‘Guts Spilled’: It’s Not For You (It’s For Me)

Way back last October, Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS released, captivating me to the point that it led to a brief foray into amateur music criticism and to the eventual position of Rodrigo at the top of my Spotify Wrapped. I didn’t really precisely understand what I found so undeniable about the album: It’s odd to be a person so skeptical of popular cinema only to have the milquetoast music taste of an AI-generated character from a Netflix high school sitcom. But besides the obvious earworm-y quality of the songs and palpable angst of the vocals, Rodrigo managed to so perfectly and bluntly hit a specific familiar stream of consciousness that resonated with me and society more broadly. She’s popular — I’m just describing pop music. 

Anyway, GUTS (spilled) — the album’s deluxe edition — released last Friday, featuring five new songs and a slight cover variant with very tiny text. As an avid fan nevertheless trying to avoid a Spotify Wrapped repeat, I did eagerly listen to the new tracks, but only after being reminded of the album’s existence by a friend texting me with (probably) a bit of derision.

SOLAR FLARE | Songs for Grinding Out an Essay

I know what you’re thinking: “A playlist to write an essay to? Did they run out of ideas already?” Fear not. I just happen to be a part of a niche group of people who enjoy listening to words while typing other words. Something about having a beat makes me more productive, and I know that there are others out there who feel the same way. I dedicate this playlist to you all.

Kelsea Ballerini Has Rolled Up the Welcome Mat for the Second Time, and It’s Even Better Now

In 2023, country-pop standout Kelsea Ballerini surprise-released a six-song EP entitled Rolling Up the Welcome Mat centered around her very public divorce from Morgan Evans (ironic, since the EP was released on Valentine’s Day). This release was accompanied by a twenty-minute short film that depicted her experience song by song. On Aug. 1, 2023 she revealed to fans that she would be releasing an extended version of the EP, and on Aug. 11 Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good) hit all platforms. I don’t ordinarily consider myself a country music fan, but I was absolutely blown away by the nuance, lyricism and just plain talent Ballerini exhibited in the original EP and short film as well as the extended version.

Javelin Brings Together Sufjan Stevens’ Musical History

Sufjan has a very broad discography, having released 13 studio albums, three soundtracks, 13 EPs, two mixtapes and more since 1999. He has a beautiful habit of making music to cope with tragedy. In 2015, he released Carrie and Lowell, inspired by the death of his mother, and in October, he released Javelin, dedicated to his late partner, Evan Richardson, whom he lost in April. The album takes us through his grief, which reveals itself through his tired voice and intricate lyrics that wax and wane through the hopelessness and hopefulness of losing someone you love too early.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Movie Proves That Swift Really Is A “Mastermind”

Look what we made her do. With the release of her album Midnights just under a year ago, the announcement of The Eras Tour soon after, nine months of touring and the release of the rerecorded Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift has accomplished more in a year than most of us could dream to do in a lifetime. And she didn’t stop there — Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Movie was released on Oct. 13 and has quickly shattered records.

The Rolling Stones Prove that (Hackney) Diamonds Truly Are Forever

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Rolling Stones released their 24th album, Hackney Diamonds. This was their first album release in 18 years, and it included two songs recorded in 2019 with the Stones’ late drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021 at 80 years old. According to NPR, Watts had chosen Steve Jordan as his replacement should the need arise. In much of the lead-up to the record’s release, however, many seemed less concerned with the new percussionist and the content of Hackney Diamonds, but rather with the band members’ ages: Mick Jagger being 80, Keith Richards being 79 and Ronnie Wood being 76. 

Yves Tumor at Cornell Homecoming

Yves Tumor played the 2023 Cornell Homecoming Concert this Sunday at Barton Hall for an extremely excited crowd of several hundred students and alumni. 

Tumor, born Sean Lee Bowie in Miami, is an American musician with a cult following who has been releasing music under the Yves Tumor name since 2015. According to Dazed, Tumor began experimenting with music as a way of escaping the “dull, conservative surroundings” of Knoxville, Tennessee, where they grew up. The desire to break boundaries and escape traditional norms is evident in their music. Tumor’s discography covers a wide variety of genres, to the point that the only link between some of their songs is the fact that they sound nothing like anything you’ve heard before. However, Tumor is best described as a modern rock artist with experimental roots, blending the classic genre with electronic and psychedelic influences. 

Tumor’s individuality is also displayed in the wide range of artists, engineers and producers they work with.

Looking Past War: Understanding Israel Through Music

There is a very small chance that you are not aware of the crisis currently unfolding in Israel. Pictures of destruction fill our screens, and headlines continue to announce death tolls and count the missing. Many members of the Cornell community attended a memorial held by Cornell Hillel on October 11, and President Pollack has sent two emails about these events.  

Unfortunately, the news often has a dehumanizing effect — instead of being thought of as real people, the dead and missing are reduced to numbers, and a country becomes only its actions. Sides arise, and issues become polarized; many forget that these are real people and real lives being destroyed, not simply pawns in a political game. The lack of understanding and empathy for Israel is nothing new.

Olivia Rodrigo Is Not “The Next Taylor Swift”

Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo often make headlines, but now more than ever, the two of them seem to be a major topic of conversation. Taylor Swift’s burgeoning relationship with Travis Kelce has been talked about non-stop in the media, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is already reaching record-breaking ticket sales and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is set to be released at the end of this month. Olivia Rodrigo has largely been talked about in regards to the release of her sophomore album, GUTS, and the announcement of the accompanying world tour.