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Friday playlist: Best music released during winter term



Now that spring is upon us, summer is just around the corner, which means many artists will start releasing music in hopes of landing the coveted “song of summer.” But before we look forward to those upcoming releases, let’s first reflect on how winter term has come and gone and take a look back at some of the best tracks released during the first quarter of the calendar year. January, February and March saw an abundance of releases from megastar artists such as The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and more.

Here are a few highlights from the list:

Big Shot” — Kendrick Lamar with Travis Scott

Just when everyone thought Lamar couldn’t get any cooler, he decides to produce and curate a musical score for one of the year’s most popular and influential blockbuster films, “Black Panther.” Lamar’s record, “Black Panther: The Album,” produced a slew of hits from a variety of music’s biggest stars — not to mention that it perfectly fits in with the essence of the movie. The record is nothing short of terrific from top to bottom, making it hard to choose just one song, but “Big Shot” takes the cake. The track starts with a powerful scream — “Wakanda”  — which is the fictional country where Black Panther takes place, and then busts into a rambunctious, rhythmic beat that Lamar and Scott ride with creative spits.

Bodys” — Car Seat Headrest

Maybe the most energetic track on the Seattle-based band’s most recent album, “Twin Fantasy,” “Bodys” features frontman Will Toledo dissecting oddities of dancing while simultaneously finding himself enjoying the act. In many ways, the song serves as an anthem for all who have ever felt the awkwardness of organized fun but also felt left out when not included in such activities. And as Toledo always does, he finds a way to capture the essence of a 20-something-year-old’s social anxiety in an upbeat and catchy melody.

Look Alive” — BlocBoy JB feat. Drake

How Drake continues to make absolute banger after banger will never cease to astonish me. In a one-month period, the prolific superstar released two of the year’s biggest hits: “God’s Plan” (Don’t worry, God’s plan made the online playlist) and “Look Alive.” After a brief intro, the track’s beat drops and Drake begins riding it with the fast-paced chorus that leads right into his own verse.  And as usual, Drake finds himself flexing on the haters and hanging with the squad. Sounds like a pretty good life.

Ghost Voices” — Virtual Self

This song comes from the “Virtual Self EP,” marking the first release from North Carolina-based DJ and producer Porter Robinson’s alter ego, Virtual Self. Much of the EP is both musically and thematically intense, but this track makes its way back into the dancy realm of neo-techno with a brighter and happier tone. Overlayed synths and a pounding bass keep the track moving forward in and out of breakdowns, and Porter was still able to fit in his signature clunky drum and bass breakdown about halfway through the song.

Powerglide” — Rae Sremmurd feat. Juicy J

When thinking of contemporary artists who exclusively like music to party to, no one comes close to touching the polarizing hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd. Comprising Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, and exclusively produced by the now legendary Mike WiLL Made-It, Rae Sremmurd glides (pun intended) over the bumping beat. And that’s not even to mention Juicy J’s perfect feature verse on the track, which produces some extremely quotable bars that are far too inappropriate to put in print.

Listen to the full playlist here:


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Zach Price

Zach Price

Zach Price is the Editor in Chief of the Emerald. He likes to write about music and watch Trail Blazer games.

Reach Zach at [email protected]