Top Choice: Literature

Written By Miranda

As NC State finals are coming to an end, students are all anxious to finish their classes and get ready for winter break. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite recent reads so you have something to fill your days until the spring semester begins. 

  1. Nemesis by Isaac Asimov 
  2. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 
  4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 
  5. Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
  6. The Shining by Stephen King
  7. The Lord of the Rings Collection by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  8. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut 
  9. Breaking Night by Liz Murray 
  10. The God Project by John Saul  
  11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
  12. The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin

Hope you enjoy my recommendations and find something new to read over your winter break.

Concert Review

My Concert Experiences Part 2

Written By Miranda

Check out the TikTok I made that this post is based on. 

Toro Y Moi – 8/10 

This concert was a great one. This was early enough that he was still performing songs from Causers of This. He is a talented artist with great energy live and I’d definitely recommend going to one of his shows (after COVID). 

TV Girl – 4/10 

I enjoy listening to TV Girl occasionally, but honestly most of their discography is monotone and gets dull after a few listens, so the concert was not one of my favorites. I also had an opportunity to chat with the band after the show but they seemed disinterested. 

Halsey – 3/10 

I saw Halsey during some downtime at a music festival a few years ago. It was before her “Closer” debut when she was less famous in the music industry, though she already had a great stage presence. I am not a pop fan so it wasn’t the best concert, plus it was outdoors and there were bees everywhere. 

The Joy Formidable – 7/10

I loved “The Big Roar” in middle school and high school so it was definitely exciting to see the album performed live. These musicians are really talented and the concert was a wholesome one. I recommend giving the album a listen if you have the chance. 

FIDLAR – 9/10

FIDLAR was one of my favorite bands when I was in high school, so it was amazing to see them live. The energy was great, the performance they gave was incredible, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I would love to see them live again.

New Album Review

The Angel You Don’t Know Review

Written By Miranda


Listen if you like: Ajebutter22, WizKid, Obongjayar 

Amaarae, a Ghanaian American R&B musician, released her first album yesterday: “THE ANGEL YOU DON’T KNOW.” Amaarae is a groundbreaking artist, focusing much of her music on gender and representation. Her first EP, “Passionfruit Summers,” was well-received by fans in Ghana and worldwide, gaining rankings on Apple Music. Amaarae is also interested in fashion and makeup as obvious by visiting her Instagram @/amaarae and her online appearance in Vogue magazine. Amaarae is an activist for feminism, gender identity, LGBT rights, and most recently the campaign to end SARS. LGBT Ghanian citizens face discrimination and violence, but Amaarae is vocal about the rights of these individuals, and we see this reflected in much of her art. 

The album seamlessly glides between different genre influences including Afropop, R&B, mall rock, dancehall, and more. Amaarae connects popular Afropop with western styles of rap and R&B to create a tantalizing combination of sound that you’re sure to love. In a press release about the album, Amaarae said: 

“With this new project, this new chapter in my musical journey, I feel so incredibly alive. I strived to colour outside of the afro-pop parameters and re-define for myself what it means to create African music. Sonically, visually and spiritually my message is stronger than ever. I feel like the true me has resurrected and it’s only going to get more insane from here.” 

And re-define music she sure has. The 14-track album dives deep into social commentary, consciousness of global issues, and themes relevant to any young adult through wispy, light vocals contrasted against tougher-sounding rap verses. Listening to the sequential tracks, “TRUST FUND BABY” and “HELLZ ANGEL” best exemplifies this interesting contrast. The album exudes confidence and ambition, and especially as a debut album it definitely delivers something amazing. Give it a listen and definitely keep an eye out for Amaarae’s continued rise to relevance in the alternative/rap/R&B circles.


Wedding Singer

Compiled By Miranda

In lieu of my upcoming nuptials, I want to share a playlist of my favorite wedding songs. The first part of the playlist includes songs that would be perfect for walking down the aisle, and the second half includes songs for the first dance and reception. Listen to the playlist here. Whether you’re getting married soon or not, these love songs will not disappoint.

