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The Best Music You’ve Missed from the Past Five Years

1. Ben Platt

In 2019, the Dear Evan Hansen star went from Broadway to the recording studio to produce his first album, Sing To Me Instead, a stunning set of heartfelt, emotional songs with a stripped-back, acoustic quality that highlights Platt’s vocal talent. My top picks are “Bad Habit,” “Ease My Mind,” “Grow As We Go,” and “Older.” Just last year, Platt released a second album, Reverie, which features a more upbeat pop ballad, “I wanna love you but I don’t,” which is one of those perfect songs to sing at the top of your lungs while you’re driving.

2. Weezer

Though nothing will ever top the famous blue album of 1994 (or Pinkerton of 1996, depending on who you ask), Weezer’s 2021 album OK Human has brought new life to the band and been called their best work in recent years. They’ve tried out a different sound (a bit more laid-back) but are still recognizably Weezer in their signature geek-rock style, particularly in “All My Favorite Songs” and “Grapes of Wrath.

3. Glass Animals

Everyone learned their name in 2020 when “Heat Waves” blew up, but this British indie band has some less well-known songs worth checking out. I’d recommend “Gooey” from their 2014 album, particularly the stripped version, and their newest single “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance).” If you’re more of an acoustic music fan, the stripped version of “Heat Waves” is also worth the listen.

4. SUGR?

Under this stage name, Steven Suptic (formerly of comedy troupe Sugar Pine 7) has been releasing music since 2019. His style is airy and light while simultaneously appealing to fans of music with darker themes. “Inside My Head” (2019) has a surf rock quality while still feeling modern and unique, “Oh Death” (2019) feels the influence of an 80s pop hit, and “Back With You” (2021) has a seriously catchy beat.

5. Lovejoy

Founded in 2021 and fronted by songwriter and YouTube star Wilbur Soot, this indie alt-rock band embodies sarcastic wit, seriously impressive drums and bass, and everything British. Highlights include “Taunt,” “One Day,” and “Sex Sells” from their first EP, Are You Alright?, though their second EP, Pebble Brain, is even stronger. My personal favorites are “Concrete,” “Model Buses,” and “You’ll Understand When You’re Older,” though I’d recommend listening to the whole album in order for a well-rounded musical experience. More recently, they covered “Knee Deep at ATP” by Los Campesinos, which is arguably one of their best songs yet. All of this has been released within less than a year—keep an eye out for their planned LP.

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Sarah McLaughlin

Providence '23

Sarah McLaughlin is a junior English/Creative Writing and Political Science major at Providence College. She is co-editor of the Portfolio section at The Cowl and a tutor in the Writing Center. In addition to writing, she enjoys Chess Club, Dance Club, and playing piano.
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