Songs to Frolic to: A Playlist

At this point in the semester, I fantasize a lot about what my life could be like in some alternate universe where I wasn’t in college. My escapist fantasies often involve me running through a meadow and befriending all of the creatures outside. To indulge myself in those fantasies, I decided to make a playlist to be the soundtrack to this feeling. As all of my favorite playlists do, this one has folky undertones and is perfect for sitting outside on a warm spring day, going on a walk with an old friend or, like the playlist title notates, frolicking.

Without further ado, here are 15 songs to frolic to:

  • “Serpientes” – Los Valentina
  • “Time Escaping” – Big Thief
  • “Blue Coupe” – Twin Peaks
  • “Amoeba” – The Doozers
  • “Bryter Layter” – Nick Drake
  • “Pára-Raio” – Djavan
  • “Conditions” – Rozi Plain
  • “Sometimes I Forget” – Tex Crick
  • “Cheers” – The Slaps
  • “书夕一” – Keiichi Sokabe
  • “Crazy” – Spiritualized
  • “I’m the Sky” – Norma Tanega
  • “Greycedes” – Jessica Pratt
  • “I’m Down, Whatever” – JW Francis
  • “If I Am Only My Thoughts” – Loving

As always, you can stream this playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to frolicking,



Spring Album Recommendations

It’s nearly spring again, and I’ve been writing many blogs to celebrate the end of winter. Despite already making my “Ringing In Spring” series, I felt it would be nice to give some album recommendations for the spring for those who prefer the album listening experience as opposed to the playlist. These are all albums I’ve either been obsessed with in past springs, I feel evoke the energy of new beginnings quite well or just sound “springy” to me. 

It’s been beautiful to go outside without layers on (although, considerably harder for me to brainstorm outfits) and see the flowers blooming on the trees. I can never decide which season is my favorite (they all have major pros and cons), but I think if I had to choose it would be spring.

Without further ado, here are some albums I think you should check out or revisit this spring.

Have a lovely spring,


Classic Album Review

Classic Album Review: “It’s Not Me, It’s You” by Lily Allen

ALBUM: “It’s Not Me, It’s You” by Lily Allen


LABEL: Regal / Parlophone

RATING: 9.5/10

BEST TRACKS: “F-ck You” “Chinese” “Everyone’s At It” “Not Fair”

FCC: Explicit

Like quite a few of the pop artists of the day, then 22-year-old Lily Allen rose to fame on MySpace. This album was an absolutely massive hit, but I find it, along with Allen herself, is often forgotten in conversations about pop albums of the 2000s. 

This album touches on quite a few subversive themes for a woman pop artist to speak about in the 2000s. For example, “Not Fair” is about not being pleased by a partner in bed, “Him” makes quite a few overt political and religious statements, and “Everyone’s At It” is explicitly about the copious amounts of drug use in the music industry. Allen touches on all of these subjects in the same upbeat manner from song to song. 

Greg Kurstin assisted Allen in the songwriting and did all of the production on the album. Track nine, “Who’d Have Known” also gives songwriting credits to members of Take That because of the melodic similarities in the chorus. Notably, “Who’d Have Known” was later sampled by T-Pain in his song “5 O’Clock” in 2011 and was a massive hit.

There’s nothing spectacular about her vocal performance (although, she is one of those British singers who sings in a British accent which I find extremely charming), but her delivery is blunt and almost comedic at times.

This album, in my opinion, is a perfect pop album. Clocking in at 43 minutes with 12 songs, it’s short, sweet and to the point. There’s no dead air, every song is thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s nostalgic. This was one of the first albums I ever truly fell in love with and jump started my interest in discovering new music. I think we, as a culture, need to give Lily Allen credit where credit is due and recognize her as one of the defining pop artists of the 2000s.


3.141592… A P(i)laylist

March contains many of my close friends’ and family members’ birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, and spring break. One underrated March holiday is Pi Day, your local math-nerd’s favorite day. I love Pi Day because it’s existence poses the question: “What is the most insignificant thing we can make a holiday out of?” Pi (𝜋), if you’re unfamiliar, is an irrational number that is equivalent to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It’s a cool math concept for a lot of reasons, one of which is that pi’s decimal form (3.142592…) never ends and it never falls into a repeating pattern. Thus, Pi Day falls on March 14 (3/14) to celebrate this phenomenon.

