Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: “Better” Beginnings

October 30, 2017

Back in high school, I had a pretty bad reputation among my friends for making a new playlist for every new mood I was in. Naturally, I called these playlists my current “moodboards.” (Yes, I was The Worst.)

Without a doubt, this week is a lot to handle, rife with conflicting emotions (moods?): midterms (do they ever end?), Halloween ~festivities~, the start of November. It’s a lot to process, especially when any real break remains so distant. So, here’s an end-of-October-start-of-November moodboard. Catchy but chill, maybe this can set the tone for your next few weeks of work and (hopefully) relaxation.

  1.     Sam Gouthro: “First Base”

A unique intro and a steady background beat accompany the mellow and conversational rap in this song. More like a story set to music, “First Base” is innocent and endearing, giving listeners a peek into the singer’s inner thoughts as he musters the courage to ask a girl on a first date. While short (the whole song is only about a minute and a half long), this tune sets the vibe for the playlist and for exciting new beginnings.

  1.     Sundial: “Dive”

Waiting as the music and vocals crescendo in “Dive,” eventually reaching an amazingly satisfying (but low-key) beat drop, makes listening to this song the perfect chill experience. The catchy chorus is perfect for grooving without too much concentration.

  1.     Rahn Harper: “Stay”

This is a great background song to have playing if you’re trying to catch up on some work or just sit and chill with friends. Without serious, abrasive musical tracks, the vocals can truly shine through. Sweet and loving, “Stay” might just inspire you to give that one special person a call.

  1.     Mac Ayres: “Easy”

This track is so soothing, filled with warm, honey-like vocals and a steady background beat. The recording sounds slightly tinny, giving the song a bit of an old-timey effect, as if it’s playing off a worn record. Slightly longer (about five minutes), you have plenty of time to lean back, close your eyes, and get in the zone.

  1.     NF: “Got You On Mind”

Breaking somewhat from the mellow and happy songs before it, “Got You On My Mind” is moody and emotional. (Sorry, I had to include one!) NF’s vocal style and background music remind me slightly of Post Malone, with a bit more of an electronic flair. The tone shifts drastically about halfway through, briefly making the song a more of a hype-up rather than a brooding lament. It may be a little repetitive, but what can I say—I’m a sucker for angst-y rap.

  1.     Brahny: “Auburn”

The slow and steady backtrack in this song, along with the high-pitched vocals, creates a rich and warm sound that, while quiet, easily fills the room. The catchy chorus will definitely have you singing along as you write that important email or finish that last reading.

  1.     Imad Royal: “Dust”

Compared with some of the more low-key songs on this playlist, “Dust” opens with a little more force. While still fairly mellow, this song combines various electronic, pop, and hip-hop tones, varying between more grating vocals and a smoother multi-vocal chorus. The slow fade out and extended musical coda are the perfect transition to the last song of the weekly list.

  1.     Mallrat: “Better”

“Better” is the newest release by the typically out-there indie artist, Mallrat. This is easily the most uplifting and happy song on this list. Singing with such a charming and soft voice, Mallrat makes her music feel personal, as if she’s talking directly to you. The positive lyrics and hearty musical track are the best way to conclude the playlist and dive into a new month.


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