The music recommendations of the iNews staff, January 2022

The music recommendations of the iNews staff, January 2022

Zach Kaplan, Editor-in-chief

Some of my favorite times have been when I stumble upon a new artist that I didn’t know about, or when someone recommends a song/album to me and that pick turns into a new favorite.

With the winter blues officially starting to set in, it’s the time of year when music is one of the few things that get people excited, so in that spirit, here are the music recommendations of the iNews staff for January!

Zach Kaplan: “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” by Greta Van Fleet

Call them a Led Zeppelin clone all you’d like, but if someone told me my band was similar to one of the best bands of all time, I’d take it as a huge compliment.

Founded in 2012, Greta Van Fleet are a hard-rocking Michigan band with two studio albums: Anthem of the Peaceful Army (2018) and Battle at Garden’s Gate, released this year, as well as the From the Fires EP released in late 2017. 

In my opinion, Battle at Garden’s Gate is easily their best album, and one where they really come into their own. Some of my favorites are “Heat Above,” for its incredible build up at the beginning, “My Way, Soon,” due to its great guitar solo and verses about teenage freedom, “Age of Machine,” also for its guitar solo, “The Barbarians,” a song that is ripe with bluesy riffs, and “The Weight of Dreams,” because of how the song really opens up halfway through. 

I think Greta Van Fleet is a band that will influence a whole generation of musicians from now on, and they really must be given some credit for their musical abilities. 

Elias Swift: A$AP Rocky – At. Long. Last. A$AP (2015)

I love the way the beats are composed. A$AP has a lot of aggression and passion in his songs, and most of the songs he writes are about drugs, but he also talks about why that’s a problem for some people.

Favorites on the album are “Everyday” featuring Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson, and “Jukebox Joints” featuring Joe Fox and Kanye West. 

“Everyday” is very emotional, and I love how it changes moods a lot. With “Jukebox Joints” it starts off very calm and still, then speeds up as it goes along.

Fitzgerald Perez: MF DOOM – Madvillainy (2004)

MF DOOM, aka the illest villain, aka your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper is a criminally underrated rapper. He is one of the all time greats and for good reason. He inspired rappers like Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. And if you want to get into him I recommend one of his best albums: Madvillainy. His flow and storytelling is unmatched by most and the beats and producing work (also by MF DOOM) is perfect. Raid is a lyrical masterpiece and All caps is just *muah* Chefs kiss. RIP MF DOOM, your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.

Sam Espinobarros: A Night at the Opera – Queen (1975)

Favorite songs: 39 and Love of my Life

39 talks about what Brian May wanted to do in college, and talks about Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity, basically if you travel one year at near light speed, for people on Earth, you age 100 years. The song talks about people who travel on a rocket, they come home to their grandchildren, knowing that all of the people that they know have died or are too old, and have to confront that reality. 

Love of My Life talks about this heartbreak that you have, because it’s someone that you really do love, and now that you don’t have them, it’s this mess of where you want to be. Basically, now that they’re gone, the character realizes how much they truly meant to them. 

As for the album itself, this is their first hit, and Bohemian Rhapsody is while arguably one of the most well-composed songs of the 1970s, you have other songs that give off a message of wanting to mix between rock, opera, and this album gives two genres that rarely come together a chance to meet. 

Matthew Marsh: In the Aeroplane over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel 

Favorite songs: Holland, 1945, Two Headed Boy

The entire album is super unique; the main guy is named Jeff Magnum and scream-sings all his songs, and is kind of hard to pinpoint a genre. It’s old-timey sort-of French music, super unique, and hard to find anywhere else. 

“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” by Neutral Milk Hotel is a late 90’s album that really resonated with me. Jeff Magnum, the lead singer’s wacky scream singing, mixed with strings and super unique horns makes it one of my favorite albums ever. The entire thing is based off of the story of Anne Frank too, which is truly inspiring to me. I really like “Holland, 1945,” because it’s one of the more upbeat tracks, and its entire premise is about a reincarnation of Anne Frank, which I find moving. One of my favorite lines also talks about being “buried alive,” referring to when Anne Frank was confined to just a couple rooms during the holocaust. I like Two-Headed Boy because it has a lot of lyrical value. The entire album tells a story, and most of the songs are pretty easy to decode when you listen to them in order, but this ones really different and I love it. 

Harrison Reinisch: Nothing Was the Same – Drake

Favorite songs: Started from the Bottom, Wu-Tang Forever

These songs are very well produced, and the lyrics are thoughtful and multi-faceted, and inspired a lot of energy, and well-written.

Started from the Bottom is not a deep pontification about the meaning of life, but it’s more of a boisterous rap song that’s energetic, inspires a certain energy, with a strong beat and cool lyrics.

Wu-Tang Forever is a lot more about the rhythm, the structure and pacing of the song makes the delivery of the lines very satisfying.

Kiandra Rosario: Starboy – The Weeknd

Favorite songs: Secrets, I Feel it Coming

Both are sort of feel-good with positive vibes, especially in the morning when you’re walking to school, and it puts you in a good mood.

Secrets: The chorus is catchy, and the beat is unique. It can get overplayed, but it still has a lot of its charm.

I Feel it Coming: The mix between this electronic and pop genre is very unique and positive, and makes you want to dance. 


Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Hopefully our music recommendations help you find some new favorites!