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.


If You Like Fiona Apple, Then Listen To…

With the release of “Fetch The Bolt Cutters” in 2020, there are a lot of newer Fiona Apple fans (including me) who were new to Apple’s unique amalgamation of rock and art-pop. I’ve since dove into the deep end of her discography and recently found myself wanting more. So, I decided to make a playlist of Fiona Apple-esque songs. Whether it be artists that inspired her, artists inspired by her or just songs that give me the vibe, I’ve compiled 15 songs (one of which has an Apple feature) that are adjacent in some way to her.

Without further ado, here is the playlist:

“Picture Me Better” – Weyes Blood 

“Skin Crawl” – Alice Phoebe Lou

“Square (Solo Piano Version)” – Mitski

“Frou-frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires” – Cocteau Twins

“Show You a Body” – Haley Heynderickx

“Los Ageless – piano version” – St. Vincent

“Song In My Head” – Madison Cunningham

“The Future” – Spellling

“Miss World” – Hole

“Silent Machine” – Cat Power

“James and the Cold Gun” – Kate Bush

“Left Handed Kisses” – Andrew Bird

“Choice in the Matter” – Aimee Mann

“Look For Me (I’ll Be Around)” – Neko Case

“Sweet Bird” – Joni Mitchell

As always, I’ve made this list into a Spotify playlist for you to enjoy.

Until next time,



Fall Semester Is Imminent: A Playlist

As the first day of fall semester quickly approaches, I feel the anticipation, both full of eagerness and dread, all around me. I know some of my friends can’t wait to go back while others wish we were remaining online. I believe I fall somewhere in between. 

For me, the fact that we’re finally going back to in-person is mostly just nostalgic. Last time I spent an entire semester in person, it was the fall of my freshman year. I was seventeen and friendless going into college. Yet, that first semester brought me some of my best friends to this day, the confidence to change to an English and Film major, and my first experiences with WKNC. 

As a result of the imminent return to classes, I’ve been listening to a lot of music from those first few months of college. Here’s a playlist of those freshman year autumn songs that are getting me through my current mixed-emotions about going back to school:

  • “June On The West Coast” by Bright Eyes
  • “Don’t Be Upset” by Jeffrey Lewis, Jack Lewis
  • “Strawberry” by Paul Baribeau
  • “Satellite” by Elliott Smith
  • “The Moon (Acoustic)” by The Microphones
  • “Wallflower” by Moses Campbell
  • “How Many Blankets Are In The World?” by Saintseneca
  • “June” by Natalie Green
  • “Cecile (Marcus Mamourian)” by Joy Again
  • “Popeyes Bag” by Fox Academy

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to an in-person, non-freshman fall semester,

Silya Bennai


Dark Electronica: The Breakdown

As I have mentioned in many of my previous articles for WKNC, electronic music is by far my favorite genre, or more specifically dark electronica is. Acts like Arca, Boy Harsher and Machine Girl are a few that come to mind.

Below I have compiled a list of my current favorite dark/heavy electronic tracks. Some new, some old but regardless, I hope you enjoy.

  1. Opus3” by dapurr, The Hellp – Opus3 (2018)
  2. Life Is Perfecto” by CFCF – memoryland (2021)
  3. Tears” by Boy Harsher – Careful (2019)
  4. Pursuit” by Gesaffelstein – Aleph (2013)
  5. Out by 16, Dead on the Scene” by Machine Girl – Wlfgrl (2014)
  6. Judgement” by Kensuke Ushio – DEVILMAN crybaby (2018)
  7. Night Hawk” by Kensuke Ushio – DEVILMAN crybaby (2018)
  8. True Mathematics” by Lady Tron – Light & Magic (2002)
  9. Nu Horizons” by Lady Tron – Light & Magic (2002)
  10. Sketch Artist” by Kim Gordon – No Home Record (2019)
  11. Amant Maitresse” by Sexy Sushi – Cyril (2010)
  12. Reverie” by Arca – Arca (2017)
  13. Stealth Mass In F#M” by Apollo 440 – Electro Glide In Blue (1997)
  14. Ruban D’ Alpha” by Sie – Ruban D’ Alpha (1996)
  15. AS Crust” by Amnesia Scanner – AS (2016)
  16. Overcome” by Tricky – Maxinquaye(1995)

Click HERE to listen to my Spotify Playlist!


2000s Film Soundtrack: A Playlist

Certain songs give off a very particular energy, and I’ve decided the energy I like most in a song is the following: songs that sound like they could be in the soundtrack coming of age film via the early 2000s. To indulge myself and to share the wealth, I’ve compiled a playlist of songs released in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s that radiate that vibe. Granted, upon some research a couple of these songs were in films from around that time, but not any that I’ve seen, so it seems like I might just have a good radar for soundtrack songs. 

