
“MTV Unplugged In New York” – Nirvana
I’m an out of state student and I think I’m in good company saying I’ve struggled with homesickness. This live album has been comforting in times of fear and unease. There’s something about Cobain’s voice that just feels like safety and home. Soothing live harmonies and charming banter make this performance a joy to listen to as a whole on the nights I miss home.
“In Search Of Manny” – Luscious Jackson
My first big journalism undertaking was a profile on Kate Schellenbach, a founding Beastie Boy, most famous for her many years as the drummer of Luscious Jackson. I found something I loved in this ‘92 album. It’s girly but aggressive, raw but calculated. It’s smart with its use of sampling and structure but it’s also so catchy. I spent a few long days in the dining hall writing and listening, and Luscious Jackson became a staple for me.