Four Renditions of “Autumn Leaves”

It is finally autumn. One of my favorite ways of celebrating the start of the fall season is to listen to some of the many, many renditions of “Autumn Leaves”.

“Autumn Leaves” is a jazz standard, originally made in 1945 by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by Jacques Prévert in French. There are an unbelievable amount of recordings of this song, with each artist adding their own unique flair to it.

This song is the perfect template, allowing artists to build and add to it to make it truly unique. The song can span from two to over ten minutes long.

I have a great appreciation for genre standards such as “Autumn Leaves”. Songs like this one bring artists together in a way not much else can. I wanted to share a few renditions of this staple by some of my favorite jazz artists.

Chet Baker

Chet Baker’s “Autumn Leaves” was the very first version of the song I ever heard. It took me quite a long time to realize that this wasn’t just his song and is definitely the landmark for how this song should sound to me.

The highlight of this song, besides Baker on the trumpet, is Bob James on the electric keyboard. Each note on the keyboard creates perfect imagery of fall-colored leaves falling to the ground.

Ryo Fukui

“Autumn Leaves” was a great pick for Ryo Fukui’s 1976 album, “Scenery”. Not only does it match the vibe of the album perfectly, Fukui renders the song expertly.

This version highlights how incredibly the piano leads “Autumn Leaves”, more so than any other instrument. The piano can perfectly capture the frenzied beauty of falling leaves in a way that no other instrument can.

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole’s rendition is the only one on this list that has vocals. As it should be, as no other version of “Autumn Leaves” with vocals tops this one.

Even though his version is the shortest on this list, King Cole slows down the song, highly emphasizing the original composition with brass instruments to support his vocals. This version of the song is very short and sweet and perfectly captures the autumn feeling.

Vince Guaraldi

Everyone knows Vince Guaraldi, he’s the Peanuts guy. The first jazz vinyl I ever bought was one of his. His rendition of “Autumn Leaves” is spectacular, with his piano playing at the forefront.

His version of the song is ten minutes long, utilizing the basic composition to create a truly fall-inspired sound. Guaraldi can evoke the feelings of a season better than any other artist I have heard.

Band/Artist Profile

Profile of the Week: Alvvays

Toronto-based band Alvvays is keeping jangle pop alive. They create an extremely reverb-drenched, versatile sound that provides variety on every track but is still instantly recognizable as Alvvays.

Led by Molly Rankin on vocals and guitar, Alvvays consists of five members: Kerri MacLellan on keyboards, Alec O’Hanley on guitars, Abbey Blackwell on bass and Sheridan Riley on drums.

Alvvays emphasizes creating strong melodies rather than focusing on a specific genre. This allows for a lot of variety in each track but for their discography to be glued together by Rankin’s vocals and the bands instrumentals.

The immediately bittersweet sound created by the band is the glue that holds their discography together. As soon as Rankin begins singing on any given track, no matter how varied the sound, it becomes instantly recognizable as Alvvays.


Alvvays formed in 2011 after Rankin released her solo EP “She EP”. Their first full project was their self-titled debut album in 2014 followed by “Antisocialites” in 2017. Five years later, they are releasing their third album, “Blue Rev“, on October 7.

If you are in the mood for some bittersweet tunes on a rainy day, Alvvays has you covered. “Antisocialites” is a great place to start if you’re in the mood for an entire album.

“Antisocialites” is Alvvays’ sound honed like a sharpened sword. It’s jangly, guitar-driven and supported by sharp keyboard and drum patterns.

Alvvays, “Archie, Marry Me” music video

“Archie, Marry Me”, “Your Type”, or “Easy On Your Own?” are excellent starting places if you don’t have the energy for a full album. These tracks will instantly hook you on the bands sound and highlight each of their projects.

Their self-titled debut is not easily recognized as a debut album. “Alvvays” set the benchmark for Alvvays’ crisp sound that they have continued to live up to for almost ten years.

