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Death Grips: A Phenomenon of Embarrassment

The label “experimental hip-hop” seems to now extend to more artists in the industry than it used to, but there’s no denying Death Grips helped found the genre and still remain at its center. Though Zach Hill is often noted as the leading creative of the group, Stefan Burnett, better known as MC Ride, is the vocal star. His punk, industrial-inspired delivery feeds on noise and electronic styles and production to create an unmatched sound. With Andy Morin also on keyboard and production, the music trio has put out six studio albums, a mixtape and six other miscellaneous projects.

Death Grips formed in 2010 and I’ve been listening since 2015. Considerably late to the show, I still found myself among very few fans in my area during high school. That being said, I spent my teen years in Wake Forest, NC. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Death Grips’ internet and streaming popularity were stronger than ever and continuously growing. I was a proud, but delusional, DG fan. 

When you find a new project as inventive as Death Grips, it feels like stumbling upon gold. I thought I was nearly alone in this discovery and it took time for me to realize they were incredibly popular. As years passed and their popularity still grew, I found myself listening to Death Grips as often as I used to, but now in private. There was a certain embarrassment of Death Grips for me, and since talking to friends, I’ve learned for others, too. The embarrassment, perhaps stemming from a sudden jump of feeling special to being just a cog in the DG machine, was polarizing. Older listeners retreated to their rooms to partake while newer listeners were outwardly experiencing their newfound feeling of uniqueness.

Death Grips, despite their ever-altering audience, continue to put out music and I’ve noticed, both in myself and the people around me, the former DG embarrassment lifting. As people come to terms with liking music simply because it’s good and putting less concern into whether or not it boosts their individuality complex, I find that Death Grips is getting more public love from their long-time listeners. 

As an ode to my lifted DG embarrassment, here’s a short list of some of my favorite Death Grips songs (in order of release):

1. “Full Moon (Death Classic)” – Full Moon (Death Classic) (2011)

2. “Guillotine” – Guillotine (2011)

3. “Lil Boy” – No Love Deep Web (2012)

4. “Deep Web” – No Love Deep Web (2012)

5. “Hacker” – The Money Store (2012)

6. “Birds” – Government Plates (2013)

7. “Feels Like a Wheel” – Government Plates (2013)

8. “I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States” – The Powers That B (2015)

9. “Inanimate Sensation” – The Powers That B (2015)

10. “80808” – Bottomless Pit (2016)

11. “Bottomless Pit” – Bottomless Pit (2016)

12. “Hahaha” – Year Of The Snitch (2018)

Here’s to the fact that Robert Pattinson plays guitar on “Birds”,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

New Moon Mix

The new moon is a time to reflect and set intentions for the month to come. This month I found so many new artists and it was an amazing time for new releases. I hope to continue to listen to great new music, but also go back and revisit old favorite artists and find new bangers. 

I made a mix of new releases to refresh your queue. There are some older songs sprinkled in to ground you, but I included a bunch of June releases (including new Lorde that just dropped) to kick start this new moon. 

The New Moon Mix

To highlight just a few on the playlist…

Paprika – Japanese Breakfast

JBrekkies’ new album “Jubilee” has been on my radar for a while with the singles “Be Sweet” and “Posing in Bondage”. The whole album is amazing but “Paprika” might be my favorite right now. Frontwoman Michelle’s vocals shine on this track. The big band instrumental lifts the entire song. This is something I will be listening to for the rest of the summer.

Moon – Bachelor (Jay Som and Palehound)

The brainchild of Jay Som and Palehound AKA Bachelor might be the best musical project to come out of 2021. Their album “Doomin’ Sun” is full of hits, with punk and garage influences. “Moon” is grungy with delicate vocals. This soft rock hit is a great driving song.

Hocus Pocus – Summer Salt

This new single from surf rock legends Summer Salt is giving me witchy energy. I love how tranquil the track is with heavenly vocals and chill guitar. “Hocus Pocus” is a perfect track to calm your mind. I’m looking forward to their whole album, “Sequoia Moon”. 

I hope your new moon is fulfilling and your queue never runs dry. 

