music

Fall Albums You Should Listen To

Happy Fall 2016 everyone! If midterms, projects, finding a Halloween costume and the election stressed you out, I’ve got a temporary remedy. If there’s one thing that universally helps everyone eliminate stress, it’s probably music. Luckily, while Trump and Clinton were hitting the podium, some fantastic albums have been released. Whether you’re trying to relieve stress or just find some great new music to fuel your car rides or walks to class, I’ve got you covered. Regardless of what genre you’re partial to, these four fall albums are definitely worth a listen.

fall albums - 22, A Million - Bon Iver

1. 22, A Million – Bon Iver

Pull out your sweaters and light a scented candle, because Bon Iver dropped their new album. 22, A Million is an experimental record produced by musical group, Bon Iver who you probably know from his previous album Emma, Forever Ago. In comparison to their previous album, which had a more instrumental and earthy vibe, 22, A Million includes more electronic sounds and clips. But don’t be too worried if you’re a die hard “Emerson” type Bon Iver, because the album keeps the same familiar tone, just with some added instruments. The album itself got really high ratings too, so I suggest you listen!

fall albums - A Seat at the Table - Solange

2. A Seat at the Table – Solange

Solange really created something special with A Seat at the Table. The album tells a story through powerful lyrics spaced out by spoken interludes featuring people including her own mother. Through A Seat at the Table, Solange both voices her emotions from her experiences with racism and works to empower herself and the black community. The album isn’t meant for background study music, so if you get the chance, I suggest sitting down and actually listening to it in full. It won’t disappoint. This album also got very high ratings.

fall albums - Remember Us To Life- Regina Spektor

3. Remember Us To Life- Regina Spektor

If you were missing quirky songs and pretty piano melodies, guess who’s back? It’s been about four years since Regina’s album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats was released in 2012, and I don’t know if I could’ve waited any longer. Remember Us To Life is classic Regina, too. Her knack for storytelling through her songs accompanied by her signature piano instrumentals is just what we need for the colder months. Play it in the kitchen while you bake pumpkin pie one night and everything will feel amazing.

fall albums - Atrocity Exhibition- Danny Brown

4. Atrocity Exhibition- Danny Brown

Danny Brown brings something new to the rap game with his new album, Atrocity Exhibition. The album is classic Danny Brown with really neat beats and samples that really showcase his creative ability. Atrocity Exhibition also received a high rating. The songs includes production from Paul White and features Kendrick Lamar, Petit Noir, and Earl Sweatshirt. Its super high energy sets the album apart from other hip hop albums like Drake’s Views. If you’re throwing a party sometime soon, I suggest adding a few of Danny Brown’s songs to the playlist to get things really going. But given the explicit lyrics, make sure it isn’t a children’s party!

Enjoy these fall albums as your relieve stress and prepare for the holidays! Drop a comment below if you have more albums we should listen to listen to this fall.

July 2016 Music Festival Guide

July Music Festival Guide

It seems like summer of 2016 is already flying by! You might feel some serious FOMO if you missed some of June’s festivals like Bonnaroo, EDC Vegas, Firefly, or Electric Forest. Not to worry though because festival season is only getting started. Here are some music festivals that you shouldn’t miss out on! Here is your July 2016 music festival guide!

1) Lollapalooza: July 28-July 31

Located in Grant Park, Chicago, Lollapalooza is a favorite among many. This year is special too because it’s the festival’s 25th anniversary and is including a 4th day instead of its normal three days. It has an A-List set of headliners including Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey and more along with dozens of amazing artists and performers. This year is definitely going to be a hit so I recommend buying tickets ASAP. Oh, and be sure to get some Chicago deep dish pizza after the fest to carb up for dancing the next day!

2) Camp Bisco: July 14- July 16

For those who like to get really down and dirty, check out Camp Bisco. Though Camp Bisco has been around for awhile, it’s holding its second year in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s going to be wild. With a great mix of jam bands and electronic artists like Odesza, The Disco Biscuits, STS9, Zeds Dead, and Big Grizmatik (Big Gigantic +Griz+Gramatik) you’ll be dancing until dawn.

3) Wayhome: July 22-July 24

So maybe you missed Bonnaroo? No big deal! Just about 45 minutes north of Toronto, Ontario is the perfect three day camping festival with a killer lineup. Celebrating just its second year, Wayhome Music and Arts festival is hosting big names such as LCD Soundsystem, The Killers, Arcade Fire, Major Lazer, and M83. Also, be prepared for lots of poutine and maple syrup!

4) Bass Center: July 29-July 30

If you like Bassnectar then luckily he has his own festival. At the end of July, Bassnectar is hosting Bass Center, a two day fest in Denver, Colorado. This year, along with two sets from Bassnectar himself (surprise), is Flux Pavilion, Wu Tang Clan, Porter Robinson, and more!

5) Panorama: July 22-July 24

Supposedly the Coachella on the east coast, Panorama festival is hosting it’s first ever year. So far it’s looking amazing. On Randall’s Island, NYC, artists like Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, and LCD Soundsystem are taking the stage for the initiation of a hopefully great new festival. And in New York, we can expect some great after parties.

Best Genres of Music for Studying

Most of us dread studying and would do just about anything to make it more enjoyable. Adding music to your studying routine can be beneficial to you for many reasons. Listening to a variety of genres can influence your mood and attention span to create the best studying atmosphere for you. Here are some genres of music that you would be smart to add to your studying playlist.

