As quarantine trudges into the summer months, many artists have been continuing to release new music. Recently, several new singles have come out; here are five of the best songs (coincidentally all by awesome women artists) that you need to check out!
“I See You” by Phoebe Bridgers
Indie singer-songwriter, Phoebe Bridgers, dropped her newest single, “I See You,” on May 19. Her new album, Punisher, is set to release on June 19. “I See You” is a song in which Bridgers recalls her breakup with the drummer in her band, Marshall Vore, who co-wrote the song and plays drums on it. If you’re a fan of Bridgers’ previous discography, be sure to check out her new album, Punisher, once it is released next month.
“19” by Madisenxoxo
Up-and-coming alternative singer-songwriter, Madisenxoxo, has been blowing up on TikTok and Spotify. Her newest single, “19,” has the same well-crafted songwriting as her previous single “Baby in Blue,” with a slightly more uplifting mood to the song. If you’re a fan of artists like Clairo or Soccer Mommy, Madisenxoxo is an artist who should definitely be on your radar.
“Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande)” by Lady Gaga feat. Ariana Grande
Lady Gaga is joined by fellow pop icon, Ariana Grande, in the second and newest single off of her upcoming album, Chromatica. The album drops tomorrow, May 29, and will be Gaga’s sixth studio album. Fans have been long awaiting a new album, since the 2016 country-pop album, Joanne.“Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande)” is a pop dance anthem that is sure to be the soundtrack to summer 2020.
“Don’t Wanna” by Haim
The alternative band of sisters, Haim, is back with their newest single, “Don’t Wanna,” from their upcoming album. Women in Music Pt. III is set to come out on June 26. In this song, the band channels the sound of their first album, Days Are Gone, from 2013. The bassline in the chorus of “Don’t Wanna” has a familiarity to it which fans of that album are definitely going to enjoy. After releasing three songs and three bonus tracks from the upcoming album, Haim listeners are excited to hear what’s in store on the new album.
“I Think You’re Alright” by Soccer Mommy
Indie singer-songwriter, Soccer Mommy, launched a project called “Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series” in which she has asked four musician friends to swap songs, covering each other’s music. In the first installment, which was released on May 21, Soccer Mommy was joined by singer Jay Som. Soccer Mommy covered Jay Som’s “I Think You’re Alright,” while Jay Som covered Soccer Mommy’s song “lucy.” Every two weeks, Soccer Mommy will be releasing more additions of her Singles Series and will be joined by Beabadoobee, Andrew VanWyngarden, and Beach Bunny. Soccer Mommy is releasing her singles series as an album once all of the additions are released. All profits from Bandcamp sales of the “Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series” album will be donated to Oxfam’s COVID-19 relief fund.
British electro-pop singer-songwriter, Charli XCX, released her newest album,how i’m feeling now, on May 15. Prior to the release of her fourth studio album, Charli released the singles “forever,” “claws,” “i finally understand,” and “enemy.” All of these singles were produced (with the help of A. G. Cook and BJ Burton) and released while Charli has been in quarantine. Charli’s goal for this album was to make it collaborative with her friends and fans; she did so by asking fans to edit videos of her dancing in front of a green screen for her music videos, asking friends to collaborate on cover art, and more.
The album is 11 tracks, 37 minutes in length, and has a very cohesive electro-pop sound throughout. If you’re a fan of Charli’s 2019 album Charli, or artists like Grimes or 100 gecs, you’ll love this album! Charli explained the album in her own words as the “frantic emo younger sister” of her previous album, Pop 2.
Overall, there is something to be said about an artist whose goal for the project was to include her fans in the production. Charli announced the album after her first two weeks in quarantine on April 6, via a Zoom call with her fans, and didn’t take to Twitter with the announcement until April 30.
Singer-songwriter, Madisenxoxo, is only 22 years old, but she’s making waves on Tik Tok and Spotify with her first single, “Baby in Blue.” In the beginning of April, Madisen posted a Tik Tok of her recording the vocals for her song. Since then, the video has received over1 million views.