Their new singles for “Blue Rev” are promising a continued expansion of the sounds Alvvays encompasses. The tracks have that crisp, guitar-driven jangliness that can expected by Alvvays but bring in a pronounced Shoegaze element.


Each Alvvays song provides something unique to the band’s discography. This is a truly versatile band that can’t help but make a catchy song for a rainy day.

After a long five years, they are finally releasing their third album. Based on the singles, it is seemingly going to live up to the hype that has been culminated over time.

Alvvays starts touring in the United States on October 14 and “Blue Rev” releases October 7.

Music News and Interviews

WKNC on World College Radio Day

World College Radio Day is coming up on Friday, October 7.

Of course, your friends at WKNC will be celebrating. In a very similar fashion to last year’s WCRD, starting at midnight and going until midnight, there will be 24 straight hours of DJ sets on HD-1 and select sets on HD-2. All killer, no filler. There will also be a 24-hour live stream featuring various activities for the entire event.

The full schedule for the live stream, HD-1 and HD-2 can be found below.

The schedule for HD-1 is largely unchanged. You can expect Afterhours/Underground from 12 a.m. – 6 a.m., Daytime Rock from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Chainsaw from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. Some Specialty sets will be thrown into the mix as well.

DJs on HD-2 will have full reign to play whatever music they would like. Tune in at various times throughout the day for some fun sets.

WKNC will also be hosting a live stream to celebrate the festivities on the WKNC YouTube page. The live stream is going to be full of DJ-hosted events throughout the day. Button making, lego building, video games, board games, power points and a WKNC lore iceberg are a few of the things that can be expected throughout the stream.

The live stream of the HD-1 Studio will have to be muted per YouTube’s copyright policy. However, all DJ sets are available on the WKNC web stream. You can also find all the music DJs are playing on our spinitron page.

The tentative schedule of activities is listed below. This schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the DJs. The best way to keep up to date with the schedule is to check this blog post, which will be actively updated.

HD-1 Schedule

1 a.m. – 2 a.m.T-TimeThe World Has Turned and Left Me Here / I’m gonna play doom metal
2 a.m. – 3 a.m.ploveraraki WCRDhouse / songs from movie soundtracks and scores that feel at home in the araki warehouse
3 a.m. – 4 a.m.johnny ghostThe Outfit / Old school (mostly ’90s) techno & big beat
4 a.m. – 5 a.m.DJ babycakes, DJ habanero & maddogthe sweet n spicy x doghouse afterhours crossover with some funkadelic house vibes
5 a.m. – 6 a.m.chefFresh Beets and Spinnin’ Platters / I have a set of turntablists and beat-scientists like Kid Koala, DJ Qbert and DJ Shadow, which feels like it fits underground genre the best.
6 a.m. – 7 a.m.Flowers McPowersThe Flowers McPowers Hour
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.President ShrimpoFireside Chats / A Shrimpo sampler player, a real mix of all the stuff that gets played on fireside chats, with garage rock, post punk, and lighter indie rock!
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.KONDEUNCANNY VALLEY/ Video Game Music and/or Possibly Remixes of Video Game Music
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.Hüttemeister & MichelangeloSaloon Tunes
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.ChellThe Testing Chamber / That new Wednesday song is awesome let’s listen to a bunch of songs like that
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.bansheeBlanchin’ With Banshee / 00s chicano rap
12 p.m – 1 p.m.toad maidenSLIME CITY!
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.maddog & leksiproLeksipro and Maddog afterhours pilled. be there or be square
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.DJ ZoinkMore Songs About Buildings And Food
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.last name uttsome songs are better than others / “grandpa mike’s record bin” – midcentury jazz classics from grandpa mike utt’s record collection (edited)
4 p.m. – 5 cadet & HermajestyFire Dance With Me / Music from David Lynch Projects
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.ZenPassively Dynamic
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.DMC WOODSTOCK & FULLMETAL RACKETDIGITVL HVRDCORE / Digital Hardcore- the marriage of hardcore punk and hardcore electronic.
7 p.m. – 8p.m.DJ SHEETZBEETZ WITH SHEETZ WCRD EDITION / epic bops and bangers from the one and only DJ SHEETZ including underrated gems from artists you know and love
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.Uncle PaulPenitentiary Rock
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.JedwardThe Yearning & The Burning / The set will begin with some beautiful twee and slowcore music, then conclude with amped-up skramz and assorted emo. yearn then burn! it’s healthy!
10 p.m. – 11 p.m.Wild WasteReturn to WKNC / It’s my first set back on the air in awhile! Tune in to hear a top selection of my favorite metal artists!
11 p.m. – 12 a.m.Young IowaHeadbang to the best metal and hardcore the Old North State has to offer