 As someone who is more English/ History/ Humanities and Social Sciences inclined, this concept is something I still have trouble wrapping my head around. But, I love that we celebrate this number, and in order to contribute to the festivities, I compiled a playlist of 15 songs that (Spotify says) are 3 minutes and 14 seconds in length.

Without further ado, here’s my p(i)laylist.

  • “Guttural Sounds” – Okay Kaya
  • “Radical” – It Looks Sad.
  • “The Perfect Girl” – Mareux
  • “Hot Dad Calendar” – Cayetana
  • “Elementary School Dropout” – Yucky Duster
  • “Sophisticated Space” – Sidney Gish
  • “Take My Head” – Turnover
  • “Someone Tell the Boys” – Samia
  • “Common Denominator” – Nisa
  • “Going Going Gone” – Lucy Dacus
  • “Call off the Dogs” – Marika Hackman
  • “L.A.” – Elliott Smith
  • “Subject To the Ladder” – Broadcast
  • “How to Socialise & Make Friends” – Camp Cope
  • “Dead Boy” – Acne

Like always, you can stream this playlist on Spotify.




Ringing in Spring: March Edition

It’s March now, and with that comes the second installment of “Ringing in Spring”: a three part playlist composed of 45 songs, 15 released each month of Spring (except I started in February and am ending in April). This was largely inspired by my “It’s Fall Y’all” series I did in the fall of 2021.

I decided March’s vibes were loud, folky and bright, juxtaposing the indie-rock vibes that February’s installment had to offer.  Think of this as prancing through a meadow with no cares, surrounded by wildlife and sipping on your drink of choice.

Without further ado, here are March’s songs for “Ringing in Spring”:

  • “Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition, Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream” – Sufjan Stevens
  • “Time Escaping” – Big Thief
  • “I Love You, Honeybear” – Father John Misty
  • “SPORTS MEN” – Haruomi Hosono
  • “Tusk” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “Be Sweet” – Japanese Breakfast
  • “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” – Kate Bush
  • “hypnotized” – Tune-Yards
  • “Watching Strangers Smile” – Parquet Courts
  • “Those to Come” – The Shins
  • “Beautiful Mother” – Dirty Projectors, Björk
  • “Answer Me, My Love” – Swamp Dogg
  • “Topaz” – The B-52’s
  • “Spring” – Angel Olsen

As always you can stream this playlist on Spotify.

Happy March,



“Take Off Your Shirt!”: Rethinking Boundaries of Concert Attendees

When I go to concerts, I always end up next to really annoying people. At first, I thought it was just me having bad luck or that I like artists that tend to have younger fanbases. While both of these things might have a role in it, I think a lot of it is a lot of people having absolutely no respect for musicians/ artists/ celebrities as people. When I attended the Mitski show at the Ritz Raleigh, the people standing next to me were hellbent on being comedians, although it just came off as extremely disrespectful. 

Mitski, a carefully private and composed person, who has expressed many times that her fans don’t know her, has tried to draw clear boundaries between her as a person and as a performer (in both her art and in interviews). And yet, as she gracefully performed every choreographed movement in animated and exaggerated forms, the people next to me laughed, yelled and willfully misinterpreted the artistic moves she was making.  During certain songs, Mitski would collapse to her knees, lie on the ground, or otherwise make herself completely vulnerable; in response my concert neighbors would yell things like “Get up Mitski!” or “What is she doing right now?!” These two people were blatantly ignoring all of the vulnerability she was offering and cringing at it, mentally closing themselves off from what she had to offer them. 

When going to shows, I feel it’s important to recognize the artist’s comfortability with the audience, and truly contemplate whether your actions draw some sort of false familiarity between you and the performer(s). Last September when I attended the Phoebe Bridgers show, again there were people completely unaware of how disrespectful they were being, and Bridgers is a lot more comfortable with that kind of stuff. From signs that read “Hey mommy!” to hooting and hollering during “Punisher,” a song notably about deceased Elliott Smith, most people there seemed to think that somehow they were entitled to friendship with her. Think about how utterly dehumanizing it must be to want to share art about some of the most intimate parts of yourself, and to be made a laughing stock. 

