The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Plugged In: Music that speaks to the senses

4 min read
By TESS OSMER A common routine for many students on college campuses is the unraveling of headphones, as they walk to class, from class and transition to different activities throughout the day.


A common routine for many students on college campuses is the unraveling of headphones, as they walk to class, from class and transition to different activities throughout the day.

Most people probably do not relish the feeling of putting ear buds in their ears and leaving the environment around them in favor of the melodic and lyrical realm of music.

However, music has proven to be, time and time again, a mental, physical and emotional release for both artists and their audiences. For some listeners, it may be all about the physical release, wanting to dance and sing and shake out all the obstacles that life lays forth day in and day out.

For others it is the mental release, wanting to slip into the beat and to become lost in a song. We are well aware that for most it is all about the emotional release, which explains the plethora of ‘I will get you back’ and ‘I love you’ songs.

For me, it is important to get all three of these aspects of music in one song, rather than focusing on them separately. I want to listen to something that reaches me mentally and allows me to slip away. I want a song to take me somewhere.

However, I also want a song to physically move me, to make me tap my foot or catch my breath. Most of all, I want a song that will appeal to my emotions and make me happy, or darken my already bad mood.

This is what my play list brings this week. Here are some songs that you may find yourself thinking, tapping, crying or laughing to.

1) “Sinking” by Feverkin; Chill/Electronic/Ambient

There is absolutely no way I would expect this song to be the product of a DJ in Atlanta, Georgia, but here it is. At once you are bombarded by the sounds of a woman’s voice, sighing and saying, “Come together.” In which you can feel the emotion of longing, especially with the addition of the slow and deep violin. The beat bobs the listener up and down as if they are indeed sinking with the woman, while she wallows throughout the song in the background, and the violin and the sighing samples keeping the piece together. Feverkin crafted “Sinking” to make you, the listener, feel the sadness of the beat and the woman, but also to make sway to the enticing beat. This song is the mastery of having all three elements of music in one single track.

2) “Oceans” by Petit Biscuit; Electronic/Indie

Parlez-vous Français? You do not have to speak French in order to enjoy Petit Biscuit, a DJ from Rouen, France. “I’m trying to make you travel with my guitar, my piano and my computer,” his Soundcloud web site reads. And so “Oceans” does. Every layer of this song has been modified so that the original instruments have a new sound and it is both enjoyable and playful. It activates the mental aspect of music by taking you on a journey, the beat rising and turning you around. It touches on your emotions, growing a smile on your face with the introduction of a soothing guitar and the snap of a finger. You cannot help but let your body feel the beat, move your feet and shake your head. It is almost reminiscent of a childish summer day.

3) “Heaven Only Knows” by Chance the Rapper/ Towkio; Rap/ EDM

I apologize, but I cannot trust anyone who does not like this song. I find Chance irresistible and this is one of my favorite songs from him. Not to mention the beat by Towkio is absolute bliss. From Chicago, Chance the Rapper is that class clown that went to college and showed-up all his classmates. At least that is how I categorize him. “Heaven Only Knows” touches on the importance of family and friends, but also shines light on the addictive nature of drugs and music. The soul of music is to make people think, feel and move and this song accomplishes that. I adore Chance, his voice, the way he throws his lyrics in your face and most of all, his yell that transitions layers in his songs. The beat stands alone in this piece, and at the end, it is as if you have spent the whole day listening to it- there is just so much going on.

4) “Girls that Dance” by Masego; Trap/Jazz/EDM

Remember the Jazz age, musty basement bars and saxophones? Put that dusty image in today’s world and voila: Masego. “Girls that Dance” is a modern take on the jazz age of New York. Genius with its placement of the saxophone and bass, this song carries the listener through time. Happiness is the emotion, while it is also innovative and creative for the mind. Consequently, you probably did not even notice the effect it unconsciously has on the body. From the moment I found this song I was in love and entranced by Masego.

5) “Mamacita” by Travis Scott; Trap (EDM/Rap)

Travis Scott, if you have not already heard, is captivating our generation. His dark, enticing voice easily accompanies a car ride with friends, en route to a college party. Scott encompasses Trap, a genre that combines electronic music and rap. “Mamacita” is carried by an intense, robotic beat and brings the listener to Scott’s world. It is fairly traumatic, but surprisingly catchy. Because of the dual nature of this song, it appeals to the mental aspect of music, making us curious about the darkness that envelops Travis Scott. While the emotional part captures listeners, the mixture of beats and vocals make dancing irresistible.

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