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EARWORM: 90s Fever!

April 6, 2023

Spring has sprung, and I have set to music each footstep I take. Whether I’m on the quad or in the grocery store, my April playlist is guaranteed to put a pep in my step and a smile on my face. The songs I’ve been listening to this month have ruthlessly remained stuck in my head, and I hope they bring you as much joy as they do me.

I recently discovered Jellyfish, a San Francisco-based band who reached its heyday in the early 1990s. They have a distinct pop/rock sound, unmistakably influenced by the likes of Big Star and Cheap Trick. Their sophomore album, Spilt Milk, is an exciting twist on 90s rock, ushering in a new era of popular music while also drawing on the influence of the 80s. it is heavily produced, which creates a sound that is both harsh and familiar. The vocals resemble those of Morrissey or Teenage Fanclub – the lead singer is articulate and firm, employing a satisfying blend of breathy falsetto and a throaty belt. My favorite song on the album is called New Mistake, which coincidentally happens to be their most popular song on Spotify. It is rich in guitar riffs, with a strong bass line, quick taps of the keyboard, and sporadic drum beats. The tempo changes as the structure of the song shifts. New Mistake is the perfect song to soundtrack a warm walk to class or a short car ride to Dunkin on a Friday afternoon. 

In keeping with the 90s rock theme I seem to have going on, my second earworm for this week is Dressy Bessy’s Just Like Henry, a bubbly song with strong female vocals and power chords. Just Like Henry is the second track on the album Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, which was released in 1999. The album is reminiscent of riotgrrrl music, but it also utilizes key elements of pop to create a fun, upbeat sound. I would compare it to Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt. While learning more about this song, I discovered it was featured in the 1999 cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader, which is an extra compelling accolade in my book. 

I am declaring spring 2023 as the season of pop-rock: break out your bulkiest headphones and low rise jorts. We are walking to the beats of our playlists and skipping over every crack in the sidewalk. I hope these songs make you feel hopeful and alive, because to me, they represent all of the exciting things that spring and summer have in store. The weather is supposed to be beautiful this week, so get outside and give these songs a listen. I promise they won’t disappoint. 

Finally, I am once again dropping the playlist of all earworms here. Check it out! 

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