HD-2 Schedule

12 a.m. – 1 a.m.JustinTimeThe Impeccable Sounds of Brazil / Popular music in Brazil during the 60/70s. Antonio Carlos Jobim, Marcos Valle, Joao Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa
1 a.m. – 2 a.m.AloeSample Platter / a song followed by a rap song that sampled that song
2 a.m. – 3 a.m.chalcopyritedigital vibes / glitch pop. there’s some vocaloid in this?
3 a.m. – 4 a.m.tetrapod(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ / hyperpop and screaming
4 a.m. – 5 a.m.Velvet WormThe Bug Collection (Soul Edition) / soulful bug music
5 a.m. – 6 a.m.ploverAraki WCRDhouse / only the hardest of noise
6 a.m. – 7 a.m.Velvet WormThe Bug Collection (Breakcore Edition) / breakcore bug music
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.hypySpeeed it UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP / 160+ BPM.
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.Rodeo RomeoBeta Decay / Chem Lab after hours
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.Velvet WormThe Bug Collection (Ambient Edition) / ambient bug music
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.guppyThe Creek / Murder Ballads, so anything from old folk to some rock, punk, or alternative
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.Velvet WormThe Bug Collection (Percussion Edition) / buggy beats and drums
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.denim poetryA wide variety of Daytime music, ranging from early aught’s
twee to 90’s grunge to 70’s prog.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.DJ Pon-3Americana, Blues & Co(llege Radio Day) / Kick back with some sweet Americana jams.
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.MalocchioThe Superego / bossa nova and other music defined by latin america
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.The LoafLoafin’ Around (two hours)
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.DJ CranberryAround the World (College Radio Day) / get your passports ready
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.Erik++Regular Point / Krautrock covers
7 p.m. – 8p.m.Erik++Regular Point / Variety set
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.Erik++Regular Point / reggae/dub set
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.DJ Independent Fact CheckerBlue Check Power Hour / Malevolent music; Evil tunes; Suspicious songs; Dastardly dancing; maybe some rap live mixed in too if I can finesse it
10 p.m. – 11 p.m.chalcopyritecell tower nights / mix of mostly dub techno-ish stuff/vaporwave/ambient/etc. “abandoned factory level (night) music.”
11 p.m. – 12 a.m.DJ Little Brown BatLunar / indie stuff that I was listening to during a lunar eclipse