Blessed Be, 

DJ lil witch

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Playlists

My Favorite Not-Just-Sad Elliott Smith Lyrics

I self-admittedly fell for Elliott Smith idolization when I was twelve years old. I remember hearing “Between the Bars” for the first time and thinking I understood true pain as I sat atop my IKEA loft bed after a long day of the seventh grade. I probably did know true pain then, as anyone who’s been alive for any length of time does, but the more I listen to Elliott (I can’t help but use his first name as if I knew him) and the older I grow, the more I understand that pain is not a lonely feeling. It is built upon loss or paired with hope or overwhelmed by joy.

Elliott Smith is a name most indie music listeners of any age would recognize, but I’ve found that he is all too often polarized within the sad song realm. Elliott Smith certainly knew how to write a melancholic and agonizingly sorrowful track, but he also knew how to do it with nuance. His lyricism and unmatched natural voice express the very duality I’m describing. His songs are never just sad; they exist as multiplicities.

Listed below are some of my favorite Elliott Smith lyrics that express some version of combined emotion:

Note: All interpretations are my own.

“And it’s okay, I knew exactly what you meant/ When you said you were an accident” – “Drive All Over Town”

Compassion vs. Distraction: Individual trauma combined with mutual understanding creates a space for growth or destruction. It’s hard, but important, to pursue the former.

“And for all you know, you’re the only one who finds it strange” – “Satellite”

A Certain Loneliness: Individuality can be scary and forlorn at times, but it’s imperative to remember the freedom it brings.

“I can sit wondering what in world you think about/ I don’t think I’m ever gonna figure it out” – “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out”

The Hard Truth: We all have that one person we could sit around for hours impossibly attempting to grasp at their inner thoughts, but recognizing that we’ll never know is both a loss and a relief.

“We broke up a month ago/ And I grew up, I didn’t know/ I’d be around the morning after” – “Say Yes”

Pain Comes and Goes: Heartbreak is like nothing else. Actually, sometimes it feels like someone died. Those first few days, weeks, or months are the absolute worst, but it’s worth knowing, you’ll make it to the next morning.

“I’ll tell you why I don’t want to know where you are/ I got a joke I’ve been dying to tell you” – “Pitseleh”

Wanting What You Know You Shouldn’t: Sometimes we want and put much of our thought into things we can’t and shouldn’t have. Knowing your boundaries, as much as they may contradict your desires, is difficult but perhaps worth it.

“A lot of hours to occupy, it was easy when I didn’t know you yet/ Things I’d have to forget/ But I better be quiet now/ I’m tired of wasting my breath/ Carrying on and getting upset” – “Better Be Quiet Now”

A Box In the Attic Labeled “Forget Me”: Change is incredibly hard. Going from one reality to another, especially when it happens quickly, can be all-consuming. At some point, however, putting that person or thing behind you is easier than wasting your energy on old memories or an empty space.

“Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time/ I better stop now before I start crying” – “Twilight”

Comfort In Being Sad: There is both fear and hope in moving from sadness to joy. The change is usually worth it.

“Waiting to start/ Waiting to light/ Waiting until dark” – “New Disaster”

Elliott, even in his saddest and most regretful songs, knew to wait it out. Whether it be good or bad, he knew exactly how to express that there’s always something coming next.

My interpretations don’t just reflect Elliott’s lyrical combination of emotions, but my own combination of clichés and personal experiences. I wish he could explain these songs to me, but I can’t know what I can’t be told, so perhaps these explanations will do for now. I have a feeling they will change as I do.

Here’s to changes,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

She’s A “Hole” Girl On Her Own: Birthday Party Picks

Courtney Love. Eric Erlandson. Patty Schemel. Kristen Pfaff and Melissa Auf der Maur. One of the most iconic rock bands of all time, and arguably the most iconic with a female front (Sorry, Bikini Kill), Hole is a pure glimpse into the grunge music scene of the nineties. With three studio albums released between 1991 and 1998, Love and her bandmates produced timeless hits such as “Teenage Whore,” “Violet” and “Dying”. 

While their album “Pretty On The Inside” is scratchy and angry and “Celebrity Skin” is clever and powerful, Hole’s 1994 album “Live Through This” is my absolute favorite. It’s a no-skip thirty-eight minute listen that will make you scream, cry, laugh, and drive a little too fast. 

I’m turning nineteen this month and I’ve decided to throw a (vaccinated) girls-only, Hole-themed birthday party. Listed below are my top four favorite tracks from “Live Through This” that I plan to play at my party:

“Doll Parts”

Toxic desire and reclamation are at the heart of this song. Essentially, you can’t own anyone and they can’t own you. 

