Discover: Emily’s Playlist, Jan.

By Emily DiAlbert, Contributor

I would consider myself a pretty avid Spotify listener, but probably not for the reasons you would think. In high school I used Spotify to stream music from my favorite bands and to also create kick-ass playlists for friends so they’d think I have good music taste. I pretty much stopped all of that when I got to college, though.

Now, I solely use my Spotify to listen to new, and relatively shitty, music that the site’s algorithm predicts that I’ll enjoy. Most of the time, my Discover Weekly consists of okay music that I’ll listen to once and then forget about. But every once in a while, the algorithm rewards me with a brand new song and a new favorite band. I guess that’s the whole purpose of listening to new music, after all. In order to develop a good taste, you have to start by finding the diamond song in the rough, rough patch of shitty indie-rock music.

That being said, this week’s playlist was just okay. No diamond song, but there were definitely some interesting tracks that are worth a listen.


  1. “Desperate” – Kurt Travis


This song kicks off with the standard relaxed, indie vibe of most Discover Weekly songs. Kurt Travis sings of his desperation to keep his lover from changing, which is once again quite typical of all relatively mediocre indie. This song has a little diamond feature, though, which is Travis’ voice. He has quite the range, which almost seems to mimic the desperation he sings of throughout the song’s duration.


  1. “Milk & Honey” – Jessarae


When this song first began playing, I immediately thought it was “Take me to Church” by Hozier ( The intros of the two songs are very similar if not the exact same, which honestly, I love. Throughout, the song features beautiful, soul-filled acoustics and additionally, like all good kind-of-religious songs, incorporates harmonies from an excellent gospel choir.


  1. “The Calendar Hung Itself” – Bright Eyes

Okay, I absolutely love Bright Eyes’ music, like, who doesn’t? But nothing new of theirs made me feel the way I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning did. Honestly I don’t think a song could get better than “First Day of My Life.” This song is no exception. I think I’m just particularly used to “old” Bright Eyes. I also think that I’m not open to a weird, synth-heavy, rock version of the acoustic band I know and love.


  1. “Bloom” – Small Leaks Sink Ships


This band reminds me of an indie combination of Catfish and the Bottlemen and Andrew Bird. I love the playful feel of the instrumentals combined with the singer’s low-pitched voice. The lyrics are about a girl that probably all of us know. A girl with “a keen sense of style … [who] loves at best.” This track was by-far my favorite off the playlist. A good addition to any road trip playlist of yours.


  1. “Cowboy Killers” – Casey Bolles

No playlist is complete without a song that makes you want to cry; this is that song. If you’re not into sad songs about suicidal thoughts, skip this one. If you are, this is as good as it’s going to get. It’s your basic sad, acoustic folk song that speaks straight to the heart when it’s “one of those days.”


  1. “Emo Lobster” – Indie Pigeon

I couldn’t not include a song about a lobster on blog post titled “Discover the Lobster.” This song is actually pretty sad. It’s about a lobster stuck in a restaurant’s lobster tank who misses its family in the ocean. I’d be pretty emo, too, if I was about to get eaten.


  1. “Float Forever” – Peace


I particularly enjoyed the sound of this one. The guitar was almost hypnotic to me; while listening I felt like I was floating away into nothingness. The lyrics are particularly beautiful and certainly resonate with people who are existentially confused (like me).


  1. “Mind Over Matter” – Young the Giant


The second I heard the iconic synth intro of this song, I was blasted straight back to my sophomore year of high school when I first stopped listening to cookie-cutter pop radio and started listening to more “alternative” music. This is the perfect jam to add to any of your favorite indie-rock playlists. Also, be sure to learn the lyrics, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be screaming “Ya know you’re on my mind!” right along with them. Every. Damn. Time.


Discover: Tanner’s Playlist, Jan.16-23

Discover the Lobster

By Tanner Bidish, Staff Writer

I mostly use my Spotify for reviewing albums for ACRN. Since I didn’t do any of that over the holidays my account had fallen into a winter drought. I was scared the lack of activity would result in a dull Discover Weekly, but Spotify managed to throw something together somehow. There were chill jams and new gems to uncover; here’s the highlights.

  1. The Rest of the Day – Bedhead

Bedhead has been disband since 1998, but they’re still worthwhile and still great. This track is on the longer side, clocking in at around six minutes. The vocals are gentle and the guitar lulling. It is also definitely one of the aforementioned chill jams. Put this tune on as you brew your morning tea and watch the sun rise, taking the title to heart.

  1. 302 – The Lippies
    Self-described as ‘feminist pop-punk’, The Lippies cover their bases in “302”. The track begins as a classic youthful tale about making dates and not carrying about the future. Then the bridge elaborates more with lyrics for keen social commentary. “The personal is political when you learn your friend is a rapist / The personal is political when you realize that nothing is more important than solidarity”, ring the key lines. I highly recommend this number.
  2. Puka Shell Necklace – Walter TV, feat. Mac Demarco 
    Walter TV is small, especially next to Mac Demarco, so in my opinion that makes this colab extra cool. The song’s bouncy, care free, and breezy. It’s very much in the vain of Demarco, but muddier. “Puka Shell” can take the listener away; this one goes down best reclined with your eyes closed and shoes off. Enjoy it and pretend you’re lying in a field in the summer.
  3. Composite Character – End of A Year

This is the opening track of You Are Beneath Me. It’s a punk jam, but also entirely spoken word on how “to best understand the material” of the album. While it’s not exactly playlist material, it does gear you for the album and is also full of intensely digestible situations. Relatable and/or sympathetic, the content in this minute and half blitz is rife with emotional fuel and stories to tell. “Understand that people have a right to be tasteless” is a favorite of the quips that this track is loaded with.

  1. Apistat Commander – Xiu Xiu
    Last year lots of my friends were very into Plays the Music of Twin Peaks. This track is honestly my introduction to Xiu Xiu, and I have to say what a banger! “Apistat Commander” is hands down my favorite track from this week’s Discover. It’s very controlled, starting with a singular beat and hushed vocals, then building gradually into something sonically overwhelming and frantic. If nothing else, it’s cathartic. I’ll defiantly be checking out Xiu Xiu’s next release this February.
  2. Club Soda – Hala
    Another chill jam. Hala takes it easy here. This tune is gentle and romantic, sure to calm you down and make you think of a lover you may have never even had. “You’re not my club soda, you’re my fancy wine,” lulls the vocal hook. It’s very casual, very easy going.
  3. Battle – Slumbers 

The airy vocals here are done well. The song feels very comfortable in itself. Focused, and never reaching too far. Slumbers strums out a pretty tune between the guitar and bass. Another chill jam to end things on, with calmly introspective lyrics that don’t get ahead of themselves. A tidy, peaceful track.