Livestream/Production Schedule

12 a.m. – 1 a.m.cowball, WKNC IcebergCreating one of those iceberg memes with various WKNC lore from over the years.
1 a.m. – 2 a.m.cowball, Speed Build WKNC Studios in MinecraftWe’re gonna try to recreate the WKNC studios in Minecraft in a one hour time period.
2 a.m. – 3 a.m.Zen, Zach’s Knick KnacksBuilding a Lego set and doing bed time stories with the WKNC Training & Operations Manual!!!
3 a.m. – 4 a.m.banshee, WKNC MSPAINT HOURMS Paint art in the style of Ringo Starr: Radio Edition 📻
4 a.m. – 5 a.m.Zen, DJ InterviewsInterviewing DJs LIVE!!!!!!!
5 a.m. – 6 a.m.
6 a.m. – 7 a.m.cowball, College Radio Zoom CallJoin WKNC as we do a live Zoom call with some other radio stations celebrating World College Radio Day.
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.cowball, Live Worm MakingWKNC’s General Manager creates one of her very own handmade worms LIVE to live in the studio!
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.beepo, Live Promo RecordingWe make DJ promos live bc ur right there!!!!!!
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.maddog, amogus and emojisFirst half we can be sussy little baka’s. Second half we can get #real about emojis😎
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.SHEETZ, tier list hourcome in and make tier lists with DJ SHEETZ!!!!!!
12 p.m. – 1 p.mcowball, Geoguessr: Radio EditionDJs will play a custom Geoguessr quiz made by the General Manager that features various radio stations around the world.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.Banshee, button making 👉👈we makin’ cool ass buttons!!!!!!
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.President Shrimpo’s Presidential HourLive podcast discussing and ranking US presidents and failed candidates. It’s as shrimple as that!
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.DJ PON-3, All The ColorsWe just got a new shipment of our colored logo tees and we gotta sort them. Very fun.
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.Malocchiotba
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.Chalcopyrite, aggie.iowknc draws stuff, the whiteboard is now digital
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.denim poetry, Animus Wormworms, annelids, creatures with multiple sections that consume dirt and excrete dirt…. the video game based on these creatures except they have GUNS and GRENADES
7 p.m. – 8p.m.Chalcopyrite, yume nikki streamspooky scary little rpg!!!
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.beepo, KONDE & Jedward, HDR & smash talkreally cool smash ultimate mod and tournament stories!!!!!!
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.plover, Powerpoint Nightwe share powerpoints!!!!!
10 p.m. – 11 p.m.cowball, WKNC DJ Application QuizA game where DJs have to guess which DJ said what on their WKNC applications.
11 p.m. – 12 a.m.cowball, Three Bears in a CoatFirst, cowball makes a Family Tree for WKNC. Then, Three Bears in a Coat has an ending ceremony to wrap up the event!
New Album Review

“SPARK” by Whitney Album Review

One of the best things about listening to an artist is seeing how their sound develops over time. Hearing an artist’s sound evolve from album to album is truly a special thing. Sometimes, however, an evolution can sound more like a fall back than a step forward.

Chicago duo Whitney is famous for their wistful falsetto vocals and warm instrumentals. They make indie that incorporates folk and country, topped off with soul.

I was excited to see that they started releasing singles in June for an upcoming project. “REAL LOVE” was the first in a string of five singles that would release before the record.

Sadly, most of the songs released before the album left me desiring something more. Something I was hoping I would be able to hear at the album’s release.


The first thing I noticed about each song on “SPARK” was the incredible production. The synths, strings and horns, which Whitney has utilized before, are on full display for these songs. At its peak, the production of each song truly melts in your ears.

However, I cannot help but feel like these peaks are few and far between on Whitney’s new record. It seems the sacrifice for the clear, crisp production of this album was a lack of variety and songs that die out before the halfway point.

A big problem I have noticed with many of the songs on this record is they are very front-heavy. Songs like “SELF” or even “REAL LOVE” (which I still admittedly like a lot) start with a strong premise but instead of building on that premise, they plateau.

Music video for “REAL LOVE” by Whitney

This isn’t to say the new Whitney album is all bad. “BLUE” is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs by the band. On the slower, more melancholic songs, like “COUNTY LINES” the high-quality production is at the forefront and sounds great.

There’s something about this album that makes me want to like it more than I do. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m such a fan of their first few albums. It could also be that when this album is at its peak, it sounds excellent. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t hit that peak enough.


In “SPARK”, instead of evolving into a new and original sound, Whitney falls into a sound that highlights many of the band’s shortcomings. While there are highlights, if Whitney continues to make music in this vein, I hope they increase the variety within and songwriting of their tracks.

