Five new(ish) songs for when you’re going through it

Jane Parker, Staff Writer

1: “No Body No Crime” by Taylor Swift ft. HAIM

Taylor Swift has built a reputation as a fearlessly unique songwriter, unafraid to seek success within the pop genre after rising to fame as a country singer. 2020 surprise album Folklore’s sister album, Evermore, was released Dec. 11, and from it came “No Body No Crime,” which gained popularity almost immediately after its release, peaking at #4 on Billboard’s hot 100 list.

The murder mystery song is a sinister one, with combined elements of folk and country music. It opens with the lyrics “He did it,” and describes a series of criminal predicaments following a cheating scandal. The song features the band HAIM, consisting of sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim.

2: “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic

Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak have not only released a new collaborative love song, but have also formed a new music group named Silk Sonic. “Leave the Door Open” is the new group’s first single, and combines the individual styles of both artists in an unsurprisingly satisfying way.

The song has a vintage feel with charming lyrics promising romance in a mansion. The single was heavily anticipated before its release,and has already earned a position in Billboard’s top 40. Variety has referred to the song as one that “sounds like an R&B Grammy winner from 1974.”

3: “Missing Out” by Syd

As the lead singer for the band The Internet, Syd has serenaded listeners since 2011. Her new solo single “Missing Out” was released on the Feb. 11. The break-up track consists of a fluid melody with vocals that are light and heart-piercing at the same time.

With the lyric “As far as I can see, you and me could never be,” Syd controls listeners’ emotions directly in alignment with her voice, which seems to be flawlessly on the brink of breaking. Lines like “You’re missing out” and “Hope you’re finding what you need” still float on the cold subject of separation, but they are also upbeat and hopeful rather than downcast and mourning.

“Missing Out” is a comfort song that shines a bright light on hope and fulfillment after difficult and exhausting situations. Accompanied by the unmatched beauty of Syd’s voice, its lyrics and melody are effectively uplifting for a breakup song.

4: “People, I’ve Been Sad” by Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens is a french singer-songwriter known primarily for her song “girlfriend.” The Guardian named her debut album, Chaleur humaine, one of 2014’s best albums of the year. “People, I’ve Been Sad” is her most successful track since then, collecting a title in Time Magazine as the number one song of 2020.

With a somber and nostalgic tone, the new synth-pop single shines a spotlight on common feelings associated with quarantine. Even with lyrics half in French, Chris is able to communicate directly the loneliness and sorrow that is an inevitability in the world of quarantine. Her voice communicates a feeling of yearning that matches life before quarantine.

5: “Good Days” by SZA

With a distinctive, ethereal style, SZA, has been a Billboard chart climber since the release of her 2017 debut album Ctrl. Her newest single, “Good Days,” has an introduction filled with floating guitar chords and hushed bird calls opens the hit, setting a tired but restful tone. The lyrics can be read alternatively as a need for perseverance through the events of 2020 (the year it was written) and even the already distressing predicaments of 2021 (the year it was released).

As usual, SZA doesn’t hesitate to touch on the dual realities of hopeless and hopeful themes in relationships and, in turn, situations interpreted by her listeners.

SZA has begun the new year with an attitude of determination for a better future, and seemingly wants her listeners to actively do the same.

Junior Ethan Kress volunteered to share his own top five songs at the moment, which he describes each as having, “a different vibe… all of them remind me of times in my life that of when I didn’t have to deal with COVID.” For Ethan, these songs are more than just some “good music.”

He’s associated each song with a memory back before the pandemic, or at least, before everything got really bad. “On the last day of the 2020 season, right before they closed everything down, I was in Winter Park with my friend, and our goal for the day was to do the Cirque, on of the resorts hardest runs. As we drop down, my friend starts ‘Pistolero’ by Juno Reactor on his speaker. Now whenever I hear that song, I think of the last ‘normal’ day before COVID ruined everything.” It’s the same type of feeling Ethan gets with all these songs – all tied to a memory of some type of normalcy.

“’Lady-hear me tonight’ by Modjo reminds me of late 2019. It was winter break, and my family wasn’t going anywhere. I decided to go cross country skiing one day, and Spotify recommended me the song. It was an odd experience, getting through Greenwood Village on skis, so I remember it with that song. I’m also currently obsessed with ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC. This doesn’t feel as significant as the other songs, but I associate it with learning to rock climb, and that’s a memory I always love going back to.”

This story won first place Single Page Design from CSMA.