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If I were back in Los Angeles, I’d play these artists at full volume as I drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) at night. Windows down, unleashing my strands of hair into a frenzy of dance as the wind obstructs my view of the road. I’d indulge in the mellow atmosphere that these artists have mastered in creating. But for now, speed walking tardily to class with shin splints and sheen on my sweaty forehead while Elliot Smith seemingly narrates my life, “You walk down Alameda [County], Looking at the cracks in the sidewalk,” will have to suffice. Here is a list of my top 10 artist recommendations for when you’re in your feels or in the mood to bless your auditory receptors with soft, sentimental, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful music:

Mitski

Roots: Japan

My Favorite Song: “Nobody,” Be the Cowboy (2018)

My Favorite Lyrics: “It’s just that I fell in love with a war / Nobody told me it ended / and it left a pearl in my head / And I roll it around / Every night, just to watch it glow / Every night, baby, that’s where I go” — “Pearl,” Be the Cowboy (2018)

SiR

Roots: Inglewood, California

My Favorite Song: “The Recipe,” Chasing Summer (2019)

My Favorite Lyrics: “Primitive passion, human reaction / Putting it all on the line / This could be real life, but why do I feel like / We would be wasting our time?” — “That’s Why I Love You,” Chasing Summer (2019)

Arlo Parks

Roots: Hammersmith, London

My Favorite Song: “Eugene” (2020)

My Favorite Lyrics: “I’d lick the grief right off your lips” — “Black Dog” (2020)

Cautious Clay

Roots: Cleveland, Ohio

My Favorite Song: “Spinner,” Deadpan Love (2021)

My Favorite Lyrics: “You’re starting up a wildfire in my heart / Hope it’s what you want / Not just what you do” –“Wildfire,” Deadpan Love (2021)

The Marías

Roots: Los Angeles, California

My Favorite Song: “I Like It,” Superclean, Vol. I – EP (2017)

My Favorite Lyrics: “I got a feeling that I wanna slow down with you / Nobody else will ever do” –“Hold It Together” (2020)

Cigarettes After Sex

Roots: El Paso, Texas

My Favorite Song: “Heavenly,” Cry (2019)

My Favorite Lyrics: “Got the music in you, baby, tell me why / You’ve been locked in here forever and you just can’t say goodbye / Your lips, my lips, apocalypse” — Apocalypse (2017)

Elliot Smith

Roots: Omaha, Nebraska 

My Favorite Song: “Speed Trials,” Either/Or (1997)

My Favorite Lyrics: “I’m in love with the world / Through the eyes of girl / Who’s still around the morning after” — “Say Yes”, Either/Or (1997)

GIVĒON

Roots: Long Beach, California

My Favorite Song: “Stuck on You,” When It’s All Said and Done – EP (2020)

My Favorite Lyrics: “Losin’ track of time, as our feelings touch / We fall deep into the bed, we become the threads / Intertwinin’ / I just wanna stay in the world we created / I just wanna sink in the plans that we makin” — “WORLD WE CREATED”, TAKE TIME (2020)

Sabrina Claudio

Roots: Miami, Florida

My Favorite Song: “Truth Is” (2019)

My Favorite Lyrics: “I’m alone, but I’m not lonely / Comfortably indulging / And trying to get to know me / I’m just an outline of what I used to be / Constantly evolving / Steadily revolving” — “Confidently Lost” (2017)

Frank Ocean

Roots: New Orleans, Louisiana 

My Favorite Song: “Lost,” Channel Orange (2012)

My Favorite Lyrics: “What do you think my brain is made for / Is it just a container for the mind? / This great grey matter / Sensei replied, what is your woman? / Is she just a container for the child?” — Pink Matter, Channel Orange (2012)

Wishing you a cathartic listening experience.

Rebekah Sim

UC Berkeley '22

Rebekah Sim is a fourth-year at UC Berkeley pursuing a major in English and a minor in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. The Los Angeles transplant likes to spend her time trying out new restaurants and snapping photos of plants and urban wildlife while out and about.
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