There are songs that make you feel sad all over, before, after and while its playing. Then there are songs that pour out just a cup, enough to quench the listeners thirst while sipping the emotion from an objective standpoint. Julien Baker has mastered this sensation of doling out sadness in just a taste instead of drowning her audience in lakes they’ve never before visited. “Go Home” is just-enough-sadness for me to listen to while going about my day, enough to appreciate the emotion without sinking into it. The song ends with a mystery mashup of a radio preacher and a piano playing an old church hymn, “In Christ Alone,” which Baker says the recording picked up accidentally. I remember singing the same song in church growing up and find this to be the perfect ending to her album “Sprained Ankle,” where feeling isn’t overdramatic or excessive, but necessary. – Jess Peterson

I don’t know how I missed this gem, but I did and I have spent the whole week making up for lost time. Mitski’s voice is raw and unadulterated, along the grittiness of the song and the shriek of the guitar make this song the perfect way to kick off the new semester. – Elani Kaufman

As usual, this winter break was a cold one in Chicago. With subzero temperatures, inch after inch of snow, and a depressing lack of sunlight, I really needed something to cheer me up over the course of the four weeks. And what better to do it than to listen to Anderson Paak’s masterpiece “Malibu.” The album just oozes warm weather fun, sending listeners directly onto one of the world’s most famous beaches in Southern California. It does have the side effect of making you question why you live in the gloomy midwest, though, so be aware. – Michael Semaca

For the longest time I was feeling out of the loop in terms of what was new and good in hip-hop and soul. But after finally jumping into new releases from artists like Kaytranda, Anderson .Paak, and Noname, I feel as though a new door has opened for me. My go-to right now for getting my groove on is GoldLink. I’ve loved everything I’ve heard from him so far, but “Fall In Love” is by far my current favorite.– Jack Kelly

One of my favorite bands ever is Tame Impala. As soon as I had heard the first note of their music, I knew that they were something special. Their recordings are so dense, harmonized, and rich with textural and sonorous details in the mix, that the more you listen to them, you will hear something that you have never heard before. It’s this trait that keeps me coming back, but the lyrical content must also be praised. The themes of isolation, loneliness, and melancholy are very relatable and profound. The song, “Apocalypse Dreams” from the excellent “Lonerism” is helping me get through this unique period in American history (even if the song was written by an Australian). “Everything is changing, and there’s nothing I can do. My world is turning pages, while I am just sitting here.” Sounds about right to me. – Nick Arger

About The Author

Elani Kaufman

Hey, its Elani, a former buzz Editor. I'm a fan of movies, music, and memes, and enjoy writing about all three. ekaufmn2@readbuzz.com

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