Image description: An illustration of spiralling staves of sheet music around large musical notes. End ID
Image description: An illustration of spiralling staves of sheet music around large musical notes. End ID

Illustration by Dulce Pop-Bonini

Music Column B-Side: Track 3

Returning from break can be more tiring than not having a break at all… the cure might be to take extra time for ourselves with some good tunes to set the mood.

Nov 13, 2023

Fall break already seems like it happened a century ago. Assignments on top of midterms on top of starting new seven-week courses, not to mention the socio-political turmoil that is shaking all countries worldwide; it is all too much to navigate, especially when you have piles of laundry leftover from fall break travels. I find that music really helps alleviate the stress or at least takes us away from reality for a short little while. Here is this week’s Escape from NYU Abu Dhabi playlist.
New Release
Larger Than Life by Brent Faiyez The soft 90s-reminiscent RnB album that Brent Faiyez gifted us this past week is just what we need. Very much rooted in the traditions of the past 50 years of hip hop, soul, and R&B, it feels like a throwback or even a tribute piece of music. He has even invited some of the titans of 90s hip hop, like Missy Elliott, as featured artists, as well as the new household names of rap and RnB, like A$AP Rocky, Coco Jones, and quite a few others. Mellow, sweet, and smooth: the perfect fall vibes are all wrapped up nicely in Larger Than Life, and it provides a good background for both focused studying and lazy afternoons.
“Rajieen” by Various Artists
This seven-minute single was released by quite the star-studded lineup of artists from the MENA region. The song was written in support of the people in Gaza and has prominent musicians Saif Safadi, Dana Salah, Afroto, and UAE’s own Ghaliaa, among many others, contributing to the piece. Definitely worth supporting these artists and all their amazing work done on the production of the single.
FKA Twigs - MAGDALENE (released Nov. 8, 2019)
I, once again, could not resist highlighting the absolute genius of FKA Twigs. Especially considering the fact that it is the fourth anniversary of her most prominent album to date. MAGDALENE is definitely the project that put her on the map and got her recognition not just as an up-and-coming artist, but as a leading musician of the experimental genre. This album is all about the exploration of femininity, the experience of being a modern-day woman in the spotlight, the unrecognized and unexpected harm of social media on relationships, and so much more. I do not think I even scratched the surface of all the different topics she discusses subtly through her art. If music is more than just a distraction to you, then FKA Twigs has a whole five-course gourmet meal for thought served on a silver platter for you.
Fronzoli by Psychedelic P*rn Crumpets (to be released on Nov. 8)
There is only one thing more ridiculous than the title and band name of this recommendation, and that is their actual music. Many consider true psychedelic rock as conceived and performed by Pink Floyd in the 70s to be a thing of the past. Not PPC though. These mainstream deniers go to great lengths to find the strangest sounds and words to construct their pieces. Somehow the result is a highly intellectual and at the same time entertaining… experience.
Yana Peeva is Senior Columns Editor. Email them at
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