A summer of quarantine lock down proved to be a fruitful time for new music. Index staff pick some songs that helped them get through the summer lock down.
“Modest” by Gupi
Gupi’s work isn’t for people who aren’t used to harder styles of electronic music—after all, he’s signed to the record label owned by one half of 100 Gecs. But “Modest” in particular is a standout on the record, a bittersweet bubblegum bass track about moving on from a breakup and finding your place in the world. The song’s purposefully optimistic instrumentation and close soundstage break in its pre-chorus, as though the modulated singer’s vowing lyrics are slipping away from listeners into an unknown fog. “Modest” is like a nostalgia-goggled memory of a first love—I just can’t stop thinking about it. — Quint Iverson
“cardigan” by Taylor Swift
On the first night of my first year on campus at Pacific, Taylor Swift released Lover. It felt like fate, my favorite artist giving me a new album to kick off a brand new experience. A brand new school. Brand new people. My first time living on my own. Lover soundtracked all of it for me. Listening to those songs now, I’m immediately brought back to walking around campus, going to my first classes, nights alone in my room. But as we all know, last year spiraled out of control. My first year devolved into chaos and confusion, and this year has proved to be just as difficult to manage. So it’s fitting that in a time of stress, a time of “unprecedented,” that Taylor Swift would once again come through to be my sonic therapist. It was clear upon first listen that folklore was Taylor Swift’s best record to date, and through repeat listens since its drop in July, it’s become just as obvious that “cardigan” is the best song of her career. From its soft piano melody, Swift’s gorgeous, fluttering vocals, and the vivid lyrical painting it conjures, just as its name suggests, “cardigan” wraps you up like an old, familiar sweater. A comfort that we all need now more than ever. — Bren Swogger
“Dreamland” by Glass Animals
Dreamland is the third studio album produced by the group Glass Animals. The first track on the album, sharing its same name, is an aptly dreamy track. This song feels like driving through backroads with your best friends, chasing the setting sun. This song feels like counting the stars on a cloudy night, and conversing with the moon. This song will break your heart, and then reform it, in a matter of minutes. The title track serves as a table of contents for the rest of the album. Each line asks a question that will be explored in another song. The simplest way to describe Dreamland is a soundtrack for your life. — Ella Cutter
“Run” by Joji
Joji, previously known as “Filthy Frank” on YouTube, is the artist behind many viral hits such as “Slow Dancing in the Dark”, which you might’ve heard on TikTok. “Run” has a similar beat and tone, talking about love and running away from someone you no longer recognize. Joji’s music is always so creative with striking visuals in both album art and music videos. His music is categorized as “Modern Psychedelia” and has led me down many rabbit holes of finding similar music. If you’re a fan of more experimental and funky music, you should definitely take a listen to “Run” and Joji’s other songs. — Grace Alexandria
Quint Iverson is a rising senior at Pacific University, taking a leave of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a major in Film and Journalism who enjoys writing about arts and entertainment.
Bren Swogger is a journalism major at Pacific University Class of 2021. They currently live in Oregon City, OR. They are the creator of Indie/Alt Magazine, and also write for Vortex Music Magazine in Portland.
Ella Cutter is a senior staff writer for the Index. She is currently pursuing degrees in journalism and editing and publishing, and also works for the downtown Portland indie press zines + things.
Grace Alexandria is a sophomore at Pacific University majoring in Creative Writing and Graphic Design. She’s originally from Hillsboro, OR but currently lives in Stayton, OR. She also works for Marketing & Communications and the Berglund Center at Pacific.