Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.
I do not think it is a stretch to say that we are living in a time that seems all too apocalyptic. Since graduating in May, I have moved to Oregon where climate change is unavoidable as wildfires ravage the state, making our air quality the worst in the world. My hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, has dodged four major hurricanes this year and there is still one more month left of this hurricane season. On top of the climate catastrophes, COVID-19 is still a thing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and presidential debates are being canceled because of the very illness that the incumbent president failed to mitigate.
Yet, these times have not deterred artists from releasing new music to the rest of us mere mortals. New music comes as a sweet gift as respite from the tragedy that is 2020. I would like to take a minute to honor the class of 2020. A class who graduated without ever crossing the stage but did have the experience of graduating during a great recession.
The first artist you should add to your Spotify playlist is UR grad, Dominiquinn, colloquially known as just Dan Quinn. On Sept. 22, Quinn dropped his first single, “Love/Lust.” The short two-minute 52 second track is produced to perfection, allowing for the sultry vocals to take center stage. After hearing Quinn sing with the a cappella group, Choeur du Roi, I am not surprised at Quinn's talent, but I am pleasantly surprised to find that he is continuing his music aspirations. I am glad he has not totally sold his soul to corporate despite earning a degree from the Robins School of Business.
Stream “Love/Lust” by Dominiquinn now! After all, isn’t college just a journey through love and lust?
“No Me Llores” is another must-listen by a 2020 grad. Rabito is from my hometown of New Orleans but graduated from Notre Dame. His music has been a constant throughout my college career. I would feel a sense of pride when my Richmond friends would ask about this “obscure” artist on all of my Spotify playlists. I would then joyfully share with the New Orleans’ best-kept secret: Felix Rabito. His first EP, “Bread,” epitomizes the dreamy, easy to listen to singer-songwriter genre while also delivering hauntingly nostalgic lyrics.
Rabito’s new EP, “No Me Llores” is more boisterous, folding in a rock sound to amplify his already indulgent indie vibe. Personally, I cannot listen to this song while doing work because its gritty lyrics and captivating sounds are simply too good to not be distracting. Instead, I have found the EP to be a great addition to my running playlist – the EP’s second track, “Cure,” has been by my side through many long runs over the past few months.
For new listeners, I strongly recommend listening through “No Me Llores” in order as I am a strong believer in listening to the narrative as crafted by the artist. This latest EP only goes to prove that Rabito is an intentional artist who meticulously creates a story through his songs while allowing space for listeners to impose their own interpretations onto the narrative.
Lastly, I must mention the band Pluto Come Back featuring UR alumnus Don Edmonds (Class of 2017). While Edmonds may not be a 2020 graduate, his band’s music is a beacon of light in midst of this year’s dystopia. Since the band’s inception at the beginning of this year, they have released an EP and a single. Their sound is jovial and carefree – to me, their music sounds like what I identify with falling love. The sax, strings and vocals meld together to create fun music that makes me want to hold on to the good in this world
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Hearing newly released music from friends is always so exciting. I always experience a moment of cognitive dissonance in which I cannot associate the sounds I am hearing with the person I know. Even more so, it is so special to be able to immediately affirm the artist immediately through a Snapchat or text. Support and encourage local artists because their gifts are what’s getting me through these trying times.
Listen to all these artists here.
Contact alumna Alexis Aviles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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