Madisen’s song, “Baby in Blue,” is a melancholy love song which she wrote and performed herself. Madisen has been musically active since she began piano lessons at the age of four. Ever since, she has been developing her own style, taking inspiration from many different artists. “I have so many inspirations, I think my music taste is pretty wide, which has been great because I don’t really think my music fits into one specific genre. I grew up listening to my parent’s music, soft rock and folk music from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and then as I got older I developed my own taste.” She is especially inspired by fellow women artists. “I love to see females leading the band instrumentally as well as vocally, artists like Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy have really inspired me. Of course I always fall back on legends like Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse,” Madisen shares.
The Portland-based jazz performance major would have been wrapping up her final year at Portland State University right now. But, COVID-19 caused the cancellation of her senior recital. Because of this, Madisen has shifted her focus to writing and producing an album, which she is hoping to release towards the end of this summer. “Baby in Blue” is the first single in preparation for her album. Her next single, “19,” is to be released on May 22.
Madisen started her songwriting process for “Baby in Blue” with her guitar, but she says that every song is different when it comes to songwriting. “With this song, I think the chords and the lyrics kind of came simultaneously which is rare.” Madisen also provides an explanation of her lyrics.
“The song [is] basically about loving someone with depression or sadness. There’s a line in the chorus, ‘Put your head in my hands, I’ll be your man.’ Typical gender roles in our society tell us that generally, the men are the ones who are supposed to be strong and solid, while the women are emotional and need comfort. However, as women in relationships, we’ve all experienced that supporting one another emotionally goes both ways. Sometimes it’s the woman [who] has to be the strong and comforting one and let the man break down and feel something. You have to take care of each other. That line is kind of sarcastically poking at that gender role, saying that I’m a woman yet I can take on that typical role of a man and be the ‘strong’ or ‘stable’ presence in a relationship when the other person is feeling unstable.”
Madisen writes and performs her own music, and teams up with her boyfriend on the production. “My boyfriend, Josh (whose artist name is Mana Garden), helped me record all the instruments and then he produced the song. He really handles the technology aspect of things (which is HUGE). He does a lot of the sound design, using synthesizers, drums, and samples. I play all of the instruments and then he handles the mixing and other instrumentation, some more electronic instruments that we add later on, or manipulating vocals– things like that. Usually, we spend hours sitting in front of the computer catching every detail and making adjustments.”
With a viral Tik Tok under her belt, over 60,000 listeners on Spotify, and edgy lyrics which challenge gender roles, it’s clear that Madisen is making her way in the music industry. Listen to Madisenxoxo’s “Baby in Blue” below:
As musicians and fans alike spend more time in self isolation, many artists have been continuing to release music. Some artists, like HAIM, are releasing pre-recorded music in preparation for upcoming albums. Other artists, like Still Woozy, have been mixing music from the comfort of their homes to cure their boredom. Whether it’s a surprise remix from hip-hop powerhouses Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé, or Doja Cat featuring Nicki Minaj. Here are all the best quarantine music releases to catch up on:
Sister trio HAIM, the alternative-pop band, originally announced an April 24, 2020 release date for their upcoming third studio album, Women In Music Pt. III, after dropping The Steps EP on March 3. This EP is comprised of four singles which the band released individually, starting in summer 2019. With the growing threat of the Coronavirus pandemic, the band ultimately made the decision to push back their album release date to June 26, 2020. Luckily for fans, some good news also came with this bad news, the release of the single, “I Know Alone” on April 29, 2020. The single was accompanied by a music video of the sisters dancing from a social distance from one another. This newest single is more on the techno/experimental alternative side in comparison to what some HAIM listener’s may expect, but with a solid EP under their belt, it seems that this upcoming album will not disappoint.
Charli XCX’s first quarantine single “forever” a grungy pop love song, came out on April 9. Her second single, “claws”, a synthy but super catchy pop love song was released on April 23, 2020. The singer-songwriter has been working on releasing music from quarantine for an upcoming album, which she tweeted about. The album’s working title and release date are how i’m feeling now, coming out on May 15, 2020. Charli also recruited her friends, three fellow multidisciplinary artists/musicians, Caroline Polacheck, Seth Bogart, and Regards Coupables to design the cover art for her first single.
Charli has been sharing at-home photoshoots with fans via Twitter, and having artists put their own touch on the photos, which Charli then uses for album and single cover art. Overall, Charli XCX has been steadily releasing new music; exciting her fans via social media by including them in her process of making an album at home from scratch.
