WMSC Music Picks: Spring 2024

Written by on June 20, 2024

Welcome to WMSC Music Picks, a collaborative collection of WMSC’s music recommendations and reviews. In this installment, members of our station reflect on their favorite releases of the Spring while celebrating the start of Summer 2024!

“Too Sweet” – Hozier
Review by Mia Savidge
This song was released around the end of March and ever since then, it’s been on repeat for me. Combining an almost sultry rock melody with innovative and intriguing lyrics creates an iconic tune. The song is about someone who is ‘sweet’ in every sense of the word, however, when compared to the other person who is extremely different from them, it doesn’t turn out to be compatible. “Too Sweet” rose to popularity almost instantly, a testament to its catchy nature and likability. Overall, I feel that this song is such a unique and wonderful song.


Matt’s Hummer – Jack Samson

Review by Jared Tauber
Matt’s Hummer or Matt’s Summer, am I right? Because it is, after all, the summer of Matt’s Hummer. On May 3rd, Los Angeles singer-songwriter Jack Samson released his sophomore EP toting seven solid bangers — five of which have accompanying music videos. This EP is pure fun from start to finish. The best way I can describe the sound is aural candy. Its first two tracks, “It’s About Time” and “No Going Back,” feature driving, simply sequenced drum machine beats, sparkly synths, delicately layered harmonies, and sweet melodies. “Anna” rocks some clean, chorus-soaked guitars, a grooving bass line, and ridiculously catchy hooks. It’s poppy, but it’s not exactly polished; there’s a character in every tone. A highly danceable tracklist until the title track, “Matt’s Hummer,” changes it up. There’s no better example of Samson’s lyrical storytelling talent in this project than on this track, which tells the tale of Matt, the owner of an orange Hummer, making a pit stop at a Fat Burger while on his way to take his best girl out for a night of dancing. “April 94” is the most distinct track on the EP as it takes a much more soft-rock approach while also diverting from the conventional songwriting structure seen in the previous tracks. It is the most experimental track on the EP, illustrating Samson’s wide range of influences. “Keep Me Around” is a hook-driven, low-fi, indie-pop earworm that seems like it would become annoying after a while but somehow never does. The EP closes with “Equals 2 (credits),” a pop-rock feast of big, punchy drums, soaring guitar solos, and an unforgettable bridge that sounds like the ending to your favorite feel-good summer comedy blockbuster. Samson proves once again that he is an artist worth keeping an eye on with promise of continued evolution and excitement.

“Rebel At Heart” – Ashton Irwin
Review by Genevieve Cai
Nothing has made me more excited about the latest releases of alt-rock than Ashton Irwin’s second solo album Blood On The Drums. On June 10th, the 5 Seconds of Summer drummer released the first eight songs as an EP titled The Thorns, and it did its job metaphorically piercing my soul. Its jangly electric guitar, seductive bassline, and of course, explosive drum beat joined to create an overall 80s-inspired rock and art pop vibe. Visually, the album uses the backdrop of deserts, motorcycles, fast cars, and a LOT of red, which I dig.
The album’s fifth track “Rebel At Heart” stood out to me because it directly draws from and continues one of the themes Ashton talks about in his debut album, Superbloom: addiction. While the first album was a raw exploration of despair and extremely personal issues (body dysmorphia, substance abuse, toxic relationships, etc.) through adolescence, “Rebel At Heart,” as well as the rest of The Thorns, brings back an explosive, powerful idea that he is still here, older and recognizing his journey and his perseverance, both in the sense of drug reliance and in general. Some issues he finds still seep into his life, but Ashton is not only speaking to his younger self and reminding him that the frenzy of life does mean something in “Rebel At Heart,” he is combining it with universal themes that speak to the listeners. He knows who he is, his flaws and all, and we should think the same of ourselves. Multiple times across the EP, there is a pattern of the metaphor of “flying” (“Will I ever fly?” “I’ve learned to fly,” and “That’s how you fly,” in order). Troughs of self-doubt will always be in his mind, but the will to keep going and live that was previously doubtful in Superbloom has returned full force in this new era.

“Coast2Coast” – Dominic Fike
Review by Gurleen Kaur
He’s back with another banger. Dominic Fike released a new album in April 2023 titled 14 minutes and it is indeed fourteen minutes long! Fike makes his music feel like it’s summer all year round. Speaking of summer, we should totally go coast2coast. Out of the eight songs, my personal favorite is “Coast2Coast.” It connects with the album cover: A road which is a symbol of journey or going somewhere away from home. The song itself sounds like going on a road trip with your closest friends, and everything around you is full of spring and positivity. The lyrics, however, give off the theme of an artist or person who is always on the road not knowing when they’ll return home but while on their trip they send postcards from every place they visit. This is what summer feels like, and what a person who loves traveling would listen to on repeat. If you go even deeper, Dominic Fike wrote this song about a fling that didn’t work out and felt writing postcards wasn’t very mature of him to do. He also mentions that he grew up was not the most fortunate place to be living, but regardless he’s worked his way through it all and made a name for himself through music people enjoy.

