Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts

Ever since I downloaded Spotify in eighth grade, (which was seven years ago now) I have loved making playlists. I always come up with new ideas or rework old ones or make ones that I never finish or don’t rest until I find the perfect mix I’m looking for. I’ve even spent the last year or so sharing playlists with y’all here on the WKNC blog; making playlists is a huge creative outlet for me.

But I know that my music taste isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I encourage everyone to find their own unique tastes (which you can do with the help of my “How to Find New Music” blog). If you want to organize your music but you feel like you never know how to, I’m here to help. The following are some prompts/ideas for you to organize your music. By no means is this foolproof, but these are some ideas that have inspired me in the past.


  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: they all have distinct moods and sounds. Find songs that fit the aura of each season. I’m working on a continuous Fall playlist for the blog, and it’s been so fun listening to a bunch of music and deciding what is and isn’t fit for Fall’s aura.
  • EXAMPLE: “it’s fall y’all”


  • This is how most people I know organize their music. They’ll create a new playlist for each month or quarter (every 3 months) and add songs they discover or really like throughout this period of time and add as they go. It takes some adjusting, and this is not my personal favorite way  to organize music, but it works for a lot of my friends. 
  • EXAMPLE: “this used to be a current playlist”


  • This one is a fun challenge, and the best part is that you don’t even have to find new music to do it. Choose a number: 25, 50, 100, or more. Then, without repeating any artists/bands, choose songs that encapsulate your entire music taste. It’s hard, but so much fun. I’ve done it before with 100, (but I’m currently workshopping it because my music taste has expanded a lot since I first made it), and it took me a whole afternoon to decide what songs to choose.
  • EXAMPLE: “my taste in 100 songs”


  • If there is a story you love in any medium, make a playlist or ten about it. It’s so entertaining to make soundtracks for books/movies/shows you love, and this let’s you live in that fictional universe just a little while longer.
  • EXAMPLE: “Unhoneymooners”


  • This one is pretty self explanatory, just choose songs that make you feel things, and sort them into those emotions. Mitski and Conor Oberst make you sad? Put it in a playlist. Liz Phair makes music that fires you up? Angry playlist incoming. Bad Suns and Lily Allen make you feel like you’re floating? Time for a happy playlist.
  • EXAMPLE: “time to despair”


  • Love an artist or band but you just want to shuffle the parts of their discography that you like? “Best of” playlists are great for that, and super simple to make. No creativity required, just you, thirty minutes, and listening to your favorite songs by your bands determining what makes it into the list.
  • EXAMPLE: “riki loley”


  • Only like ten pop-punk songs? Add them all to a playlist, so if you’re in the mood, you don’t have to go to the trouble of queueing them every time. 
  • EXAMPLE:  “Cowboy Era”


  • Sometimes it’s good to have everything in one place. So as you come across albums you love, add them into this playlist so you have one giant thing to shuffle. Organized chaos.

Hopefully this gave you some inspiration for playlists you can make that won’t result in you using the same 15 songs every time you make a playlist (trust me, I’ve been there).

Until next time,



It’s Fall Y’all (September Edition)

September 22 marks the beginning of Fall, and a hallmark of the Autumn season every year for me is the music. I decided, in order to celebrate, that I would create a 15 song playlist for you all that is fall-oriented. Think: folk, bluegrass, melancholia, Elliott Smith, Mazzy Star, Dom Flemons and more. Not only that, but I will be adding to it in October and November as well, so expect 30 more songs where this came from. Happy Fall.

Without further ado, here is the first installment of “It’s Fall Y’all”: 

  • “Rose Parade” — Elliott Smith
  • “All Waters” — Perfume Genius
  • “Well-dressed” — Hop Along
  • “I’m A Dream Fighting Out Of A Man” — Luke De-Sciscio
  • “Oh Sarah”— Sturgill Simpson
  • “Someone Else’s Trees” — Fenne Lily
  • “Lonesome Old River Blues” — Dom Flemons
  • “Five String Serenade” — Mazzy Star
  • “Postman” — SLONK
  • “Apple Tree” — Marika Hackman
  • “Prove It” — Lala Lala
  • “Chesapeake” — Better Oblivion Community Center
  • “El Invento” — José González
  • “Strange Things Will Happen” — The Radio Dept.
  • “Irene” — Twin Peaks

If you love this season like I do, I encourage you to be your most unapologetic self and listen to this while walking around with your warm beverage of choice from your favorite coffee shop, observing the leaves change colors. 

As always, I’ve put this list into a Spotify playlist just for you guys.

