Each week the content writers for KCPR.org are going to publish a playlist containing a new song recommendation from each of them.
1. Anyone – Justin Bieber
Recommended by: Eden Baker
In comparison to Bieber’s releases in 2020, “Anyone” shows vast maturity. This heartfelt ballad is a vulnerable confession of his feelings to his wife Hailey Baldwin, while the song still remains loyal to his trademark pop, upbeat instrumental sound.
2. Emotion Feat. Wild Nothing – Molly Burch, Wild Nothing
Recommended by: Caroline Seibly
This new release is a groovy tune for all the Molly Burch fans out there. By incorporating Burch’s airy vocals and splendid lyrics with Wild Nothing’s catchy rhythms, this song is bound to lift any listener’s mood.
3. drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo
Recommended by: Jenna McCarthy
This song has absolutely blessed my ears. Inspired by songs by Gracie Abrams, Rodrigo displays a heart-wrenching alt-pop ballad about the pain of an ex-relationship, sending listeners into a bout of escapism.
4. Reason to Believe – Vagabon, Courtney Barnett
Recommended by: Kallie Kidder
American-Cameroonian artist Vagabon collaborates with one of my personal favorite artists, Courtney Barnett, to cover Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe.” The track was first released in 1965 and has been covered a handful of times by a wide variety of artists. Vagabon and Barnett originally performed this cover 11 month ago, just one month before live music would become a distant longing, rather than a beloved reality. The duo performed “Reason to Believe” on Valentine’s Day at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles.
5. Beach Life In Death – glass beach
Recommended by: Sophia Pattison
This is a cover of the original 13 minute song from Car Seat Headrest. Although it is long, the track is definitely worth a listen. This dynamic and very emotional song tells a story worth taking the time to think about. Glass beach has put a little bit of their own spin on this song, so it is also not a waste of time to listen to the original as well.
6. Best Friend – Saweetie (ft. Doja Cat)
Recommended by: Jennifer Newton
Saweetie and Doja Cat compliment each other so well. The song is catchy and after a few listens, I assure you, it will be stuck in your head for a while. Hopefully this is the beginning to a lot of collaborations between these two.
7. Flames – Mod Sun (ft. Avril Lavigne)
Recommended by: Emily Brower
Mod Sun and Avril Lavigne are an unlikely duo, but “Flames” brings a modern flair to Lavigne’s pop-punk roots. The juxtaposition of Mod Sun’s aggressive vocals and Lavigne’s softer tones are the perfect match to the heart wrenching lyrics.
8. Good Days – SZA
Recommended by: Alina Jafri
The attention this song has received is well deserved. Sza’s voice is melodious and coincides with the tranquil instrumentals. When you listen, you feel so at peace – like you are walking through a meadow.
9. Delicate Limbs – Virgil Abloh ft serpentwithfeet
Recommended by: Lilly Leif
Serpentwithfeet has one of the most unique sounds in music right now. His ethereal vocals in the focal point of this song and will literally transport you to another dimension.
10. The Bandit – Kings of Leon
Recommended by: Evan Gattuso
“The Bandit” is a promising return for the accomplished Nashville outfit. This song captures feelings of frustration and desperation of a group of people trying to catch a “bandit” that stole something important from them.
“And they’re walking around/ With their heads in the cloud screaming/ Must catch the bandit/ Reckless abandon,” sang the band. Watch the music video here.
11. Let Me Reintroduce Myself – Gwen Stefani
Recommended by: Alexa Kushner
Gwen Stefani has produced so many recognizable hits over the past 25 years, accompanied by even more iconic music videos. In this song, Stefani recognizes that it is time to open a new chapter for her career while simultaneously remembering her past and recognizing her impact on pop culture. It is fun song with a catchy hook and a fun pop beat. The video for this song is incredibly nostalgic as Stefani dresses up as her past self from a handful of her most popular, early 2000’s music videos.
12. Better Than Feeling Lonely – Olivia O’Brien
Recommended by: Gracie Walter
Olivia O’Brien is an artist that I have followed since the start of her career, as she is from my hometown and went to my high school. It is cool to see her growth and to see her music get better with each release. This song was released right at the beginning of 2021. Despite being an up-beat pop song, it dives into heavier topics.
13. Atlantic – The Weather Station
Recommended by: M. Alex De La Cruz
In what looks like the final promotional single in the lead-up to their forthcoming album, The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman marries somber vocals with heartfelt piano and even woodwinds over a frantic breakbeat that seem to mirror how a lot of us may be feeling in the new year. Paired with a shimmering nocturnal music video and slick costume design, the upcoming “Ignorance” could just be 2021’s “Be The Cowboy.”
14. happiness – Taylor Swift
Recommended by: Alice Sukhostavskiy
I used to not be fan of a lot of Taylor Swift’s music, but her new album, “evermore,” has a completely different vibe than most of her popular songs. “Happiness” really showcases her amazing vocals and is paired with amazing instrumentals.
15. Colors – Langhorne Slim
Recommended by: Tessa Hughes
Langhorne Slim is an indie folk artist who, fresh out of rehab and at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, turned to music to face everything that was happening. This is the first single that will be off of his debut album “Strawberry Mansion” that will drop at the end of the month. “Colors” is a very peaceful and relaxing track with Slim’s gentle vocals backed by complex guitar strums. It is a calm break to the stressful past week.