A song I’ve been listening for the past week is folk artist Phil Och’s “Here’s To The State of Mississippi,” a protest song written and performed during the Civil Rights Movement. Ochs had always been more radical than Dylan, Seeger, and his other folk-art contemporaries and was often left in their shadows because of it.
Where Dylan would have written a song out of a request for love or understanding, like “The Times Are A-Changin’,” Ochs wrote a song out of pure anger and condemnation, singing straightly “Mississippi, find yourself another country to be part of.”
Ochs had always been a person who spoke directly, often shedding no pretense to be above the politics of his age. For this and a few other reasons, he’s not as remembered today as many of his contemporaries. But of them, he provides the most radical and informative insight into the politics of his time.
– Nilly Kumar
A common debate in the rock music world is whether The Beatles or The Rolling Stones are a superior band. The time that this debate bothered me most in my musical life was my senior year in high school, where one day in class, I stated The Beatles were overrated (I will never undermine their influence, but in terms of sound – quite boring) and the whole bandwagoning class unleashed on me for that comment. Unfortunately, everyone there spent their days listening to pop and rap hits, while I occupied my time diving into deep classic rock catalogs, so I didn’t give much validity to their arguments. I will always stand behind the fact that The Rolling Stones are the superior band, but it hasn’t been until fairly recently that I’ve taken this stance.
For the past month, my top artist has been the Stones. The rock legends have a massive catalog that I have yet to soak up, but of the songs I’m familiar with, I am in love with “Gimme Shelter,” “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Start Me Up,” “Street Fighting Man,” and “Shattered,” among others. The first two on this list remind me of good times driving through the Chicagoland cranking ‘The Loop,’ the iconic radio station for 40+ years that was sadly taken off the air last year. Since really diving into the Stones’ catalog, I have developed a fascination for their riffs and songwriting that I didn’t previously have. Each song of theirs has a totally different feel, from the gritty, old-school rock anthem “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” to the near-perfect, mellow acoustic ballad “Wild Horses.”
Apart from the Stones, I have been on a big band jazz swing (no pun intended), listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, because who doesn’t feel classy listening to those classics?
– Ben Tschetter
I’ve been following the sister-duo Lily and Madeleine for a few years now and they never cease to amaze me. When I first heard of them way back in 2013, their self-titled album was something that could immediately soothe me, since it’s so easy to listen to. My favorite song off of the self-titled record has to be “Paradise.” The beautiful harmonies of the sisters, the slow acoustic guitar strumming and the quiet piano chords make this extremely simple song, timeless. They followed this album with two more, “Fumes” in 2014 and “Keep it Together” in 2016.
Fast forward to just this past month, and the two are back with more music, a single called “Self Care.” This song still gives what audiences are so familiar with hearing; perfectly in sync voices, blending together, complimenting each note. Again, this song is so simple, yet they know how to create a piece of art with just a few instruments and powerful lyrics. I’m really hoping that this means there’s another album on the way.
– Maddie Dolinsky
I am one of those people who like to make a new playlist and then listen to it on repeat until I almost can’t stand it anymore, then repeat the process over and over. This week I created a new playlist based off of Discover Weekly findings on Spotify as well as random recommendations from my friends. One of my favorite songs on my new playlist is “Lost in Your Love” by Colyer. This song is the right mix of a slow tempo to start out that builds up to a groovy beat that you can jam out to. It’s a great song to listen to especially with finals and exam preparation because it helps me relax and escape all the stress, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
This week I also discovered the artist Noname. I had never listened to her music until I went to a buzz meeting and everyone was raving about her new album, so I decided to go home and check it out. The song I have been listening to this week by Noname is called “Self.” I love how her songs are rap but also have a vibe to them that is easy on the ears. This is definitely one of my playlists I am going to keep coming back to time and time again.
– Isabella Sohn