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé
In a very Beyoncé-esque way, this single came about with absolutely no warning to fans. Beyoncé joined her fellow Houston rapper, Megan Thee Stallion, for a surprise remix to the song that’s taken Tik Tok by storm. The “Savage Remix [ft. Beyonce]” was released on April 29, 2020, and includes all new verses from Megan. Fans were hoping for a collaboration since photos of the artists together at a New Year’s Eve party surfaced at the beginning of 2020, and this remix definitely surpasses expectations.
Doja Cat ft. Nicki Minaj
Although no one knows how long a collaboration has been in the works for, the Nicki Minaj remix of Doja Cat’s equally Tik Tok viral song, “Say So,” wasn’t announced until the same day as “Savage Remix [ft. Beyoncé],” which actually came out hours prior at midnight. While I’m personally a fan of all four icons, it was disappointing that the “Say So [Remix ft. Nicki Minaj]” recycled the same verses from Doja Cat’s original version of the song. Nonetheless, fans were so excited to hear the Barb queen, Nicki Minaj, rap alongside Doja Cat.
Sven Gamsky, the talent behind one man band, Still Woozy, released his new single, “Window”, on April 17, 2020. Still Woozy was supposed to be touring right now, but instead has been spending quarantine making music from his personal recording studio. “Window” combines an acoustic sound with a funky beat, using unique sound effects, like that of a creaking floor, as part of the beat. Still Woozy also recently covered fellow one-man band, Tame Impala’s song, “The Less I Know The Better” on his YouTube channel.
Every indie music listener’s favorite quintessential alternative rock band, The Strokes, finally released their sixth and newest album, The New Abnormal, on April 10, 2020. Marking this as their first full-length album since their 2013, Comedown Machine. The band, headed by lead singer and primary songwriter, Julian Casablancas, released three singles in preparation for this album, starting in February of this year. The album’s sound as a whole is nothing super brand new or groundbreaking for the indie rock band. With that being said, the album is cohesive and won’t disappoint true fans of The Strokes. Personal favorite songs include “The Adults Are Talking,” “Bad Decisions,” and “Eternal Summer.”
R&B music singer-songwriter, Kali Uchis, came out with her newest EP, To Feel Alive, on April 24, 2020. Check out this awesome review, where my fellow Red Roll writer, Maddy, goes in-depth about each song on the four-track EP as well as the motifs of the EP.
Phoebe Bridgers, indie/folk singer-songwriter, has released two singles this spring in preparation for her newest album, Punisher, which comes out on June 19, 2020. Her first single of this year, “Garden Song,” was released at the end of February. It is a slower, acoustic song, in which Bridger’s lyrics beautifully reflect on her past and future. Her second single, “Kyoto”, was released on April 9, 2020. This single is more uplifting than the last, featuring drums and horns, rather than the sounds of just an acoustic guitar. In this single, Bridgers discusses the cycle of her desire to travel when she is home, and her desire to be at home while she is traveling on tour. If you’re a fan of indie bands like Bright Eyes or The Head and The Heart, or alternative female singer-songwriters like Soccer Mommy or Lana Del Rey, you’ll definitely want to keep your eye out for Phoebe Bridgers’ newest album.
As a special Earth Day treat, everyone’s favorite country-pop princess, Kacey Musgraves, surprised fans with “Oh What A World 2.0 – Earth Day Edition.” This song is a remix of Musgraves’ song “Oh What A World” from her Grammy-winning 2018 album, Golden Hour. This version is an almost-tropical inspired remix, with a slightly different beat, featuring bongos. It’s definitely a cool and unique remix for a song by primarily country-based singer-songwriter.
Another one man band, George Van Den Broek of Yellow Days, just came out with the new single, “Treat You Right,” on May 1, 2020. The indie R&B artist has a similar sound to those of Cosmo Pyke, HOMESHAKE, and Banes World. The UK-based artist hasn’t released a full length album since his 2017 Is Everything Okay In Your World?, but releases individual singles quite frequently, so we won’t be surprised to hear more Yellow Days music as time in quarantine progresses.
