April Showers on Hoover Tower: your week five playlist

rainy day

So much for a “dry” weekend, am I right? Now that you’re done lying to pro-fros about how happy you are and being over-saturated with a cappella performances, you can finally return to the Stanford experience, like lying to yourself about how happy you are and being over-saturated with a cappella performances.

BANKS — “Goddess” — as described by alejandra salazar

I’ve already reviewed a Banks song for the Arts Review, but I’d be damned if I let this one slip away. Behold: “Goddess”, the newest Banks single off of her upcoming full-length album, aptly also titled “Goddess”. This woman is constantly releasing near-flawless singles tinged with the right amount of moodiness, angst and bass—“Goddess”, however, is a new step for Banks. This single is so much more confident and independent, lyrically and melodically speaking, than anything she’s released so far. Take when she sings the lines, “You should have crowned her/because she’s a goddess/you never got this”: you can hear an underlying indignation, assertiveness and righteous anger in her voice that’s just absolutely stunning. Couple this with her signature grade-A sound production to drive the whole thing home? It’s Banks at her most chilling and her most powerful, and you won’t be able to stop listening.


SLOW CLUB — “Never Look Back” — as described by jackson wiley roach

This is a really good all-around desperate longing folk/rock duo song, but the real reason you should listen to it is the guitar tone that comes in at 2:40, the one that sounds like a giant mythical/industrial machine chugging and clanging away in an enormous underground cavern, forging something massive that bubbles and sparks and sizzles and glows red hot. Oh man. I shiver at the texture. And at 3:10, it transforms into a shimmering fluid dragon of feathers and scales and light swimming/dancing/slithering through the air, dragging its claws along the autoharps and dulcimers that line the walls. I’m being a little bit hyperbolic, but sounds like that really give me goosebumps.


SALT-N-PEPA— “None of Your Business” — as described by clara galperin

So many reasons why this song deserves to be here. First off, the video is golden. Secondly, its from 1993, and we all know that both the visual and auditory aesthetics of that period are subpar. It also has the same level of quotability as Mean Girls does. Thats some serious quoting potential we’re talking about here. Additionally, its quite the feminist anthem, so all you STATIC folk are gonna be crazy for this one. And finally, Biggie chilled with Salt N’ Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine. If it’s good enough for Biggie, it’s good enough for me.


ARCADE FIRE — “The Suburbs + The Suburbs Continued” — as described by eugenia puglisi

Disclaimer: I will be that obnoxious person who has to talk about Coachella.

I don’t think I fully understood what this song was about until I saw Arcade Fire perform it. I was standing in the very back, against the fenced speaker area, and sweat was streaming down Edwin Butler’s face on the big stage screen, as pants into the microphone: “This song is about growing up in the suburbs of Houston, its about remembering the feeling of standing barefoot in the wet grass.” As the guitar tentatively rose, I saw the tough kids on the hot cement, the crumbling buildings, and the boredom of my childhood I knew so well.

Against an undulation of strings it blended into a slow continuation: If I could have it back, all of the time that we wasted, I’d only waste it again, and again and again. In that moment, I finally figured out what he meant, how it felt to be fifteen and in love in an empty town, throwing the hours away in a beat up minivan. So if you’ve heard it before, take an extra listen: It is entirely deserving of it.


HEAD AND THE HEART – “Honey Come Home” – as described by linnea rivano barros

This song is chipper and catchy but also hits pretty hard in the harsh reality department… As you listen, you might begin to feel like you’re in a slowly crumbling marriage; that you’re that husband only just beginning to feel the complete despondency of imminent divorce. But you’re also in a weirdly good mood about it.


NICKEL CREEK – “Destination” – as described by connor kelley

One of my favorite songs of all time is by Nickel Creek (here), so when I found out they were reuniting and putting out a new record, I got real damn excited. “Destination” is the lead-off single from Dotted Line and it proves that Nickel Creek is right back where they need to be. It’s full of soul, Chris Thile’s magical mandolin-picking fingers, and a really sing-able chorus, which is always nice. Super solid for Spring Quarter afternoons.


NUJABES, FAT JOH & MINMI — “Araurian Dance” — as described by tulio ospina

For those of you who don’t know about this Japanese DJ, Nujabes was up and rising in 2010 with the jazzy, nostalgic beats sometimes interposed with old-school rap. He also contributed to soundtracks for anime shows, such as Samurai Champloo. In his songs, one can imagine a peaceful Japanese landscape with the setting sun painting everything in rainbow colors. They bring the listener to higher level of existence, as Shing02 raps in “Luv Sic pt 3,” “Add a soundtrack and your life is perfected.”

The song featured here is the perfect soundtrack for watching fireflies, driving through PCH, or walking through a twilit afternoon. Imagine Hayao Miyazaki on hip-hop. Listen if you like lap steel guitars, 12-bit sounds, and feeling like your life is a movie about how beautiful everything is.

Jun Seba (Nujabes) was killed in a car accident in February 2010. The calming spirituality of his music remains transcendental, for he intended for his listeners to feel uplifted and empowered through his tunes. May he rest in the peacefulness of his music.


