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Blog Playlists

Friday Favorites

Written by Miranda

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m featuring some of my favorite female artists and favorite songs they’ve done.

Spend Some Time (ft. Wade Coal) – Amaarae

One of my favorite artists, as you can probably guess by the album reviews of hers I have covered and the artist spotlight I wrote last month. Amaarae has done a lot for the advancement of women through music and advocacy, so she’s the perfect choice for Women’s History Month.

Beef FloMix – Flo Milli

Flo Milli is a bada** woman who is taking the rap genre by storm. From popping up on TikTok to running the “e-girl” scene, Flo Milli transcends the traditional limits of how rap is defined and truly makes it her own.

Good to Love – FKA twigs

FKA twigs is an extremely talented artist who is also a talented songwriter, actress, and dancer. She has gone through a lot in recent years including alleged abuse from a past partner but has remained strong in the face of everything.

Nunchucks – Doja Cat

Doja Cat has evolved immensely and increased her notoriety throughout recent years. Since her 2014 EP Purrr!, Doja Cat has been a strong female rap figure and has changed the way women are viewed in the industry.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Tips for Training Your Puppy

Written by Miranda

*Disclaimer: I’m not a dog trainer or professional by any means, these are just some tips I’ve found that worked with my 10-week old puppy.*

Sleep and Crate Training

Encourage your pup to view their crate as a “den.” Make it comfortable, quiet, and safe. The first few days our puppy was not willing to sleep on her own but we used a snuggle puppy toy, a blanket over her crate to block out light, and treats when she stayed in the crate quietly. Our trick is to keep the puppy awake two hours before bedtime by playing with her, training her, and walking her. Sometimes giving a big treat or flavored bone to chew on will help keep them occupied and awake. After two hours of being awake our pup willingly goes into the crate and sleeps through the night. If your puppy cries in the crate, try to ignore it for 10-15 minutes (as long as all their needs are met). Saying “hush” or getting them out of the crate will encourage them to whine for attention in the future. Usually puppies will settle down after about 15 minutes of whining and fall asleep.

Chewing and Biting

I am fortunate that because of COVID, I’m able to work and study from home and can be with my dog during the entire day. Since she is either with me or in her crate, I usually don’t have to worry about her chewing cords or furniture. For the spots where she loves to bite, I have sour apple spray that is safe but tastes bad to deter chewing. As far as biting, I always try to redirect her biting me toward a chew toy. If she presents purposeful biting or aggression I either redirect it or give her a tap on the nose and a firm “no.” So far she is getting a little better about it, but don’t fret, most puppies will grow out of by six months. 

House Training

I live in an apartment and I’m not on the ground floor, so instead of needing to take my puppy outside every hour, I use pee pads. I created a small, secluded part of my living room that she can access by herself whenever she needs to. During times where I can’t take her outside, like in the middle of the night, I place her there and let her pee. I always give her a treat after she uses it. I also make sure she doesn’t have accidents whenever possible by sticking to a regular walking schedule. I take her outside after sleeping and napping, before and after meals, and after playtime. Whenever puppies are sniffing the floor or walking around aimlessly, that’s a sign they probably need to use the bathroom. Generally puppies younger than three months need to go out at least every two hours. If you are taking them outside enough, they will have dramatically less accidents. So far house training has been a slow process but we’ve seen a lot of progress by giving her treats every time she uses the bathroom outside or on the puppy pads and making sure she gets enough chances to go outside.

These are the main things I’ve learned recently that have been helpful while navigating having a new puppy or dog. Happy training!

Categories
Classic Album Review

Classic Album Review: Zentropy

Written by Miranda

Frankie Cosmos, also known as Greta Kline; a well-loved indie artist, has been making incredible music since “Zentropy”, her first studio album. Not only is this album well-done for a 19-year-old independent artist (at the time), it remains one of my favorite works. “Zentropy” helped set the stage for future success for Kline in subsequent years and helped establish her within the indie pop scene. 