“I Love It When It Rains” – Loveless
Review by Amber Bintliff
From their highly anticipated second album, “I Love It When It Rains” is a perfectly melancholy track to add to Loveless’ diverse discography. I got to hear this song in full a month before it was officially released when the duo played it for the first time in NYC on Waterparks’ SNEAKING OUT OF HEAVEN Tour. The song addresses the feeling of struggling with life’s challenges and being overwhelmed, but powering through for the ones you love nonetheless. One of my favorite vocal parts of “I Love It When It Rains” is Julian Comeau’s little screamo “So what’s another breakdown?” line in the chorus. His range is insane, and this song is a perfect example of that. While we still have no definite details on the new album, “I Love It When It Rains” and the rest of the singles have given us a taste of what’s in store for Loveless’ career: BIG things.

“Hello Sunlight!” – Arrows In Action
Review by Amber Bintliff
If there’s one thing I can count on Arrows In Action to do, it’s craft an upbeat, infectiously catchy song perfect for the summertime. “Hello Sunlight!” is all about getting rid of toxicity and embracing the better things in life. It feels like a breath of fresh air amid an unpleasant situation and serves as a reminder that moving on from what’s no longer serving you can be a beautiful thing. Arrows In Action’s ability to write lyrics that are not only authentic to themselves but resonates with their fan base is one of the many reasons they’ve been such a favorite of mine recently.


“All This Time” – The Story So Far
Review by Amber Bintliff
With a new The Story So Far album on the way, summer 2024 is truly shaping up to be a pop-punk summer. “All This Time” serves as the third single from the band’s new album I Want To Disappear and is one of my favorite new releases in the genre. It’s also the opening track of the record, and solidifies the explosive, fast-paced sound that The Story So Far is known for throughout the song. They’ve become one of the most iconic pop-punk bands of the 2010s and beyond, and I can’t wait to see where I Want To Disappear takes them.


“Torn In Two” – Diva Bleach
Review by Amber Bintliff
With 21.9k monthly Spotify listeners and a spot on this year’s Sad Summer Fest lineup, this Arizona-based pop-rock duo is quickly rising in popularity amongst the scene, and rightfully so. Out of the four recently released singles, “Torn In Two” has fallen victim to being replayed by me an almost concerning amount. Its lyrical content deals with having a crush on someone you can’t have, with vocalist Sydney Roten expressing, “Imagine what we’d do if nobody needed to know.” I have a good feeling that Diva Bleach is about to finally receive their flowers and the recognition their music deserves as they embark on their Sad Summer Fest run this summer.


“Neon Pill” – Cage The Elephant
Review by Emily “Emol” McCormack
I have been craving new Cage The Elephant for YEARS! It took me way too long to get into the band, but it was finally in 2018 when I recognized my love for Cage’s earlier work, just around the time they released their 2019 album Social Cues. Since then, I have seen them live a couple of times which was lots of fun, but here I am five years later wondering When are we going to get new music? Well, it finally came. Cage released “Neon Pill” in January followed by a few more singles before their sixth studio album, also titled Neon Pill, debuted in May. Though at this point I have listened to the album many times, I have found that the title track is still my favorite. Since it was released in January, this song pretty much carried me throughout my entire Spring semester – The exhausting late nights, the extremely fun days, the highs and lows, this track played in the background of it all. It also brought about their strange nostalgia, reminding me of my junior year of high school (a fantastic year, at that) in my junior-ish year of college… it was refreshing to hear something new from such a familiar voice. Like reconnecting with an old friend!

“John” – Jeris Johnson
Review by Emily “Emol” McCormack
Jeris Johnson is my favorite find of 2024 so far. Opening for Kim Dracula (my favorite find of 2023, haha) at Irving Plaza in March, I found myself in awe of his music. His stage presence was funny and real, and his voice has a power behind it that I wish I could find the words to properly describe. Throughout the set I came to realize I already knew tracks like “Battling My Demons” (2023) and “damn!” (2020), but fell in love with some of his latest tracks like “When The Darkness Comes” (2023). The medieval-esque vibe to his music and imagery is fun and new to me – And the flaming sword in his music video? Hardcore. (I have a better, non-FCC safe term in mind but alas) While I love his latest 2024 song “Here’s To The Years,” I chose his March single “John,” which was released just a few days before seeing him in person. The lyrics paint a beautiful, bittersweet image of what I come to find the song is about.
Johnson shared that “John” is about a real man who sold him his first “real” drum kit when he was a teenager. He was a Vietnam veteran who was getting rid of his drums because he couldn’t physically play them anymore, and after testing them out he knew Jeris was meant to have them. Sometime later, he showed up at Johnson’s home to gift him his whole musical collection: “That day I sat with him in my garage and he told me his entire life story front to back. I was awestruck. […] I was just so insanely grateful.” Unfortunately, after this day they completely lost connection with John, but the few moments they had together would impact Johnson greatly. He said, “Like an angel come to deliver a gift and a message, I watched him float away and leave me with only a memory. His name was John. So this song is for him, and for my Dad who sacrificed so much to allow me to pursue this dream.” Knowing the backstory of this song only made me grow a deeper appreciation for it. This song is a beautiful dedication to someone who, despite being a part of his life for such little time, made such a huge impact on his musical career. I love that Jeris Johnson was able to share this story with his fans, and forever engrave John’s legacy into his discography. Catching his set will be the first of many for me – Jeris Johnson is going on tour with Falling In Reverse later this year, and it would be a huge mistake for me not to see him again!


Photos from YouTube Music; The Story So Far “All This Time” from Genius.

You can check out WMSC Music Picks: Pride Picks here!