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My (Musical) Guide to Surviving Sophomore Year

I trust my JLab headphones more than any man...



⋆how was your year?⋆

  • amazing !!

  • pretty good :)

  • just ok :/

  • 👎👎


I'm still processing the fact that my sophomore year has officially wrapped up. It's pretty insane that I may be halfway done with my college experience already. Einstein proposed the theory that time moves faster the closer you are to an object with strong gravity, but I don't think Einstein grasped how quickly time moves during one semester at the University of Arizona. Through the madness, mayhem, good days, bad days, and every day in between, I had one constant in my life: music. This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me, but I am so grateful to have such amazing friends, sunshine, and my many Spotify playlists to get me through.

DJ Screamer's Playlist #2:

sophomore year


  1. "Temptation Waits" by Garbage - Version 2.0 is not only one of my favorite albums of the '90s but also my favorite album by Garbage. This album takes me back to August when I was first unpacking and moving into my house with all my roomies. The first track of the album, "Temptation Waits," opens perfectly with a uniquely Garbage blend of girly fun, punk rock, fall vibes, and late '90s energy.

  2. "Everlong" by Foo Fighters - Speaking of the late '90s, "Everlong" is easily one of my most played songs this year -- and for good reason. The song might be the most popular song by Foo Fighters, but maybe popular songs are popular for a reason: they resonate with more people. I mean, The Colour And The Shape is about to turn 27, yet the songs from the album still resonate with listeners today. That's the power of a great song, not just a popular one :)

  3. "Agora Hills" by Doja Cat - One of my favorite tracks off of Scarlet. While Planet Her had more pop energy, Scarlet had more R&B influences but maintained the playfulness and whimsy that Doja is known for. Damn, I love Doja Cat. I've been a fan since 2018, and I've been obsessed with her musical (and style) evolution. The media is watching her every move, and people are actively preying on her downfall (especially in the Instagram comments -- don't even get me started 🙄), but she keeps doing her, and I'm here for it. P.S. I made my dad listen to Doja Cat over winter break, and he liked her stuff !!

  4. "all-american bitch" by Olivia Rodrigo - This song perfectly expresses the tight line that women walk (especially in the entertainment industry) to be themselves and be marketable at the same time. Rodrigo's clever lyrics poke fun at the hypocrisy of the standards women are held to. This track blends soft folk with angsty punk rock in a way that would make Kat Stratford jump with joy.

  5. "Nothing On (But The Radio)" by Addison Rae - My roommate introduced me to Addison Rae's music career when her EP, AR, dropped. While I don't condone all of her actions (or TikToks), I was pleasantly surprised by the noughties girlypop energy of the EP! My roomie and I love the collab with Charli XCX, but we both prefer the Gaga-esque vibes from "Nothing On (But The Radio)."

  6. "Monkey Gone to Heaven" by Pixies - Late '80s Pixies has my whole heart. An outstanding blend of rock and charm, the signature sound of the Pixies is captured by the Doolittle song, "Monkey Gone to Heaven." Silly yet brilliant, and with a gorgeous melody. LOVE Pixies! P.S. Their recent stuff holds up, too, like 2016's Head Carrier

  7. "Angels in Tibet" by Amaarae - Ama Genfi, also known as Amaarae, is your newest musical obsession. My high school ex-boyfriend introduced me to her by playing "SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY" for me back in 2021. While some relationships don't last long, others do -- like my obsession with this song from her newest album, Fountain Baby.

  8. "i don't have one of those" by EKKSTACY - EKKSTACY was soooo good. I'm still thinking about this album months after its release despite Pitchfork calling it "forgettable." What isn't forgettable is the guitar solo in the second half of this song (or "chicago" or "the headless horseman lost his way"). Do I think EKKSTACY has lyrically simplistic songs? Maybe. But is his music forgettable? Hell no.

  9. "inversion" by ivri - I couldn't even make this list without mentioning ivri. Her musical genius never fails to astound me, and I have been a huge fan since I discovered her music freshman year. When ivri's EP, the star factory, was released in October, I jumped for joy (having streamed this single to death beforehand).

  10. "Cannonball" by The Breeders - A Walk to Remember definitely inspired this pick. It's an amazing romance movie with a surprisingly killer soundtrack, but The Breeders are classics. I had a bit of a Nicholas Sparks phase this past year; what can I say? P.S. Grab the popcorn and some tissues if you plan to watch xoxo

  11. "Padam Padam" by Kylie Minogue - Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue has been on the dance charts since the '80s, though her most popular song was released in 2001. To see her putting out certified club bangers like this song in the '20s is extremely impressive and a testament to Minogue's talent and artistry!

  12. "Feelings" by PinkPantheress - Heaven knows... changed lives. At least, it changed mine. Eagerly awaiting the PinkPantheress album, my expectations were exceeded -- and then some. By numbers, this is the least played track of the album, but I think it's one of her best. From the beat to the lyrics, this song is a #underrated banger.

  13. "Houdini" by Dua Lipa - Another pop artist with a chokehold on me (since "New Rules" 🤐), Dua Lipa put out "Houdini" back in November. Since then, the song has garnered nearly half a billion streams on Spotify. Dua Lipa is not only reviving the '80s with her new releases but the tired pop scene of the 2020s.

  14. "Automotivo Bibi Fogosa" by Bibi Babydoll - Bibi Babydoll makes Brazilian EDM (introduced to me by my bestie) with surprisingly insane lyrics se você fala português. I loved taking Portuguese this past semester and being able to speak, read, and understand songs like this one. But I think this song has something to offer everyone, regardless of language comprehension.

  15. "In the End" by Linkin Park - This spring, I went back to my roots: Linkin Park. I am not ashamed to say I had a huge emo phase when I was in middle school. While I may no longer identify with the emo community, that little girl with teal hair and bad eyeliner will always be a part of who I am. P.S. Papercuts is out now !!

  16. "Amber" by 311 - This song evokes feelings of warmth, relaxation, summertime, and magic -- year round! It might be corny, but the 311 knew what they were doing. This song takes me to a pretty island in my mind, which is just fabulous in all the hustle and bustle. All I want is to dance to this song on a beach at night. Is that so much to ask?

  17. "Glad You Came" by The Wanted - Throwback to the early '10s, an essential era for dance music. The Wanted are sooooo British, but this song transcends national identity. From its lyrical brilliance to the rhythm and melody, this song totally encapsulates the early stages of recession-era pop/EDM.

  18. "Spring Bride" by Provoker - 2023's Demon Compass did not disappoint. Modern-day grunge that is just perfect for a late-night drive or a spooky party. Great bass and beat, big Halloween energy. Love the contrast between the high- and low-pitched singing.

  19. "So What If I'm A Freak" by Snow Strippers - Detroit-based EDM duo Snow Strippers recently performed at Club Congress, and I was so glad they played their most recent single, "So What If I'm A Freak." Fun, fierce, and fast-paced in classic Snow Strippers fashion! They were soooo good in person, shout-out Tatiana and Graham.

  20. "Don't Keep Me Waiting" by Britney Spears - If this year has taught me anything, it's that Femme Fatale is my favorite Britney Spears album. Blackout is amazing, but I am a sucker for the 2010s Britney. She was experimenting with EDM and trying something new in her musical style, which I think paid off tremendously. Femme Fatale is a no-skip album for me -- from "Till the World Ends" to the final track, "Don't Keep Me Waiting." ★ and that's a wrap! until next year...


thank you for reading & have an amazing summer!!!



Reviewer’s Name: Sophia Troetel

Date of Review: May 14, 2024

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