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I Let Strangers Pick Out My Songs For a Week

This week I am diving into new music. I was in the mood to hear something different and I asked a Facebook group to give me recommendations. The following are some songs from the list and my thoughts on them, so grab your headphones and let’s rock out to some tunes! 

Monday I am starting out the week right with “Land of Ire” by Red Empire.  The song has a dreary sound, but works well since the music video seems to be making a political and/or religious statement. The singing fits with the guitar and drums in the background. This song is one I could listen to on repeat! Sadly, I can’t say the same about Coaster’s “Down in Mexico.” The song isn’t for me, but I can picture it being played at a bar in the 1950s.


I picked Maria Schneider’s “Winter Morning Walks” from the list, because the name implied that it might be a soothing song. However, I only listened to 30 seconds after I discovered it was an opera, a genre I don’t listen to unless it’s the song “Diva” from Fifth Element. The next song I selected was “Let It Happen” by Tame Impala. I enjoyed the subtle electronic sound that played along with the beat of a drum. The sounds matched well with the music video, which shows a man hallucinating. That’s not surprising from a psychedelic rock band, but I believe the video is about a man who is so invested in his work that the stress makes him lose it. I plan on checking out more of their work.


The day starts out with Caravan Palace, a French electro swing band. I have mixed feelings about their song, “Lone Digger.” The lyrics aren’t anything revolutionary but I like the electro, funky, jazz vibe the song gives off, so I see myself listening to the instrumentals when I study. On the other hand, I give “Lean” by VHS Collection a thumbs up. Everything about this song is refreshing and it reminds me of a song that would play in an 80s or 90s movie- though I did recognize it from Shameless.  The lyrics, “Oh, you’re going to lean on your friends, oh, you did it again” easily get stuck in my head.


I have been living under a rock, because today was the first time I listened to Led Zeppelin and Childish Gambino. After listening to Led Zeppelin  and Childish Gambino on Spotify shuffle, I can see why they’re legends. There is so much originality in their music that it’s hard to get bored. The unique sounds transported me to different places as I pictured where I would hear each song. Likewise, Gambino is just as talented. I am not a fan of rap, but Gambino has “bars.” His song, “Sweatpants” stood out to me. It’s the type of song that makes me want to go to a restaurant and ask the waiter what they want to order.


“I like the drums,” I said as soon as I played “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. The real magic begins when I hear Apple’s low alto voice. Everything is packaged nicely together: the beat and her unique voice singing each syllable. It’s refreshing to hear the lyrics sung clearly when many current singers are often drowned out by the instruments. Or maybe I am just used to more pop-style songs. Without a doubt, Fiona Apple gets a “yes” from me. Apple’s style contrasts with Aaron Smith’s Krono remix, “Dancin.” The remix gives me a free feeling like I’m at a festival without a care in the world, dancing to the rhythm. I will check him out more when I need an escape.


If there was an award for the second most unique song from the comments it would go to “Youth” from the rock band, Glass Animals. I can’t put a finger on what makes it both entrancing and annoying. It’s hard to hear the singer, so I had to look up the lyrics. I do appreciate that the lyrics capture a love story but more could be inferred from reading the words than by listening. I have a love/hate relationship with the song at this point but I’m sold.  Unfortunately, the award for the song I listened to for the shortest amount of time this week goes to “The Hardest Part” by Being as an Ocean. I only lasted five seconds after I realized it was a post hardcore band.


The second to last song is Varsity’s “so sad, so sad,” which doesn’t leave an impression with me, but I feel like I could vibe to this song on a lazy day. Without work or school, I could listen to it multiple times and learn to appreciate the piece. Finally, I made it to the end with “Made of Stars” by Hovi Star. I enjoy the subtle piano since it doesn’t mask his singing. Besides that, there is nothing that stands out to me unless I need a song to belt out when I’m pretending on to be on stage. Nevertheless, I am not disappointed because it exceeds my expectations. Overall, I wouldn’t pick up the song on my own.

I can unplug my headphones now. There were hits and misses from the list, but it has been a fun journey starting on the Red Empire and landing on the Stars

Sherry is a senior at Purdue University majoring in professional writing and minoring in film. She plans on becoming a content writer or a copywriter, though she is also keeping her options open. She enjoys Youtube, her cat, Paisley, makeup, and writing.
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