KELIS — “Jerk Ribs” — as described by jake friedler

In 2003, Kelis one-hit-wondered through our lives with her damningly catchy “Milkshake,” served on an album called Tasty. Few of us could have guessed that these titles belied more than mere taste for culinary innuendo: between then and now, Kelis has published a cookbook, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, and even released her own line of sauces. She’s back to whipping up the musical dankness with her new record Food.On “Jerk Ribs,” raspy vocals simmer with jazzy horns to make a warm soufflé of funk and emotion. Played loudly from the Theta Delt speakers, this jam will undoubtedly bring all the boys to the yard (damn right, it’s better than yours).


GOOD FOR GRAPES — “Skipping Stone” — as described by elisabeth dee

Everything is changing, including the seasons, and it’s terrifying. If you’d like to react this change as I’ve been doing, you can embrace this realization in the following ways: get a tattoo, make cinnamon rolls, and listen to Skipping Stone. There’s no better way to contemplate the turning world and your insignificant place in it than with music that reminds you you’re not alone. Put this song on repeat- remember, it’s going to be okay. Change is exciting.


Glass Animals — “Black Mambo” — as described by margaret wenzlau

Excuse the creepy music video —- or don’t. This song’s great for a slightly psychedelic moment in your day or to complement a week of “taking it easy.’” Listen to “gooey” and “psylla” also by Glass Animals. I find them equally endearing, and also somewhat eerie.


Laura Mvula—“She (Schlohmo Remix)”—as described by witt fetter

I had the pleasure of seeing Laura Mvula live last week, and while her vocals can definitely stand alone, this remix provides a fresh interpretation of Mvula’s song “She”. I also suggest watching the original music video for “She” if you wanna feel the frisson.


CUNNINLYNGUISTS ft. TUNJI — “South Carolina” — as described by jess moss

The first album I ever bought was Cunninlynguists’ Southernunderground, which I played on repeat in my then extremely fashionable walkman. What I admired most about the trio, which hails from Kentucky, was their ability to combine classic Southern rap, a unique underground flow, and meaningful lyrics. On April 1, I was delighted to learn that Cunninglynguists had released a new mixed tape, Strange Journey Volume Three, which includes the song South California feat Tunji. Despite being from the South,  Cunninlynguists whisks you away to the California beach we all wish we could road trip to. The smooth lyrics and gentle background guitar take me to a time and place where midterms are not present and I suggest everyone take a few procrastination minutes to listen to this song and let your stress melt away.


WILD BELLE — “Shine” — as described by performance editor bojan srb

I’m a little late to the party with this album (it dropped in March 2013) but I’m positive it merits an impromptu resurgence. Isles is the work of three outstanding artists who sought to curate an aural experience that would resemble being on an island. Hence, Shine is the album’s breezy-vocaled crown that infuses sassy lyrics with a mean beat. Imagine: you’ve recently been paroled from a defunct relationship and decide to indulge in obscene quantities of self-care. Slap this on your iPod shuffle and move the frack on.


PLANNINGTOROCK — “Human Drama” — as described by visual arts editor eric eich

I didn’t know who or what Planningtorock was until yesterday, but this track from last year’s All Love’s Legal(riddled with admirably uncatchy titles like “Patriarchy Over and Out,” “Misogyny Drop Dead,” and “Let’s Talk About Gender Baby”) has brought me up to speed with the force of a Feminist Studies 101 course reader. I don’t know whether to raise my fist in a show of solidarity or my arms in a burst of attention-seeking, but this stylishly queer song certainly makes me want to move. The vocals are unnerving, the lyrics significant, and the beat positively slinky.


FRANCIS & THE LIGHTS — “If They Don’t Come Tomorrow” —- as described by culture editor brittany newell

While my friends at East Coast schools are getting out for the summer (those lucky motherfuckers) and Stanford is gearing up for midterms, I’ve yet to meet with my tutors face-to-face or do a scrap of schoolwork. Which leaves me wondering if I missed a rather important memo somewhere down the line……. I’m floating around, pretending to be relevant….. forgetting my 2-step password ….riding many Megabuses…. watching my hair grow….this is my washed-as-fuck jam. It’s got that upbeat reggae beat for a summery vibe (cuz like fuck i ain’t complaining) but the singer’s wail and ominous lyrics give it a creepy-crawly vibe that perfectly reflects my quiet suspicion that something is off here. Something is due.


HIGHS — “Nomads” — as described by editor at large katharine schwab

I feel like I’ve been on the road for a long time. Every three months, somewhere new, new streets to walk and barely enough time to remember their names. I’ve become reliant on the comfort of my shoes and the calm joy of walking places I don’t know. But to this song the places I know well become strange again.


MACHINE GUN KELLY — “sail” — as described by editur-in-cheef lawrence neil

Any music video that prominently features a jug of Carlo Rossi Sangria is okay with me.  Add in a somewhat-gimmicky-but-still-pretty-clever concept reminiscent of Pharcyde’s iconic ‘The Drop’, an already catchy song on which it’s based, punchlines like ‘Take all your princesses, bitch, I am Bowser,” and the fact that we grew up on the same street, and Machine Gun Kelly’s latest single is easily the pick of the week.

Photo credit to Perry Manuk.


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