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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VH New Music Fridays: Travis Scott, Dan + Shay and more

The Hustler Life staff reviews this week’s new releases

In VH New Music Fridays, the Life staff covers this week’s new music releases,  from pop to country to alternative.

Hip Hop: Eva Pace


It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. After months of sneak-peeks to Travis Scott’s latest single, which was first teased in a Kylie Cosmetics promo video in April, the latest addition to the rappers repertoire has finally hit the market. In truth, “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” maintains a sound that is very similar to what we heard in “ASTROWORLD,” so it definitely lacks originality. The single was released just days after the announcement of Scott’s split with Kylie Jenner (strategic move?), so it’s no surprise that it has already jumped to the top of Spotify’s charts. Original or not, this release is quintessential Travis Scott and is basically an automatic banger. 


Country & Americana: Alexa Bussmann

“10,000 Hours” Dan + Shay, Justin Bieber

Yes, Dan + Shay really went there. This collaboration with Justin Bieber came out with a bang last night, going straight to the top of the iTunes charts. “10,000 Hours” is true to Dan + Shay’s brand of country in that it’s basically pop. The song is based on the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, and the protagonist promises to spend at least that long with his girlfriend. The lyrics are sweet and heartfelt, but overall the song is nothing special. Justin Bieber sings the second verse and some background vocals on the chorus, but his effect on the song is minimal. 


“The Bones” Maren Morris, Hozier

Maren Morris is in her prime– she’s had new music out almost every week recently. You might be thinking to yourself, “Haven’t I already heard ‘The Bones?’ Wasn’t it already a single?” Yes you have heard it before– but not with Hozier. “The Bones” was already a solid song, but the addition of Hozier adds further depth and emotion to this single. Hozier takes over the second verse and adds background vocals to the chorus. Morris and Hozier have similar styles, and their collaboration brings “The Bones” to another level of artistry and meaning.


“Still Rock & Roll” Brandon Lay

Brandon Lay has been the first opener at concerts for artists like Kenny Chesney for a while now, but has yet to break through to the country mainstream. “Still Rock & Roll” won’t be the song to get him there– it’s the classic song about rekindling with an ex years later and it lacks any real artistry. The first time I listened to this song, I liked the chorus. The second time I listened, I was bored to death by the verses and the chorus had already lost its novelty. I was a lot more impressed by Lay’s previous singles, like “Speakers, Bleachers And Preachers.”


Indie & Alternative: Angela Karas

“All Mirrors” Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen’s latest LP, “All Mirrors,” dropped today, and the titular track is an immediate standout. The song maintains a transcendent, almost cinematic quality that is nothing short of utterly impressive. Prior to the release of this album, I admittedly was only  familiar with her most popular song, “Shut Up, Kiss Me,” but the more I delve into her newest album, the more I am intrigued by her music. In short, “All Mirrors” is a profound song, and the rest of the album is equally as impressive.


Hit the Back” King Princess

Indie up-and-comer King Princess has released her most recent EP, “Hit the Back. In the past, she has received attention for her individual singles, most notably “1950.” King Princess is now expanding her repertoire, and is slated to release her first album as soon as Oct. 25. “Hit the Back” is a strong offering which is largely indie pop, yet even features a hint of R&B influence. King Princess also is playing Marathon Music Works in Nashville on Feb. 18.


“Pulp of Youth” The Growlers

If you’ve been following the alternative and indie charts these past few weeks, you’ve likely noted a decline in the quantity of new releases. While The Growlers technically released “Pulp of Youth” last Friday, after a week of listening I’ve determined it has grounds for a review with today’s releases. Much like Angel Olsen, I am only familiar with about four or five of The Growlers’ more popular songs, though I have been impressed with “Pulp of Youth.” The Growlers have a unique sound which I enjoy, and this newest release incorporates a laid-back vibe which produces a song that is distinctly indie rock, yet moderately-paced. “Pulp of Youth” is a different and utterly refreshing approach to the indie rock canon.


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About the Contributor
Alexa Bussmann, Former Content Development Director
Alexa Bussmann is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. She majored in political science, economics and Spanish. Alexa previously served as Content Development Director and has written for The Hustler since her freshman year. She wrote the "Hannah, Alexa and Joe" and "New Music Fridays" columns. In her free time, Alexa enjoys trying new coffee shops in Nashville and following U.S. politics.
Reach Alexa at: [email protected]
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