It's so difficult trying to find new music when you already love what you usually listen to. And if you're like me, you never hit play on that song your friend told you to listen to four months ago. So I've made it my resolution to listen to more music, even if I don't think I'll enjoy it.
Here are my personal recommendations to start the year off on the right foot. You know what they say - don't judge an album by its cover.
1. "Future Friends" by Superfruit
We could be...we could be future friends?
If you like Pentatonix, you'll probably be surprised to hear that two of their members (Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi) make up this band. Their songs are super upbeat and make me want to drop everything and dance. Although there's no a cappella involved, if you like a happy, cheerful sound, be sure to check this one out. (My favorite song: "GUY.exe")
2. "Welcome Back" by Handsome Ghost
Or, if this is your first time listening to them, welcome home?
Handsome Ghost is an artist I was recommended by Spotify about a year ago, and in that time I've really grown to love their music. The lead singer has a very relaxing voice, so you might want to put this album on in the background if you're studying or trying to focus. Also, Handsome Ghost is the best name for a band ever. (My favorite song: "Reckless Summer")
3. "Earthtones" by Bahamas
What is more earthy than a man in cowboy clothes literally riding a horse?
Bahamas is actually just made up of one man, but I respect it. He has a very earthy sound (ironic, given the name of this album, but it's true) and I feel like he just emerged from the forest chopping wood one day and decided to pursue a music career. His earlier albums give me similar nature vibes, so I think that's just the aura he gives off. (My favorite song: "Bad Boys Need Love Too")
4. "Lost Boys Life" by Computer Games
This is gonna be totally awesome!
If you've ever watched Glee or A Very Potter Musical, you're probably aware of Darren Criss' amazing acting abilities. Guess what: he also makes music! Computer Games consists of Darren and his brother Chuck. As their name implies, their music sounds like a computer is playing a game (and winning). This is a soothing EP to play if you need to calm down or just listen to something by Darren Criss that isn't on the "Glee" soundtrack. (My favorite song: "Lost Boys Life")
5. "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae
(She's also super talented outside of music too!)
I think the following tweet describes this album the best:
"@brycejxn: janelle monae's music sounds like your mother got captured by a futuristic fascist regime but left you audiotapes of lullabies, encouraging messages and tips on how to overthrow the futuristic fascist regime in the future while you're a fugitive"
(My favorite song: "Screwed" feat. Zoe Kravitz)
6. "Sound and Color" by Alabama Shakes
They said it best: Life is sound and color!
Admittedly, my guitar teacher actually introduced me to this album when it was released in 2015, but I didn't really appreciate it until a few years later. Alabama Shakes has a sort of bluesy/alternative/indie/rock mix. I don't really know how to explain it, but if you listen you'll understand. (My favorite song: "Future People")
7. "After Laughter" by Paramore
They didn't have to go this hard when they made this album but they absolutely did.
I know Paramore has been iconic since their genesis, but a lot of people are really turned away by their new sound. Artists change! Music evolves! Get over yourselves! Hayley Williams can still sing and is still a legend! Also, they specifically wrote this album about struggles with depression and how life has to go on even after the laughter. It's a deeply personal record that I love listening to. (My favorite song: "Rose-Colored Boy").
8. "E-MO-TION" by Carly Rae Jepsen
There is no world in which CRJ is one-hit wonder, because all her songs are so hype! Her music is actually pretty popular in certain communities, but I feel like the rest of us still don't appreciate her enough. No matter what you're going through, Carly can make you feel better. Give her a listen ASAP!! (My favorite song: "Let's Get Lost")
If you've already listened to all of these, great! Just know that there are tons of other albums out there that you haven't heard yet, and they're waiting for you.