Until next time,



If You Like “Punisher,” Then Listen To…

As you can guess by my frequent blogs mentioning her, I’m a frequent listener and pretty big fan of indie-rock star Phoebe Bridgers. My favorite of her multitude of works and collaborations is her sophomore album, “Punisher.” As she has risen to large notoriety over the last year and a half due in large part to “Punisher,’  there are a lot of newcomers to the folk/indie/rock scene who may like Phoebe Bridgers, but aren’t sure how to branch out.

I figured this phenomena would make “Punisher” the perfect subject for my “If you like… then listen to” series, as I feel Bridgers is a great jumping off point for listeners to go in many directions. If you’re unfamiliar, this series is where I curate a playlist for fans of a certain artist/album and recommend 15 songs by different artists that are similar to the subject.

Without further ado, here are the songs you should listen to if you love “Punisher” by Phoebe Bridgers.

  • “Brother” — Fenne Lily
  • “Cape Canaveral” — Conor Oberst
  • “Last Words of a Shooting Star” — Mitski
  • “I Think You’re Alright” — Jay Som
  • “Blue Coupe” — Twin Peaks
  • “Ruby Falls” — Waxahatchee
  • “One Too Many Mornings” — Bob Dylan
  • “Good Scare” — TORRES
  • “Latter Days” — Big Red Machine, Anaïs Mitchell
  • “Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud” — Elliott Smith
  • “Soapy Water” — Wolf Alice
  • “Animal Noises” — beabadoobee
  • “It Hurts Until It Doesn’t” — Mothers
  • “Pretending” — Orla Gartland 
  • “L.A. Dream” — Julia Jacklin

As always, I made a Spotify playlist for your consumption and enjoyment.

Be sure to check out my previous installments of “If you like… then listen to.”

Until next time,



“You Have A Match” by Emma Lord Book Review and Playlist

Another week, another book review. This time, it’s for “You Have A Match” by Emma Lord. This YA novel was released in January of 2021, and is a New York Times best-seller as well as a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Once again, as I mentioned in my review of “Tweet Cute,” Lord is able to write modern characters and dialogue that rarely feel forced or out of touch. It’s a true gift she possesses, and I cannot wait to read what she releases next, as these are her only two novels out at the moment. 

“You Have A Match” centers around a high school girl named Abby who takes a DNA test to support her friend Leo, who is adopted, and taking the test in hopes of finding a family member. What Abby doesn’t expect is to find out that she has a fully-biological Instagram-famous older sister named Savannah (affectionately known as Savvy) living in the same area. Abby, not sure what to do with this secret, decides to not ask her parents about her long-lost sister, and instead (with encouragement from her newfound older sister) signs up for the same summer camp that Savvy is going to be a junior counselor at that summer. 

What Abby doesn’t realize is that Leo is also going to be at that summer camp, meaning that she needs to confront her more-than-friends feelings for him all the while trying to figure out what happened to make her parents give up Savvy for adoption.

A tale that confronts themes like low self-esteem, comparing oneself to others, skeletons in the closet, bad timing and being betrayed: Lord grounds her writing in the realities of being a young person in the 21st century.

As I did with my review of “The Unhoneymooners” I have curated a playlist that matches the themes of this wonderful novel, and I would love it if you checked it out. Below is a list of the songs but you can also find the playlist on my Spotify.

  • “Family Secret” — Bad Moves
  • “The Parent Trap” — Annette Funicello, Tommy Sands
  • “I Like (the idea of) You” — Tessa Violet
  • “Static / Habit” — ADDIE
  • “So Sorry” — Feist
  • “Love Is A Lonely Thing” — Kings of Convenience, Feist
  • “Prom Queen” — Beach Bunny
  • “Jealous” — Eyedress
  • “Stay Down” — boygenius
  • “Spectacular Views” — Rilo Kiley
  • “Sunset Lover” — Petit Biscuit
  • “Dear Friend,” — Dayglow
  • “Tears in the Typing Pool” — Broadcast
  • “Selfless” — The Strokes
  • “Just the Two of Us” — Grover Washington Jr., Bill Withers

Happy reading and listening,


Blog Miscellaneous Music Education Playlists

Oh, To Be At A Party

Parties. There’s nothing else like them. After a long week of classes, work, and stress, dancing and talking without having to put in much effort is a welcomed experience. Beyond the space, people, drinks, and lighting, one of the most important aspects of a party is the music.