I understand why and how it happens; people relate to the music that an artist makes and feel like the artist knows and understands them. In turn, this leads to people thinking that because they feel understood, they must also understand the artist. While in some cases this could true, for Mitski it ultimately isn’t. It’s embarrassing to witness. 

Phoebe Bridgers is not your “bestie,” she doesn’t know you. Just enjoy the music, dance with your friends, take pictures and let loose.

– Caitlin

Concert Review

Mitski Concert Review (2/18/22) at The Ritz

It’s 6:30 p.m.; my roommate (who is also my best friend) and I arrive at The Ritz inappropriately dressed for the 40 degree weather and the sun is no longer in the sky to spread its warmth on us. Shivering violently in the cold, we  play games to pass the time, trying to tune out the droning of the somewhat-obnoxious 16 year olds behind us in line that had just been dropped off by their parents. At 7:05, the line starts moving and we’re ushered closer and closer to indoors. Finally, we make it inside, and decide to head up to the balcony to get a better view. I can see my old roommate (another best friend of mine) in the front row, her neon pink hair contrasting against the blobs of blonde and brown surrounding her.

CHAI, a Japanese rock band, opens and their energy is electric. The quartet of women sings, dances, and sets the energy for the night.

After the purchase of a five dollar can of water, some patient waiting and more games to pass the time, the lights finally dim. Mitski’s band walks out before her, and then I see her. She is draped in a beautiful ankle-length white gown. She stays mostly still for the first song, “Love Me More,” and I cannot see her behind the pillar directly in my line of vision. After the second song she performs, “Should’ve Been Me” she asks in a saccharine sweet demeanor for the audience to turn the flash on their cameras off, and professes how grateful she is to be here. 

Her set list is 23 songs long, and she doesn’t deviate from it. The set list only includes six songs from “Laurel Hell” and the rest is comprised of her revisiting her older work. Her choreography is timed down to the second, she prances across the stage, running and dancing, making herself look vulnerable to the audience, but never seeming to look anyone directly in the eye.

My favorite Mitski song is “I Will” off of “Bury Me At Makeout Creek.” My aforementioned old roommate introduced it to me our freshman year. We had decided to room together our freshman year at NC State because we found out we were both Mitski fans, but in reality, I only knew one song… “Nobody.” She showed me “I Will” and told me it was one of her favorite songs ever.

Directly after “Nobody,” the tenth song of the night, Mitski begins singing “I Will.” I focus my attention on my freshman year roommate in the front row, watching as she sees Mitski perform this right in front of her. I don’t cry at concerts, I get weird about crying in front of other people. I sob. “Everything you feel is good / If you would only let you.”

Mitski only engages in stage talk twice more, once before her fake-exit pre-encore, saying the standard “thank you so much” and once more after the encore, “Two Slow Dancers”. There’s a prop-door on stage she exits through, but since I’m on the balcony I can see her slip behind the stage’s velvet grey curtains. The post-show song is “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)” by The Carpenters.

I leave The Ritz feeling fulfilled and grateful that I got to see Mitski live. She is a stunning vocal performer, a talented artist and a wonderful lyricist.


Ringing in Spring: February Edition

In fall of 2021, I did a series of three blogs in which I made mini 15-song playlists to capture the feelings of fall that eventually compiled into one large playlist. I did one blog in September, one in October and finally finished out the series in November.  If you can’t already tell by the title and the context I just provided, I’m doing the same thing for the spring of 2022.

I know February isn’t technically spring’s genesis, but this playlist installment is more about breaking free of winter and looking forward to spring. With a quintessential indie rock sound, some songs are joyous and some existential.

Without further ado, let me share the February edition of “Ringing in Spring.”

  • “Pale Blue Eyes” — The Velvet Underground
  • “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down” — LCD Soundsystem
  • “All the Umbrellas in London” — The Magnetic Fields
  • “I’ll Believe in Anything” — Wolf Parade
  • “Paris 2004” — Peter Bjorn and John
  • “1,000,000” — R.E.M.
  • “虹” — Quruli
  • “More Yellow Birds” — Sparklehorse
  • “No Way” — Sonic Youth
  • “Lucky” — Supercar
  • “One PM Again”  — Yo La Tengo
  • “Do You Realize??” — The Flaming Lips
  • “The Softest Voice” — Animal Collective
  • “Lions (Linden)” — Pavement
  • “Here Comes Yet Another Day” — The Kinks

You can listen to this playlist on Spotify.