I fully believe Whitney is capable of doing this. I think that if they can get a better grasp on this new sound, they could release their best album yet.


flipturn Concert Review

This weekend I went to The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC to go see Florida indie band flipturn in concert. To state it simply, this was one of the coolest concerts I have ever been to.

This show was the second stop on flipturn’s tour after the release of their debut album, “Shadowglow”. Opening for flipturn was Nordista Freeze, a band I had never heard of until they came on stage that evening.


Both flipturn and Nordista Freeze did not disappoint. Nordista Freeze was a great opener, they did a great job hyping up the crowd before the main event. flipturn did an excellent job, their performance gave me a new appreciation for every song they played.

It was my first time at the Grey Eagle. I think the venue an artist plays at can add or detract a lot from the show. While both bands utilized the small venue very well, a slightly bigger venue would have been better.

I think the organization of the entrance to the Grey Eagle was quite poor for a show this large. The entrance to the stage, ticket check, and merch were all in one narrow hallway which made it quite a cramped waiting experience before they opened the doors to the stage.

I was pretty close to the front of the venue for the show. This enhanced my experience of the show greatly because I could see everything that was happening on stage easily and everything was perfectly loud.

After getting in right after the doors opened, I was happy to see Nordista Freeze come out right on time. As I have gone to more concerts, I have come to appreciate this more and more.

Nordista Freeze

Nashville indie band Nordista Freeze was quite frankly wild to watch live; I don’t think I have ever seen an opener bring so much energy so instantly to a crowd.

Guitarist, drummer, and lead singer of Nordista Freeze live
Nordista Freeze live at the Grey Eagle

Every member of this band has such off-the-walls energy and watching them riff off of each other. They played with energy like it was their first show ever but with the confidence of having played a million shows before.

The band is comprised of a drummer, bassist, lead singer/tambouriner, rhythm guitarist and lead guitarist. The lead singer also brought his girlfriend out at the end of the set to sing with him.

Nordista Freeze members were not scared to use the smallness of The Grey Eagle to their advantage. Many members jumped down into the crowds throughout the show. The lead guitarist played one of the most technical solos I’ve ever heard while in a pit.

Lead singer of Nordista Freeze up in the rafters
Lead singer of Nordista Freeze swinging from the trusses

The lead singer/tambouriner brought a crazy amount of hype to the show. He ran through the crowd over five times and hopped up into the trusses of the venue and started swinging around, twice. He was extremely in-tune with the band as well, emphasizing every important note and beat drop with his tambourines.

Seeing Nordista Freeze open instantly made me a fan. My favorite’s they played live were “Wysteria” and “All I Wanna Do”.


flipturn had a comparitively chill energy compared to Nordista Freeze, sadly we did not get to see lead singer Dillon Basse get up and swing in the trusses, but that is not to say they did not bring energy to the show.

I first got into them in 2020 from their hit, “August” and I had only listened to them semi-regularly until the release of their debut album, “Shadowglow”. This album is in my opinion their best work and I was excited to hear so many songs from it live.

Picture of setlist from the show, in order from top to bottom:
"The Fall", "Sad Disco", "Chi", "Play", "Whales", "6 Below", "Hippies", "In Consideration", "Glisten", "Half", "BB", "Burn", "Weepy Woman", "Goddamn", "Take Care", "Space Cow", "Aug", "Nickel"
Picture of setlist from the show

They played mostly new material, even some songs they had never played live before, which I was extremely happy to hear. The crowd was too, as everyone in the venue was singing right along to every song.

They started the show with the first track off of “Shadowglow”, “The Fall”. They then went directly into “Sad Disco”, which I enjoyed a lot more live compared to the recording. A highlight of the setlist was hearing them play the transition from “Burn” to “Weepy Woman” live, which is my favorite part from their new album.