I don’t claim to know how to make the perfect party playlist, but I do have a few ideas. First, make it collaborative. When there’s multiple people contributing to the playlist, you’re almost guaranteed that there’s going to be enough variety to satisfy everyone at the party at some point or another. Second, a good mix of electronic, grunge, throwback, and joke songs (that aren’t really joke songs because everyone loves them) makes for a great time. Finally, I’d recommend keeping the music loud enough that you can’t make out anyone’s conversation but your own, but quiet enough that you don’t get a noise complaint.

For some party playlist ideas, check out my playlist below (inspired by a real collaborative party playlist I recently made with some friends):

  1. “Bicep” by TR/ST
  2. “A.M. 180” by Grandaddy
  3. “Opus3” by dapurr, The Hellp
  4. “The Book Lovers” by Broadcast
  5. “Celestica” by Crystal Castles
  6. “Tu Tu Neurotic” by The Hellp
  7. “Rapp Snitch Knishes” by MF DOOM, Mr Fantastik
  8. “PHONKY TOWN” by PlayaPhonk
  9. “Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks
  10. “Motion” by Boy Harsher
  11. “999” by PlayaPhonk
  12. “Go2DaMoon” by Playboi Carti, Kanye West
  13. “Linger” by The Cranberries
  14. “Idioteque” by Radiohead
  15. “What’s Important” by Beat Happening
  16. “Disparate Youth” by Santigold
  17. “Lake of Fire” by Meat Puppets
  18. “Hunker Down” by Corbin
  19. “EAST” by Earl Sweatshirt
  20. “Brick” by Alex G
  21. “Going Deeper” by Tree Threes
  22. “Melaleuca” by Yu Su
  23. “Call For Help” by Pearly Drops
  24. “Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers
  25. “vs Reality” by AYA GLOOMY
  26. “DotA” by Basshunter
  27. “Making Up” by Dead Mellotron

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to Emma, Molly, and Gabe for their epic contributions,

Silya Bennai


Walking-Around-Campus-Feeling-Weird Playlist

Coming back to campus has been an absolutely insane experience. For me, after living at home for over a year, just seeing so many people in one place feels so surreal. I know I’m not the only one that’s going to have to adjust to this transition, so what better way to cope than with music? In times of great change, I often find that music is really the only constant that I can depend on. Having my set at WKNC is especially helpful for finding a sense of grounding during all this back-to-school craziness. Our studio feels almost like a weird little sticker-filled haven amidst a chaotic campus atmosphere. If you haven’t been by, make sure to come check us out on the third floor at Witherspoon Student Center.

Here’s a playlist of the songs I’ve been blasting through my headphones on the bus, while walking to class and just otherwise hanging out around campus:

1. I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You – Funkadelic

2. New Zealand Spinach – Babe Rainbow

3. Good Times Bad Times – Led Zeppelin


5. Stay All Night – The Black Keys

6. Spoonful – Howlin’ Wolf

7. When I – Steve Lacy

8. An Idea – IAMNOBODI

9. Honey Moon – Mac Demarco

10. Jenny – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

11. Corcovado (Quiet Night of Quiet Stars) – Stan Getz & João Gilberto

12. Raspberry Jam – Allah-Las


If You Like “folklore,” Then Listen To…

I recently authored a blog where I recommended songs to listen to if you’re a fan of Fiona Apple. I enjoyed making it and received a positive response that I’ve decided to make “If you like… then listen to…” a series (woohoo). 

This installment is for fans of “folklore,” Taylor Swift’s 2020 folk-inspired album born out of lockdown and quarantine. I’ve compiled a list of 15 songs/artists that give me similar vibes. Picture it: a sad summer, first loves, self-doubt, soft guitar/piano melodies, a maze of forests, and heartbreak.

Without further ado, here is the playlist:

  • “?” — Dodie
  • “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” — Bon Iver
  • “Cactus Tree” — Joni Mitchell
  • “Black Dog” — Arlo Parks
  • “Hold Out” — Aly & AJ
  • “Big Black Car” — Gregory Alan Isakov
  • “You Missed My Heart” — Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Stoned at the Nail Salon” — Lorde
  • “Bleachers” — Emily Yacina
  • “Going Going Gone” — Lucy Dacus
  • “Summer in the City” — Regina Spektor
  • “Chewing Cotton Wool” — The Japanese House
  • “Little Bird” — Imogen Heap
  • “Steamboat” — Adrianne Lenker
  • “Little Changes” — Clairo

As always, I’ve made a Spotify playlist for easy listening.

