Strawberry Skies Monthly Jams: May 2021
Congratulations, you've survived another month! The end of May brings the end of final exams and the end of the school year for most of us students, and what better way to celebrate than with a playlist?
Here's what I've been listening to as I prepare for prom, graduation, and leaving high school behind, filled with new releases and old favorites. All of the artists will be tagged on Instagram and Twitter, and the playlist can be found on Spotify here!
"3 am" - Ron's Car
I had Ron's Car's first single "Better for Me" on repeat for months when it came out back in January of this year, so I was beyond excited to see a new song from them pop up. It's a far cry from their debut, taking on a more chilled-out, acoustic approach rather than the energetic alternative-rock vibes we were initially introduced to, but there's no doubt that both sounds work well for the duo.
"THNKS FR TH MMRS" - The Maine
Fall Out Boy and The Maine are two of my favorite bands of all time, so hearing that the latter was covering the former made my little emo heart grow three sizes like The Grinch. The Arizona natives' stripped-down rendition brings a new intimacy to the 2000s classic, breathing new life into the already perfect track.
"I'll Call You Mine" - girl in red
This is my favorite track off of girl in red's fantastic debut full-length, titled "if i could make it go quiet." The album is full of hits, but "I'll Call You Mine" has to be the catchiest and shows off Marie Ulven's vocal chops as well. You can check out my full review of the record as well as my review of the lead single "Serotonin", both via Legends of Tomorrow.
"Found My Friends" - Hayley Kiyoko
I've been a fan of Hayley Kiyoko's since she stole the show as Stella in Disney Channel's original movie "Lemonade Mouth", and she's never let me down. While I haven't kept up with her as much as I would've liked to after loving her first album "Expectations" back in 2018, her new single is one of her best, a super fun pop anthem that you'll be listening to for weeks to come. My review of the single can be found here!
"Bodybag" - chloe moriondo
When chloe moriondo's single "I Eat Boys" came out last month, I was so hooked I immediately went back and listened to the rest of her discography after only hearing the new track once. Her first full-length album, titled "Blood Bunny", is just as impressive, filled with soaring pop bangers like the one in question here. You can read my full review of the record on this site here!
"Empty Handed" - House & Home
Until this month, I never quite got around to listening to House & Home, despite the great things I heard about their album "Find Sense. Feel Love. Make Light." (something I definitely regretted when I heard their latest single for the first time). Their sound falls on the heavier side of pop-punk and really scratches an itch in my musical brain in a way that I can't quite explain; I'm beyond excited to see what the future holds for this band. My full review of the track can be found on the site here!
"Closed Casket Material" - Regrown
Given the inclusion of their more recent single "Cuffed" on my April 2021 playlist, it should come as no surprise that I've had the titular track from Regrown's upcoming EP on loop this month. There's something so accessible yet so unique about this band, both lyrically and sonically, and I'm absolutely in love with their music; June 18th can't come soon enough! You can check out my review of the final single released before the album, "Deep End", here.
"la di die (feat. jxdn) - Nessa Barrett
My habit of spending all of my free time on TikTok isn't exactly something I'm proud of, but it does do a great job of helping me find new music. Two of the app's biggest stars teamed up with Blink-182 legend Travis Barker for this ultra-catchy alternative-influenced track, and it undoubtedly lands; there's something entrancing about Barrett's vocals and lyrics, it's hard for me to believe that we're the same age sometimes!!
"Autumn's Final Sun" - Dying Wish
Another band that I highlighted on last month's playlist, I still can't stop listening to Dying Wish. Emma Boster's vocal versatility is on full display on this track, and I find myself putting it on whenever I can't decide what to listen to.
"Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)" - Doja Cat
Since listening to her album "Hot Pink" for the first time earlier this year, I've officially named myself Doja Cat's biggest fan - I'm convinced that there's nothing that she can't do. I had high expectations going into this collaboration with SZA, who I'm also a huge fan of, and these ladies certainly did not disappoint.
