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Riley Keough in Daisy Jones and the Six
Riley Keough in Daisy Jones and the Six
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Culture > Entertainment

Falling in Love With New Music

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

As the school year is beginning again, my homework and academic obligations are starting to pick up. I’m not quite ready for summer to end, but I must head back to the library and begin to complete my assignments. Along with my seemingly endless coursework comes a shift in music. During summer, I tend to listen to a lot of upbeat music, leaning primarily towards pop music. As much as I love my favorite pop artists, I need something a little more calm while I work. Of course, I created a Spotify playlist for this occasion, but here are some of my favorite discoveries as of late.

Bewitched by Laufey

Laufey (pronounced lāy-vāy) released her sophomore album on Sep. 8, 2023. The Icelandic-Chinese singer takes a new spin on jazz in the modern age. While referencing classic jazz songs such as “Misty,” Laufey is unafraid to pull inspiration from genres such as classical and pop. In an article by the British magazine New Musical Express, the singer explained, “This is a love album, whether it be a love towards a friend or a lover or life.” Bewitched is a perfect album to listen to while completing assignments. The album is sonically pleasing and her lyrics about love are truly poetic and compelling to hear. The soft and calming essence of this album makes it perfect study music. 

Jaguar II by Victoria Monét

It’s about time that this R&B artist gets her moment in the spotlight. On Aug. 25, 2023, Victoria Monét released Jaguar II, an R&B album that draws inspiration from pop music and effortlessly incorporates notes of funk, reggae, and hip-hop. Although the singer has released previous bodies of work, this is her first studio album. Monét is also known for her songwriting abilities and is credited with songs for hit artists such as Ariana Grande, Chloe x Halle, BLACKPINK, and more. The multi-talented artist has been drawing me in for years and is a perfect addition to my study playlist. The silky vocals on tracks such as “Smoke” (feat. Lucky Daye), and “Hollywood” (feat. Earth, Wind & Fire + Hazel Monét) help ease my mind as I do my work. While the music is soothing, the steady production keeps me attentive and in a good mood. Not to mention, the live instrumentation is refreshing and brings another element to this excellent record.

Sunburn by Dominic Fike

Dominic Fike is widely known for his role as Elliot in the hit TV series Euphoria. However, the alternative indie rock singer released his sophomore album Sunburn on July 7. The album is seen as, “a hypnotic memoir, chasing Fike through different moments of his life as he sifts through disorienting memories, time-stained family photographs and pays zero allegiance to genres,” as described by New Music Express. Although I admit I was unsure of this album upon my first listen, it has grown on me immensely. As I listened to it more, I was drawn in by the vulnerable and wholehearted lyrics. The warm and upbeat music makes it an ideal addition to this playlist; steady and intriguing while not being too distracting. Fike’s mesmerizing and effortless voice continues to draw me back to this exceptional album.

Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) by Noah Kahan

Although it feels like Noah Kahan emerged from nowhere, the alternative/indie singer-songwriter from Vermont has been in the industry for quite some time. Kahan released his third studio album Stick Season on Oct. 14; soon to be followed by the deluxe Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), which includes an additional seven tracks and was released on June 9, 2023. While pulling at your emotions, the rising star paints a story revealing his bittersweet sentiments toward his small hometown in New England. This album discusses heavy topics such as his fears, mental health, and substance abuse. While these songs are rather sad, his music can also be quite comforting in a strange way, to someone (like me) who is from the New England area. There is no doubt as to why this mellow and poetic music would be added to the playlist. Noah Kahan’s folk record creates an ambiance like no other and will be on repeat this fall.

BB/ANG3L by Tinashe

Tinashe is an artist that I am rather unfamiliar with but excited to hear more from. On Sept. 8, 2023, the R&B artist released her fifth studio BB/ANG3L. The album shows the singer’s strengths and creativity. In 2019, Tinashe parted ways from the record label RCA, due to concerns of creative direction and decisions. Since then, the artist has been able to find a sound that is interesting, distinct, and beautiful. With only seven tracks, Tinashe delivers an intimate and angelic album. In an interview with Dazed, the artist explained, “I want it to feel like this album is whispering in your ear.” This record is bold yet subtle at the same time, creating the perfect studying atmosphere. Although fans and many critics criticized this album for not being experimental or creating something new, I believe that this is nothing wrong with a solid, “conventional” R&B album. 

Preacher’s Daughter by Ethel Cain

Hayden Silas Anhedönia, professionally known as Ethel Cain, released her first studio album on May 12, 2022. The singer-songwriter dives into a dark concept album, exploring topics of family, religion, and substance abuse. In an article by Erika Wolf, it is revealed that “Ethel Cain, as a concept, was born as a way of dealing with trauma, a physical manifestation of an invisible wound.” While many of the meanings behind the tracks in Preacher’s Daughter are rather devastating, it is one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard sonically in a while. Not many artists can make a seven-minute song feel like it’s three minutes. The production is simply haunting and layered with her siren-like voice. While it did take me a while to become invested in this album, it is now a staple within many of my playlists, and another great addition to listen to while I work. 

I think it’s important to mention that this is just the beginning. I could continuously write about all of the albums and artists that are featured on my playlist. However, that would mean that this article would never end, because I am constantly adding to my playlists. Some other artists that are on my playlist are Omar Apollo, Gracie Abrams, Mitski, and more. If you are a fan of these artists or want to be introduced to their music, then I highly recommend you give my playlist a listen. 

PK Kennedy is an active member within Her Campus at Pace. They are a social media assistant and help oversee Her Campus at Pace’s Pinterest account and write weekly articles focusing on, but not limited to, local events, music, and film/television pieces. Outside of Her Campus, PK is a senior at Pace University (NYC) and is majoring in Communications and Media Studies with a double minor in Digital Marketing and Arts and Entertainment Management. Recently, PK has been delving into multiple social media and design platforms to further their knowledge about digital marketing. During this school year, and beyond graduation, they hope to continue to learn more about photoshop and video editing software. Beyond school, PK enjoys listening and discovering new music, enjoying a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, having hour-long conversations about Star Wars and/or Marvel. If not doing any of the items listed above, PK is most definitely “rotting” in bed and gaining more knowledge about astrology and rewatching their favorite movie/TV shows again.