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College Ave Rewind(s): New Season, New Music?

I am not sure if I am alone on this, but since I have been on campus it is becoming more apparent that there has been a significant shift in my go-to music selections. I spent the summer listening to the upbeat Doja Cat and screaming my lungs out to the heart wrenching album that was Sour by Olivia Rodrigo. I secretly went to Lollapalooza last July and sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” with 400,000 unmasked people and had the time of my life before heading back home and immediately getting a refund for my Riot Fest tickets. No way was I going to risk my health again and besides, the headlining Nine Inch Nails dropped out a week later.  

Back to the present. Fall on campus. What is it about life’s timing that has us modifying our musical interest? Is it the change in scenery, or dirty dorm drapes and slamming dorm room doors? The new noise around us? The ever-present sounds of traffic that includes locals yelling, cars backfiring and the non-stop Harley Davidsons that roll down College Avenue at all hours? Or, could it be attributed to the change of seasons? We can see, smell and sense it coming all around us. Any day now you won’t be too hot in your room, but instead pleasantly surprised when you open your window. Well, whatever it is, it’s good to shake it up sometimes. This is what I’m currently listening to on repeat. We’ll have to see what Winter brings. 

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Bon Iver 

I heard Bon Iver for the first time when I was nine years old. His song “Holocene” was playing and it was the eeriest sound I had ever heard next to little me walking down the steps to the basement, imagining that something could pop out any second. Wisconsin-born, singer-songwriter Justin Vernon is the genius behind the indie-folk band Bon Iver. You may know him from his ballad “Skinny Love,” but he has many more works of art. Songs such as “Creature Fear” and “Lump Sum” showcase the band’s melancholy and driving-through-the woods-on-a-foggy-day feel. Fun fact time! Vernon made an appearance on Taylor Swift’s 2020 album Folklore. The two sing a duet called “exile” and it’s splendidly wonderful.  

My Fav Song: “Holocene” – Bon Iver, Bon Iver 

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Flora Cash 

Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall are the Swedish-American pop duo that makes up Flora Cash. The first time I saw Flora Cash was a couple of summers ago at a free concert at Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago. Right before I saw them, a massive summer storm had rattled through the city and everyone was taking shelter in the ginormous bathrooms in the tunnels near the beach. Anyway, the storm finally cleared and we were allowed to walk back out into the light. The show was about to start! We took our now very wet seats, and as we looked around only about 50 other people remained. People had left due to the storm and there we were beaming now in the second row while watching these artists perform as the rain continued to come down behind us. It was incredible. The duo is very talented. The band’s breakthrough song, “You’re Somebody Else” came out in 2017. This was the first song I heard and I fell in love with it. Heartfelt songs such as “Missing Home” and “Soulmate” showcase the duo’s wide range of pop to electronic to synth to acoustic sound and it is fantastic. Coming October 22 is Flora Cash’s third studio album Our Generation. 

My Fav Song: You’re Somebody Else 

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The Lumineers 

You may know American folk-rock band The Lumineers from their 2011 single “Ho Hey.” That may be the only Lumineers song you know. Well, it was for me, until one day, way back when I was at Soldier Field for a U2 concert and The Lumineers were opening for the Irish band that blessed us all with that free album on Apple Music a few years ago (not). It was about six o’clock at the time and The Lumineers had just finished “Ho Hey.” The next six songs that they played just blew me away. I had never heard anything like the guitars, the vocals, the cello and the tambourine. I immediately started listening to them the next day, and I can tell you that now, many years later, I have not stopped. The band at the time was touring for their second studio album Cleopatra, which has songs such as “Ophelia,” “Gun Song” and “Where the Skies are Blue.” Don’t get me wrong, their other stuff is great but “Cleopatra” is certifiably a no-skip album. The Lumineer’s fourth studio album “BRIGHTSIDE” is arriving on our phones on January 14, 2022.  

My Fav Song: “Sleep on the Floor”