The Scout staff has created a list of its favorite songs to listen to heading into the month of November, along with explanations.
“Again” by Kehlani
On this early 2018 single, Kehlani’s powerful vocals are backed by warm acoustic guitar and gentle whistling. She sings about the difficult process of letting go of a struggling, but memorable relationship. “Again” is a beautifully minimal and bittersweet track that can be classified as both a love song and a breakup ballad.
“Luv Is Dro” by Jack Harlow feat. Static Major & Bryson Tiller
Louisville, Kentucky natives Jack Harlow and Bryson Tiller unite for this track from the former’s 2020 debut album, “Thats What They All Say.” The duo chronicles intimate experiences with their lovers on this vibe-heavy track. Harlow’s sexually suggestive verse and Tiller’s typically soulful addition are complimented by the sample from Static Major’s 2009 hit “Love Is Dro.”
“I Wish You Would” by Taylor Swift
Following the re-release of Taylor Swift’s album “1989” and the fact that I saw her perform this live as a surprise song, I find myself falling in love with this song again. “I Wish You Would” is the perfect story of lovers turned enemies. With the upbeat melody, it is easy to sing or yell along to in the car.
“King” by Florence + the Machine
This indie-rock band has always made emotional songs and this one tops the list. “King” details the story of a scorned woman arguing with a man about the gender roles that society places women in. With the powerful voice of lead singer Florence Welch, listeners can feel the anger that she has and resonate with it.
“Ave María” by David Bisbal
Spanish singer-songwriter David Bisbal’s 2002 album “Corazón Latino” features many upbeat love songs, and “Ava María” is one of my favorites. As the music video demonstrates, this song is very danceable and a lot of fun to sing along to.
“Last Night on Earth” by Green Day
A stark contrast from my previous pick, “Last Night on Earth” is a beautiful, slow piano ballad. Billie Joe Armstrong sings sweetly, declaring and sharing his love despite the world ending.
“Now That We Don’t Talk” by Taylor Swift
This song, released from the “1989” album’s vault collection, has become my new anthem. The song’s instrumental, which is trending on TikTok, makes it the perfect song to scream to. Friendly reminder to everyone: if Taylor Swift can go no contact with her ex, you can too.
“Roslyn” by Bon Iver and St. Vincent
From my favorite comfort movie series, “Twilight,” this song reminds me of my home state of Washington and is the perfect track to play on a cold fall or winter day. With Bon Iver being one of my favorite artists, this song never goes unplayed for too long.
“No Merci” by Little Simz
British rapper and singer-songwriter Little Simz is a breath of fresh air in the rap industry. Her 2022 album “NO THANK YOU” appeased hip-hop fanatics everywhere. It was difficult to choose just one song that captures the perfection of her craft, but “No Merci” displays a beautiful amalgamation of talent in lyricism, production and delivery.
“Millionaire” by Kelis feat. Andre 3000
Kelis Rogers, better known as Kelis, defined the early 2000s with her radio hit “Milkshake.” However, her music goes beyond what makes it on the radio. Released in 2003, “Millionaire” allowed Kelis to showcase her gorgeous vocals, complimented by hip-hop legend Andre 3000. This up-beat jam is still a bop two decades later.
“Grade A” by spill tab feat. JAWNY
This has become my favorite song over the last week or so. With a sound that can be compared to trending pop artists, the French-Korean artist spill tab combines with JAWNY to create one of the best feel-good songs that you’ve likely never heard of. As they lash out at a lover that did them wrong, you are transported by the hard-hitting drums and guitar.
“In My Room” by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s signature sound shines through on this 2019 single. While he is indirectly criticizing the music industry that he is a part of, the lyrics give you a glimpse into the life of an artist and the toll fame has on his relationships. The bouncy melody contradicts the somber vocals, with it all culminating in an outro that causes you to levitate.
“Money” by Pink Floyd
One of the most influential songs of the ‘70s opens with a sound collage of literal money. The ingenuity behind that opening is incredible for something made before digital recording technology. There is a great opening bass line with lyrics that follow the bass and are filled with irony. A wailing saxophone solo and a dark guitar solo round out the individual instrumental section. This track has everything that’s great about classic rock.
“The Three of Us” by Streetlight Manifesto
One of the least common genres of music, ska can only be described as a perfect blend of jazz and punk rock with a hint of reggae. Streetlight Manifesto’s opening track on their fifth record, “The Hands That Thieve,” is a good example of what this genre is all about: mixing the aggression of punk rock with the instrumentation of a jazz band.
“4runner” by Brenn!
“4runner” utilizes a strategic build of chords and pockets of silence, developing an effective story to become engrossed in. The most memorable moment, however, is the very end. Guitar strums get more and more intense until the lyrics stop and segue to just vocal harmonies. “4runner” is all about change and it leads the listener right into the emotional turmoil it brings.
“Teenage Dream” by Olivia Rodrigo
A song off Rodrigo’s newest album “GUTS,” “Teenage Dream” depicts a 19th birthday and the worries that come along with getting older. It’s a slower song that grows in intensity throughout. With my 19th birthday coming up next week, this song is all too relatable.
“Breezeblocks” by alt-J
As a lover of indie music, “Breezeblocks” embodies my love for the genre. The track is a low-key, rhythmic bop with an upbeat sound and an instrumental hook that has kept this song on the top of my playlist for weeks. You’ll be sure to have alt-J’s polyphonic “I love you so” stuck in your head all day.
“Kiss the Boy” by Keiynan
This song brings me back to middle school, a period of truly embarrassing musical tastes. Guilty pleasure doesn’t begin to describe the cheesiness of such tracks as “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars and “This Feeling” by The Chainsmokers and Kelsea Ballerini. “Kiss the Boy,” however, brings all the guilty pleasure feelings without the awkward aftertaste. It’s a soft-on-the-ears dance track that’s an easy listen if you’re studying or looking for a romantic pick-me-up.