The album begins with an ode to the dreariness of school and ends with the sadness of a dog’s passing away. It’s strange, girlish, experimental, but simple. The beauty of this album is highlighted in its simplicity. A mixture of mediocre electric guitar and drum beats are all that makes up the melodies on the album, but sweet-sounding vocals entice the listener. Frankie Cosmos gives a solid look at the life of a nineteen-year-old girl. Issues of love flings, loss of pets, and disinterest in school make up most of the album. Her ability to use simple lyricism to convey these ideas gives an easy glimpse into her life and what is most important to her. The emotional depth of this album and its catchyness as an indie pop-adjacent style of album makes it one that is so easy to return to again and again. Even seven years after its release, I find the lyrics stuck inside my head while I go about my daily life – thinking of lyrics like “I’m the type of girl/Buses splash with rain” or “This is when I say my I love you.” Surprisingly (or not), “Zentropy” ended up gaining 

Frankie Cosmos has come a long way since this first studio album, since creating three more albums and dozens of music videos. Her latest album was released in 2019, and she has teased fans throughout quarantine with Instagram performances of her music and hopefully a new album coming soon.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Band Profile: Flatbush Zombies

Written by Miranda

Flatbush Zombies Artist Zombies

Flatbush Zombies, stylized Flatbush ZOMBiES, are a hip hop group active since 2010. They first became noticed within the East Coast rap scene in the 2010s with the release of multiple mixtapes; since then they have produced three albums. Their most recent work is their 2020 EP, “now, more than ever,” and new single “Afterlife,” which has quickly become a fan favorite. Members Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott met in grade school and have been great friends and co-performers since.

Flatbush Zombies have also produced interesting media. Their NPR Tiny Desk Concert and YouTube music videos are very entertaining. The group continues to create music together and build upon their previous discography with new and exciting styles.

I recommend checking out their most recent EP, “now, more than ever,” which they created in response to the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. Their song “Big Shrimp” from their first album is another favorite of mine. Give Flatbush Zombies a listen and let us know what you think.

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites (2/26)

Written by Miranda

Tides – Men I Trust

This song is very classic Men I Trust vibes, if you like the band you’ll love this new single. 

yesterday – frumhere

A new single from my one of my favorite lo-fi beat makers. 

Caution – KAYTRANADA 

A chill new song from KAYTRANADA; perfect for working out to. 

Gang Signs (ft. ScHoolboy Q) – Freddie Gibbs 

Another great single from Freddie Gibbs since his recent album, “Alfredo.” ScHoolboy Q brings more of a top-100 vibe to the song but Gibbs keeps it unique. 

Jealous (ft. Rico Nasty) – Mahalia 

Mahalia’s strong, sweet vocals perfectly complement with Rico Nasty’s harsher rapping. You can definitely see how Mahalia’s style has evolved recently through this song. 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist Profile: Amaarae

Written by Miranda

Description of Amaarae

Amaarae is an artist who fully expresses herself through her music. Amaarae is an artist who is never afraid to meld different genres and try new things. Not only is she a singer with a talented voice, she writes her own music and often produces it. She is vocal about many issues and uses her platform to further causes she believes in. Her music often focuses on equal representation and freedom of expression. She often uses social media to advocate for important causes such as gender issues and police brutality. She is also expressive using her clothing: she has been featured in Vogue Magazine online and received an award from the Glitz Style Awards in Ghana. 

Amaarae’s newest single release, “Leave Me Alone – A Colors Show” (stylized in all caps), is an older single by Amaarae performed on the COLORS studio platform. COLORS is a social media platform that focuses on minimalism, showcasing artists all over the world for their talents without distraction. This version of Amaarae’s single is stripped, allowing complete attention on her vocal talents; she also raises awareness of ending SARS and police brutality in Nigeria at the end of the song. You can watch the COLORS show video here. And, if you’re interested in hearing my review of Amaarae’s most recent album, The Angel You Don’t Know, check it out on the WKNC blog here

Categories
Playlists

Heartbreaker Playlist

Written by Miranda

For everyone out there celebrating Valentine’s Day alone this year, this one’s for you.

  • Build – Justine Skye
  • I Wish I Missed My Ex – Mahalia
  • Get Money – The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Single Again – Big Sean
  • Run Me Dry – Bryson Tiller
  • Hardest To Love – The Weeknd
  • Needed Me – Rihanna
  • Beware – Big Sean
  • Undying Love – Nas
  • I’m Out (ft. Nicki Minaj) – Ciara
  • Same Ol’ Mistakes – Rihanna
  • Too Good (ft. Rihanna) – Drake
  • On My Mind (acoustic) – Jorja Smith
  • Damage (ft. Halsey) – PARTYNEXTDOOR
  • Just Sayin/I Tried – The Internet
  • Insecure (ft. Bryson Tiller) – Jazmine Sullivan
  • Normal Girl – SZA
  • Motivation – Normani
  • Sorry – Beyoncé

Listen to the Heartbreaker playlist on Spotify here.

