Farah Javed, CUNY Baruch College
Ryan Tedder’s band has been releasing versatile hits for nearly two decades, but they still remain under the radar.
Anna Barnard, St. Olaf College
The Washington D.C. trio puts catchy piano melodies at the center of their sound, and wears their love of Queen on their sleeves.
Aubrey Doerr, Chapman University
So, you want to make music? The first steps don’t have to be hard or pricey when you know where to start.
Jackie Sizing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Minneapolis-born country-folk artist uses his music to create narratives worth sharing.
Yasmeen Ludy, University of Michigan
Whether it’s with their happy music or their inspiring lyrics, these songs will help keep you afloat through all of life’s stresses.
Hannah Docter-Loeb, Wesleyan University
The video-sharing app uses a variety of different types of sounds and phrases, but just where exactly did these catchy snippets come from?
Tamara Kamis, Cornell University
Whether you’re strapped for time, want to learn more about the environment or have the need to comprehend how the mind works, there’s something for you.
Gabrielle Pascal, Hofstra University
American pop culture has been defined by black excellence for decades. From Gordon Parks to Aaliyah, black artists continue to influence the new generation.
Eva Halvax, University of Arizona
Mitchell Tanaka, Chapman University
Acting as an anthem for protests around the world, the rap duo’s latest album is far from the first time the group has encouraged social change.
Nora Markey, Wesleyan University
While country music has grown overproduced and glamorous, this young, gritty musician embodies the traditions that built the genre.
Caleb Mullenneaux, St. Olaf College
Throughout Perfume Genius’ latest album, Mike Hadreas embraces emotional excess and channels it into one of the best indie pop efforts of the year.
Emma Tavangari, UC Berkeley
With her new album, many listeners had hoped the artist would create music that cemented her genius. Instead, fans were left underwhelmed.
Virtual concerts are proving popular as major players in the musical world work hard to find new ways to engage their fans despite the need for social distancing.
Megan Stager, University of Pittsburgh
One of the most visionary acts in electronic music is back with a new release that renews and alters elements of their previous work.
Emma Smith, Wesleyan University
Boasting poetic lyrics and lighter melodies, the Brooklyn native’s latest album is a concept record exploring what it means to have everything.
James C. Loftis, University of North Texas
The actor and musician’s fourth studio album shows just how much he has matured both musically and creatively throughout his career.
In a bold statement about the absurdity of the current music industry, this musical duo takes their sound to satirical extremes.
Reem Farhat, Fordham University
Fans of Korean idols and idol groups are organizing around the world to crash alt-right Twitter hashtags and boost black activism on YouTube.
Sarah Gudenau, Oakland University
Some say that the release runs a little long, but its experimentation, as well as lyrics that are both sentimental and politically charged, make it something memorable.
Nayeli G. Pena, Colorado College
Hailing from the U.K., the band mixes hip-hop, jazz, indie rock, pop and ambient house — and they haven’t let quarantine dampen their prospects.
Asha MacKay, Wellesley College
The up-and-coming artist shares her distinctive voice and style with her livestreamed performances and new EP, ‘Otherside.’
Michelle Young, Simon Fraser University
Contemporary rhythm and blues has been one of the most prominent musical styles over the past few years — what are these global newcomers adding to the mix?
Kali Johnson, Gustavus Adolphus College
The Canadian singer took the world by storm, and now with a newfound voice, she is determined to defeat the odds set upon her by the media.
The single may have come out two years ago, but the song remains even more relevant today.
Bradford Smith, Louisiana State University
After two decades and traversing multiple genres, the rock duo has stayed loyal to the musical tradition that got them started.
Desiree Jaime, Hofstra University
The latest iteration of the long-running reality show franchise mixes song and romance.
Whether he’s playing drums in Dead Weather or fronting his own White Stripes, the storied musician retains his own undeniable sound.
The rapper and comedian, real name Dave Burd, opens up on his autobiographical FXX television show.