Classical Music

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Listening to classical music while studying or writing can really help you focus. Classical music is based on steady tempos and is generally composed of instruments that play quieter tones. Therefore, it is more likely that you will be able to concentrate on the information and it will be less easy for you to get distracted by the music. Classical music can also help you relax and take your mind off of irrelevant things that could distract you while studying.

Pop/Rock Music

music - pop/rock

Rather than listening to loud rock or alternative styles, listening to quieter pop/rock compositions can be less distracting background noise when studying. Listening to pop music is known to increase self-esteem and listening to rock music is known to enhance creativity. Put those two together and you have a winning combination. Additionally, the extra confidence can really help drown out the doubt you may have if you are nervous about the exam you are studying for.

Cultural Music

music - cultural

Listening to music from other cultures in the world can be very interesting and can also help you be more creative and more knowledgeable in your studies. Exposing your brain to new rhythms and languages helps keep your mind sharp. Have fun finding new music and learning a thing or two along the way. It’s best to choose steady, light beats that allow you to relax and concentrate.

These are the genres of music that I have found to be most beneficial to my studying. Each person finds music helps them study in different ways. Try these genres out and see which fits your studying style best.

Female Country Music Artists Sticking to Their Values

Country music is a genre of music that has traditionally been dominated by men. When you think of the most popular artists of the past and today, most of the big names that pop up are those of men. However, a group of young female country music artists from the great state of Texas have popped up as of recent and have risen in popularity over the past few years or so. These women have been inspirational not in creating success for themselves, but by also sticking to their principles and standing by their roots. Here are three young female country music artists who have found success without compromising their values.

Kacey Musgraves

female country music artists - KACEY

Kacey was discovered in Austin, Texas in 2008. She got the first big break of her career touring with Lady Antebellum in 2012, and released her first album the next year. On her album “Same Trailer, Different Park,” Kacey made hits with her songs “Blowin’ Smoke” “Merry go Round” and the popular “Follow Your Arrow”, which eventually reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.  Critics applauded Follow Your Arrow for its strong message about non-conformity and living one’s life to the fullest. On her second album released just a week ago, Musgraves has already found success with her hit song “Biscuits” which uses traditional southern customs as metaphors to explain her views on how to live life and treat others. Musgraves career is continuing to blossom, and her ability to stick to her roots has made her a fan favorite within Texas.

RaeLynn

female country music artists- RaeLynn

RaeLynn, another Texas born girl, exploded onto the music scene with her impressive performances on Season 2 of the popular singing show “The Voice.” Although she was eliminated in the quarterfinals, RaeLynn signed with Republic Nashville and is currently working on a studio album. She has since collaborated with her coach on “The Voice” Blake Shelton, doing backups on his popular redneck ballad “Boys Round Here.” RaeLynn release her first single “Boyfriend” in 2012, and followed up with the immensely popular “God Made Girls” in 2014. This song helped to catapult her onto the main stage as it reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.  RaeLynn’s most recent success has come with the release of her new song “For a Boy.” Although RaeLynn has been criticized for her song “God Made Girls” which many feminists deemed as sexist and overly traditional, RaeLynn has stuck by her principles and Christian values and continues to do so in her music.  Having only just turned 21, RaeLynn has much room to grow as an artist and it should prove interesting to follow her career trajectory.

Danielle Bradbery

female country music artists - danielle

Bradbery followed RaeLynn as a voice contestant, competing on the show “The Voice” in 2013.  Danielle ended up winning the show under the tutelage of Blake Shelton. Bradbery, born in Houston blew judges away with her rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mean” and with her powerful performances of other mainstream country songs. She was so impressive on “The Voice” that she had five studio performances on the show reach the top ten on iTunes! Danielle released her first single “The Heart of Dixie,” in July of 2013 and released her self-titled first album later that year. The “Heart of Dixie” reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot Country Song Chart. Danielle is currently working on her second album and hopes to release it in 2015. Although she has not had quite as much mainstream success outside of the Voice as some of her fellow artists, Danielle has a strong future ahead of her as she only recently turned 18! Danielle Bradbery continues to stick to her southern and Christian roots and has already made a name for herself. It will be just a matter of time till she finds the one song to really put her among the giants in the country music business.

It is increasingly hard to make it in the music business without compromising values, but these ladies have done a great job of sticking to their roots while climbing up the ranks. I expect more like them to follow despite the increasing trend of young stars compromising what they used to believe in.

 

Summer 2014 Pump Up Playlist

The 2014 spring semester has officially come to an end! Let’s just take a moment and let that sink in. if you’re reading this: Congratulations, you have officially survived finals week! *Takes deep breath, exhales stress* It’s safe to say the next couple of days we’re all going to be anxiously waiting for semester grades to be posted.

To the 2014 College Graduates: The day that you have been strenuously working towards has finally arrived; you have achieved a very important milestone in your life and this will be no doubt one of the most unforgettable moments of your life. All your hard work and dedication have paid off, and resulted in a college degree. All of us here would like to wish you best of luck as you embark on a new adventure and transition into the professional life. Congratulations grad, you’ve earned it.

Okay, okay, I’m done with all the sappy stuff. Let’s get back to the fun.

Who’s pumped up for summer? I know I am! Because I know many of you are heading back home or kicking off summer with a road trip to the beach, I decided to share with you the current playlist that my friends and I have been blasting through our open car windows. This fun summer playlist is full of quirky electric ballads that will have you tapping your toes and dancing in your seat