As a media junkie, lately, during quarantine, I’ve found myself binging as many movies and TV shows as possible. With that being said, when I’m not watching something, I’m almost always listening to something; whether I’m playing music while doing school work or listening to a podcast to help me fall asleep. As an avid music listener, I almost always try to keep an ear on the music in the movies and shows I’m watching. While binging several shows during this period of self-isolation, I have discovered my love and appreciation for the music in HBO series. HBO produces numerous incredible TV series, and I’m going to share three of my favorites, and why their music makes them all the more compelling
If you’ve seen Euphoria, you probably love it just as much for the storyline as you do for the music. Euphoria follows struggling teen Rue, (Zendaya), as she attempts to recover from a drug addiction. In this show, Rue and several other high school-aged characters’ lives and conflicts intertwine with one another. The series paints the picture of all of the main characters’ conflicts, piece by piece, using flashbacks to give each teen a detailed storyline. What is great about the Euphoria soundtrack is that most of the artists featured are young, currently popular or up-and-coming. This is realistic– these are the musicians who real teenagers are actually following. Think Beyoncé, Drake, Billie Eillish, Lizzo, Solange, Migos and more. There is also exclusive music for the show by producer Labrinth featuring Zendaya. Overall, this show and the music it features are incredible. The way the music is used absolutely completes the story. If you haven’t seen this show, it’s a lot to handle subject-wise, but it’s worth it. If you have watched the show, I’m sure you can vouch for the quality of its soundtrack.
2. Big Little Lies
This HBO series, like Euphoria, is a drama with some dark content, but rather than showcasing teens, it follows a group of elite moms in Monterey Bay, California. Big Little Lies is based on a fantastic novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. The main characters are played by Reece Witherspoon, Zoë Kravitz, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley. Some of the music on this soundtrack is set to ominous B-roll footage of the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing to the shore. Otherwise, music is used in the background of scenes to help better tell this super-compelling story. A diverse range of artists, both older and newer, appear on the soundtrack. Classics by musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Carole King and Elvis are paired with more modern tunes by Frank Ocean, Sujfan Stevens and Alabama Shakes. Even cast member Zoë Kravitz appears on this soundtrack, covering Elvis’s song “Don’t.” The theme song itself, “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka, is iconic for enthusiastic fans of the show, including myself.
Insecure follows Issa, (Issa Rae), a twenty-something aspiring rapper in Los Angeles, who deals with friendship, relationships and her day job as a non-profit educator. The main characters and cast are majority Black, so the soundtrack definitely heavily features both rap and Black artists alike. Frank Ocean’s lyrics are, at times, even embedded into the characters’ dialogue. Most of the music featured on the show are by young, up-and-coming artists, which is likely what most twenty-somethings in L.A. are listening to. Personal rap favorites on the soundtrack include but are not limited to Rico Nasty, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Kari Faux and Tyler, The Creator. One of my favorite and the most underrated of SZA’s songs, “Quicksand,” was released exclusively for the soundtrack to season 2 of the show. This is definitely the show to watch if you’re a fan of rap, comedy and pop culture. If you’re not, this show may broaden your horizons and turn you into one.
What HBO shows did I forget? Leave me a comment below!
As another week of quarantine rolls through, while trying to keep busy, I have found myself scrolling through Netflix for what can feel like hours. If you want an interesting music documentary to keep your attention for about an hour and a half, look no further. Here are five incredible music documentaries everyone should see. All of these movies are available on Netflix.
For the hopeless romantic: “Amy”
Whether you’re a die-hard Amy Winehouse fan or you’re only familiar with “Rehab”, A24’s documentary “Amy” is a must-watch. The movie tells the story of Winehouse’s young life as well as her relationship with her husband, Blake Fielder, who ultimately got her addicted to drugsand alcohol. The film details Winehouse’s abusive relationship with her husband leading all the way up through her death, which occurred in July 2011. The movie interweaves the singer’s incredible music into the film, using her music to help paint the late singer’s life story with her own words. If you know me well, you know that Amy Winehouse is one of my heroes and one of favorite musicians. That’s all because I saw this movie. This film is beautiful, and is guaranteed to be a tearjerker if you’re a fan of the singer.
