Introductions and A Quick Round-Up

Hello and welcome to the WQHS Blog! My name is Julia Davies and I am very excited to be WQHS’s Blog Director for 2021. This year I aim to help create a space for all people to celebrate, share and discover music. WQHS Radio has been an important part of my time at Penn and this will be my sixth semester involved in WQHS! Each semester (and this past summer too!) I’ve had a radio show which I’ve sometimes hosted on my own, but I’ve also co-hosted with both my sister, Emma, and brother, Pryce. I’m lucky that WQHS has given me an excuse to catch-up with my siblings each week. 

Throughout this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been missing the opportunity to talk about music with other members of WQHS. I’ve been missing the long walks to the Seltzer Family Studio queuing up that day’s playlist before my show. I’ve been missing Uber trips to local concerts in Philadelphia. I was drawn to the Blog Director role to fill a little bit of the hole of all the things that I miss. I hope that this blog may serve a similar purpose for you: to create a sense of community of people who love music. Reach out to me ([email protected]) if you’re interested in writing for the blog and let me know if you’re interested in reporting on a virtual concert, interviewing musicians, or getting an early listen to a new album release. 

With that short introduction, I wanted to share with everyone a quick round-up of music I’ve been listening to lately. I also made a little playlist of these songs and a handful more if you dig it. 

  1. “Good Days” – SZA

This winter break I spent a week with just my older sister, Sarah, in Sag Harbor, New York. Before COVID-19 sent me home this past Spring semester, I hadn’t spent more than a few days at a time with my sister in years. Like many siblings, we’ve grown closer in these past few months, going on daily walks, cooking dinner together, and going on long drives when we get really bored. During our long drives as just the two of us, my sister put SZA’s “Good Days” on repeat and that is just about all we would listen to. After this difficult fall semester, in SZA’s lines “Good days, always / Always inside” I found peace. 

2. “not a lot, just forever” – Adrianne Lenker

Late this past October, Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief released the album songs and it’s filled my ears since. The album is purely beautiful and poetic. I think it might have been one of my favorite albums of 2020. I love “not a lot, just forever,” because like many of the songs on the album its lyrics are dark and heavy at times, yet Lenker’s voice is delicate and light. On Apple Music, Lenker says that the concept of the song comes from “something happening infinitely, but in a small quantity… like a bird shedding its feather or maybe like how rocks are changed over time.” 

3. “telepatía” – Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis’ Sin Miedo arrived this November and brought pure joy. I thank Kali Uchis for keeping me dancing during the quarantine. From her EP TO FEEL ALIVE to Sin Miedo, Kali Uchis has consistently been putting out great music this past year. The production of telepatía is hypnotic and magical. While listening to this song I feel transported. I forget that I’m on a cold quiet campus completing classes from my apartment. 

4. “Coffee for Dinner” – Orion Sun 

Orion Sun, one of my favorite Philly musicians, gave me the best birthday gift last year: this song “Coffee for Dinner.” This song is so comforting, perfectly capturing how one’s loneliness and hardest moments feel. It’s a reminder of who’s there for you through thick and thin. In April 2019, surrounded by friends and Penn students I saw Orion Sun perform at TEP, and whenever I hear this song I’m reminded of the excitement and joy of that night. I’m also reminded of my friends who were there at the concert with me and continue to be there for me even though we cannot physically see each other. 

5. “Runnin’ feat. Yeek” – UMI

The beat, the lyrics, the vocals, “Runnin’” by UMI featuring Yeek has it all. It’s perfect! Together, UMI and Yeek make the perfect R&B duo. The song is sweet and smooth and yet also has upbeat, addicting moments to it. Although I didn’t really branch out much this past year, UMI was one of the few new artists I got really into. I really recommend checking out some of her other songs such as “Butterfly,” “Lullaby,” and “River” if you haven’t already. All of her songs are wrapped in a beautiful sense of nostalgia. 

6. “In My Room” – Frank Ocean

“In My Room” has really been the soundtrack for this past year. When my sister and I were starting to get a little stir-crazy during finals season this past fall semester, we would put on this song and just go wild screaming each line. It was catharsis. I finish my round-up with this song not only for how fitting it is in capturing a time where most of us are spending our days in our rooms but also to put out good vibes for a Frank Ocean release in 2021. I think we all deserve it.

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