Picture of drummer of flipturn playing from the crowd

Seeing flipturn live gave me a new appreciation for their instrumentals. The drummer of flipturn was absolutely ripping it up. In a short intermission, he took a tom and crash symbol off of his kit and had two audience members hold them and he played a short rhythm.

The lead singer and bassist both seemed so genuinely happy to be there. Both of them were smiling throughout the entire show. The keyboardist and lead guitarist were both in their elements as well. It was fun to see the keyboardist move from keyboard to keyboard between songs.

Picture of drummer, bassist, and lead singer of flipturn playing together

The set design and lighting weren’t outstanding, but I think they did the most they could with what they had. I was confused by the choice to put the drummer on the right-side of the stage instead of the center. However, besides that one small gripe, I think they made the best out of the small stage they were playing on.


After a quick walk-off stage, they came back on and played their most popular song, “August”. They followed this by a song I had never heard before “Nickel”. I like hearing how bands try to make the most out of their hit songs and flipturn did not disappoint with “August”. Even though I had never heard “Nickel” before this show, I thought it was the perfect song to end on.

Overall, flipturn was awesome to see live. This concert provided everything I wanted and more. It was the type of show that made my ears ring for hours afterwards and I was not upset about it at all.

The crowd was one of the most energetic I have ever been in,. Everyone seemed super excited to be there and was singing along to every song.

I am definitely going to try to see flipturn again the next time they make their way to North Carolina. If only to hear the transition from “Burn” to “Weepy Woman” one more time. Seeing them live has me listening to their new album and looking forward to their next one even more than I was before.

You can buy tickets to go see flipturn live here, I would definitely recommend seeing them if they are coming anywhere near you. You can also check out an album review of “Shadowglow” by Michelangelo here.

Band/Artist Profile

Profile of the Week: Pinegrove

Something about Pinegrove stands out to me in a way that no other band does. For this reason, Pinegrove has become my most listened-to band in the past year.

Lead singer Evan Stephens Hall wants his listeners to think critically while they listen. Within the catchy, heartfelt songs and records are an entanglement of depth and meaning. As an avid climate activist, Hall uses his platform as a way to spread awareness about climate change and what we can do to stop it.

Drummer Zack Levine, guitarist Sam Skinner, guitarist Josh Marre, keyboardist Nandi Rose Plunkett, and bassist Megan Benavente make up the rest of the six-person ensemble. Each other these members help to create the flair that makes Pinegrove as special as it is.

Discography Highlights

If you’ve never listened to a Pinegrove record and want somewhere to start, “Cardinal” is what you’re looking for. In this record, I think they best exemplify their sound in its purest form. This album has Pinegrove’s most popular song and many of my favorites. It hits indie rock highs but is clearly rooted in Americana.

Pinegrove, "Cardinal" album cover
Pinegrove, “Cardinal” album cover

Starting with “Old Friends” and ending with “New Friends”, the message is clear: at its heart, “Cardinal” is about friendships, relationships and the movement through them. Evan’s down-to-earth and reflective lyrics are best put on display on this record.

“My steps keep splitting my grief / Through these solipsistic moods / I should call my parents when I think of them / I shoud tell my friends when I love them”

Pinegrove, “Old Friend” lyric

Released after “Cardinal”, “Skylight” is a great progression from that album. This record is less structured than their previous album but it shines because of it. The structure and instrumental progression become more free-form, allowing more room for the reflection that Pinegrove is famous for.

Pinegrove, "11:11" album art
Pinegrove, “11:11” album art

Their latest release, “11:11” is also excellent and provides a new flair that Pinegrove was in need of after “Marigold”. This album leans more into a country sound than anything else on their discography, clearly inspired by artists like the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Still full of the internal reflection they are famous for, Pinegrove also looks outward in “11:11”. This is their most politically charged album by far and focuses on many of the problems that our world faces.