For the history buff: “Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation”
If you’re a fan of history, old music, or hippie culture, this one’s for you. “Woodstock“, a PBS-produced documentary, tells the story of how the iconic 1969 music festival came to be. Attendees and creators of the festival alike are interviewed, and some of the best Woodstockfootage in history can be seen in this film. If you’re a current fan of festivals, you definitely have to watch this movie to see how one of the most important festivals in music history came about. I took an elective history class about the 1960s and watching this movie gave me so much extra information about Woodstock that I didn’t even learn in class. This is also a good movie to watch with your family, especially if your parents grew up listening to the music of this era.
For the dancer: “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé”
If you’re a part of the Beyhive, you probably have all of the choreography from this movie memorized down to a T. If not, there is literally no better time than now to try to start learning it. “Homecoming” is the documentary that shares the process of how Beyoncé trained and rehearsed for her headlining Coachella performances in 2018. This movie has the best quality footage of Beyoncé’s incredible “Beychella” performances, and her formations with her large number of backup dancers are breathtaking. If you’re a fan of pop music, Beyoncé, or hip-hop dancing, you’ve got to watch this movie.
For the pop culture fiend: “FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened”
If you’re into pop culture, you know all about FYRE Festival, and have probably already seen a documentary about it. If you’re really into pop culture, you’ve definitely seen a documentary about FYRE Fest and honestly the whole topic is so 2019, this is old news. Well, assuming you haven’t already seen all there is to see about FYRE, this documentary will everything. The music festival that was supposed to be an exclusive influencer-only music festival on a tropical island in 2017 ended up being a complete failure due to lack of budget and poor planning. Watching the documentaries about it now makes it seem slightly comical, but this documentary actually speaks volumes about current trends and influencer culture.
For the stan: “Gaga: Five Foot Two”
If you’re a Little Monster, (Lady Gaga fan), you’ve already seen this documentary. This movie shows the creation of Lady Gaga’s album, ‘Joanne’. This film displays Gaga in her most candid nature, with beautiful footage of her and her grandmother, for whom the album is named. This movie shows how Gaga has changed throughout the years as a performer, maturing as an artist. If you’re into pop music, whether you consider yourself to be a fan of Lady Gaga’s or not, this movie will make you one. Raw footage of Gaga in the studio displays the power of her voice so effortlessly; this is definitely a movie you need to see. Before seeing this movie, despite seeing Gaga headline Lollapalooza with my dad and sister in 2012 with a fever, I didn’t consider myself a big fan of the pop singer. This movie totally changed my mind and made me see Gaga from a new perspective.
Check out my Netflix music documentary recommendations and leave any suggestions for me in the comments or on social media!
As we’re thrust into another week of #COVID19 craziness, many musicians are using their platforms to encourage positivity and creativity amongst all of the unknown that has come with this pandemic. So now is the perfect time to reflect on the positives that have come out of this past week in music.
Many musicians have been live streaming in-home concerts via Instagram live. Kali Uchis and Steve Lacy went live together on Instagram at the beginning of last week, where the alternative R&B artists goofed around with each other. The artists asked each other fans’ questions as Uchis teased some new music in the background. Alternative artist Rex Orange County went live for a second at-home show, performing for an hour on March 28, 2020, where he sang originals as well as a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Other artists have teased new music. For instance, Ariana Grande shared a selfie of herself and Lady Gaga from the recording studio for Gaga’s birthday, sparking rumors that there may be a collaboration in the works.
On the topic of everyone’s favorite pop princess, Grande was joined by her Victorious co-stars for a reunion that was to be in the works before the pandemic struck. Grande shared a screenshot from a Zoom call with the cast to her Twitter. The Nickelodeon show that aired from 2010-2013 resurfaced in popularity (especially on TikTok) for many Gen Z-ers after it was added to Netflix in November of 2019.
Lots of new music has been released lately, keeping bored listeners very thankful. One of the most unexpected releases was a Rihanna feature on one song from the new PARTYNEXTDOOR album. Rihanna had previously disappointed fans after breaking her promise that she would release her ninth studio album sometime before 2020, so fans were not expecting a feature from her anytime soon.