"Just Kidding" - Waterparks
Waterparks has always been such a polarizing force in the modern alternative music scene, but whether you love them or hate them, you can't deny that they must be doing something right to be drawing so much attention. I'm a firm believer that they don't have a single bad song, and their new album "Greatest Hits" (especially this track) has really helped me fall back in love with them. I go way more in-depth about each track (like, 2400+ word count in-depth) in my full review of the album here!
"Eternal You" - Fiddlehead
I'm notorious for calling Fiddlehead the best band in the world on Twitter whenever I get a chance to do so, but I don't want anyone debating me on that anymore after hearing their new album, particularly this track. This band seriously can do no wrong. My full review of "Between the Richness" can be found on our site, in addition to my reviews of the album's lead singles "Million Times" and "Heart to Heart" and a look back at their first full-length "Springtime and Blind" via Legends of Tomorrow.
"Far Too Sweet" - Rare Candy
While acoustic and folk-leaning music typically reminds me of fall (Alexa, play "Queen of Autumn" by Rare Candy), I've found myself listening to a ton of Belmont's Alex Wieringa's solo project lately. The lyrical content is so immersive, I can have his discography on shuffle for hours.
"This is Good for You, Yeah?" - The Stolen
Open letter to The Stolen: I just want one more album. Please. This album is like the lovechild of The 1975's self-titled and "Graveyard Girl"-era M83, a perfect "driving around with the windows down" album for late spring into early summer. Just pure indie-rock perfection.
"Just Don't Let Go Just Don't" - Hellogoodbye
I used to listen to Hellogoodbye non-stop in middle school and early high school ad stumbled upon them again recently when making a playlist of my favorite songs from throughout my high school years. I know that "Here (in Your Arms)" is their big hit, but this track and "The Thoughts That Give Me The Creeps" were always their best in my eyes.
"Sick Little Games" - All Time Low
"Nothing Personal" is a very special album for me - it was the first CD I ever bought with my own money, my favorite All Time Low record, one of my favorite records of all time, and the record I saw them perform in full when I saw the band live for the first time. Over a decade later, songs like "Sick Little Games" still have me in awe at how amazing they are.
"Tawny" - Drug Church
For a band that thrives so much in a live setting, I almost feel like I'm doing Drug Church a disservice by listening to them so much lately rather than magically transporting to one of their shows. I consider "Cheer" to be a modern-day alternative classic ("Weed Pin" was my 16th most-streamed song of 2020), and if this track is any indicator of what's to come, I can't wait to hear their new EP of the same name next month.
"enough for you" - Olivia Rodrigo
I struggled for close to an hour after listening to Olivia Rodrigo's debut album "SOUR" to try to pick a favorite track, so that tells you all that you need to know about this record. My current favorite is "enough for you", but I'm sure that'll change within a few hours and may have already changed - this is a flawless LP. You can find my review of the single "good 4 u" here as well as my full review of the album on the site here.
"Steamroller" - Phoebe Bridgers
It wouldn't be a playlist by me if there wasn't some Phoebe Bridgers on it, would it? "ICU" was my obsession in April, "Steamroller" is the track I can't get enough of in May. Just absolutely breathtaking lyrically.
"NYG" - Babie
While, admittedly, I didn't really vibe with Julia Affinito's debut full-length as Babie, released in 2020 and titled "Tree Sap", her first single in 2021 titled "Long Sleeves" was a huge step up for the young artist in every way imaginable - lyrically, vocally, instrumentally, and so on. Her newest track "NYG" (which stands for "now you're gone") is another substantial improvement in all of those areas, complete with a great music video by Kris Khunachak. You can check out my full review of the single here.
What were your favorite songs this month? Let me know by tweeting me at @JENSESSlON or the blog at @StrawbSkiesBlog! The blog can also be found on social media @StrawberrySkiesBlog on Instagram and Strawberry Skies Blog on Facebook.