“They’re trying to ignore it / We always knew they’d try / Today the sky is orange / And you and I know why”

Pinegrove, “Orange” lyric

Pinegrove Live

I have seen Pinegrove in concert twice. The first time I saw Pinegrove was back in October of 2021 at the Haw River Ballroom in Graham, NC.

This show was what got me hooked on Pinegrove. Evan Hall’s charisma and clear passion for the music he makes really did it for me. The entire band is so in-sync while playing and the highs and lows of every song hits extra hard live.

They had just released “Orange” for their new album and Hall, wearing a DSA shirt, took a moment to talk about the ongoing climate crisis and inform the audience of ways they could go about inciting change.

He took a similar break in his show a few months later in February at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC, an understandably more packed venue. This show was soon after the release of “11:11” and they played through the entire album.

Hearing each song live provided more depth and gave me more appreciation for each one. If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend going to see them live.


Pinegrove always shines a light where there could be darkness. Their songs touch on many things that in different contexts could seem hopeless but instead of basking in dread, they push forward.

Pinegrove has had a lot of personal significance to me in the past year. The hopefulness they inspire definitely helped me through some harder times. They are the first band that I ever saw in concert more than once for that reason.

Thematically and sonically, Pinegrove continues to grow and evolve. I can’t wait to hear whatever they do next.


“Nisemono” by Ginger Root EP Review

Ginger Root is an artist known for his self-proclaimed sound known as “aggressive elevator soul”. A true mash-up of jazz, soul and Japanese city pop, Ginger Root provides a fresh sound to the bedroom pop scene that is unlike anything I have heard.

I first became a fan of Ginger Root when a friend showed me a song called “Loretta” off of his 2021 EP “City Slicker”. I was excited to see that he released his first single for “Nisemono” titled “Loneliness” in June.


Nisemono (偽物) means “fake” or “fraud” in Japanese. Thematically, this EP is about impostor syndrome and how to overcome it.

“Nisemono” takes place in an alternate reality of 1983 where Ginger Root replaces the fictional idol Kimiko Takeguchi after she leaves her position due to stress.

This setup is an excellent avenue for the themes of the record. The commitment to the 80’s theme in the sound and music videos is very well-done.

Music video for “Loneliness” by Ginger Root

Sonically, this EP is wonderful. Ginger Root builds on the sound that was established in “City Slicker” and adds an extra flair by incorporating more classical and jazz elements. The vocals on this record are great as well, though I wish they were more at the forefront at times.

My favorites off this EP are “Loneliness”, “Over the Hill” and “Everything’s Alright (Meet You in the Galaxy Ending Theme)”. However, every track on this EP is great, throughout the short but sweet 18-minute duration I was not bored once.

I really enjoyed “Nisemono” and I am looking forward to whatever Ginger Root does next. Ginger Root’s fresh sound only gets more fresh as time goes on.

Ginger Root is currently on the first block of his tour. You can find tickets on his website.


Jazz Songs for a Rainy Day

Jazz is an extremely versatile genre of music. Some of my favorite jazz songs are on the calmer, more melancholic side of the genre. These songs are perfect for sitting inside on a rainy day and watching the raindrops stream down the window.

Darn That Dream” by Bill Evans and Jim Hall

Bill Evans and Jim Hall are masters at creating songs for quiet contemplation on a rainy day. This song, like every song on “Undercurrent”, only features the piano of Bill Evans and the guitar of Jim Hall. There’s something isolated about this song that is similar to walking outside on a rainy day with no one else around.

Days Of Wine and Roses” by Wes Montgomery

This song’s highlight is its guitar. Montgomery’s style of picking his guitar was a clear inspiration for Jim Hall and this song has much of the same appeal that “Darn That Dream” does. Instead of being paired with a piano, “Days of Wine and Roses” is paired with drums.

A Taste of Honey” by Paul Desmond

Most well known for his work in the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the saxophone of Paul Desmond shines on its own. This song is great for reflection. Paul Desmond once said he wanted to sound like a “dry martini” and I think he accomplishes that sound excellently on this track.