Another unexpected recent release was the drop of a new album from Childish Gambino. Originally, Donald Glover, the multi-talented man behind Childish Gambino released the very experimental album via donaldgloverpresents.com. On this website, the songs were played live streaming on a loop. Then, on March 15, 2020, Gambino released the album, entitled “3.15.20” on official streaming platforms. The album is 12 songs and also features Ariana Grande, 21 Savage and Khadja Bonet. Most songs are titled as their chronological time on the album as a whole, leading several fans finding many mysterious aspects to this new album.
With so much of our lives up in the air as we hope that this pandemic ends soon, it is so important to do your part by staying home. I get it, quarantine is not fun for anyone, (trust me, I ordered bleach for my hair the other day, I’m losing my mind) but with all of this great new music, self isolation should be a bit easier!
As weeks of quarantine progress to our avail, I’ve consistently found myself in bed, letting Netflix continue to play whatever show I’m binging for the fourth time. But, I have been trying to keep sparking my creativity, whether it’s with a hobby or craft, playing guitar or just by being a music listener.
Many musical creators have continued to churn out new sounds from the comforts of their own home studios. Several artists, including Rex Orange County, have used their platforms to perform virtual stripped-down concerts via Instagram Live. British alternative singer, Rex Orange County, performed a full length one and a half hour long show, now available to watch on YouTube.
Singer-songwriter, John Legend, was joined by his wife, model and cooking influencer extraordinaire, Chrissy Teigen, who sat atop their piano for an almost hour long in-home concert. Everyone’s favorite celebrity mom was serenaded as she wore a towel, drank wine, and requested her husband play the theme song to reality TV show, “Vanderpump Rules.”
Speaking of recent live stripped-down concerts, NPR’s Tiny Desk Series has been steadily releasing more new additions, pre-recorded in their Washington D.C. offices before the pandemic struck. Recently, bigger names such as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, The Jonas Brothers and Megan Thee Stallion have done Tiny Desk shows, but the series has been producing concerts by artists of all genres for over a decade, and there are bound to be a few from your favorite artists. Some of my personal favorites are Jorja Smith, Mac Miller, Toro y Moi, The Cranberries, Phoebe Bridgers, Maggie Rogers, Rex Orange CountyandTyler, the Creator. There are quite literally hundreds of installments, and there is no better time than now to watch them and discover new artists. Tiny Desk has even begun to invite artists to record their episodes from home, so new episodes will still be coming out, even throughout quarantine!
Another way to fill your free time with music is by making more playlists. Personally, I make monthly playlists of whatever music I am listening to each month, but I also like to make playlists for different moods, genres, occasions, etc. If you’re feeling lazy and want to listen to a pre-made playlist, three of my favorites that I’ve put together are below:
1. HannyRissy (y2k pop): This is my playlist of my childhood throwback bops, this is great to listen to if you want to put yourself in a better mood and distract yourself from the Corona craze for an hour or two as you listen. This playlist has got everything from Britney Spears to Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga, and it goes especially well with butterfly clips and Olsen Twin movies.
2. Emo: As it’s name would suggest, this playlist is quite literally on the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s for if you want to wallow in your sadness. Everyone’s favorite emotional songs are on here, from “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name”, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and so much more. You’ll want a fresh box of tissues for this one.
3. Sleep: As the extremely bland title of this playlist would explain, this is my sleeping savior. Since being quarantined for going on two weeks, my routine and sleep schedule have completely gone amiss. If you’re one of the many people who, like me, needs music or podcasts to fall asleep, this one’s for you. It’s filled with calm folk songs by Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens. As far as podcasts go, my favorites are NPR’s This American Life and for all the fellow true crime fans, Crime Junkie.
This time has not been easy for anyone, but it is important to spend your time enveloped in your passions as much as possible. So with more time, (and soap) on our hands than ever before, now is the perfect time and opportunity to discover new music.
In the midst of the Midwestern winter most of us are experiencing, it doesn’t seem uncommon for weekends and days off to be spent inside binging Netflix. I have definitely been finding myself staying in for movie nights way more often, and I’ve found myself more intrigued by scores and soundtracks than usual. It started when I saw the A24 movie, “Waves,“ in theatres this past December.