Favorite Lyric: “I love him so much, it just turns to hate”

“Credit In The Straight World”

A cover of Young Marble Giants’ song by the same name, Love serves up a far harsher and faster version which I easily prefer. Money or drug-driven, either way it all ends the same. 

Favorite Lyric: “Leave your money when you die”

“She Walks On Me”

This song reeks of girl and it’s perfect. It touches on forced female self-image, suicide and comparison in about three minutes and thirty seconds. 

Favorite Lyric: “We look the same, we talk the same”

“Gutless”

Digging at a false revolution that promised female empowerment but never materialized and left many women in the punk scene isolated, Love screams at those gutless leaders.

Favorite Lyric: “I don’t really miss God/ But I sure miss Santa Claus”

Here’s to Hole-themed gatherings, nineties slip dresses, and some of music history’s coolest band branding,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

Songs of the Summer

Every year, a bunch of artists come out of the woodwork claiming they have “the song of the summer.” This is an overwhelming premise to me, as I just love so much music, so here are my songs (plural) of the summer. Many of these are not current, but it’s never too late to fall in love with a song, no matter how old it is. Without further ado, here are some summer tunes for you.

“Folding Chair” – Regina Spektor

A feel-good song about self-love, and the beach. With Spektor’s melodic and soft voice singing these sincere lyrics, you can’t help but smile.

Favorite Lyric: “I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget / I’ve got a perfect body ’cause my eyelashes catch my sweat”

“Stop Making This Hurt” – Bleachers

An almost overly-grandiose Bleachers song with melancholic lyrics released right as summers starting? Sign me up.

Favorite Lyric: “But if we take the sadness out of Saturday night / I wonder what we’ll be left with, anything worth the fight?”

“You Don’t Do Laundry” – Dev Lemons and Stevie Powers

A song with lyrics detailing complaints of someone unaware of their own wealth and privilege, it’s also just insanely catchy.

Favorite Lyric: “Just so you know, no matter how rich I get (How rich I get) / I’d never talk to a dog the way you talk to your private chef”

“Goodbye Earl” – The Chicks

A country classic that I believe is the older sister to newer vengeful country songs like “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and “no body, no crime” by Taylor Swift.

Favorite Lyric: “Well the weeks went by and / Spring turned to summer / And summer faded into fall”

“So Alright, Cool, Whatever” – The Happy Fits

An unapologetic love song (only bashful in the title), this is a track you can’t help but sing along to.

Favorite Lyric: “I wanna be dancing, dreaming, bawling and weeping / Over you all of my life”

“I Am Sunshine” – The Magic Gang

A somewhat kitschy but inevitably happy listening experience, The Magic Gang delivers a bright and happy track that made its way directly onto my summer playlist.

Favorite Lyric: “I am sunshine / In the August / Looking forward to the future”

As always, I’ve compiled these tunes into a playlist just for you. I’ll also give you my more extensive summer playlist, which I’ll be updating through August.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Playlists

My Ideal Chillout Room Soundtrack

My recent obsession with ’90s rave culture has sent me down many musical rabbit holes, with my favorite being the sound of the chillout room. The chillout room started as a place for ravers to cool down from the high temperature of the rave itself. However, this room became far more than just a place for ravers to catch their breath. Ultimately, it became the birthplace of an entirely new style of electronic music. Here I have listed six of my all-time favorite chillout room tracks.

Dance PM” by Hiroshi Yoshimura – Music for Nine Postcards (2017)
This track has an upbeat and overall positive sound to it. It is sweet, soothing and absolutely perfect for anyone stepping out of the sensory overload that is a rave. To put it simply, this track is grounding.

2/1 – Remastered 2004” by Brian Eno – Ambient 1/Music for Airports (1978)
While Brian Eno was making music long before 90s raves, his ambient tracks are a chillout room essential. They do an excellent job of fluctuating to and from the foreground, putting the mind in an almost meditative state.

#6” by Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994)
Aphex Twin was one of the artists essential in the creation of the chillout room and its sound. His second album which this track is on captures, the essence of the chillout room perfectly. For the most part, it is beat-less and trance-like. “#6”, my favorite on the album, is comprised of a repetitive vocaloid sound that takes the listener deeper into their Brian-Eno-induced meditative state.