In A Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane

This song, originally created in Durham, is the quintessential rainy day jazz song. No song quite creates the feeling that “In A Sentimental Mood” does. Coltrane’s saxophone and Ellington’s piano perfectly complement each other, with Elvis Jones’ drums and Aaron Bell’s bass truly gluing them together. It perfectly elicits the sentimentality that is often associated with a rainy day.

Classic Album Review

Discovering “Where the Heart Is” with Sweet Pill

Philadelphia-based pop-emo band Sweet Pill released their debut album with Topshelf Records in May of this year. Sadly, I had not gotten the chance to listen to it until recently. Since I first gave the LP a listen, it has been on repeat.

Coming in at 30 minutes, this album kept me entranced throughout the entire listen. Tracks flow from one to the next with great fluidity. The utilization of pop elements and structure over the emo instrumental and vocals make this record so replayable for me.

Lead singer Zanya Yousseff, guitarists Jayce Williams and Sean McCall, bassist Ryan Cullest and drummer Chris Kerneymakes make this album special. You can tell from the first listen that this passion project has been in the works for over two years.

Favorite Tracks

“Blood” is my favorite off of this album. Coming in off the title track, this song is about the anger that comes with a falling out and it does not mess around. This song utilizes breaks and a gritty, distorted rhythm guitar to really make each drop feel like a gut punch.

The song “Sometimes” also really stands out to me. I can’t help but bob my head when this song comes on. This song masterfully blends pop and emo to create something that’s fun to listen to but with a certain heaviness that’s unexplored in pop.


This album consistently uses violence to express anger and unfulfillment with life. I really appreciate Sweet Pill’s ability to use violence and make it effective consistently. They utilize this explosivity to such a degree that it’s impossible to skip one of their tracks when it comes on.

Sweet Pill’s work is filled with so much energy and enthusiasm and I can imagine them evolving their sound into something truly unique to them. I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the coming years.

Short Stories

Wildlife I’ve Seen Around NC State Campus

NC State University is right in the middle of a sprawling city. Because of this, it is not very common you will see wildlife around campus. Since the start of last year, I have tried to take a picture whenever I see the fauna of campus. Starting from last fall, I want to share some of the animals I have run into.

Wildlife Pictures and Stories

The animal that started this collection for me is this black cat I ran into at 3:01 in the morning on a late-night walk in August. There was something mystical about running into this little guy at night so late at night when there wasn’t a single person around Centennial Campus. I have not seen this cat since it ran off into the night shortly after I took this blurry picture, but I hope they are doing well, living a full and happy cat life.

The next animal I ran into was a doe and her fawns at night about a month later. Again on a late night walk, I ran into this nice little family at 3:13 in the morning. It’s been almost a full year since this late-night encounter but these deer fawns are probably fully grown now, roaming around campus on their own.

After a winter break away from campus, I went on a run around Lake Raleigh. While on my run I looked over the water and saw these two lovely turtles basking in the sun. Since then, I look out at that log whenever I pass by it, and often another turtle is there, basking.

Seeing this snake peering over at me out of the corner of my eye as I left my building was quite the jump scare. This is probably the largest snake I have ever seen out in the wild. However, when I realized that they meant no harm and were just relaxing out in the evening sun, I relaxed. When I returned to the spot a few hours later, they were gone.


While this is a very small fraction of the wildlife I have seen around NC State’s campus, I think these animals in particular had quite the impact on me.

I am glad that while NC State is in such a big city, there is a lot of nature around, allowing for animals like these to make their way into students’ lives. Taking time to enjoy and appreciate the nature around me on campus has been a great source of stability through difficult coursework.

If you want to experience nature around campus but don’t know where to go, some good places are:

  • Lake Raleigh
  • Pullen Park
  • Yates Mill Park
  • JC Arboretum
  • WRAL Azalea Garden
  • Dorothea Dix Park
  • North Carolina Museum of Art Park