1. “Waves” (2019)
This film is incredible, but the soundtrack to Waves stood out to me because it’s filled with all of my favorite artists across several genres; from Tame Impala to Tyler, the Creator, and SZA, to legends such as Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, and beyond. The plot of this movie is extremely intense and follows the lives of several high schoolers (I really can’t go beyond that without spoilers, but trust me… watch this movie). The way that the songs are embedded into the lives of the characters was really special to watch because I’d argue that a lot of current high schoolers are listening to these artists (Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, etc.) Overall, I have never sat down to watch a movie and heard my own taste in music played so consistently from start to finish, which is why this soundtrack had to be #1 for me.
2. “Call Me By Your Name” (2017)
Anyone who considers themselves a fan of this movie has definitely cried to this soundtrack before… on multiple occasions. The soundtrack is a mix of the original Sufjan Stevens songs written for the film, “Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon,” Italian classical music, which scenes of Northern Italy are beautifully set to and ’80s synth dance-pop. Every time I listen to anything from this soundtrack, I am immediately taken back the film, and can so vividly recall the scenes of the two main characters, Elio (Timothée Chalamet, a.k.a. my future husband) and Oliver (Armie Hammer), biking through Italy. This soundtrack has the ability to transport you into the film, and the original songs by Sufjan Stevens blend in perfectly with the score for the film, as well as the storyline itself.
3. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012)
Set in 1992, and following socially awkward underdog high schooler, Charlie, (Logan Lerman), this soundtrack is comprised mostly of ‘80s music and earlier, with a few more recent songs blended in. Highlights include The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, David Bowie, and more. In the iconic homecoming dance scene, the supporting characters dance their ‘living room routine’ to “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. As Charlie approaches the dance floor during the build-up of the bridge before the final chorus, you can feel the intensity of Charlie’s anxiety throughout the scene, and then the release occurs when he finally joins them in dancing. Overall, the soundtrack feels very nostalgic and cohesive, and I’d definitely recommend this movie to anyone. Be prepared to cry.
4. “(500) Days of Summer” (2009)
This movie has a special place in my heart, and part of that is due to its soundtrack. This is a romance film at its core. The main character, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), falls head over heels for co-worker, Summer (Zooey Deschanel). When Tom meets Summer, she is listening to The Smiths, so some of the soundtrack consists of their music, as well as other throwback music (Hall & Oates, “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap, Simon & Garfunkel). The throwbacks are accompanied by songs by softer singer-songwriter artists like Regina Spektor, Feist, and Deschanel’s own band, She & Him. Overall, this is a very emotional movie, with a unique and well-curated soundtrack to accompany it.
5. “Lady Bird” (2017)
I had to put Lady Bird’s soundtrack on this list, as it is my favorite movie of all time. I found that one unique feature of the soundtrack, at least on Spotify, are the sound bytes of some of the characters’ dialogue that are sprinkled in between songs. I found that really interesting and I would love to figure out the significance between the dialogue that was chosen and why. The film follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, (Saoirse Ronan), through her senior year at a private Catholic high school, through her first relationships, and ultimately her moving out of her home of Sacramento for college. It takes place in the early ‘00s, so some music (Alanis Morisette and Dave MatthewsBand) is definitely timely, but there is also some ’70s folk rock, Catholic choral music, andinstrumentals. Overall, the music ties to this coming-of-age film perfectly, and I would urge everyone to watch the movie.
Those are my top five movie soundtracks, feel free to share yours with me!
The lineup for Governors Ball, the NYC summer music festival, was released on Thursday, January 16.
Headliners include Tame Impala, Missy Elliott, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Stevie Nicks, and Miley Cyrus. The festival’s lineup also features many popular up-and-coming artists such as Steve Lacy, Dominic Fike, Cuco, YBN Cordae, and Princess Nokia.
The festival will take place over the weekend of June 5-7, 2020 in Randall’s Island Park. The Park is located in the East River neighborhood of NYC, between East Harlem, the South Bronx, and Astoria.
Governors Ball will be implementing a new age requirement this year, in which attendees must be 18+ or in attendance with someone aged 21+ with proof of valid ID. Attendees who are 21+ are allowed to accompany no more than two minors.
Ticket sales for the festival begin on Friday, January 17 at noon EST. For more details on the lineup and to buy your tickets, visit Governors Ball website here.