Tommib” by Squarepusher – Go Plastic (2001)
Squarepusher, like Aphex Twin, was essential in the formation of the chillout room. This track is slightly more upbeat and engaging than the previous two in an attempt to pull the raver from their stupor.

La femme d’argent” by Air – Moon Safari (1998)
This track by Air serves to fully bring the listener back to their senses. It is jazzy yet still electronic in true chillout room fashion.

Breathe” by Telepopmusik – Genetic World (2001)
Lastly, “Breathe,” an electronic track with soothing vocals overtop serves to energize the listener before reentering the rave. While it is soothing, the beat is almost energetic enough to dance to making it the perfect transition song.

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Sad Songs for Being Sad

Some days, especially during summer, can be isolating and strange. I find it’s best to just let myself sit in it for a while, and to ride the wave. Here are some songs that let me wallow in that feeling for a bit.


“Demi Moore” – Phoebe Bridgers

There are many melancholic Phoebe Bridgers songs, it’s her niche and she does it well. “Demi Moore,” ends on an optimistic note, with the lyrics “I’ve got a good feeling / It doesn’t happen very often,” but the rest of the song is a yearning plea for love and comfort.

Saddest Lyric: “I’ve got a good feeling / It doesn’t happen very often”

“this is me trying” – Taylor Swift

With the pleading hook of “I just wanted you to know that this is me trying,” Swift does an excellent job of encapsulating the feeling of not knowing if your best is good enough for someone else.

Saddest Lyric: “They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential”

“Mind” – Declan McKenna

The semi-ambiguous lyrics and almost-whiny vocals combine for a uniquely sad ballad.

Saddest Lyric: “Why’d you keep changing your mind?”

“Static / Habit” – ADDIE

Another song about feeling like you’re too much for everyone around you, ADDIE sums up the feeling of being isolated from someone you love.

Saddest Lyric: “Am I a bad daughter and a bad friend? / I know that I’m easily replaced”

“Sullen Girl” – Fiona Apple

One of Apple’s more straightforward ballads, she uses the sea as an extended metaphor for a returning and chronic sadness.

Saddest Lyric: “And he took my pearl / And left an empty shell of me”

“Thinning” – Snail Mail

Snail Mail combines optimism and pessimism into one beautiful package in “Thinning,” a song about something just feeling off.

Saddest Lyric: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong / I don’t think there’s anything wrong”


I made a playlist of these songs especially for you, enjoy.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Playlists

ARTHUR Songs That Just Feel Special

I don’t often dwell on blood-drinking. That being said, for about two weeks after hearing my first ARTHUR song, I was thinking, muttering and (poorly) singing: “She drinks my blood and I drink water.” These lyrics, the opening line of “AB”, only hint at the twisted, honest and experimental takes ARTHUR creates within his discography.

ARTHUR, also known as Arthur, Arthur Shea, William Conall Shea or just Con, is not only a man of many names, but a man of many talents. You may know him as a founding member of the Philadelphian indie band, Joy Again, or perhaps from the opening sets he played for (Sandy) Alex G during a recent tour. I don’t claim to know the creative genius behind ARTHUR, but I have spent a decent chunk of the last few years picking through all of his music, and I’d like to think I’m a fairly well-versed ARTHUR consumer.

Listed in order of release date, I present to you a short playlist of my top ten favorite ARTHUR tracks.

Note: For the purpose of this playlist, I only selected songs that were released after ARTHUR’s professional name change from Arthur Shea.

“Scared” – Challenger (2017)

Raised to a high and haunting pitch, ARTHUR grapples with the stranger at the other end of the ringing phone on this track. This alien outsider, one that is perhaps not so unfamiliar to ARTHUR or us, is the ever-present voice that calls for scary things to happen.

“AB” – Challenger (2017)

Back to the blood song. I would fervently argue that this song transcends normal critique and conversation. It will get stuck in your head and make you question every single relationship you’ve had. Frankly put, love can be draining.

“Julie Returns” – Julie Returns (2018)

This song is video game limbo. “Julie Returns” feels like hitting all the buttons on your game controller in a desperate attempt to get out of the room with no door while uncanny and robotic instrumentals urge you into nothingness. “Julie Returns” is an apology or a love letter or an existential contemplation.

