Music Recommendations #1: Tracks that students are listening to!

Michael Pickett, Reporter

Music taste. It’s SUPER subjective. You could meet one person who’s into heavy metal right and the person next to them could be listening to K-Pop. Not all music tastes are created equal, but we sure as heck can try to give some of you some recommendations for genres you are possibly into!
This week, instead of a Release Radar, I will be going around asking students a few questions about the albums and tracks they have kept coming back to over and over this month. Hopefully, you find an album or song that catches your eye! So without further ado, here are 4 tracks that students would love for you to give a shot!


ALLOVERTHEPLACE w/ raccoo, by yungmaple

Recommender: Gabriel Masterman, Sophomore.

*Starting off obscure, are we?

You may remember Gabriel’s name from a previous Release Radar, where at the end I invited them to give a song recommendation. I had lots of fun working with them on that interview, so I decided to hit them up for another one!
“What is one album that you have kept coming back to over and over this month?”
“I would say ALLOVERTHEPLACE by this dude named yungmaple over on Soundcloud. Super cool track, but I’m a little biased.”
yungmaple (all lowercase) has been producing on soundcloud for a couple years, with a style known as phonk. Phonk is a sub-genre of hip-hop and trap that blends old Memphis vocals with jazzy, funky samples over a lot of effects.

“What makes this track so unique?”
“Well, I worked on it for starters. Yungmaple was always a huge inspiration for me when it came to making beats, so finally getting to collaborate with him on a project was like a dream come true.”
“What do you think yungmaple brings to the table that others don’t?”

“The sound he makes is super one-of-a-kind. Probably the best phonk producer I’ve ever heard.” That’s a genre of music by the way. Gabe goes on to say that he provides this super unique sound that nobody else brings to the game and that his production is just so mesmerizing and brings you into his own little world.
I gave the track a listen myself and… wow. It certainly is mesmerizing. So much happening at once but my ears LOVE IT. A super unique sound indeed. Give this one a shot!


Illustrations!, by Autumn!

Recommender: Nathaniel Diggs, Sophomore

*Going strong with the obscure recommendations!

I’ve hung out with Nathaniel Diggs (whom I will refer to as Nate for the sake of convenience) on a variety of occasions, but never got to know what kind of music he listens to. What could it be? Old hip hop? T.V static? Microwave humming? I had no clue! So I decided to pull him in for an interview.
“What’s a track or album you haven’t been able to put down?”
“Uh, probably… Illustrations! by Autumn!”
(Yes, he did exclaim those two words. Quite loud actually.) This track seems to be of the trap-genre.

“Why this track? What has you coming back to it?”
“I don’t know…” Nate pauses for a second. “I just kind of like what it has going on. It’s chill, I like that.”

“What does the artist bring to the table that others don’t?”
“I’m… going to be kind of honest, there are probably, like, hundreds of artists who sound like this, I just like this track a lot ‘cuz it sounds very wavy. Also some of the lyrics are funny.”
These “funny” lyrics are actually quite… questionable. I am unable to discuss them actually because they are kind of vulgar. Other than that, the song is kind of… mediocre? I get a strong sense of not-trying-hard-enough, but it is somewhat vibey, and I do see appeal. If you like lots of autotune over simple but cool beats, you may enjoy this!


Friends In Low Places, by Worthikids

Recommender: Isabel Pickett, Sophomore

*ANOTHER OBSCURE TRACK?!? Dang! People are really flexing their deep music taste!

For this interview, I chose my sister. This may seem a bit unfair, but I rarely connect with her on a musical level. I know little-to-nothing about the music she currently jams, and I think I’ve only ever heard her play a song once. I pulled her aside for the interview without warning, to get the best possible response, no planned responses.
“What is that one single or album that you’ve had on repeat all month?”
“I would say… um… Low Places, by Worthikids.”
Worthikids is not only a musician, but also a highly talented animator on Youtube. This single in particular has a very garage-punky vibe to it. Music aside, you should check out their channel to see all the sick stuff they animate!

“Why this song out of… well… any song ever?”
“I really like the sound of it. It’s kind of, like, rough around the edges? But that’s really the whole aesthetic of the song. It’s gritty and harsh, but still really good!”

“What does this artist bring to the table that others don’t?”
“Like I said, that really grimy sound. A lot of other bands and people do it, but I just think they do it really well!”
I gave this song a good listen. Then another one, and another, and OH MY GOD THIS SONG ROCKS! Isabel really described this song well, it’s super harsh and punky, but has some really good melodies and catchy lyrics. Out of all the songs so far, I highly recommend this one if you are into rock.


25 or 6 to 4, by Chicago

Recommender: Michael Pickett, Sophomore… Hey wait, that’s me!

*Wait a second, this is cheating! How can you recommend your own music?

I’ll tell you why, because it’s my article! I’m messing with you, the real reason I saved the last spot for is because I felt like the article just being all interviews with the quotes basically carrying the entire article would make for a shorter, less in-depth article.
This song is 25 or 6 to 4, by the band Chicago. It goes into a more classic-rock direction, but what makes it so unique is the choice of instrument here; the Trumpet. While some rock songs may use it to compliment the already existing instruments, this song uses it as a main staple, almost as much as they use the GUITAR. The way to incorporate it into the song so WELL is unlike any rock band I’ve heard before. This is what makes this band so unique, their use of that good ol’ trumpet. It sounds bad on paper, using this dinky little piece of metal alongside the guitar, which is the prime instrument in rock music, but it works SO WELL. I highly recommend this track if you are a rock fan looking for something a little more unique.




I wasn’t able to get an interview from everyone, so on my Instagram I had students send music to me. Here were a couple of the gems I found from this:
Ageispolis – Aphex Twin: A nice electronic track with very catchy synth coords.
BANKROLL (feat. A$AP Rocky & A$AP Ferg) – BROCKHAMPTON: A killer trap song that carries a wonderful energy with it. Also the instrumentation is wonderful.
Red Fred – Insane Clown Posse: A hip-hop track that’s repetitive, but in a good way! Kind of tongue-and-cheek. Definitely not for everyone, though, as it isn’t anything traditional.
Solid (feat. SoFaygo) – Lil Yachty: Synth heavy trap song, bordering on hyper-pop almost. Lil Yachty and SoFaygo both hit hard on this song. The beat is killer too.
Bullet with Your Name – Dj Akoza: A weird blend of old Memphis rap and trap. It works really well, though. The beat is super duper insane, and the samples here do not disappoint.


Closing off here, it seems like my observations that the music taste would vary a lot was definitely confirmed. Rap seems to be the most common, but that wasn’t too surprising, as rap has seen a dramatic increase in popularity among younger generations. If I could interview more people, I think I would want to find a greater variety of people, maybe people I don’t even know, because I kind of played it safe with some of the interviews here.

Regardless of people chosen or genres listed, I hope you found a diamond in the rough here, because I certainly found many.