Happy February,



My Favorite Blogs My Peers Have Written

To no one’s surprise, I spend a lot of time on the WKNC blog. Apple computers don’t give a screentime report like their phones do, but if they did I would certainly have a ridiculous number of hours spent on WKNC’s website. I go to the blog looking for inspiration, entertainment and of course, to support my fellow content creators. So, if you’re new to the WKNC blog, an old friend or are just looking for some music-related content to consume, you’ve come to the right place.

Without further ado, let me tell you (just some) of my favorite blogs my peers here at WKNC have written.

“The Power of the Playlist” by Erie: Everything Erie writes is full of deliberate and careful thought, but this blog by her is my favorite. They delve into the importance of a good playlist and compare/contrast the things playlists have to offer in opposition to albums.

“WKNC’s Top Tracks of 2021” by Maddie: If there’s one thing Maddie is going to do, it’s take on a passion project. This tradition started in 2020, and it consists of Maddie polling DJs and other WKNC staff of their favorite releases from that year. Then, she writes a blog and compiles a playlist. I often frequent that playlist to discover new music. I highly recommend checking both the blog and the playlist out.

“Why Independent Radio Matters” by toad maiden: Working at a radio station, you’re constantly surrounded by an amazing community of listeners and peers who love radio and understand its importance. toad maiden breaks down some of the many reasons why indie radio is so important and delves into some of its history.

“‘Work It’ Lives Rent Free in My Head” by Delusional Melodrama: Delusional Melodrama is always making topics I don’t necessarily have a big interest in be super interesting. This blog is just one of many where he shares all of the fascinating and niche information he has on a topic. Like, did you know “Work It” by Missy Elliot samples “Heart of Glass” by Blondie?

“North Carolina Museums and the Songs They’d Be” by dj mozzie: dj mozzie loves to incorporate her personal interests in the blog, and she loves museums. This blog is a fun thought experiment and also a great reminder to support our local museums when possible. 

“Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Bag Tour” by Silya Bennai: Silya absolutely killed it with the Hopscotch Music Festival content and this blog was my favorite of her Hopscotch series. Silya is a concise and honest writer, and I always look forward to her playlists as well.

“Zoom Rave 101” by Emma Sutich: The featured photo and first sentence alone are reason enough to check this one out. Emma explains her experience at a Zoom rave and how it compares to a normal, in-person rave. 

I had such a hard time narrowing this list down but I hope this gave you a good look into some blogs you could read if you’re interested in doing so.

Happy reading,


DJ Highlights

Set Highlight: Liminal Spaces with cow ball, “Warm Rain at Night”

A liminal space is: “a location which is a transition between two other locations, or states of being.” Liminal spaces like airports or staircases are fascinating to conceptualize and a DJ at WKNC, cow ball, has a new show dedicated to putting a soundtrack to these kinds of spaces. So far, she has done a set about art museums, sparse snow, twilight, and this past week she did a set about warm rain at night. 

These sets truly transcend you into another space, and for an hour bring an otherworldly sense of peace. And cow ball is truly dedicated to bringing listeners to this world with her: finding images every week that correspond with the theme and uploading them to her Spinitron. She describes these sets as “​​an exploration into various moods and atmospheres, often ones best described by images.” On Liminal Spaces, you can expect to hear artists like Broadcast, Hop Along, Stereolab and Sylvan Esso  (although it varies from week to week).

If you missed her “Warm Rain at Night”  set, you can find it on Spinitron, and the songs are also listed below.

  • “Apartment Song” – Really From
  • “Al oeste” – Juana Molina
  • “Yonder Blue” – Tortoise 
  • “Chegada” – Joyce, Baba Vasconcelos & Mauricio Maestro
  • “Find It” – L’Rain
  • “Trouble Found Me” – Hop Along
  • “Hey, Who Really Cares” – Linda Perhacs
  • “You Are Not an Island” – Vanishing Twin
  • “Midnight, The Stars and You” – Deerhoof
  • “Poly Blue” – Jessica Pratt
  • “Orange Moon” – Erykah Badu
  • “Run” – Andie
  • “I Found the End” – Broadcast

You can listen to Liminal Spaces with cow ball every Wednesday at 5 p.m. 

Happy listening,