Single Roundup: Week of 3/4

Story posted March 12, 2018 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by David Arroyo and Chandler Copenheaver

With new music emerging every week, the CommRadio Arts department will be taking a look at a handful of singles released each week. Here are our thoughts on five of the biggest tracks from this past week.

Daren - “White Lies”

His first song since late 2017, Daren (formerly DVG) is back with his latest single “White Lies.” “White Lies,” much like his last single “Last Breathe,” strives at being a minimalist pop song. Assisted by Alex Charles on vocals, Daren seems to recount a past relationship and continues to show his growth as an artist. His last two singles sound nothing like the songs on his last EP, Covered in Color, and Daren has shown obvious improvements vocally. With no announcement of an album on the way, it will be interesting to see if Daren continues to grow in this direction or if he takes a sharp turn in another. He seems to be breaking away from his past influences (namely Drake) and finding a style that better suits him and as 2018 continues, Daren could end up being a major player in the pop scene by years end. - David Arroyo


Anderson .Paak - “‘Till It’s Over”

Premiering in an ad for Apple, Anderson .Paak’s latest builds upon what he started with Malibu. From the vibrant synths to his trademark vocals, .Paak creates a song that could energize a room. The lyrics show a deep realization about the lifestyle .Paak lives when it comes to love as he speaks on never being able to love one person, the consequences of which he will deal with later. Despite this, the song never takes on a somber tone thanks in part to the star of the show: the production. Produced by Jeff Kleinman, a frequent producer on Kevin Abstract and Brockhampton’s early work, and Michael Uzowuru, a credited producer on new Frank Ocean tracks, they create a beautiful soundscape that allows .Paak to flourish. .Paak has always had a knack for finding producers who can create instrumentals he sounds angelic on, but to be able to find one that is both tailored made for him and a track that revitalizes the listener is truly astonishing. - David Arroyo


Vince Staples - “Get the **** Off My ****”

After some criticisms for his show performances and a general disdain for “haters” or “trolls,” Vince Staples started a GoFund Me with a very simple premise: fund his lifestyle or stop talking about him. The video accompanying the GoFund Me stated you would never hear from Vince Staples again if you fund his $2 million goal. A few days later, the cover art appeared for a new Staples’ single, named the same exist title as the video on his GoFund Me. The song, while not the most exciting thing Staples has done, may represent a shift from him. The song is fairly fun and bouncy, but takes a much more joking tone compared to past songs. Staples has always seemed to take his music very seriously despite being one of the funniest people in music. The funny nature of both the video and now this song may be him bring that comedic side to his music. This is not to say he does not still take this seriously as the song still takes a deep look at the way Staples looks at his fame. But from the GoFund Me to the song, it is clear that Vince Staples is looking for ways to capitalize on the trolling ability he has and it could lead to another huge change musically for him. - David Arroyo


The Decemberists - “Once In My Life”

The Decemberists are the neglected middle child of indie folk, coming too soon after the foundational works of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Microphones, and too far before Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver, to ever get the acclaim from the scene that they truly deserved. On the first single “Severed” from their upcoming album I’ll Be Your Girl, the band made the stark decision to incorporate synths, a bold move away from the progressive folk and twee folk styles the band had perfected over the course of the past two decades. But now with “Once In My Life,” The Decemberists are decidedly telling their fans that this is not just a phase. In what sounds like it could be ripped right from the closing scene of a John Hughes film, “Once In My Life” might be one of the extremely few instances where an indie band moving to a synth style is employed with actual practical use instead of simply trying to hop on a trite trend. The Decemberists have always been the most skilled band at crafting overly sentimental and cartoonishly emotional songs about the oddest of subject matters, a trait that goes so hand in hand with 1980s synth music so well that it’s like The Decemberists have secretly been waiting to move in this direction their entire career. In what just might save them from a string of poorly received recent past releases, I’ll Be Your Girl and its intelligent utilization of synths may just be the album to finally bring The Decemberists the respect they’ve been missing (and deserving) for so long. - Chandler Copenheaver


Parquet Courts - “Wide Awake”

Now going two-for-two for absolutely killer singles releasing up to their upcoming sixth album, “Wide Awake” proves that even when Parquet Courts are stretching the artistic fibers of their punk and garage influences, they still know how to inject a heavy dose of fun into their music. Eschewing their usual strong sense for melody in place for a groove-centric jam session filled with busy bass work and complex percussion, “Wide Awake” is sonically a departure from the first single “Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience,” but retains the carefree approach to song structure. Parquet Courts have been no stranger to both critical and commercial (for an indie artist that is) success, but Wide Awake! is shaping up to be the album that raises them up front simple “fun garage rockers” status to “innovative art-punkers” status. - Chandler Copenheaver


David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

David Arroyo's photo

David Arroyo

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo currently serves as one of two General Managers for CommRadio. David is a former arts & entertainment director, social media director and editor for the station. He has produced for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David most recently interned at WPVI-TV, 6abc in Philadelphia during the summer of 2018. While at 6abc he was a programing intern and helped in the production of their weekly show “FYI Philly.” David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

ChandlerCopenheaver's photo


Senior / Public Relations

Chandler Copenheaver is a Production Director and Arts Director of CommRadio who has been a member of CommRadio since the spring of 2015. Chandler’s responsibilities entail managing the production department, managing the arts department, creating audio commercials for CommRadio and external organizations, scheduling commercial blocks, and writing editorial content related to the arts. Chandler Copenheaver has worked most recently at Arlington Thrive in Arlington, VA as a Development & Program Intern, WellSpan Health in South Central PA as a Public Relations & Marketing Intern and served as a teaching assistant for the Penn State course BiSci 3 Environmental Science. Chandler aims to work in the fields of Public Relations, Communications Strategy or Communications Management. Follow him on Twitter @C_Copenheaver or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).