CommRadio Weekly Playlist: Oct. 17
Here, members of the Arts and Entertainment Department will talk about the songs that dominated their playlists during the week and what makes them so good.
“Rivers and Roads” - The Head And The Heart
Two of my best friends from childhood turn 20 this week, so I’ll be listening to this song on repeat until further notice.
The Head And The Heart is an indie folk band that originated in Seattle in 2009. “Rivers and Roads,” which is probably their most popular song, is on their self-titled first album that came out in 2011.
It also appeared in the Season 4 finale of “New Girl,” which is also important to me for reasons that have nothing to do with why I’m listening to it so much this week.
This song is about how when you’re getting older, you and all of the important people in your life are in different places, whether that be physically or mentally.
The specific lyric that really brings the point home is “been talkin’ ‘bout the way things change / and my family lives in a different state.” This line is something so many college students relate to, especially when they’re feeling homesick or alone.
- Izzy Charboneau
“Both Sides Now” - Joni Mitchell
For years, I enjoyed Joni Mitchell’s 1971 “Blue” album, but did not explore the rest of her discography. When I watched the 2021 film “Coda,” my ears were blessed to hear Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now,” which was released in 1966.
The lyrics are poetry, floating along on a soft, acoustic guitar melody. This song explores perspectives and how life can be portrayed. Mitchell explains two opposite ways to view a physical object or abstract idea. She dives into how she has interacted with clouds, love and life.
For instance, she explains that clouds are puffy works of art in the sky. However, clouds also bring shadows and rain. These opposing viewpoints lead her to believe that she does not understand clouds.
After clouds, Mitchell examines love and life. Ultimately, she concludes that she does not know these things “at all.”
At the end of the song, when Mitchell sings about life, she says, “Well, something’s lost, but something’s gained.” She ends the song a few verses later, saying, “I really don’t know life at all.”
I disagree. Her lyric, “Something’s lost, but something’s gained” is the daily human experience, which is a large contributor to life.
- McKenna Wall
“Supercut” - Lorde
To call anything perfect is risky, but to call Lorde’s “Supercut” off her quintessential pop album “Melodrama” perfect would just be stating a fact.
The lyrics of this song genuinely feel like Lorde, and Jack Antonoff read my inner monologue and put them into a glorious pop song.
Stating that “in my head, I do everything right when you call, I forgive and not fight” is so painfully relatable but in an upbeat and fun package that I can be heartbroken and in high spirits while listening.
Sometimes I want to get up and dance to this song. Other times I feel like Lorde and Antonoff deserve jail time for writing these lyrics down.
“Supercut” is such an interesting song, somehow being sonically cohesive and diverse simultaneously. Tracks like this remind me of what a powerhouse producer Antonoff truly is.
The most powerful moment comes with Antonoff's expert production being able to paint the story well. As the song's outro, Lorde’s repetitive vocals start fading out, just like the memories she sings of in this song.
“Supercut” is always in my music rotation; it's unique, alluring, familiar and indisputably perfect.
- Sophia D’Ovidio
“Fill Your Heart” - Biff Rose
I was watching the most charming film the other day titled “Benjamin”. An indie analysis about neurosis and whether or not a person can be unloveable that is quite comedic.
Complimenting the film’s casual tone and light subject matter, the film’s score debuted fantastic original music and respected classics. My favorite song from the movie was the end credit song “Fill Your Heart” written and performed by Biff Rose.
The jaunty, jazz and psychedelic rock inspired tune sounded familiar to me, and I realized David Bowie has a cover of the song on my favorite Bowie album “Hunky Dory”.
As much as I love Bowie, his cover of Biff Rose’s song is not comparable to the original. Rose effectively creates a big band atmospheric sound with a limited amount of instruments utilized versus Bowie’s stripped down performance.
Drum brushes, improvisational melodic piano segments, and brass solos combine for a jazz inspired instrumental backing. However, the vocal tone and quality transports the listener back to the 60s folk and psychedelic rock movement.
This is a must listen for anyone who enjoys the stylings of a “Hunky Dory” era David Bowie, Kevin Ayers and Alan Price.
- Eliza Casey
Izzy Charboneau is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
McKenna Wall is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Eliza Casey is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year from Allentown, New Jersey. She is now a communications (undecided) major at Penn State University. Sophia intends on pursuing a career in journalism. Sophia writes for the CommRadio Arts department.
Freshman / Telecommunications