Hi there, everyone!
I clearly fell off the face of the earth for a little while recently – finishing a degree tends to take all of your attention. Who would have thought, right?
But here I am, back and better than ever, and bringing with me some excellent new finds in the music world. One good thing that comes out of hours (and hours…and hours) of studying and final essay-writing is the study and final essay-writing music playlist.
One of my favourite ways to gear up for exam season this time around was setting aside quite a decent amount of time to build up a great playlist to have going while I studied.
Now that I am back at home and school-free, I’ve had even more time to find excellent new tunes. So without further ado, here are some of my favourites from my current playlist of must-listen songs.
1. Oh Wonder – Ultralife
Oh Wonder is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with in the world of music. I was luckily introduced to them about a year and a half ago by my boyfriend, who shares similar music taste with me. I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Halsey in Toronto last summer, and these two are no joke – they put on a fantastic and immersive live show. The duo’s soft voices combined with songs ranging from upbeat and light tunes, to sweet love professions, to thoughtful musical commentary on unique topics is intoxicating, and I have never found a song of theirs I do not love. This year is when they will be releasing their second album, and Ultralife is the title track. The fun, upbeat tune encompasses everything that is great about the duo – and if you’re like me, it’ll have you dancing around your room without even realizing it.
2. Wet – Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl
If you’re a fan of atmospheric, electronic songs layered with a gorgeous voice, you’ll love this one. Wet is one of my newest artist discoveries. Their music, vocalized by the female in the trio, has that perfect, atmospheric, chilled-out feel that works as an amazing rainy-day soundtrack. Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl is the song that I first heard from Wet (thanks to my Spotify Daily Mix playlist), and holds that special place that all such songs do when you discover a new artist. I highly encourage giving it a listen, along with the rest of their music.
3. Layla – Oh My Love
This song choice has a sneaky connection to one of the others on this list. “Layla” is the stage name held by none other than Oh Wonder’s female vocalist, Josephine. She worked under the name prior to the creation of Oh Wonder, but I have only just recently discovered so. This song is sweet, and accompanied by a piano ballad that I appreciate greatly after a lifetime of playing the instrument.
4. Fast Romantics – Why We Fight
This is the kind of classic, uplifting rock song that gives me summer night feelings. Though this list is saturated in songs leaning toward the electronic pop or ballad side (which has truly been the tune of my May so far), I can’t ignore my roots. Something about classic and alt-rock just makes me fulfilled, and this new tune from Fast Romantics encompasses so much of why that’s the case for me. It’s one of those new rock songs that displays that the potential to create excellent, classic rock music is far from gone in the modern world.
5. Bishop Briggs – The Fire
Remember the summer of 2016, when the alt rock stations played that “River” song at least daily? Every day on my drive to work, I would scream-sing along shamelessly to the lyrics (I was alone in my car, okay?). I finally got around to looking up not only what the song was called, but who sang it. Bishop Briggs’ gritty and talented voice and unique song composition is found in other songs by her. The Fire is that song I can play in the morning while I get ready, making me feel badass and ready to take on the day ahead.
Honorary mention for another excellent song by Briggs: Wild Horses. Check it out.
6. Mr Little Jeans – Heaven Sent
More atmospheric, ethereal electronic sounds – I blame my boyfriend’s influence for this one. When we met, I had a Kurt Cobain poster on my wall and routinely blasted the Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead. While Kurt is still up there, and I haven’t abandoned those bands at all (Fake Plastic Trees is a song that will never be topped in my mind), I am listening to more female-led, alt-pop electronic music after being fed so much of it by my boyfriend. I have to give credit to Mr Little Jeans – every song by her is a masterpiece, and Heaven Sent gives me a lovely happy feeling every time I give it a listen. If you haven’t heard this artist yet, I highly suggest changing that.
*If you’re a fan of Arcade Fire, check out their cover of The Suburbs – you won’t regret it.
7. The xx – Lips
In honour of seeing this trio in later this month, I’ve got to include the song that’s been on repeat off of their new album for me. It’s impossible for me to pick favourites off of the album, and I won’t even try. But this song is worth a mention because of its unique beat, sounds, and haunting intro. Definitely up there among one of The xx’s best songs thus far.
8. Album: Tor Miller – American English
Last, but most definitely not least. You guys – I couldn’t just pick one song here, and this list positively could not go without a Tor Miller mention. I can’t even explain how great he is. Different sound than all other songs on this list, his music is the definition of talent, and he boasts one of the most unique voices to come out of his generation. I saw him in concert, as the opening act for Banners, and it was the first time I could say that the artist was better in person than on the recorded album. He had the entire audience captured with his voice – an impressive feat for someone who was just the opening act (of course, it must have helped that he has an adorable devil-may-care, true New Yorker vibe). As if that wasn’t enough, I even had the pleasure of meeting him following the show – where he was selling his own merch at the table, and taking pictures with every single person who wanted one. Miller is hands-down the best artist I have discovered in the past few years, if not among the best ever. Songs I definitely recommend are Midnight, Always, Carter & Cash, Baby Blue, and The Dirt. More that I recommend: all the rest of them.
*And if you like this album, check out his Headlights EP!