  1. Clair de Lune, L. 32 by Claude Debussy 
  2. lovers’ carvings by Bibio 
  3. Chopin: Waltz No. 9 in A-Flat Major by Chopin 
  4. Sea of Love by Cat Power 
  5. At Last by Etta James 
  6. Wedding Song – Acoustic by Yeah Yeah Yeahs 
  7. Make You Feel My Love by Adele
  8. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole 
  9. Canon In D by Cello Music Songs 
  10. If I Ain’t Got You – Piano & Vocal Version by Alicia Keys 
  11. Moon River by Frank Ocean 
  12. January Wedding by The Avett Brothers 
  13. I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5 
  14. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong 
  15. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Mr. Lauryn Hill 
  16. I Would Do Anything for You by Foster The People 
  17. Hung Up On My Baby by Isaac Hayes 
  18. Live And Die by The Avett Brothers 
  19. Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac 
  20. Marry You by Bruno Mars
  21. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra 
  22. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by Marvin Gaye

Friday Favorites (11/13)

Friday Favorites

Written By Miranda

This week my Friday Favorites are my favorite lofi beats to relax to in honor of finals coming up. Be sure to check out these songs and more on WKNC’s Spotify page.

1. this girl by Elijah Who 

No lofi playlist is complete without the addition of Elijah Who, one of the most well known beat makers within the genre. 

2. nagashi by Idealism 

Simple piano melody plus a chill beat plus the sounds of rain make for an interesting track that anyone would love. 

3. Cut My Hair by Mounika 

This lofi song uses a sample from a Cavetown song I love, and it’s perfect for studying and relaxing. 

4. Ms.Prettybooty by The Deli 

Great song from a beat maker, you can find more good vibes on their BandCamp. The Deli’s albums, especially “Encounters” are incredibly well-produced works. 

5. she only likes me when i’m drunk by frumhere 

A hazy, chopped-up sample from Shannon Saunders and an addictive beat makes for a classic favorite. 

6. Small Things by softy

A quintessential lofi mini-playlist would not be complete without a track that comes with a piano melody and a good beat.

Non-Music News

Election Results: Here’s What to Know

Written By Miranda Owen 

These thoughts reflect my non-partisan coverage of NC State’s SPIA event, “Postelection Analysis: What Happened and Why” with Dr. Andrew Taylor and Dr. Steven Greene of NC State’s Political Science Department. 

Polls in North Carolina closed at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, and results began trickling in that night. The election results for North Carolina and for the presidential race are still currently undetermined, but NC State professors Taylor and Greene’s virtual postelection analysis event helped dissect the results so far.

In examining election results, the professors made it clear the election is not a “done deal” for either candidate, though Greene predicts Joe Biden to likely be declared the next president. Votes are still being counted in Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, and it’s likely that most of the outstanding mail-in ballots lean Democrat.

Similarly to 2016, this election has exposed the deficiencies in polling. Pre-election polls again severely underestimated Trump’s success and contrary to their predictions, the election is a close one. Can the polling industry survive these errors, two presidential elections in a row? Greene believes that polling isn’t going anywhere, but in the future political scientists will be more wary of close polling results. Taylor cited the “shy Trump voter” and “Trump effect” which make it more difficult to poll Trump supporters as possible contributions toward the polling discrepancies.

Another concern brought up in the 2020 election is the Electoral College. As David Frum from The Atlantic said, “it should not take the largest voter turnout in [American] history to guarantee that a president rejected by the majority of the American people actually stops being president.” Greene criticized the Electoral College: “we’re obviously the only country that does it this way,” and asserting that it is clearly too easy for a minority candidate to take the electoral victory. Taylor spoke of potential reform to this system, such as choosing electoral college votes by Congressional Districts like in Maine and Nebraska. 

This election has been one of the most interesting presidential races in history. When will we get results? Most news outlets predict election results by the end of this week, but no one knows when final results will be available. My advice: stop doom-scrolling, unclench your jaw, and do whatever it is you do for self-care. 

Sources: Russonello, Frum, Honig


Top Choice: Horror Movies

Written By Miranda Owen

I am a big fan of film and have watched hundreds of horror movies. My parents both love scary stuff and so I’ve grown up loving crime shows, horror movies, crime podcasts, and all the slasher movies I can handle. The following are my favorite horror movies, hopefully you can check some of them out for tomorrow’s Halloween festivities!

  • The Shining (1980) 
  • Us (2019) 
  • Get Out (2017) 
  • Midsommar (2019) 
  • Psycho (1960) 
  • Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) 
  • Cloverfield (2008) 
  • Silent Hill (2006) 
  • Bird Box (2018) 
  • Alien (1979) 
  • Train to Busan (2016) 
  • Hereditary (2018) 
  • It (2017) 
  • Pet Sematary (2019) 
  • Gerald’s Game (2017) 
  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) 
  • The Babadook (2014) 
  • Mama (2013) 
  • It Follows (2014) 
  • Case 39 (2009) 
  • The Ring (2002)

Friday Favorites

Written By Miranda Owen

This week my Friday Favorites are composed of the best spooky/Halloween-themed songs perfect for the season on the eve of the best holiday. Be sure to check out these songs at more on WKNC’s Spotify page here

1. Season Of The Witch by Lana Del Rey 

Lana produces some amazing cover songs and this is one of my favorites, which happens to be perfect for the Halloween season. 