Categories
New Album Review

Sound Ancestors Album Review

Written by Miranda

The new Madlib album is something entirely new. Sound Ancestors has more than creative depth; it breaks the boundaries of what a traditional album is. Madlib is a DJ, producer, and occasional rapper most known for his production for albums with MF DOOM, J Dilla, and Freddie Gibbs. Madlib also worked with Kanye West, producing West’s 2016 single “No More Parties in L.A..” His former solo albums have typically been released as the instrumental version of his collaboration projects, but this album the creative project of Madlib. No rapper collaborations or narratives are present, though Madlib received help arranging and editing the album into its final product bu producer Four Tet. 

The album maintains a dynamic between elements of simple production and nostalgic samples. The track “Two for 2 – For Dilla” is a tribute song created for Madlib’s former collaboration partner, J Dilla who passed away in 2006. Throughout the different tracks, this one is the most serious. It also gives an homage to J Dilla through its similar style, bringing nostalgia to any fan of his work. The rest of the album has similar nature but is a bit more playful. It calls attention to the best parts of the songs it samples and breathes new life into them through fantastic drum beats, bass, and a mix of piano and guitar. My current favorite and greatest recommendation to listeners is “Road Of The Lonely Ones” – which I featured on this week’s Friday Favorites as one of the best new songs. I definitely recommend listening to this album while relaxing, doing homework, or any creative activities. This instrumental-laden album is sure to capture your attention and get your brainwaves and creativity flowing.  

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites

Written By Miranda

Road Of The Lonely Ones – Madlib

Madlib is known for his production work on major albums with MF DOOM, Freddie Gibbs, and more. His newest project with fellow producer Four Set, “Sound Ancestors,” just released and so far this is my favorite track from the new album.

2hrs – Tobi Lou

This phenomenal and emotional single from Tobi Lou encapsulates a lot of the loneliness, frustration, and exhaustion we can all relate to.

MLK Dr – Smino

A gorgeous, colorful music video pairs so well with this smooth new track from Smino in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Good Vibes (Za) – Wale

A groovy track perfect to relax you or get you dancing, with realness in the lyrics that adds a great depth.

Pomegranate – Kota the Friend

My favorite track from Kota the Friend’s newest release, “Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2.” A simple and short song with beautiful vocals and visual descriptions.

To listen to this week’s Friday Favorites and every song from the past weeks, check out my playlist on WKNC’s Spotify.

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Anticipated Albums 2021

Written By Miranda

2021 has already been blessed with some great new music content by prominent artists, and we all have plenty to look forward to in music this year. January 2021 notably saw the release of Madlib’s “Dirtknock,” Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” (which you can read my review), and Lo Village’s “Lost In America” so far. We’re all looking forward to more content from our favorite artists. These are the most anticipated albums likely to be released this year. 

Noname’s “Factory Baby”

Noname teased the release of this album in 2020 but ended up pushing the release date back and will instead likely be released during this year. As fans, we’re all hopeful to see her next project after “Room 25.” 

Lorde, TBA

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since the release of Lorde’s last project, “Melodrama.” The pop singer has been discussing the release of new music since 2019 and is likely to release her newest album this year. 

slowthai, “TYRON” 

slowthai’s singles from his new album have left fans excited for what’s to come. The album “TYRON” is coming February 12th. The album is sure to be interesting, with features from rappers including Skepta and A$AP Rocky. 

Kendrick Lamar 

It’s been three years since Lamar’s last release with the film Black Panther and his Pulitzer-winning “DAMN.” He has appeared on a few features but fans are anxious to hear the next project, hopefully coming in 2021. 

Frank Ocean, TBA

Fans of Frank Ocean have been waiting for new content from the visionary, who hasn’t released an album since 2016. Initially, Frank Ocean planned to release a new 7” but scrapped the idea, so we’re hoping to see this content make its way onto a release this year. 

Ani Defranco, “Revolutionary Love” 

Feminist icon Ani Defranco’s newest project, “Revolutionary Love,” will be released this Friday, January 29th. Defranco says the album will vocalize the world’s deepest frustrations and tensions through an alchemy of folk and soul. 

Adele, TBA

Fans of Adele have waited nearly five years for a new project from the beloved pop singer. In 2020 the singer stated she was still working on her newest album and teased its possible release for 2021. 

Which albums are you most excited to see release this year? Let us know on social media! 
Sources: I, II