There’s nothing that comes close to the thrill of listening to a transformative song for the first time or discovering that hidden gem on a friend’s playlist. Music has always been a boundless world that simultaneously offers just the right accompaniment to our fondest loves, funniest moments, and saddest nights. Street's always exploring the vast treasure chest of releases that streaming has to offer, and we wanted to share some of our favorite riches.
–Evan Qiang, Music editor
“Archie, Marry Me” — Alvvays
The world is burning, the ozone layer is disintegrating above our heads, and lately, nothing seems easy. Such is the story of Gen Z angst, or maybe just the eternal condition of burgeoning teenage cynics. In what can seem like a world on the brink of chaos, love is a hard thing; our generation’s conquering girlboss, Euphoria’s Maddy Perez, put it best when she lamented the fact that a sweet, simple love might never be enough for her.
But Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me” makes things seem devastatingly simple, sweet, and realistic for even the most jaded of characters. Though singer Molly Rankin's partner expresses his "contempt for matrimony" because of student loans, floral arrangements, and the dreaded bread–maker discussion, the song’s chorus shrugs off worldly concerns and gets right to the heart of the issue, repeating, “marry me, Archie” over a blurry, soft guitar cadence. Maybe, the song probes, we’re all just making it harder than it needs to be. Love has never seemed so straightforward, so charming, or so perfectly enough.
–Anjali Kishore, Ego beat
“Ghosts” — Laura Marling
"Ghosts" does not tell of one broken heart, but of two. A man and a woman find common fears, heartache, and the desperation for real love in one another. The man attempts to begin a new relationship with Laura Marling, despite “still mourning over ghosts” of his prior relationships. Marling’s chorus reaches out to protect him from the pain she is all too familiar with: “Lover please do not fall to your knees / it’s not like I believe in / everlasting love.” When the pair realizes their similarities, the prospect of love is no longer so daunting, leaving them as “just two lovers crying on each other’s shoulder.”
–Kate Ratner, Music beat
“Illusion of Forever” — Beach House
With the release of Chapter 3 from Beach House’s new double album Once Twice Melody, the dream pop duo makes a triumphant return, best encapsulated by the closing song of this installment: “Illusion of Forever.” As Victoria Legrand croons, “Always, always / Centuries of light / And I can’t believe in nothing just yet,” the song pulsates with quiet determination and envelops you with light—it's simply golden. The song’s celestial instrumental is stunningly grand, and yet Legrand’s signature otherworldly vocals are deeply intimate. During a time when life often feels bleak and desolate, “Illusion of Forever” reminds us that hope is just enough to keep us going.
–Kira Wang, Style editor
“Midnight River (feat. 6LACK)” — Pink Sweat$
In response to a relatively deserted campus, I found myself listening to mellow music on the walks to 1920 Commons for my grab–and–go meals. Philly singer Pink Sweat$’s new track, “Midnight River (feat. 6LACK),” is the perfect remedy to a hectic day and, as always, his lyrics are refreshingly honest and sweet. He conjures up a picturesque image with the lyrics, “We can float on a midnight river / We can fly through the moonlit sky,” as he describes the weightless feeling of being or falling in love. The gentle guitar arpeggios make the song feel intimate and the lyrics match this mood, as though they were reserved for his lover. Serving as a sneak peek into his upcoming album, Pink Moon—which boasts a highly anticipated collaboration with Tori Kelly—“Midnight River” reflects the R&B singer’s unique sound and dreamy aesthetic.
–Cindy Zhang, Film & TV editor
“We Ride” — Brave Girls
Brave Girls catapulted into the spotlight last year thanks to their four–year–old hit, “Rollin’,” unprecedentedly going viral. For a girl group that was days away from disbanding, “Rollin’” proved to have staying power and kept them from fading into obscurity.
However, just months before their “Rollin’” fame, Brave Girls made a last–ditch effort at charting success, and it came in the form of “We Ride.” While the lyrics detail a strained relationship during a silence–filled car ride, the '80s–inflected, city–pop production suggests nostalgic reminiscence more than sorrow. With groovy choreography, an infectious chorus, and stellar vocal performances, “We Ride” was a noble effort for what would’ve been Brave Girls’ last comeback
–Derek Wong, Music beat
“Suck Teeth” — L’Rain
I’m admittedly late to the hype around Taja Cheek, but earlier this month I finally listened to her acclaimed Fatigue. While the entire record is atmospheric and beautiful, nothing hypnotized me more this year than, "Suck Teeth," the sixth track on the album. Cheek and the elusive Slauson Malone produced a lush and dreamlike soundscape that is lifted by Cheek’s mesmerizing vocals. The buildup in the final minute of the song, a swirling rapture of guitars, synths, drums, and saxophone, is easily one of my favorite musical moments to come out of 2021. If only I got to it earlier.
–Grayson Catlett, Music beat
“Take Off Ur Pants” — Indigo de Souza
Indigo De Souza’s “Take Off Ur Pants” is a procrastination anthem. De Souza deliberates on when she’s going to get around to finally completing the tasks she’s put off, like getting out of bed or following through on her plans. This alt–rock track explores the mounting pressure to be productive like “everybody else is.” In a life dominated by social media, it can often feel that we aren’t living our lives to the fullest in the same way as our peers. In this song, De Souza urges her listeners to take a step back and revel in the undetermined.
–Jack Nycz, Staff writer
“2010” — Earl Sweatshirt
In the never–ending havoc and turmoil of the 2020s, Thebe Kgositsile temporarily clings onto his past on “2010,” the lead single from his album Sick! Although “2010” features a new sound for the rapper as he experiments with a more mainstream trap beat, Kgositsile never sacrifices his signature stream–of–consciousness flow. He relives some of his most formative experiences, from his years at Temple University to moments spent with his mother “playin’ Mary J. songs.” However, what Kgositsile craves most is to “triumph over plight and immense loss” and rekindle “a fire” that led him to drop his debut mixtape all the way back in—you guessed it—2010. "2010" (the song) represents a key turning point for Kgositsile’s musical career, as the hardships he faced now motivate him to push forward. Given Kgositsile’s career, which has garnered both critical acclaim and mainstream success, it’s safe to say the rapper has found the spark to his once dying flame. 12 years later, even if the world around him is collapsing, Kgositsile is burning brighter than ever.
–Evan Qiang, Music editor