Dear Abby, I am a virtual student and music keeps me going throughout the day…


Dear Abby,

I am a virtual student and music keeps me going throughout the day and in zoom calls, but I’m getting tired of my current playlist and can’t seem to find something good. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Dear virtual student,

I totally understand that; I always have something playing while I do work! During quarantine and over the summer, I explored further into music and I found myself enjoying more than just the Pop and Rap I’d limited myself to before. I started to listen to every style and genre I came across over time, so I’m sure there’s something in here you’re going to love!

Right now, one of my favorite genres is R&B because of the soul sound and soothing vibes it gives off. Giveon is an up and coming artist who released an album and EP this year that were both surprising obsessions. I’d highly suggest his album “TAKE TIME”. It isn’t long enough that it’s easy to get distracted from, but it’s got songs that I’ve kept on since the album came out. 

Another album that came out this year that has been stuck in my head is Brent Faiyaz’s “F*** the World.” With songs like “Clouded”, “Rehab”, and “Bluffin”, the album just keeps bringing me back. His voice is very soothing, the beats are so smooth. The last R&B album I’d suggest is Kehlani’s “It Was Good Until It Wasn’t.” This album had plenty of hits like “Toxic”, “Hate the Club”, and “Can I”. Her sensual lyrics and addictive voice reel you in and get you into all of her other music while you are there.

I also loved exploring Indie Pop and Indie Rock. One of the first artists I learned about in this genre was Clairo, who has probably graced your Tiktok For You Page recently. Her 2019 album, “Immunity”, is one of the best releases from that year. Songs like “Alewife”, “Sofia”, and “Bags” are featured on the majority of my playlists because of how beautifully structured they are. Around the same time, I was put on to Cage the Elephant, an Indie rock band. Cage the Elephant has two albums, “Tell Me I’m Pretty”, and “Melophobia”, both of which are some of my all-time favorites. “Cold Cold Cold”, “Cigarette Daydreams”, “Sweetie Little Jean”, “How Are You True”, and “Halo”, have me convinced that the next song I listen to by them will be better than the last with how often they outdo themselves which keeps me looking deeper and deeper into their discography. The contrast of their sad, heartbroken lyrics with the loud and happy beats is a trademark of their music and will keep you coming back for more. The last Indie artist I have is Kid Sistr, who I found randomly over the summer and have been hooked on since. The band only has 35k monthly listeners on Spotify, but their music deserves much more attention. Their self-titled album is super relaxing and fits the indie aesthetic perfectly with a soft, pretty tone. Their songs “Dallas”, “Simple Math”, and “Tourist” are really easy listens to play in the background while you’re doing homework or preoccupied with something else. They don’t beg for your full attention but are still thoroughly enjoyable to listen to regardless. 

The last genre I have suggestions for is hip hop. Jaden is a great choice, and his most recent albums “Cool Tape Vol 3” and “SYRE” are perfect introductions to him as an artist. “Ninety”, “Falling for you”, and “Cabin Fever” are all tracks that prove his ability to incorporate different sounds into one album and genre, and they will guarantee you like him as much as I do. BROCKHAMPTON, a hip-hop collective, is another one of my favorites and they’ve established themselves in the industry with the release of their sixth album, “Ginger,” in 2019. It includes ‘SUGAR’, ‘NO HALO’, and ‘GINGER’ which are, in my opinion, the best the album has to offer.  These songs got me more into their music and they quickly became one of my most listened to artists because of how consistently good their albums are. I’m going to wrap up my recommendations with an artist who I discovered recently. Kota the Friend cemented his spot on my favorites list, especially after the release of his most recent album, “EVERYTHING”’. With its perfect summertime sound, it got me excited for the summer season coming on. Songs like ‘Summerhouse’, ‘Away Park’, and ‘B.Q.E’ are defined by their laid-back sound and are de-stressors, with their light and upbeat vibe, in the form of a three-minute track.

I’m still expanding my musical horizons but I love what I listen to and I love to talk about music because it is usually the only thing that keeps me awake throughout the day. This list is what I’ve recently been into, but I’m always looking for new music with all the new styles on the rise every day. I love music; finding it, listening to it, talking about it, all of it. I know what it’s like to get bored of what you’re listening to because I got bored of listening to the same types of music all the time which was why I started looking for more over summer. I still switch my playlist three different times a day so I can hear something different. Hopefully, my suggestions can bring you a little help during your music drought.