“You You You You You” – The 6ths

“What Will Give” – The Radio Dept. 

“The Future Pt. 1” – Voxtrot

“You Are My Face” – Wilco

“The Good That Won’t Come Out” – Rilo Kiley

“Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” – Belle and Sebastian

“Another Travelin’ Song” – Bright Eyes

“Across The Universe” – Fiona Apple

“Blue Flower” – Mazzy Star

“The Morning Sad” – Veruca Salt

“I’ll Believe in Anything” – Wolf Parade

“Magic 8 Ball” – Cub

I’ve made a Spotify playlist of this list just for you. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time,



Songs 4 NYC

I’m headed to NYC in a week with three of my closest friends (and Emma’s sister – Hi, Aliza), and I think it’s about time to set the music expectations. Traveling with the WKNC Program Director, Underground MD, and two more heavy music listeners is exciting. The aux will hold a lot of power, perhaps more than the steering wheel, so I seriously doubt we’ll follow the “driver chooses the music” rule. Therefore, there’s a certain level of importance in curating a playlist prior to the drive up. Here’s what we’ve put together so far:

  • “Inner City Life – Radio Edit” by Goldie
  • “D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L” by Panchiko
  • “Live Without Out” by Todd Terry
  • “Tu Dégages” by Sexy Sushi
  • “Another Routine Day Breaks” by Brokeback
  • “#1 CRUSH – Re-mastered 07” by Garbage
  • “Alec Eiffel” by Pixies
  • “Sketch Artist” by Kim Gordon
  • “Do You Be” by Meredith Monk
  • “Into The Death” by Atari Teenage Riot
  • “Reasons To Be Beautiful” by Hole
  • “Superheroes” by Esthero
  • “Xtal” by Aphex Twin
  • “What’s Important” by Beat Happening
  • “Novocaine” by Fog Lake
  • “The Witch” by The Sonics
  • “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” by CSS
  • “Little Deer” by Spellling
  • Find Hihs Password 003 (96 BPM)” by Vegyn
  • “Mordecai’s Bad Sex Dream” by Joy Again
  • “Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks
  • “Ur’0000s” by Slater
  • “That Girl” by Esthero
  • “Alphabet” by Jeffrey Lewis, Jack Lewis, Anders Grieffen
  • “Beauties can die” by M83
  • “September Dark Planet” by ARTHUR
  • “Fucking Hoes Heads Based Freestyle” by Lil B
  • “Greygoose” by Yung Lean
  • “Pulsewidth” by Aphex Twin
  • “I’m In Love With A German Film Star” by The Passions

Click here to listen to our ever-growing collaborative playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to that perfect underground show we absolutely are going to find and attend,

Silya Bennai


Songs I Will NEVER Skip

Putting my Spotify Liked songs on shuffle is one of my favorite things to do on a long car ride. Typically, I have no direction for what I want to listen to but without fail, I skip at least 10 songs before listening to one all the way through. Why? I could not tell you, because I like all of the songs in my Liked list. However, while I follow this pattern most times, there are a select few which I let play every single time.

Here is my comprehensive list of songs (in no particular order) I refuse to ever skip. They are not necessarily my favorite songs but something about them keeps me hooked.

  1. Linger” by The Cranberries – Everybody Else’s Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
  2. Ginseng Strip 2002” by Yung Lean – Lavender (2013)
  3. Meet Me Halfway” by Black Eyed Peas – THE E.N.Dd (THE ENERGY NEVER DIES) (2009)
  4. Black Sheep” by Metric, Brie Larson – Black Sheep (2010)
  5. Lemon Grass” by MF DOOM – Metal Fingers Presents: Special Herbs, The Box Set Vol. 0-9 (2006)
  6. BB” by Shygirl – BB (2019)
  7. That Girl” by Esthero – Breath From Another (1998)
  8. Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste (2014)
  9. All The Things She Said” by t.A.T.u – 200 KM/H In The Wrong Lane (2002)
  10. Pulsewidth” by Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992)
  11. Duvet” by bôa – Twilight (2001)
  12. So Real” by Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
  13. Ceremony” by New Order – Substance (1987)
  14. Laputa” by Panchiko – D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L (2000)
  15. I Kiss Your Lips – Radio Edit” by Tokyo Ghetto Pussy – I Kiss Your Lips (1995)
  16. Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer – Weezer (1994)
  17. KOMM, SUSSER TOD – M-10 Director’s Edit Version” by Arianne – Evangelion Finally (2020)
  18. Yikes” by Nicki Minaj – Yikes (2020)
  19. I’m God” by Lil B – 6 Kiss (2009)
  20. Prototype” by Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
  21. Hi High” by LOONA – [ + + ] (2018)

Click HERE to listen to my Spotify playlist!