Playlist: bops & moods

Words by Maria McGinnis

Narrowing my vast music library down to one playlist I wanted to share with The Burr’s audience was really hard. Musically, I dip my toes in everything but country (we will make an exception for Dolly Parton obviously, because she is an icon even if she didn’t make my playlist), so condensing that to 20 or so songs I felt hit the mark was really crazy to conceptualize. But I did it.

These are all songs that mean something to me in some way. Maybe they are tied to a memory or a person or just a generally good feeling and that is why they made the list. 

“YEAH RIGHT” by Joji

Remember when George Miller went by the aliases Filthy Frank and Pink Guy and made raunchy comedy music? Well, now he is Joji, and this is completely different, and I love it. It’s moody, but it gives you this soft, chill vibe that fits the atmosphere of a party or just you vibing in your room alone. 

“Just a Girl” by No Doubt

An iconic female-fronted group. This song just feels so accurate to society today, and it empowers me in a way. It is literally about being a female and being tired of the way the gender is continuously viewed as being meek. It’s 2020 and we’re over that. 

“Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morrissette

“Jagged Little Pill” is such a killer album, and Alanis Morrissette is really one of the big female faces for the ‘90s grunge era. My mom introduced me to her as a kid, and I remember thinking she was so awesome for being on stage and playing guitar while she sang her heart out. 

“Hold it Now, Hit it” by Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys are one of my favorite old school rap groups. My mom is from New England, and we would visit family up there all the time, and the Beastie Boys just have that signature, nasally New England tone I really love. 

“Killing in The Name” by Rage Against the Machine

If this song doesn’t get you fired up, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s about the revolution against institutional racism and police brutality, specifically in the United States. With the heavy guitar riffs and the politically charged message, it is so punk rock, and it is actually the song that made Rage Against the Machine more popular in the United Kingdom due to being played on the radio so much, which is pretty awesome too.  

“Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard

This song brings back so many emo vibes and Warped Tour memories. It reminds me of hanging out with my friends in the summer and screaming the lyrics at the tops of our lungs. “Ocean Avenue” is so iconic. I remember seeing Yellowcard at Warped Tour, and they had someone on stage playing the violin section. I mean come on, it doesn’t get much cooler than that. I wish Yellowcard never broke up, but it’s okay. 

“Bitch” by Meredith Brooks

I really love this song. I feel like it is relatable and honest, and sometimes, that is lacking in popular music. It is reminiscent of Alanis Morrissette’s style at that time in the mid to late ‘90s and is often confused as being her song, but regardless, they are both crazy talented women.

“It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” by Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz? So cool. I used to jam to “American Woman” as a kid, but I love this song in particular. It has a really signature beat and is such a soft jam. I can easily play it anytime and be happy to hear it. 

“Strange Magic” by Electric Light Orchestra

My dad showed this song to me as a kid. It is one of his favorites and mine too. I can remember riding in his car and singing along as loud as we could. It has such a whimsical sound, most of ELO’s songs do, but it can transcend you if you let it. 

“Banana Peel” by Olivver the Kid

I stumbled across this song on Instagram and totally fell in love with the entire album. It kind of slows everything down and makes you think and feel, which I think is something I often avoid. But when this song plays, there is really no choice. The whole “Ego Surfin” album is fantastic.

“Why?” by Cane Hill

I think the first time I saw Cane Hill live was at Warped Tour with my friends in 2017. Since then, we have seen them three times. The last time we saw them in 2019, I actually got a concussion in the pit, which really sucked, but now it is just a ridiculous memory we all share together. Cane Hill has a really unique sound that tends to change on every album, and it is exciting to see what they are going to do next. 

“Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music” 

Anyone that knows me knows I absolutely love musical theatre. I have a lot of favorites, “The Sound of Music” being one of them. I was actually named after Julie Andrews’ character, Maria, which is so cool. Thanks, Mom and Dad. 

“Self Care” by Mac Miller

I have loved Mac Miller since I was in sixth grade, so when he died in 2018, it was honestly heartbreaking. It was hard choosing one song of his to feature, but I chose “Self Care,” because the “Swimming” album was such a pinnacle point in his career, and he had so much more to create. His posthumous album, “Circles,” is really good too. It is unfortunate he is not here to experience fans still enjoying his music, but I am glad his estate knows how important it is to share the art he hoped to get out there. 

“Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child

I talk about iconic moments from the 2000s all the time, so I had to feature a song from one of my favorite groups from the era. “Bills, Bills, Bills” was actually released in 1999, but it is close enough to 2000, and it is one of my favorite Destiny’s Child songs, so I had to make the stretch and include it. Remember when The Warblers sang this on Glee? Loved it. 

“Lime St.” by Neck Deep

I have seen Neck Deep in concert a ton of times. They are one of my favorite bands from the pop-punk genre. They are slowly starting to become a little more mainstream, which makes me sad because it feels like when that happens, the quality of the music starts to deplete (Panic! At the Disco, Twenty One Pilots), but I will keep holding out for them, because they bring back so many good memories with friends. 

“Soul Kitchen” by The Doors

Jim Morrison was such a gem. I could go on forever about The Doors. Their sound is so unique, their music is basically poetry and they all just looked so cool when they performed. They have been one of my favorite bands for a long time. 

“Gravy for Pope” by Yung Gravy

Yung Gravy is so ridiculous, but it is that fun, dumb music that you can bump to with your friends. I have seen him in concert once, and it was pretty cool. He is just making fun music for you to sing along to with your friends and as far as rap goes, his sound and samples are undeniably unique.

“NASA” by Ariana Grande

Ari is an icon. I was never too into her music until recently when she started to step away from the manufactured pop star facade and actually started writing and performing the music she wants to. I am a huge fan now, and this song is such a bop. 

“Soul to Squeeze” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

I know the Red Hot Chili Peppers often just sing about California, but I have been a huge fan pretty much my whole life. My first album I ever received as a birthday gift when I was a kid was the Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magick” album. My family was trying to get me in tune with good music at a young age, and I think it worked pretty well. 

“Love on the Weekend” by John Mayer 

You can never go wrong with John Mayer. He just gives you easy listening. This song reminds me of the way it feels when you are driving down a long, open back road in the summer with the windows down, wind tossing your hair and the music turned up loud. 

“Doin’ Time” by Sublime 

My dad loves reggae and plays it all the time. I enjoy it too, and this is kind of a nod to that. Sublime is not the most genuine reggae, they basically just feature the undertones of the genre, but I still love this song. 

Playlist: Hazy halogen heaven

Words by Sarah Riedlinger

If you could liquify and drink halogen lightbulbs, what would that drink taste like? I’m not entirely sure, but I imagine it to be something like the way these songs sound.

The first song on this playlist, “Guts” by Augustine, is most enjoyable when you reach the first intangible chorus. You may not be able to understand anything being said, but it’s always fun to sing along by making random noises in falsetto. If you look up the lyrics, the wordsmithing is actually really pretty, but it’s more enchanting to not focus on the words and just enjoy the slur of sounds.

As you continue to listen, you will come across “Float On” by Modest Mouse, which is an oldie-but-goodie and definitely one of my all-time favorite songs. The playlist art comes from this album, and the music video is nostalgically low-resolution and mildly disturbing, so of course I urge you to watch. A win for yet another song with slightly incomprehensible lyrics about the inevitability of death.

The playlist ends on a high note and an empty cavity in your chest with “Ribs” by Lorde, which will leave you a special kind of sad, yet exhilarated about nothing in particular. Lorde is only 23, the same age as most of us, and both of her album releases have felt like she was speaking directly to the transitions happening in our generation at the time.

Playlist: Teen Angst Tunes

Words by Augusta Battoclette / Cover Art by Sarah Riedlinger

“Canyon Moon” by Harry Styles

To start off a playlist with all my current favorite tunes, I included the best song off Harry Styles’ sophomore album. While others might opt to keep “Cherry” or “She” on repeat, my choice of poison is “Canyon Moon” because of its unique folk sound. None of the other songs on “Fine Line” have this same sound, which makes it stand out to me.

“SUGAR” by BROCKHAMPTON

If I am being completely honest, despite being fully aware of BROCKHAMPTON before hearing this song, the first time I heard this song was on TikTok. Featuring Ryan Beatty’s vocals, this song is the perfect thing to play when you are trying to lull yourself to sleep. Or you can listen to it on TikTok as you mindlessly scroll through videos for hours upon hours.