“Julie vs. Robot Julie” – Woof Woof (2018)

“I’m so lonely/No-one knows me/The only thing that might help now/Is if I kill myself/But I don’t wanna do that/Cause someone might get mad/I’m so lonely”. These lyrics are a prime example of that ARTHUR-istic honesty I previously mentioned. With the above opening verse preceded by only seconds of a repetitive high-hat, this track quickly launches into its hazy exploration and questions of the duality of selfhood.

“I’m Too Good” – Woof Woof (2018)

The rising instrumentals at the beginning of this song slowly ease into some of ARTHUR’s most raw and eccentric lyrics and vocal inflections. What is one of my most revisited tracks off of “Woof Woof”, “I’m Too Good” is a practice in free association. ARTHUR’s interweaving of egotism with self-deception is novel and captivating. You’ll have a hard time setting this song down for any extended period of time.

“Wow F**K” – Woof Woof (2018)

ARTHUR’s most deceivingly upbeat song, this track is a minute and a half of pure head-bobbing, body-jumping music. While the instrumentals and delivery signal a song of youthful joy, the lyrics describe the uncertainty of recovery, growth and guilt. Just as the title reflects, ARTHUR is the master of juxtaposition on “Wow F**K”.

“I’ve Seen It” – Woof Woof (2018)

Arguably the most sentimental ARTHUR song, the last track on “Woof Woof ” is a soft whisper: self-aware, true, and hopeful. Guided by understated instrumentals, ARTHUR’s knowing and kind voice is on full-display in “I’ve Seen It” and it’s simply beautiful. This song is the gentle smile on the face of a healing person and you will likely find yourself listening to it when you’re in need of a safe place to rest.

“No Tengo” – Hair of the Dog (2020)

This track opens with a short sample from Righeira’s 1983 “No Tengo Dinero” and quickly launches into a fascinating and methodical instrumental composition. ARTHUR, making use of a more mortal voice than usual on this track (though the delivery is certainly still unearthly), sings to “she”. Shy expressions of love and recognition combined with loose promises to be better make for a classic ARTHUR track that’s just as unique and intriguing as the others.

“Fix” – Hair of the Dog (2020)

While a handful of his other tracks touch on it, no other ARTHUR song presents ideations of addiction as explicitly and fully as “Fix”. Pointedly titled, ARTHUR plays both sides of the story on this song. At the beginning, we get a glimpse at one person’s desire for this fix to be stopped, and with a seamless transition after the first few lines, we learn about the other individual’s inability to do so. The song is full, emotional and difficult. It urges self-reflection without ever asking for it.

“Something Sweet” (ft. Caleb Giles) – Hair of the Dog (2020)

The only ARTHUR track with a credited vocal feature, Caleb Giles and ARTHUR come together in an unexpectedly fitting way to create this speculative and eerie song. What I once believed were two dichotomous artists, ARTHUR’s experimental and genre-bending style blends seamlessly with Caleb Giles’ dexterous alternative hip-hop approach. Both bring intriguing and strange lyrical content to the track and you’d be hard pressed to find another song like it.

Click here to listen to the playlist on my Spotify.

Ultimately, ARTHUR is just one of those artists you have to hear for yourself. Enjoy your first listen of each song; I promise it’ll be special. Then enjoy all those repeats.

Here’s to ARTHUR’s unexplained love of dogs,

Silya Bennai

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Conventional and Unconventional Study Music

Over the years, I’ve had a long and somewhat tumultuous relationship with what music I use to study. Sometimes it’s too distracting, sometimes it doesn’t fit the vibe, sometimes it definitely needs lyrics, others, it definitely doesn’t. Here is a comprehensive, somewhat chaotic, journey into what music I use to study.


INSTRUMENTALS

Let’s start with the basics: instrumentals. Two artists I’ve relied heavily on for instrumentals that aren’t just lo-fi or classical music are STRFKR and Louie Zong. STRFKR has an indie-pop feel whereas Louie Zong leans more toward jazz. These two artists are great for if I need to complete a reading, do some writing, or do anything that requires a bit more thinking.

DANCE MUSIC

Now let’s get a little bit more obscure: dance music. Do you have a task to complete that doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking? Dance music is great for this (in my experience). Think Pitbull, LMFAO, Daft Punk, Black Eyed Peas, or anything else that is fast-paced, good-spirited, and makes you feel like you can conquer the world (or an excel spreadsheet). 