Nina Dutta, Occidental College
The British singer remained mysterious and kept his fans engaged while he hinted at his music video drop.
The band has managed to create a unique sound and aesthetic with every new album, leaving many wondering what else they might have in store.
Janani Mangai Srinivasan, Wake Forest University
The K-pop group’s loyal fan base, known as the BTS ARMY, has run into some pushback in their quest to pump up views on platforms like YouTube.
Nanda Illahi, Okayama University
With British, Spanish and Korean members, the UK band has people everywhere divided on what it means to be a K-pop group.
The Florida rapper joins Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X as the latest artist accused of having a manufactured stardom. Are we too quick to affix the label of inauthenticity to popular musicians?
The lo-fi artist’s extended play is unapologetically emotional and honest, providing an exploration of what it means to move on from heartache.
Katherine McLaughlin, The New School
The genre gets a bad rap, but those willing to dig deeper will find some clever ways of composing tight, compelling stories.
The band’s latest album is their first full-length in seven years, and depending on who you ask, it’s either a derivative retread or a much-need return to the sounds of the 2000s.
Lauren Buchko, Michigan State University
The versatile musician has moved beyond her ‘Whip My Hair’ days, and she deserves a lot more recognition.
Brian Anderson Gil, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
These two California twins draw from a huge range of influences to make a sound that may not be commercial, but remains true to their artistic vision.
Vaishnavi Kalyana, College of DuPage
It’s not just festival cancellations that hurt. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the future of the business is starting to get dark.
The trailblazing style of the late guitar player can be seen in both blues and rock ‘n’ roll, including in artists like the Black Keys.
Once made up of musicians recording songs at home, the style is now infiltrating the mainstream.
The musician’s latest release, ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters,’ fights against perfection but still gets a rare 10.0 review from the long-running music site.
Because of the web, aspiring producers and musicians can go from making beats in their bedroom to featuring on tracks by big name artists.
Rose Younglove, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Everything from just making sounds to the actual process of practicing can be life-changing.
Angel Lin, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Korean American rap duo’s latest music video comments on the surge in xenophobia directed at Asian Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The electronic artist’s latest record draws on personal experiences and mixes a wide range of genres to create something mesmerizing and boldly experimental.
It’s been decades since the Mexican American singer was tragically killed, but her cultural impact lives on in many ways.
The former contestant on ‘The Voice’ is making parodies that we can all relate to while we’re under lockdown.
The title track begins, ‘You want a timeless song, I want to change the game.’ Over the course of 11 tracks, the British pop star accomplishes her goal.
Kayla Johnson, Bradley University
The song is blowing up all over social media, but as a piece of music, it doesn’t have much going for it.
Sarah Stager, University of Pittsburgh
In a time when it seems impossible to stay sane because self-isolation, music is one of the best things to help us through.
Hailing from Australia, this teenager is carrying on the legacy of his former mentor, Juice WRLD.
The Chicago-based music video director and his homemade, low-budget aesthetic is in high-demand among SoundCloud rappers.
Events that are months away are being canceled because of COVID-19, but many artists are stepping up to give fans something in return.
Karunya Bhramasandra, Stanford University
These musical numbers, which have little relevance to the plot, can be fun, but ultimately perpetuate debilitating social roles for women.
Her turn toward social commentary has received praise, but every artist should be taking on these issues — and many already do.
On their latest album, the K-pop superstars blend genres as they explore growing pains and the dark side of high ambitions.
Calling all music and art lovers — you won’t want to miss out on these six gatherings for the upcoming season.
Ian Nordin, University of Texas at San Antonio
Whether you think the genre is long gone or still thriving, it continues to influence artists like Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and Tyler, the Creator.
Just because the King of Pop is gone doesn’t mean he isn’t still making serious money.
Victoria Acosta, Southern Adventist University
The singer-songwriter dives deep into life, post-breakup, and gives her listeners the authentic healing she discovered.
In spite of an overly-loose concept, the album immerses listeners into a world of aggressive electronic beats and ethereal vocals.
