St. Vincent’s DeJamz

Fall is swiftly approaching, and while summer will always be my favorite time of year, I still enjoy the early changing of the seasons before Chicago turns into a tundra.

As we usher in the new season, I’m finding myself listening to new music — and by new, I mean songs that other people have known about for years that I am just now discovering or revisiting. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite songs of the new season.

Bite the Hand- boygenius

I’ve lately been in to all things Phoebe Bridgers, leading me to boygenius, a supergroup composed of Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. All three artists have such unique character to each other’s voices and they play off one another beautifully. This song, featuring Dacus on lead vocals, incorporates excellent backing harmonies from Baker and Dacus and a high-energy rock production from the more traditionally understated artists. While every song off of their 2018 EP is a knockout, this one remains my favorite. 


Down By the Water- The Decemberists 

This is one of those songs whose lyrics require a full read-through to fully appreciate. Incorporating elements of alliteration and old-fashioned phrasing, the song reads more like an old poem set to music; and what good music it is. Featuring a kicking drum beat, melodic bass line and a genius accordion solo, this song sets a scene and fully immerses you in it.


For Emma- Bon Iver

Is it narcissistic to include a song with my name in the title? Maybe, if this song were not legitimately excellent. Off of Bon Iver’s 2007 classic “For Emma, Forever Ago,” this song functions as a goodbye to the titular Emma, with lead singer Justin Vernon utilizing unconventional lyrics to reflect on both the good and bad of the relationship. I’d highly recommend listening to this song with headphones; the instrumentation will envelop you and place you directly in its emotions.


Breakaway- Kelly Clarkson

One of my favorite songs from childhood, I have inexplicably found myself listening to this track while doing mundane tasks, like grocery shopping or taking out the garbage. I blame nostalgia; with the near-comical level of uncertainty plaguing the world right now, I think I’m longing for a simpler time, when I would stare dramatically out the car window and pretend I was the protagonist of life. Furthermore, Clarkson’s vocals on this song are unparalleled — as usual — and serve as a nice uplifting break from my usual playlists. 


Buddy Holly- Weezer

I have a distinct memory of hearing this song while at a show when I was 17 and absolutely losing it, screaming every word and jumping up and down like a lunatic. It’s possible I have never felt more alive than in that moment, but the jury’s still out. This song is a quick burst of feel-good nostalgia, with the catchy lyrics and sing-along chorus never failing to put a smile on my face.