Press "Enter" to skip to content

Staff Picks: What is The Scout staff listening to heading into finals?

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

The Scout staff has created a list of its favorite songs to listen to ahead of finals season, along with explanations.

Anaiah Davis: 

“Attention” by Bryson Tiller

From his recently released self-titled album, Bryson Tiller’s “Attention” sets the tone for a project that draws on his older music while experimenting with new sounds. On this track with an addictive pre-chorus, the R&B hitmaker informs his lover that she is the apple of his eye and will never compete for his affection.

“Sum 2 Prove” by Lil Baby

Lil Baby switches flows with ease on this single from his 2020 album, “My Turn.” He acknowledges his success but admits he still has a long way to go in his career. Despite the crammed verses, the Atlanta rapper’s balance of humility and confidence paired with determined lyrics always keeps me coming back to “Sum 2 Prove.”

Madalyn Mirallegro:

“Espresso” by Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter is incapable of making a bad song. “Espresso” is by far one of the catchiest singles in her catalog. The lyrics are fun and easy to recite as you walk around your house, dorm, apartment or out for a walk in the nice weather. With a fun beat and a cute music video, Carpenter has made the official song of the summer. 

“Alley Rose” by Conan Gray

Any song from Conan Gray is always filled with emotion and “Alley Rose” is no different. The emotional lyrics are accompanied by an 80s synth beat and powerful electrical guitar chords. Like any popular song, it became part of a TikTok trend dedicated to best friends who are always there for you. 

Rome Tews:

“Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson

This track may just be the most early-2000s-white-girl-pop a song can get, and that’s what makes it hit just right. During finals, you need something that will make you get up and do it, and the motion of this song gives me the little extra push I need.

“Ironic” by Alanis Morissette

My week has been filled with contradictions and irony. Morissette does well to demonstrate my feelings using different tones and dynamics throughout the song. Sure, her lyrics aren’t exactly ironies, but it’s the thought that counts and who really cares?

Rodrigo Trujillo:

“Fighting my Demons” by Ken Carson 

I used to hate Ken Carson as much as the next person, but even an Olympic hater such as myself cannot ignore the absolute banger that he cooked up with this one. “Fighting my Demons” is a pumped up anthem that electrifies my spirit. Carson’s rhetorical request of his cup, blunt and reefer is exactly the opening line I need to hear before an earthmoving beat drop. It’s an exhilarating track with a catchy hook. 

“Like That” by Future, Metro Boomin, & Kendrick Lamar

After weeks of dominating the charts, “Like That” needs no introduction. Perhaps the tipping point of the rap civil war between Drake and Lamar, this track has managed to remain on repeat even after Drake’s response. Metro Boomin put his heart and soul into this sample flip and production, creating a memorable sequence of horns. Lamar’s 40-second verse, full of clever lines and double entendres, was enough to evoke a genre-shaking feud between nearly every prominent rapper. The song is so cutthroat that fans remain excited for Lamar’s next drop. 

Mason Klemm:

“Undivided” by Roy Woods

I didn’t know anything about Canadian artist Roy Woods before hearing “Undivided,” but listening to it sent me through his discography and gave me a very pleasant Monday afternoon. This simple song has Woods’ velvety voice layered on top of itself and a loud bass drum, making for a soulful ballad that is great for a late night drive.

“Sky Walker” by Miguel feat. Travis Scott

I recently circled back to “Sky Walker” after years of having it on my old playlist from high school, and I’m glad I did. I forgot how Miguel just floats over the instruments and vocal inflections to put together an effortless and smooth song. Take me back to 2017 when this track was released.

Rodrigo Perez:

“Fall Into Sleep” by Mudvayne 

Out of the Peoria Metal underground, Mudvayne did things just a little bit differently. They’re a group that sounds good together and it’s something that is displayed on “Fall Into Sleep.” It’s not their heaviest track, but I like the dynamics between the calm verses and the heavy choruses. 

“Superman” by Goldfinger

There’s something about summer and ska music that just works. It’s got brass and that reggae feel that makes it feel like the weather is warm again. I haven’t heard much from Goldfinger but this one is pretty good. 

Latif Love: 

“This Sunday” by Future, Metro Boomin

“This Sunday” was one of the best songs from an otherwise underwhelming set of albums by Future and Metro Boomin. On the song, Future mirrors Drake’s flow on the hit song “Feel No Ways.” Metro Boomin does an excellent job on the production, even featuring the beat from Drake’s track.

“Push Ups” by Drake 

The surprise drop from has been the best diss record produced out of the battle rap civil war. As a Drake superfan, it was great to hear him attack the rappers attempting to dethrone him.   

Davis Kinch: 

“All to Myself” by Future, Metro Boomin, and The Weeknd 

I did not think there would be a day I would hear Drake get dissed melodically, but it happened. The Weeknd, despite being a singer, threw jabs at Drake in “All to Myself.” He sings about being thankful he never agreed to sign to Drake’s OVO records back in the early 2010s which, given his success, is a fair statement. Aside from the shots fired, the overall flow of the song is so soothing and something I could listen to all the time. 

“Treasure” by Bruno Mars 

What a nostalgic song. I could say endless praises. From Mars’ amazing vocals, great lyrics and the song’s overall flow, “Treasure” is perfect in so many ways. No matter how old it gets, I will always listen to it and will be listening to it while studying for finals. 

Emmily Scumaci: 

“Something More” by Sugarland

Country music haters might stop reading here, but this song carries nostalgia and perfectly sums up what all students are needing near finals. It also kicks off the summer with a positive vibe and hundreds of ideas for a bucket list. 

“Two Lanes Of Freedom” by Tim McGraw

As another iconic hit from Tim McGraw, “Two Lanes Of Freedom” is the only summer song that needs to be played driving home from a day at the beach with the windows rolled down. It’s also good for listening while relaxing poolside and suntanning. Either way, it should be on everyone’s playlist.

Cassie Maxwell: 

“Danny Don’t You Know” by Ninja Sex Party

This song was released in the album “Cool Patrol,” and I discovered it after I fell into watching Game Grumps’ playthrough of “Sam and Max Hit the Road.” In this touching song, lead singer Dan Avidan sings to his younger self about his future. The song covers puberty, how potential does not die out as soon as you exit college and you can always find a happier life. It soothes my worries and is oddly inspirational in comparison to NSP’s other songs. Also, Markiplier is in the music video for some reason as a centaur.

“Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley” by PUP 

I got hooked on a movie called “Emesis Blue, and the only piece of fan media for it was an animation to this song. “Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley” is part of PUP’s album “Morbid Stuff,” which is about one of the games you would play as a kid to freak your friends out, like saying “Bloody Mary” into the mirror three times. The lyrics are great, but the rhythm is the best part. It works well as a song to jam out to.

Copyright © 2023, The Scout, Bradley University. All rights reserved.
The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.