2. House of the Rising Sun by Lauren O’Connell 

Another cover song, this one is great because it has a more creepy, spooky vibe than the original making it perfect for your Halloween enjoyment. 

3. Sisters of the Moon by Fleetwood Mac 

This song is great for your Halloween/Blue Moon Celebration with an upbeat melody great for dancing. 

4. Spellbound by Siouxsie and the Banshees

A perfectly unique song for your art-punk loving friends during the holiday. 

5. I Put A Spell On You by Creedence Clearwater Revival 

A great mix of spooky vocals, witchy theme and intricate melody that’s perfect for the full moon. 

6. Batcaves by Kap Bambino 

Loud and spooky, just like we like it. 


Top Choice: Indie Folk Album Covers

Written By Miranda Owen

Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine 

Every Iron & Wine album has unique art, but this one is probably my favorite as it has the most interesting detail and linework. The album art is vibrant and covers the full spectrum of the rainbow. I love how accurately the theme of the artworks reflects the theme of the album. 

The Flying Club Cup by Beirut  

I absolutely love the vintage and minimalistic album covers used by Beirut. This one is cute and vintage, perfectly encapsulating the timeless feel of the album. Truly a special album deserving of such a unique album cover. 

Hozier by Hozier 

This album cover is unique because it was painted as a portrait of the artist, by his mother, and the artist Hozier chose to have his face painted out of it to keep with the theme of his other album covers. 

Bon Iver by Bon Iver 

Bon Iver also utilized the work of an artist for his album covers. My personal favorite cover is his self-titled album, Bon Iver, created by artist Gregory Euclide. This work is a beautiful contemporary painting that’s perfectly suitable for the simple, pretty tones of the album. 

Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes 

This 2008 indie folk album utilizes the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a famous piece of work created in 1559. Overall the painting appears beautiful, but as you look into it more closely, you’ll realize the intricate weirdness it contains.

Band/Artist Profile

Artist Spotlight: Doja Cat

Written By Miranda Owen

Amala Dlamini, or Doga Cat, is a rapper and singer from Los Angeles. Doja Cat’s rise to fame is an interesting and inspiring story. In her childhood, Dlamini was influenced by musicians like Erykah Badu and Tupac, took dance lessons, and learned to skateboard and surf. Eventually Doja Cat dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music. She created her own beats using GarageBand and continued practicing dance. She released tracks on SoundCloud and YouTube but didn’t start creating on a large scale until she signed with RCA Records at age 17. With RCA Records, she was able to release her first EP, Purrr! which featured five mostly self-written unique tracks. Songs like “No Police” and “So High” were widely listened to and enjoyed by lovers of alternative R&B (I listened to the EP religiously during my high school years). After Purrr! Doja Cat went on to sign with OGG, and began collaborating with other artists on certain tracks, though she remained low-key until about 2018. 

In 2018, Doja Cat started to again release music, this time for a wider audience. “Go to Town” and its music video, and other promotional tracks (like “Candy”) were released on streaming platforms in early 2018 to tease the upcoming release of her first studio album, Amala. The promotional singles grabbed the attention of her fans, and expanded into a broader audience as some of her singles became popular on TikTok during 2019. What really brought the attention to Doja Cat’s music to the populous was her upload of “Mooo!”, a self-produced music video in which she sings about being a cow. This, of course, got the attention of the American music scene and popular demand led to Doja Cat releasing the song as a single. 

After the buzz about “Mooo!” died down, Doja Cat continued to write and produce hit singles like “Tia Tamera” and “Juicy,” which landed her Platinum status and gave Amala a debut on the Billboard top-200 album chart. She continued to generate hype following the release of singles “Bottom Bitch” and “Say So.” These tracks would eventually make it on her second album, Hot Pink

Doja Cat’s story is one that is unique: she found a balance of talent and luck that after nearly a decade of work allowed her to become famous and successful in the pop and rap genres. Part of her success can be attributed to the millions of fans who discovered her music through a newer social media platform, TikTok, which increased her name recognition and caused her to gain a huge influx of new listeners. Doja Cat is a unique personality in music today, truly one of a kind.