Until next time,



My Favorite Covers (Part Two)

There’s nothing quite like the shock of having a song on your regular rotation and then realizing that it’s a cover or the pleasure of finding a cover you like of a song you love. Not too long ago I made a blog post on my favorite covers of songs. Since then, I’ve discovered even more covers that I adore, and wanted to share the wealth with the blog once again.

Rocky Raccoon” covered by Ramsey Lewis (originally by The Beatles)

This cover was released on “Mother Nature’s Son,” a cover album by Lewis composed of ten songs from The Beatles’ “white album.” Oddly enough, the quirky country tune “Rocky Raccoon” is one of my favorite songs by The Beatles. When I first heard this cover I was taken aback, as I listened it became abundantly clear that Lewis breathed new life into this song. Though the cover is completely instrumental, the melody still shines through, and the track is enjoyable all the way down to its core.

夢中人” covered by Faye Wong (originally known as “Dreams” by The Cranberries)

“Dreams” by The Cranberries is one of the most (pardon the redundancy) dreamy songs of all time. Wong’s cover makes the song even more entrancing as she leans heavily into her Cocteau Twins influences. Wong makes music in both Cantonese and Mandarin, and this song was a part of a Cantonese album titled “胡思亂想” or “Random Thoughts.”

Crimson + Clover” covered by Pom Pom Squad (originally by Tommy James & The Shondells)

This familiar tune is a very popular one to cover, but I think that Pom Pom Squad does an excellent job of making it their own. This cover serves as the halfway mark on their album “Death of a Cheerleader.” Pom Pom Squad, an indie rock band spices up the track with a grunge sound, but still keeps the same essence and build as the original track.

Dancing in the Dark” covered by Lucy Dacus (originally by Bruce Springsteen)

“Dancing in the Dark,” one of Springsteen’s most popular songs ever is the penultimate track on his 1984 album “Born In The U.S.A.” Dacus’ vocals add a softer edge to the tried and true rock song. Her cover shaves 40 seconds off the original, but she keeps the heart of the track alive. Faye Webster also has a cover of this song, but hers is acoustic and more down to earth.

So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” covered by Squirrel Flower (originally by Caroline Polacheck)

Squirrel Flower offers a slower (she adds 25 seconds onto the length of the original) and more intimate perspective to the pop anthem originally by Polacheck. The two tracks feel very different because of their different production styles, but Polacheck and Squirrel Flower have remarkably similar vocals. 

As I mentioned in “The Art of the Musical Cover” all of these songs and more of my favorites can be found in my “covers and their counterparts” playlist on Spotify. 
Happy listening,



Today is Friday the 13th. I’m going to a horror movie themed party tonight and I’m feeling awfully curious about the playlist. Are they going to play scary music? What is scary music? Is it loud and harsh? Quiet and threatening? Does it talk about being scared? Or does it make you feel scared? 

I haven’t fully uncovered the answer yet, but I made a thirteen song playlist of tracks that I believe capture a little bit of every form of fear in music. Check it out below:

  1. “Full Moon (Death Classic)” by Death Grips
  2. “Pretty On The Inside” by Hole
  3. “Don’t Play It” by Kim Gordon
  4. “Kurt Ambiance” by Kurt Cobain
  5. “V. Universe” by The Microphones
  6. “Inanimate Sensation” by Death Grips
  7. “Buddy Lent Me the Pen Again V006 (218.814 BPM)” by Vegyn
  8. “Tonight You Belong To Me” by Patience and Prudence
  9. “Do You Be” by Meredith Monk
  10. “Where the Fuck Is My Ambulance” by Girl Pusher
  11. “Brick” by Alex G
  12. “Tourette’s” by Nirvana
  13. “Scared” by ARTHUR

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to “The Lighthouse,” “Ginger Snaps,” and “[REC],” some of my favorite horror and horror-adjacent movies,

Silya Bennai


“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren: Review/Playlist

“The Unhoneymooners” is a charming and captivating adult romance novel by the duo known as Christina Lauren that was published in May 2019. The principal character and narrator of the novel, Olive Torres, is a twin who feels as if her life is a product of bad luck whilst her twin sister Ami has the exact opposite fortune. After all, Ami is getting married and her wedding consists of items and services she won in various contests, competitions and sweepstakes, making her wedding extremely cost-effective. Meanwhile, Olive is single, out of a job and seemingly has no prospects in career or romance. That is, until her luck begins to turn around.

The rest of this blog post may contain mild spoilers that a reader may not want to see, so if you haven’t read the book and want the main plot point to remain a mystery, then you might not want to continue reading this post.