Music Column B-Side: Track 4

Nearing the end of the semester, we need music more than ever: to calm us, center us, or help us focus on the (too many) tasks at hand.

Nov 29, 2023

![Image description: Various brass instruments against winding sheet music. End ID]( 2611.png)
The end is nigh … of the semester, I mean. Even though it often seems like an actual apocalypse is upon us. Stress levels are at their peak. Workload, too. In such times, we must naturally decrease the sources of distraction. Including, unfortunately, our favorite pop music. We ought to opt for something quiet, pensive, simplistic … in short, sophisticated elevator music. And yes, you can still elevate your Spotify Wrapped and add some of the fancy adjectives from the previous sentence to the descriptions of your musical journeys this year. So, give your ear to some of the music gems featured in this edition of the music column and the other ear to the Organic Chemistry Tutor’s tutorials for last-minute Calculus cramming.
New Releases
Intiha by Ali Sethi & Nicolas Jaar
Pakistani music wonder Ali Sethi is still riding on the wave of newfound international acclaim. After making an appearance at Coachella back in April, he has amassed quite a following worldwide. His latest project Intiha is a collaborative album with Nicolas Jaar, a Chilean-American experimental-ambient composer. The result — a quiet and meditative musical masterpiece that transcends the bounds of any particular genre. The influences from the traditional music of both artists are clear and add an additional dimension to the already complex compositions. Sethi’s vocals on this one might not be his most impressive but they are definitely some of his best: controlled, well-paced, and beautifully mixed with the instrumentals. It is worth taking the time to listen to this album, maybe even as part of your self-care routine.
New Blue Sun by Andre 3000
Speaking of ambient masterpieces, Andre 3000, the famous rapper from the duo OutKast, released a surprise new project. New Blue Sun is nothing like Andre 3000’s previous works. For starters, it is not a rap album: it is an instrumentals-only project that features various melodies on woodwind instruments. The music feels very well-thought-out, re-recorded and remixed to perfection, and also very interpretative and improvised. Each piece on the album is almost as long as it takes to read the title tracks and understand what Andre 3000 means by them, but that also has everything blend in together quite nicely. It is most certainly not the type of music I thought I would be hearing from Andre 3000, but I am also not disappointed. Hopefully, New Blue Sun marks his official return to the music industry and we will listen to more music from him in the near future.
Oral by Bjork and Rosalia
This unexpected collab single is dedicated to wild salmon. Yes, you read that right. Bjork, the experimental artist, and Rosalia, the new face of reggaeton and overall of Spanish pop, joined forces to write a song that will help Icelanders fight against the unethical practices of fishing and breeding salmon both in captivity and at open sea. Both artists and their respective representatives and production companies have pledged to donate all proceeds from the single to the organizations that lead the fight against animal cruelty and fish farming.
We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest (released Nov. 11, 2016)
Following the previous recommendation, one cannot but revisit some of the golden standards of rap music. A Tribe Called Quest is a household name in rap for sure. There are very few true rap fans who would disagree with the praise that their music redefined the genre as a whole. Therefore, not highlighting their last release, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, would be a huge mistake and a great miss for the Music Column. I encourage you to go into the album blind: do not read reviews, watch reaction videos, or even read this part of this week’s Music Column. Just type the name into your Spotify search and enjoy an hour of musical revolution and revelation. And you will get to hear something special from the old Andre 3000 on one of the tracks.
Pink Friday 2 by Nicki Minaj (to be released Dec. 8)
She needs no introduction, review, no nothing. Queen Nicki is world -famous, to some even notorious, for being one of the most provocative rappers in the music industry currently. Every release of hers comes with the expectation of both great profit and the next big showbiz scandal, which probably has her producers biting on their nails until they receive their first paycheck after the grand reveal of Nicki’s latest tracks. Plus, Nicki is an NYU fan, as the lyrics to “Feeling Myself” suggest, so we owe her some respect.
Yana Peeva is Senior Columns Editor. Email them at
gazelle logo