Andrea Hammack and Rory Johnson
The great thing about music is its ability to connect people from all over the world. With The Tropolitan’s collaboration with the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia underway, sharing new experiences through music was a priority for both staffs.
The Tropolitan, along with Ariela Herček, the poetry editor and proofreader-in-chief for the ENgLIST (whose review of the American music included in the playlist is also included in this edition) have worked together to compile some “feel good” songs that cater to those looking for both familiar and unfamiliar music to listen to.
Some of the unfamiliar songs you might hear as an American include Elvis Jackson’s “This Time,” Gramatik’s “Just Jammin’” and Hamo & Tribute 2 Love’s “Prva Vrsta.”
Though most of the songs chosen by Ariela are not in English, she has chosen music sure to boost your mood. One of the tracks that caught my attention was Elvis Jackson’s “This Time” which is surprising on many levels.
This group clearly draws its influences from multiple genres that include metal and reggae, punk, ska and more.
“This Time” starts off with a dark sounding intro but does not take its time cutting to a reggae groove that, along with its positive lyrics, contradicts any original expectations I had about how the track was supposed to sound. This song will be a hit with fans of musicians such as Sublime, or even more “pop” sounding bands such as No Doubt.
One song did not need lyrics — American or otherwise — to catch my attention. Grammatik’s “Just Jammin’” is a bouncy, yet bluesy, instrumental song that borders on upbeat lo-fi and walks the line of the electronica genre. An easy-to-listen-to track, “Just Jammin’” includes a sax solo that will brighten up any day and is sure to be a hit no matter what country you’re listening from.
The last track I want to highlight myself is Hamo & Tribute 2 Love’s “Prva Vrsta.” If you don’t speak any Slovene, don’t let the language barrier intimidate you into skipping this one.
Usually, lyrics are a big part of my listening experience, but with this song, I wanted to just close my eyes and pay attention to how it made me feel. Without even knowing what this song was about, I got chills from the amount of passion that was so obviously present in the arrangement and vocals. It’s uplifting and “feel good” but in a way that hits you deep and takes your breath away.
“Prva Vrsta” is a standout in the playlist and deserves recognition for sure. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already added it to my rotation and dived into more of the artists’ catalog — each new song just as soulful and exciting to listen to as the last.
If there is one artist that I would personally recommend listening to further from the Slovenian recommendations, it is Hamo & Tribute 2 Love.
The things that have always appealed to me most about music is its universal nature. Getting to experience artists we otherwise might not have heard of without this collaboration is something that is extremely beneficial to all our readers who are music lovers and enthusiasts.
This international exchange of artists proves you do not have to understand something fully to feel something.
“Signals” by zalagasper is a chill, melancholic song about feeling signals from your partner.
This song reminds me of music by Lorde and other modern-day pop artists. The production is like the music of that kind, as well, with the bass and vocals put in the background.
The lyrics tell the story of someone who is questioning why they are in a relationship and what is the benefit of staying.
“What do I get by being so sincere? Love and pain and what is dear to me” exemplify those feelings and also reassures them by answering the question.
The lyrics also tell of the partner having a hard time decoding the signals of the relationship and figuring out what the other is thinking.
I like the music behind the song, especially the way vocals and the woodblock are used toward the end to give this song a push.
“Na Golici” by Ansambel bratov Avsenik is a lively and cheerful polka piece. I have never really sat down and listened to music like this, but polka has been something I’ve heard in movies or TV shows before.
When listening to the song, it certainly feels like something people could dance to and I love how involved the brass instruments are.
“Na Golici” reminds me of listening to a march with all the upbeats being played to a fast tempo. The accordion makes the song and provides excellent melodies to sing along with.
“Na Soncu” by Siddharta is an early 2000s rock song with a very upbeat attitude to it. Throughout most of the song there is an acoustic guitar playing an upbeat, happy part.
The song reminds me of the Foo Fighters, but with a little bit more modernism – especially with the distorted guitars coming in and out.
About two minutes into the song, a breakdown comes in with a saxophone playing a solo, which to me was completely unexpected. I enjoyed it though because of how easily the transition was made into the sax solo so it didn’t seem out of place.
The song was pretty energetic, and you could feel the intensity coming from
Read an international review of American artists by our new contributor here.
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