What We're Listening To This Week 1/26/19

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“hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it” - Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey takes us all back to years of cutting up t-shirts and buying flower crowns we’d never wear with her new single “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it.” The seemingly endless title suits the 5 minute, 24 second song that brings back memories of crying in my room over nothing as my Born to Die record played on loop (yes I had the vinyl, find it in your heart to forgive me and move on). The songwriting of Del Rey’s newest single reverts back to the sound of loss and sadness heard on her older albums, as opposed to the decidedly happier tone of her most recent LP, Lust for Life. The brilliance of the lyrics and production of the song is in part due to Jack Antonoff, the lead singer of Bleachers and former lead guitarist of Fun.. Del Rey has been working with him on her upcoming album and, while they have not yet been released, the two gave a live performance of her two new “country” songs “Hey Baby Blue” and “I Must Be Stupid For Being So Happy.” Antonoff‘s name can also be found in the credits of albums by Taylor Swift, Lorde, Sia, Carly Rae Jepsen and many more. As a long time admirer of both Antonoff’s and Del Rey’s work, I am excited to hear the end product of their collaboration when the full album is released. ~Meredith Fuentes

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That Classical Podcast

On That Classical Podcast, hosts Kelly and Chris combine their charming British humor and vast musical knowledge to explore the fascinating world of classical music. From Beethoven to Brahms to choral music to ballet, each episode highlights certain composers, or a specific musical genre. Though it's clear that the hosts are music experts, they explain the history and power of the pieces on the show in a way that anyone, musically inclined or not, can understand and learn from. At the same time, classical music enthusiasts will enjoy the insight and comparisons made between composers and styles. The podcast is chock full of pop culture references, crazy facts about composers' personal lives, and truly incredible music. You'll learn a lot, and laugh, too. ~Elizabeth Vogt

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“Waving Through A Window” - Dear Evan Hansen

I don’t claim to be a musical theater expert, but every so often, I discover a song that really resonates with me and becomes my new obsession. “Waving Through A Window” from the Tony Award-winning smash Dear Evan Hansen is one of those songs. Although the musical has been out for about a year and half now, I only discovered this song when Katy Perry (my queen) released a cover version of it back in November. I liked her version, but it wasn’t until I listened to the original that I absolutely fell in love with the song. I relate to all the sentiments expressed in the song on such a personal level that I’m convinced that the lyricist is somehow able to see into my soul. Touching on themes of anxiety, isolation, and wanting to surpass the expectations of others, this song is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt on the margins, especially during high school. And, when combined with a powerful symphonic arrangement, incredibly strong vocals, a crescendo that develops throughout the song, and a key change at the end, the finished product will leave listeners stunned. I wish I had known about this song when I was struggling with the same emotions back in high school, but it is my hope that it can provide comfort to anyone who needs it, and that it will serve as a reminder that you never have to suffer in silence. ~Chris Donohue

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Big Bootie Mixes - Two Friends

As their concert this past Friday approached, Two Friends was all that was playing on my phone. The two individuals that make up the group are newcomers so to speak, having only released EP's and remixes of current songs. But damn, are they good. The group is best known for their Big Bootie Mixes which have been gaining popularity over the past couple of years. While these hour-long mixes consist primarily of EDM, they are exciting to listen to no matter what genre of music you typically enjoy. Whether you are working out or studying, the Big Bootie Mixes, found on Soundcloud, are perfect to listen to. ~Ryan Coleman

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“Ya Hey” - Vampire Weekend

In preparation for Vampire Weekend’s single release this week, I had their three albums on repeat. “Ya Hey” from the band’s third album, Modern Vampires of the City, has always stood out to me as one of their most underrated songs. I first heard the song in my high school friend’s bedroom and the moment has remained one of my most distinct memories from those four years. The longest song on the album, “Ya Hey” may also be its most haunting. Ezra Koenig’s vocals sound so distant that almost every word is accompanied by an echo. The many religious allusions and direct references to God throughout the song highlight the band’s complex writing style. The repetition of “Ya hey” (a homophone of the Jewish God, “Yahweh”) and “ut Deo” (which translates to “to God” in Latin) make the alt track sound exactly like a hymn, and I’ve been praising it all week. ~Montserrat Vazquez-Posada

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“The Weekend” - Frank Ocean

Ever since Frank Ocean made his Instagram public in November, the internet has been changed for the better.  His page is full of intimate glances into his life and creative mind, with an abundance of selfies and clips from studio sessions.  On Thursday, he released a teaser snippet of his version of “The Weekend” by SZA to his Instagram story, which can be heard here.  Even this brief clip was enough to showcase Ocean’s vocal abilities and originality in his interpretations of music.  Whether this means a future collaboration between the pair, new music from Ocean, or that a full cover will eventually be released, this 15 second clip was enough to make me excited for the future of Ocean’s music career. ~Grace Lemon

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The Director’s Cut - Fantomas

Movies are on all our minds now that the Oscars are coming up, and every cinephile out there (or anyone who appreciates a good film, really) knows that a kick-ass soundtrack is critical. In 2001, metal supergroup Fantomas, led by Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, paid tribute to the movie soundtrack with The Director's Cut: a ripping, roaring, riveting collection of cover versions of music from horror and thriller films and TV series. The band brilliantly showcase their musical artistry and versatility on every track; The Director's Cut possesses a combination of diverse musical styles so unexpected that you'll find yourself going right back to the beginning when you're done. Patton scats ferociously over blaring thrash-metal in The Godfather and croons in a soaring falsetto in the lounge jazz-like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With MeThe Omen (Ave Satan) is an unbridled descent into terror, complete with an eerie choir, while Vendetta is reminiscent of Latin dance music, but with techno keyboards thrown in. This underrated gem might be nearly 20 years old, but its boldness and bizarreness remains unmatched to this day. ~Sofia Bening

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Somersault - Beach Fossil

Beach Fossil’s 2017 album, Somersault, helps bring some sunshine to the cold walks to class in late January. Slightly dreamy, this album can definitely fit any mood, from dim to upbeat. The melodies are easygoing soundscapes that don’t feel extra refined or altered in the studio, and after listening for a little while, you’ll likely find yourself humming them. Members Dustin Payseur, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson collaborated with artists including rapper Cities Aviv for a bit in the song “Rise” and Slowdive’s Rachel Gloswell in “Tangerine.” Some of my favorites on the album are “May 1st” and “Sugar.” The album’s mellowness and cohesion distinguish it from Beach Fossils’s other albums, making it a solid collection of works that successfully work together.  ~Sarah Rosenblum

MusicSteven Norwalk