Music to Know – Fall 2016

What's on your playlist for fall? | Image via Creative Commons
What’s on your playlist for fall? | Image via Creative Commons

Written by Tori Levy

As an alternative junkie, I often disregard rap, pop and EDM music as not worth my time. EDM usually has redundant tunes and beats, the radio overplays pop and I can never understand 75 percent of what rap artists are saying — I have bad hearing, so it could just be me.

However, I recently went outside my comfort zone by listening to genres I would usually avoid. It couldn’t be all terrible, right? I mean, there is a reason pop, rap and EDM are always on top twenty radio countdowns.

iTunes has a spotlight artist playlist for all of their genres, so I went through the songs and picked some new artists. Sorry for those who listen through Spotify, but you can probably find these songs there as well.

EDM – Hold On & Believe (feat. The Federal Empire) by Martin Garrix

EDM is catchy, and DJs at the bar know it’s the only way to get people dancing. Even so, I rarely enjoy myself listening to redundant, computer-generated sounds with little to no lyrics.

However, I think the blend of electronic sound mixed with The Federal Empire’s voice worked well for “Hold On & Believe.” Martin Garrix begins the song with strings and a subtle beat before the singing begins, while The Federal Empire adds an indie vibe.

Before the bass drops, there is a high pitch beat that blends smoothly with the transition of the song. The beat follows the lyrics well, as it gets slower before the chorus but then picks up dramatically with the bass drops.

The song has an Avicii feel from the melody, especially before the bass drops. All EDM might sound the same to me, but I think whoever is behind the voice makes or breaks the song. In this case, it made it.

Pop – Bring It Back To Me by Martin Luke Brown

Pop music often brings to mind the likes of Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift singing about their exes and songs that you’ve heard too many times in the car. And while famous pop songs are good in their own right, they rarely add any flare to the genre.

Although Martin Luke Brown’s song is about broken love, his lyrics are emotional and moving — it tells the well-known story of a man who lost a girl and begs for her to come back. Brown’s ballad brings a fresh sound to pop music.  

He reminds me of Sam Smith, as his vocals are soft at first then belted at the end. Brown is accompanied by soft hums background throughout “Bring It Back To Me.” The piano composition is stunning, which doesn’t begin until about 50 seconds into the song. While other instruments such as drums are used later into the song to emphasize his mesmerizing voice, his voice lingering with the piano is what makes the song magic.

Alternative/R&B – rock + roll by EDEN

Initially, I scrolled past EDEN when I was looking for new alternative music. I’m usually drawn more toward indie rock, such as The Strokes and Arcade Fire. However, EDEN’s “rock + roll” was a pleasant surprise.

It combines an electronica and R&B feel with rock music, which blend well together despite the seemingly odd clash of genres. The song depends heavily on the musicality, and there is often more time focused on instruments than vocals, especially at the end. While you might think of EDEN as a band through all instruments, it’s actually one person.

The song is filled with beautiful guitar acoustics and solos that mix well with the singer’s raspy voice. Although the voice can be overshadowed at times, that adds more depth to the song than it takes away. It may be a slow song, but it’s made powerful through its combination of genres.

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