 “Fire, Ready, Aim” by Green Day

At first listen, this song might seem to be about the band’s political stances, but, while that may play a part, it is actually about the NHL. As funny as it sounds, Green Day recently entered into a partnership with the NHL and “Fire, Ready, Aim” is the opening theme song for NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey. Basically, this song combines my love for Green Day and hockey into one fiercely poetic jam.

“Dennis” by Roy Blair

This song is the perfect song for college students because Roy is struggling with maintaining relationships while coping with depression as his life is rapidly changing. He worries the person he is talking to will not stay long enough for him to get out of his depressive state. I love this song because it has a deep message hidden behind a pop-dance track.

“Coffee Talk” by Broadside

Taking it back to 2015 with this rock anthem, “Coffee Talk” is sort of the polar opposite of “Dennis.” With the crooning rock vocals of singer Oliver Baxxter, this song reflects on the best parts of relationships—“Lately, all I wanna do / Is lie around with you / And complain about the youth / How we’ll never leave your room /Tell me everything that bothers you.”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” can be interpreted in many different ways, but I like to think of this song as a reminder that people grow apart and relationships change. While our careers and ambitions pull us away from the ones we love, we must either adapt to the change or fight back and write our own future.

“In Repeat” by Wanderwild

Wanderwild is a small indie rock band from Georgia that is carving out a new sound for themselves. “In Repeat” is the exact kind of song I imagine playing in an ‘80s coming-of-age film, and the guitar riffs make me want to jump on my bed like when I was a rowdy kid who did not want to go to sleep.

“Liability” by Lorde

This song is a soothing lullaby, perfect for playing at bedtime. It is no secret that Lorde is an amazing singer-songwriter, but this song really proved that “Melodrama,” could hold its own against her debut album, “Pure Heroine,” which was arguably one of the biggest generation-defining works of art.

“Dance, Baby!” by boy pablo

This song is about being lonely, and nothing in it is more telling than the line “Faking a smile now / Been here for a while now” which, if you listen closely, is a play on the part from Colbie Caillet’s “Bubbly”: ‘It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose / Wherever it goes I always know / That you make me smile, please, stay for a while now.’

“I Wish” by Hayley Kiyoko

I will be the first to admit that I loved Hayley Kiyoko since she was in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Lemonade Mouth,” but in the last couple of years, she has shown that she can also take over the music industry. Her latest album release, “I’m Too Sensitive For This Sh*t,” proves just that, and “I Wish” is the standout song in my eyes.

“Ain’t Together” by King Princess

Mikaela Straus, stage name King Princess, is no stranger to hit songs, as “1950” was played on the radio every day for weeks on end last summer. “Ain’t Together” is perfect for every situation. Straus says it herself, describing the song as “cute and sad, perfect for any occasion. Wedding, funeral, corporate function, lesbian séance.” Catch her opening for Harry Styles on the European leg of his world tour this summer (finally!).

“Hot Rod” by Dayglow

Dayglow is the product of 20-year-old Sloan Struble and, while Dayglow literally does not have a bad song, “Hot Rod” is by far my favorite. It is the perfect groovy indie song and radiates happiness, making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. That being said, it is very fitting that the album’s name is “Fuzzybrain.”

“Something For Your M.I.N.D” by Superorganism

Superorganism is a chill electronic DIY group, and this song is a trippy mashup of many different sounds. It is a fizzy and refreshingly futuristic take on electronic music. If this song is not your new favorite song now, I must be doing something wrong.

“Anarchist – Unplugged” by YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD is known for his intense, head-thrashing songs, but the unplugged versions offer a special look into the lyrics and the meaning behind the beat. Especially with the song “Anarchist,” the unplugged version gives you a look at how dangerous drug addiction is and how it makes you undeniably delirious. 

“play the part” by ROLE MODEL

This song talks about fake friends and not knowing whether people’s intentions toward you are good. Brooding singer-songwriter Tucker Pillsbury is a unique gem in the music industry, and his newest project “oh, how perfect” will inspire you to become the most honest version of yourself possible.