Music of the Month: October 2018

Finally, we’re here at the last of my promised posts of the week (except for Top 5 Wednesday, which I skipped). I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I did. On the docket today is all the music I’ve been digging lately. But first, a story.

It all started when my phone gave me that dreaded message: “Storage almost full.” I tried everything. I deleted pictures from my phone. I deleted music I hadn’t listened to in a while. I deleted and offloaded apps. I cleared all my data and cookies from my most-used apps. I changed my settings to delete messages older than thirty days. Nothing was working. I decided to download a program that would clean all the unseen files from my phone. And it helped. It didn’t clear up too much space, but it cleared enough I was safe— for now.

Except, naturally, it royally fucked something in my phone because then I couldn’t get it to connect to iTunes on my laptop. Given I was almost out of storage space anyway, I decided to just reset my phone. So I did, and it’s worked wonders. I have so much space now! But now I had the daunting task of putting all my music back on my phone.

This was made even more daunting because I wanted to connect my phone to a new laptop I’d gotten a few months prior and onto which I had yet to transfer my music. While you can have your phone synched with more than one computer, it just seemed more prudent to only synch it to my new one. Besides, my old laptop is exceedingly slow. It just wasn’t worth it.

Transferring music I bought from iTunes to my new computer would take some time, but is ultimately a simple process (one I have since completed). But the music I’d gotten from CDs and other sources? Getting that onto my computer was going to be a much more arduous process. But I needed my music, so what was a girl to do?

If you’re me, you decide to just get with the times. People are using streaming services these days. I might as well join them. Most of the music I listen to is on Spotify anyway. So I finally upgraded my rarely-used account to Premium. And, since I could get both for $12.99 a month, I got the package including Hulu.

All this is to say, the way I listen to music has changed. Now I can try a lot more artists and I don’t have to stress about the money I dropped on them. Because those song snippets on iTunes can sometimes be deceiving. It’s also a pain-free way to catch up on the extensive discography of the greats. My post format will be the same, but there just might be more recommendations than any of us ever thought possible.

Though there is more than previous months, the amount of recommendations from October is still roughly the same as usual. But I’ve been rambling on long enough. It’s tune time.

