Category: Music

Becoming Fearless with Taylor Swift

When I was about eight years old, my mother decided it was time for my sister and me to enter the world of pop music. Raised on old show tune CDs and Dido albums from the 90s, Taylor Swift’s “Fearless,” which had been released the year before, was an unabashed exercise in acoustic guitar and… Read more »

Shoegaze

“You made me acknowledge the devil in me/I hope to God I’m talking metaphorically/Hope that I’m talking allegorically” — “A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins Shoegaze is a genre of indie/alternative rock that originated from a few people playing with guitar pedals, vocal effects, intense amp feedback, and holding a constant, trained focus downward… Read more »

Top Shop Tyrants

“God save the queen/the fascist regime/they made you a moron/potential h-bomb” In the year 1977, Johnny Rotten’s vocals struck hard, fast, and right at the throat of the English monarchy. Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, released in 1977, is an unforgiving and violently crude middle finger to the plight of the United… Read more »

Folk Yeah!

Swift’s cozy new album folklore is a confident and understated departure from her usual style. I had no idea Taylor Swift was releasing a new album. As it turns out, neither did the rest of the world.  Following a surprise Instagram post, folklore entered the world on July 24th, just shy of a year after… Read more »

Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Shows Love, Patience, and Pain

As I pull on my new, noise-cancelling headphones, my friend skips over and tells me to stop whatever I’m playing on Spotify. “Play ‘thank u, next!’” she exclaims, despite the doubtful look written across my face. Nevertheless, I hit play and watch her interpretive dance to the catchy tunes and thrilling lyrics. On Ariana Grande’s… Read more »

High, Famous, and Broken: The Impact of Drugs on American Music

It is no mystery that the music industry dominates popular culture. This is not a new concept- music defines and influences whole decades and eras. Music speaks to emotions we couldn’t otherwise decipher, and triggers particular memories and sentiments; it becomes a conduit for nostalgia. While nostalgia can provoke many good sentiments, it also becomes… Read more »

The Young, Gifted, and Dead: What Happens When an Artist Dies Prematurely?

Two days after twenty-year-old Floridian rapper XXXTentacion was shot in Miami during a robbery, his final music video was released. “SAD!”, slickly produced and full of rather obvious symbolism, opens on a pair of eyes, and then with X himself strolling down the aisle of a church. As he approaches an open casket at the… Read more »

Brockhampton and Kevin Abstract Address Homophobia in Rap Head-On

In December 2017, YFN Lucci dropped “Boss Life” featuring Offset, a member of the Atlanta-based rap trio known as Migos. Many fans criticized Offset’s verse for being inappropriate, referring to one particular line: “Pinky ring crystal clear, 40k spent on a private Lear / 60k solitaire / I cannot vibe with queers,” he raps. In… Read more »

What Taylor Swift Got Wrong This Time

To say that Taylor Swift’s image has changed over the course of her career would be an understatement. Since her first album came out in 2006 she has grown up, and her brand has documented her growth. Along the way, she’s dealt with a series of public criticisms and feuds, most recently with Kanye West,… Read more »

Youth in Khalid’s Debut Album

Khalid Robinson, a singer-songwriter known by his stage name “Khalid,” recently released his first album, American Teen. Khalid started producing music at age seventeen, working on his chart-topping single during his high school’s spring break. The single, “Location,” is characterized by a clean beat with at times a lo-fi-like quality to it. This sound is… Read more »