Since its first appearance in The Panel almost three years ago, “The Playlist of the Issue” has become a customary article for the print publication. Not only does it provide a great opportunity for Panel staffers to write about their favorite songs, but it also exposes Belmont Hill students to new music genres. For those reading The Panel for the first time, “The Playlist of the Issue” features two authors who each pick five songs which they feel deserve recognition and write about them. For Volume 68 of The Panel, Andrew Jinhee Lee ‘20 and Andrew Jonghyun Lee ‘20 will be taking over from Matt Goguen ‘19 and Matt Smith ‘19 as curators of “The Playlist of the Issue.”
Demons by Alec Benjamin
You have probably heard Alec Benjamin on the radio or walking by a store on Newbury Street from his hit single “Must Have Been the Wind” and “Let Me Down Slowly.” If you enjoy his story-telling lyrics and soul-like music style, chances are you will also like his new song “Demons.” I have played this song on repeat during the car ride to school and back home … basically every day for weeks now. I highly recommend this song; it is one of my personal favorites.
LA On A Saturday Night by Heart & Colors
Have you ever felt a need to refresh your “late-night” playlist, to add newer songs that will last you another few weeks or so? You are in luck because “LA On A Saturday Night” by Heart & Colors is the song to do just that. This song has the perfect balance between “I want to party all night” and “I need to take it down a notch”; what starts out out as a calm tune transforms into one with good rhythm and pop-flair. This song is in it for a good time, not a long one, so enjoy this melody while it lasts.
Best Friend by Rex Orange County
Since Matt Traveligni’s amazing performance of Rex Orange County in front of the whole school, I have been listening to this talented artist’s songs non-stop. One of my personal favorites from Rex Orange County’s wide variety of music is one of his most popular: “Best Friend.” From the outset, the tune is positive and cheerful, and it also offers a sound that gives an early 2000s vibe, very different from the “usual pop-music” out right now. If you are in a bad mood or just need some uplifting music, this song is the one.
Monaco by MKTO
“Monaco” is a bit of an “older” song (if you consider 2015 older) but a good song nonetheless. MKTO, as many of you may know, is known for their hit song “Classic,” which was my personal favorite in 2012. Though much less crazy compared to “Classic,” “Monaco” is still a great song to sing to whenever you’re in a car; whenever the song comes up on my playlist, I increase the volume up to maximum. Don’t blame me if you can’t get this song out of your head after replaying it a couple of times. You have been warned.
Sims by Lauv
Any song that is made by Lauv will automatically be added to my playlist. From its chill demeanor to witty lyrics, Lauv’s “Sims” offers a tune that easily gets stuck in one’s head. But, this song, at least for me, never gets old. If you are in need of a pop song that is not overplayed on the radio but is still in the realm of songs on Kiss 108, this song is perfect for you.
Emotions by iann dior
Any iann dior fans? If so, you’ve probably already heard his newest hit song, “Emotions.” Filled with his customary catchy melodic beats, “Emotions” is a worthy successor to his previous hit single and my personal favorite, “gone girl.” The song falls under that perfect category between hard rap and energetic pop, which makes for a truly perfect blood-pumping song. iann dior is sure to grasp your attention with this absolute banger of a song. Give it a listen, and let me know what you think!
Chateau by Jaden, A$AP Rocky
This song is a hidden gem in the world of rap songs. Often lost behind some of his more popular songs, “Chateau” is a song worth exploring. The song has one of the cleanest beat-drop intros that I have ever heard, which is then complemented by several dynamic rhymes from A$AP Rocky. Throughout the entirety of the song, there is no lack of energy from Jaden and A$AP: they truly outdid themselves with this song. “Chateau” is a true sign of Jaden’s potential as a rapper as he is slowly becoming one of the more prominent rappers in the music world. I cannot wait to see what he releases next!
American Teen by Khalid
One of Khalid’s most underrated songs, “American Teen” earned itself a spot in this month’s issue. Khalid fuses his typical R&B vibe with an almost oldies-esque feel to create a unique yet pleasant tune. The song’s vibe is comparable to a few of his former songs, such as “Beautiful People” and “Young, Dumb, and Broke”; however, in my opinion, “American Teen” has a certain enchanting element to its verses and melody. Listen to “American Teen”! At the very minimum, I guarantee that you will appreciate the originality and pleasantness provided by the song.
Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five for Fighting
“Superman (It’s Not Easy)” is, in my personal opinion, a top ten song all time. Although it is not that old, this song is my “oldies” pick of the issue. Five For Fighting, a rare one-man band, has long been one of my favorite artists, and he seriously crushed it with this song. Although the song, for the most part, uses very simple chords, the power and emotion of the melodic tune cannot be denied: with a vibrant combination of soft rock instruments, the melody and lyrics are touching and heartfelt vibe. “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” is one of the greatest songs ever created. Why in the world would you not listen to this song?
I WALK UP by Luke Cristopher
Luke Cristopher has somehow learned to perfectly mix his acoustic instruments with his rap verses. With a simple yet catchy guitar strum in the background, “I WALK UP” fuses Luke Cristopher’s passionate singing and soft-rapping with acoustic instrumentals to form a unique and pleasant tune. Written generally about love, the lyrics are a particular strength in the song: “I walk up, your hand-rolled cigarette falls apart, Should be in a magazine or a movie, But you’re sittin’ at a coffee shop”. Give the song a try (or not). If you do, I am absolutely certain that this song will grow on you!