Back to school albums

Feelin Kinda Free — The Drones

For when the school year feels like an endless dirge of curveballs and chaos, leave it to Australian avant-garde outfit, The Drones, to put you in the right mindset to see it through. Feelin Kinda Free is a menacingly skittish rock saga that feels near impossible to pin down in terms of tone.

From track to track, it is capable of shifting its sound from enigmatically desolate soundscapes to biting sarcastic grooves, with lead singer Gareth Liddiard slurring his provocatively political lyrics with the elegance of a boar. It guides you through up tempo but bleak dance numbers, moody, disjointed ballads, progressive ambience, all while maintaining a sense of harmony. It helps find the meaning and beauty in chaos, making it the perfect soundtrack for the utter mayhem that is the new school year.

–Chris Luciantonio

Little Neon Limelight — Houndmouth

It’s that time of year again. September can bring on a rush of mixed feelings—excitement for all the possibilities a new school year offers and absolute dread. Little Neon Limelight by Indiana’s quartet, Houndmouth, doesn’t fall short of delivering an album that’s instantly euphoric.

From rock’n’roll to country balladry, each song has a spirit and energy which will be your anthem as you get ready for the day and walk into each class feeling like an instant badass.

“For No One” may be a quitter track on the album, but it seems to be about life and personal discovery—a true feeling of heading back to the classroom. Houndmouth’s dynamic vocals and harmonies will keep you motivated to and from class and you’ll have a blast listening to each tune.

–Tina Nori

Anti — Rihanna

This album is an accumulation of so many genres and its difficult for it to not show up in almost any playlist on Spotify. Adding onto her continuous narrative of love lost, there are ballads galore, shattering the blind opinion that Rihanna can’t sing. A personal favourite right now is ‘Love on the Brain.’ For most folks, the first week of classes tack on little work so go ahead and ironically get down to ‘Work’ at your Wednesday night pre.

Walking into your first day of class can be nerve-wracking, so your walk in song is just as important as your outfit. Bonus track from the deluxe version, ‘Pose,’ and ‘Needed Me’ are perfect to get your confident walk on. With the album being such a contrast to her previous pop-fueled albums, Rihanna seems to exude her true persona through the music, almost seeping through headphones.

–Manjot Bhullar

If I Should Go Before You — City and Colour

City and Colour’s latest album weaves through different tones of relaxing indie and soulful rock. Dallas Green’s unique vocals are a wonderful falsetto.

The effect is both mysterious and soothing.

The album takes the listener on a journey through different sounds. The beginning of the album starts off with more somber rock ,but as the album reaches it’s conclusion, the tracks start to take a more up lifting tone.

Tracks like ‘Map of the World’ and ‘Friends’ take on a more traditional country sound.

If you’re looking for a more alternative rock and country option, City and Colour’s new album is sure to deliver.

–Nicole Stumpf

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