  1. “Without Me” by Halsey: While poppier than Halsey’s previous work, this is still one of her best singles yet. It’s fun, yet also emotive. It’s also highly relatable. It sucks when you help someone, and then they turn around and act like you’re nothing to them or that they never needed you. I don’t know if this means a new album is on the horizon. All I know is that this song slaps.
  2. “Light On” by Maggie Rogers: With a vibe and vocals similar to MUNA and HAIM, it’s no wonder I like this song. Moreover, the lyrical content is fairly unique. Even though Maggie and her partner both agree that it’s over between them, she can’t help but still have a little bit of hope. It’s mature in a way a lot of pop music isn’t (though I’d classify this as alternative pop). I appreciate the perspective it offers. After seeing her perform on Saturday Night Live last week, I know I’ll be listening to this starlet more in the coming months.
  3. “Shy” by Saint Blonde: Is Saint Blonde a band? A solo artist? I have no idea! I can’t find any information on them. What I do know is that the singer’s voice sounds like a cross between the lead singer from The Script and Darren Criss. As for the song, its sound is a colorful twist of WALK THE MOON and Neon Trees. And it’s an absolute bop. What more could you want?
  4. “Junipero Love” by Hibou: I know what you’re thinking and yes, I did listen to this song because it had “Junipero” in the title. After all, the Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” is my entire brand. It’s even my Twitter handle! And, because the universe was shining on me that day, this song is great. It’s really mellow and chill, an indie pop delight. If you’re looking for something to add to your chill playlist, look no further than this subtle groove.
  5. “Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus Cover)” by Amy Shark: What can I say? I’m trash for Amy Shark. I also just really love this cover. Amy brings her Morrissette-esque quirk to this song in the best way. Also, she doesn’t change the pronouns, which is rad. Sapphic girls just stay winning.
  6. “Just Goes to Show” by Eliza Shaddad: I don’t have much to say about this song, except that it makes great background music. That sounds like a diss, but I promise it’s not. Sometimes you just need a relaxing sound playing in the background, rather than a heartwrencher or dance anthem. Not every song needs to be a scene-stealer. That said, this song is still pretty great. And I’m all about pretty great.
  7. “Kiss and Make Up” by Dua Lipa and BLACKPINK: Though my love for Dua isn’t as strong as it once was, I can’t pretend this dark pop anthem isn’t a great song. BLACKPINK also sounds great, though I wish I knew what they were saying. I suppose I could look up a translation, but meh. It’s probably along the same lines as what Dua says. The collaboration works surprisingly well, each woman a dynamo in her own right. No, this track won’t lead me down the road to K-popville. But hey, a good pop song is a good pop song.
  8. “End of Summer (now I know)” by The Front Bottoms: You guys know how I feel about The Front Bottoms. At this point, I’m just repeating myself. Let’s just say they’ve knocked it out of the park once again with this latest single. If a new album is to come soon, well, my body is ready.
  9. “Expectations” by Lauren Jauregui: I’ve never gotten the Lauren Jauregui hype. Sure, she’s pretty and has a good voice, but I never felt the connection to her that other people seem to. But this song? Absolute smash. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the best solo project by any of the former Fifth Harmony girls. The genre is perfect for her voice, a sort of bluesy pop infused with R&B. You can feel her frustration in this song, both at herself and her partner. And yeah, I hate that we can’t help but have expectations of each other. There’s too much potential to be let down. Fortunately, this song took the opposite route and blew my expectations out of the water. If this is the direction Lauren is going with her solo music, I may just have to keep an eye out for her.
  10. girls” and “i wanna be your girlfriend” by girl in red: You know what’s great? Gay indie music. Especially when it’s about lesbians. Girl in red is the stage name for this Norwegian bedroom-pop indie singer. That’s really what this genre of music is. The vocals aren’t spectacular and some of the lyrics are dumb or cringy, but there’s something deeply honest about that. It’s also a big, gigantic mood. I mean, “They’re so pretty, it hurts./I’m not talkin’ ‘bout boys/I’m talkin’ ‘bout girls./They’re so pretty with their button-up shirts”?  What the fuck is that? An accurate portrayal of the lesbian brain, that’s what. I’d like to get into more of her music, but right now I’m content to bask in the gay of these two songs.
  11. Trench by twenty one pilots: I already wrote a full review on this, so I won’t get too in-depth here. Just know that I really enjoyed this album and would even go as far as to say it’s their second best (behind Vessel, of course).
  12. Solastalgia by Missy Higgins: It’s a sad fate that I never would’ve heard of Missy Higgins had Spotify not recommended her to me based on my love for Amy Shark. Sure, I’ve only listened to this album a couple times, but I really like it. It’s more of that honest alternative pop of which I’ve grown so fond. I’ll definitely be playing it again soon.
  13. A Star is Born Soundtrack: A couple weeks ago, I saw A Star is Born. It was really good and Lady Gaga was phenomenal. Bradley Cooper was fantastic too, but we all know who I went to that movie for. While I’m not as obsessed with the soundtrack as everyone else seems to be, I have given it a couple listens. Controversial, but I think my favorite is “Look What I Found.” That’s the exact sound Ally should’ve had and I’m still salty they made her do generic pop. Oh, that was a spoiler. Eh, it wasn’t a big one. Anyway, see the movie if you get the chance. It’s good.
  14. Queen: In preparation for the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, I decided to devote some listening time to Queen. I’d listened to them before, but I wouldn’t call myself an aficionado or anything. As can be expected from one of the greatest bands of all time, everything I heard was amazing. I should really listen to them more, especially as I learn more and more about Freddie Mercury.
  15. Fleetwood Mac: Yup, it’s another iconic band. I wanted to listen to these guys because people on Twitter were talking about how there should be a jukebox musical of their music. I wholeheartedly agreed, which made me want to listen to their albums in full (I’d previously only heard select songs, most of them from Rumours). So I did. And I had a great time.


What music were you into in October? Let me know in the comments!

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