Illustration by Ahmed Bilal

Your Weekly Music Recs Vol. VIII: Wrapped Edition

The final edition of the music column for this semester and the year 2022 comes with a recap of all the Weekly Music Recs we enjoyed together, in the style of Spotify Wrapped.

Dec 12, 2022

I am not going to lie like most of you, and say I did not often tailor my daily playlist so that a certain song would appear on my Spotify Wrapped. I have done it all the time since last November.
It is genius marketing: you are selling me my favorite things but gift-wrapped in pastel colors and funky pictures and videos? Sold. Can you blame me for being a music narcissist? You probably could, and I will definitely plead guilty with no shame. Many other music platforms have picked up on this strategy and have since released their own versions of it: Apple Music Replay, YouTube Music Recap… And I, for one, cannot get enough of it. So far, YouTube wins because of the strange remixes I enjoy listening to, like the unexpectedly good mix of Pop Smoke drill rap and anime opening themes.
Of course, it quickly turned into a meme trend and everything received its own Wrapped-style year in review: from films to reproductive rights, every meme page and official organization hopped on it. So, why not a The Gazelle Music Column Wrapped as an overview of this semester?
8 editions
I personally find it incredible that I have been able to think of something to write about that consistently. Through this process, I found many new artists to add to my playlists, which was evident in my personal record on Spotify for listening to 74 different genres and 2,194 artists this year alone. I might even attempt to improve it for next year, which means eight editions is just the warm up for a whole lot of new weekly music recs.
Over 23 artists
…from across at least five different genres and in at least three different languages. Indie dominates as a genre mostly because I strongly believe underground artists are underappreciated, and I have made it my mission in life to change that. Sometimes there is merit even to compositions which are not that great (like Weezer’s SZNZ, which by the way will soon reach its conclusion with a final SZNZ:Winter album) and that is because they are often done from scrap equipment in old basements with your cousin’s best friend as a producer. It is just the type of music you and I can also make. It is a homage to the selves we can be if we choose so.
Mood: Wistful, Introspective and Pensive
Looking back through the catalog of artists and discographies featured in the Music Column, there is one characteristic they have in common: introspectiveness. In the first eight editions of the Weekly Music Recs, I focused on music that is a reflection of the artists’ desires and fears, dreams and beliefs. I find music to be the most genuine and easy to understand medium for self-expression. When utilized properly, it is a special experience for both the artist and their audience, one that fosters bonds between them and opens up important conversations.
Personality Type: The Experimentalist
It is quite the gamble whether you would like any of the artists in these weekly articles. All of them subversive, mixing genres and production methods and nothing like the ones you just play in the background daily. Difficult music. But also fun. It takes a bit of courage and a whole lot of patience and dedication to enjoy these records to the fullest extent. Most of the recommendations are targeting specifically the adventurists and experimentalists among the NYU Abu Dhabi community. I can only hope that it is most of you, like I initially thought.
Pre-Saved Albums
It wouldn’t be a real Weekly Recs edition without an upcoming album recommendation. To end this semester on a high, SZA has prepared a new album for us, titled SOS, which just came out, so do go check it out as a diversion from studying for finals. Nothing much worth mentioning until the end of the year, so focus on planning dinners with family and parties with friends. But right as the New Year starts, the number of new releases increases back to normal. Look out for Circa Waves’s latest project Never Going Under (Jan. 13 release date), Måneskin’s comeback Rush! (Jan. 20), and just as classes start, Smashing Pumpkins’s new album Atum: Act Two (Jan. 27) will hit the stores and online platforms.
Minutes listened to: 1646 minutes
Only in one semester! We are a music-appreciating force to be reckoned with. Hopefully, these are 1646 minutes well-spent, enjoyed, shared with good company. Here’s to many more minutes together with slightly weird music but significant social and emotional impact. And with that, the 2022 season comes to an end, as the other trend goes. See you in the New year with a fresh selection of Weekly Music Recs!
Yana Peeva is Deputy Columns Editor. Email her at
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