Back in 2018, the singer-rapper asked you, ‘Got milk, b–ch? Got beef?’ Now, the ‘70s disco queen wants to know, ‘Why don’t you say so?’
Many of us remember the viral sensation. What most don’t know are the consequences of this teenager’s overnight infamy.
They say it’s not good to keep it bottled up, but is letting it out doing more harm than good?
After a year off, the indie rock band will once again headline their own fest in their hometown of Cincinnati.
The 22-year old EDM artist is making waves by bringing the traditional and the modern together on intoxicating tracks.
We’re clearly not okay (in a good way).
She entered the spotlight in 2013 but has since taken a break from the public eye. Is the New Zealand singer about to make a comeback?
Even though the service has been pushed out of the limelight by Spotify for the time being, the platform’s versatility allows users to find plenty of hidden gems.
The scandal involving the 16-year-old rapper and a shady watch company doesn’t seem to be getting any attention.
The self-awareness of a new generation is propelling this internet-age style of music into the mainstream.
Kaelani Ramirez, Arizona State University
These two powerhouses have challenged what it means to be a girl group in South Korea.
It’s easy to romanticize Taylor Swift’s extremely successful life. What many of us fail to remember is that it can be hard to be famous.
Janella Tibbetts, Framingham State University
K-pop and K-dramas might be expanding America’s cultural horizons, but does it come at a price?
Music is often categorized into rigid genres but here are some artists who are crafting distinctive styles.
The author who can do it all is telling the stories of humanity — and rating each of them on a five-star scale.
The outspoken critic of the country music industry has returned with an experimental tour de force of an album.
With so many unique music options out there, it can be a life changing experience to add some international love to your playlist.
The musician’s accessible tunes belie an artist bent on showcasing a real rock ‘n’ roll energy and confronting gender roles and heteronormativity.
The rich diversity of Korean music isn’t limited to the country’s most popular musical export.
Even with a new sound, the Irish musician continues to use poetic lyrics and a masterful blending of rock, pop and electronic music to connect with audiences.
The past four years have not been easy for the pop star, but she’s back in the music world and she’s making her mark.
The social media platform, which seems engineered for virality, is displacing streaming services like Spotify when it comes to finding new songs and artists.
Emma Lichtenstein, Brandeis University
Her new single finds the country singer caught between her Tennessee home and the fast-paced life of Los Angeles.
Meredith Day, Davidson College
Forget Taylor Swift. The real artist of the decade was Hannah Montana.
Rickea Bell, Saint Peter’s University
These two have been working hard for their whole careers. It’s time to see them work together.
Caleb Dukes, Rice University
The event was overshadowed by the death of Kobe Bryant and looming allegations about the Recording Academy.
The indie pop band’s newest single will make a fine addition to their upcoming album out this February.
Kayla Carson, Simon Fraser University
Skip Coachella. Here’s why these festivals with under 10,000 attendees are the best.
Angel Zhu, University of California, Berkeley
The K-pop star is facing some extreme backlash from a very rabid fanbase.
The musician’s latest album is brilliantly and beautifully manic.
Cynthia Vasquez, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
After falling a little behind the times, its smooth sounds are back to capture the ears and hearts of listeners.
Chris Meng, Pomona College
It’s the beginning of 2020, so now is the time to freshen up those playlists. Here are some ideas on how to organize them.
Nathan Coles, Oakland University
Although a lot of electronic music has a reputation for sonic dissonance, it’s still capable of evoking a wide range of deep emotions.
The announcement has many excited, but still courts some controversy.
This folk trio has been releasing quality music for nearly two decades, but still sits just below the radar.
Matthew Robison, University of South Florida
Moving away from lo-fi demos and unfussy EPs, the best punk and hardcore exhibited a tendency toward spirited ambition.
Giana Gayles, Stanford University
Awê! We underestimate our neighbors to the east, who have created their own innovative spin on the genre.
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