With the spring equinox now behind us, the sun is shining and flowers are blooming after a long winter (depending on where you are, of course). To celebrate the advent of spring, here’s a playlist of songs for the new season made by current USC students and alumni.
“u & i” by Alex Oliva & Jillian Batt
Thornton School of Music sophomore Alex Oliva and freshman Jillian Batt, who major in popular music performance, come through with a song tailor-made for couples who want to enjoy the fresh air and blue skies rolling in. Over crisp drums and lush instrumentation, Oliva and Batt showcase their incredible vocal prowess and deliver what is sure to be a warm-weather chillout staple.
“Backwards” by Kid Hastings
A Thornton junior, Kid Hastings has already built a brand of slyly psychedelic indie pop and rock that has garnered him buzz online. His new single, “Backwards,” features fantastically kaleidoscopic and thick production, where slick guitars stand out most of all. Hastings’ voice is so smooth it acts as an instrument on its own, hypnotizing listeners.
“Are You in Love?” by Kyle Lux
Already having racked up over half a million streams on one of his songs on Spotify, Thornton junior Kyle Lux’s sultry R&B jam “Are You in Love?” acts as the centerpiece of his “Projectors” EP from this past fall. His powerhouse voice steals the show as he glides over gorgeous piano keys and croons, “Are you in love or is it fool’s gold?” Kyle Lux is not an act to miss.
“Clueless” by Ellie Williams
A sophomore majoring in popular music performance, Ellie Williams’ most recent single, “Clueless,” showcases the vocal presence and confidence of a seasoned veteran. Williams’ voice sails smoothly through a sea of sharp instrumentation as she thoughtfully contemplates a seemingly uneventful interaction with a love interest. The maturity that comes across in Williams’ gorgeous voice and her careful lyricism builds an incredible amount of heart and is sure to win many listeners.
“I Don’t Have Money!” by Eggscellent
Thornton collective Eggscellent conjures up a wonderfully whimsical and adventurous atmosphere on their track “I Don’t Have Money!” The song showcases the band’s incredible versatility as it takes listeners through different passages of lo-fi bedroom pop before exploding into a jazz solo featuring radiant, loud horns. The bombastic energy flowing through this song is sure to get your blood pumping.
“Little House” by Tippy Balady
Popular music performance major Tippy Balady’s incredible voice paired with her ukulele and soft pianos is sure to charm listeners. As the track progresses, Balady’s increasing vocal intensity and keen metaphorical comparisons help paint a vivid picture of an artist who is in full control of her artistic vision and talent. When background choral vocals and strings come in toward the back end of the track, listeners are sure to be left floored by Balady’s stunning performance.
“Photo ID (Remix)” by Remi Wolf & Dominic Fike
Thornton alumna Remi Wolf has already made a huge splash in the indie scene. Her hit single, “Photo ID,” comes to us in a new, remixed form with popular SoundCloud act Dominic Fike. “Photo ID” has all the makings of a perfect pop song: Wolf’s frivolous lyrics and jovial attitude complement the song’s lively pop production frighteningly well, and Fike’s hilarious contributions to this remix make the song all the more exciting.
“Best Friend” by Saweetie ft. Doja Cat
Popular rapper and USC alumna Saweetie needs no introduction at this point; off the heels of viral hits “ICY GRL” and “Tap In,” both popularized through challenges on TikTok, Saweetie’s jam about your best friend is an instant hit. The incredible charisma both Saweetie and Doja exude on this track makes it hard not to be a fan: Few lines have been as immediately iconic as “Is that my bestie in a Tessie?” This incredible tag-team is sure to get you excited about seeing your best friend.