VIDEO GAME MUSIC

Okay, now it’s time to address perhaps the most peculiar of the music I’ve used to study: “Mario Kart” music. Now, this certainly wasn’t my idea, I saw it on Tik Tok, but it worked. I’m unsure of whether it was just a placebo effect, or whether it was actually the real deal. However, I did get around forty minutes into the 10 hour loop of “Coconut Mall” on YouTube, and around half an essay written. The fast paced nature of the track and my familiarity with it due to many hours spent playing “Mario Kart” as a child make it perfect for grinding out something I’ve been procrastinating for a while.


I have a study playlist that centers around the more conventional study music if you’re interested in checking that out.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Playlists

Local Coffeeshop Soundtrack: Cup A Joe

This playlist is the third playlist from my “Local Coffeeshop Soundtrack” series. I feel emotional making a playlist inspired by Cup A Joe because it’s the first coffee shop I went to when I moved to Raleigh, NC. Cup A Joe is a coffeehouse and coffee roaster located on Hillsborough Street. They offer coffee, hot beverages, smoothies and sweet treats. They sell their own coffee beans — the slogan on their merch even says “don’t forget your coffee beans”— and they’re also known for supporting local artists. The very first Cup A Joe opened in Greensboro, NC in 1994, and you can tell the Hillsborough one also has an old-school vibe just by looking at its interior design. Brown tiles, retro coffee machine, Elvis Presley photographs and 7” vinyls on the walls: the smallest details inside this place personify the ’50s and ’60s.

The first thing that came to mind when making this playlist was “I need to include at least one song by Elvis Presley to honor the decorations on their wall”, and I did. The second thing that came to mind is that Cup A Joe has both old-school and chill vibes, so the songs need to render exactly those. Here are five tracks that best illustrate this coffee shop, with 50’s blues for the vintage sounds, neo-soul and nu-jazz for the lounge atmosphere, and chill rap to give it a modern touch. You can find the full playlist here.

“Hell N Back” by Bakar

Bakar‘s “Will You Be My Yellow?” is a smooth and groovy EP released in 2019. The British singer, songwriter and model wrote exclusively about relationships on this record — “both thriving and failing” relationships. “Hell N Back” has become a classic alternative jazzy song in my eyes. As poetic and sweet as this track is meant to be, I crack up every time I listen to Bakar sings “She had green eyes like Mountain Dew” — but the poetry in “Me and you went to hell and back just to find peace” balances it out.

“I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James

The rhythm’n’blues queen released “I’d Rather Go Blind” in 1968 after dealing with drug addiction and several abusive romantic relationships. Given her level of fame now, you’d never guess she had a hard time staying at the top of music charts back then because of her personal issues. “I’d Rather Go Blind” is a pretty self-explanatory title: Etta can’t stand to look at her love interest being with another woman. The sad girl/hopeless romantic in me thought including a blues song like this one would fit Cup A Joe’s atmosphere pretty well.

“Eugene” by Arlo Parks

Speaking of songs about unrequited love, “Eugene” is a sweet queer love song (or should I say, unrequited love song) about Arlo “half falling in love” with her straight female childhood friend, who’s in a relationship with — you guessed it — Eugene. Despite its heartbreaking topic, I find this song very soothing. Arlo Parks’ official bio describes her style as “indie-pop”, but I’d personally describe it as a mix of neo-folk and neo-soul. Her album “Collapsed In Sunbeams” was released in 2021 and was critically acclaimed: it was nominated as Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2021 Brit Awards. Even though I don’t believe that awards and prizes define the quality of an artist’s work, she really does deserve all these nominations.

“Ring Master” by Mattari

Mattari is a nu-jazz producer from London, UK. the only description I could find about their work in their Spotify and Bandcamp’s bios is “Chilled Beats – Horns – Grooves” and it sums up their style pretty well. “Ring Master” is a nu-jazz instrumental song released a single in 2020 and it sounds like your typical relaxing coffee shop tune.

“Mi Casa” by Kota The Friend

In addition to being naturally talented, Kota The Friend is also a very prolific rapper. He releases one album per year and saying that each one is good would be an understatement. “Mi Casa” is taken from his 2020 album “EVERYTHING”, a record with touching lyrics and chill vibes. By touching, I mean that the lyrics in this song are all about him celebrating his success, being humble about it and holding on to his inner peace. Very wholesome content for a rap song, if you ask me.

— Lise Nox