15 in quarantine: Get to know the 2020-21 Oracle staff with our favorite songs


Photo credit: Rio Hundley

The 2020-2021 Oracle Staff chose a variety of different songs as their favorites. We hope you enjoy this staff-curated list of quarantine favorites. Digital illustration curated from promotional album, song and podcast images.

By Rio Hundley, Features Editor

As we approach the final month of 2020, the Oracle staff wants to share some of the songs that keep us going and help shape our interests and passions. We hope you check out this list of phenomenal tracks, and you enjoy them as much as we do.

Vaughan’s pick: “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” by Tame Impala

Although News Editor Vaughan Anoa’i is “new” to Tame Impala, this king of psychedelic pop has helped her stay focused in the midst of tiring screen time on Zoom.

“It’s a song that I can always listen to if I want to boost my energy, get in a good mood, or just calm down,” Anoa’i said. “It’s my go-to song 100%, but even more so the entire album. I’m super new to listening to his music but I truly recommend that you listen to it. It’s fantastic. This will always be my favorite song.”

Nyah’s pick: “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo

These two artists’ exciting ode to life is our Multimedia Editor Nyah Fernandez’s pick this year because of its “great vibes.”

“The song constructs a message that at a certain time you need to let go live your life, even though you have rent to pay, and you still work it off,” Fernandez said. “You just have to have a good time before your time is up. I really think that this song speaks to me because it talks about your life and how you want to live it; don’t take life for granted, do what you want to do.”

Chloe’s pick: “Hit Different” by SZA (featuring Ty Dolla $ign)

Breakout star SZA is a favorite of voices editor Chloe Fidler because it helps her get “energized and excited.”

“[SZA] is like a god, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Fidler said. “Her music is an outlet for me to kind of just take a breather for a second. I think that in our world right now it’s really easy to get caught up in all the noise, whether that be political, social or environmental. I think it’s really hard to get swept up in media and everything like that. So sometimes it’s really nice to just like sit back, plug in your headphones, and just zone out and listen to something that makes you feel good.”

Rio’s pick: “Share Your Address” by Ben Platt

This Broadway icon and star of “The Politician” is features editor Rio Hundley’s favorite artist. She enjoys his entire “Sing to Me Instead” album and has “adored” Platt since she first saw him in blockbuster movie “Pitch Perfect.”

“I actually got to see [Platt] perform ‘Share Your Address’ live. I remember him saying that he’s a really big fan of the television series “Sex in the City,”  and that he’s a total Charlotte, which essentially means that he becomes really attached to romantic partners and falls in love with them so quickly,” Hundley said. “I think that I’m that way too but it extends beyond romantic partners. My friends and all my loved ones, I kind of just feel an instant connection with them. And in a time where we don’t have that much connection, I think that this song just helps me remember why I love all the people in my life.”

Lola’s pick: “Come a Little Closer” by Cage the Elephant

Our Editor-in-Chief Lola Lamberg loves this 2013 track, part of the rock band‘s album “Melophobia” which ironically means the “fear of music.” She appreciates the song’s ability to make the world “fade away.”

“I just feel like I’m kind of floating in my own world,” Lamberg said. “It’s a great song to listen to when you’re on a red-eye flight and no one’s awake and you’re staring out the window. It’s that kind of vibe.”

Thea’s pick: “400 Lux” by Lorde

Culture editor Thea Leimone reads plenty of content about her favorite songs, but personally hails unconventional pop icon Lorde as “one of her favorite artists.”

“The pacing for ‘400 Lux‘ is really unique. The way the song is formatted feels really different,” Leimone said. “It’s really catchy, but a little slow. It feels very powerful. It’s just one of my favorite songs and has a really big impact on me anytime I listen to it.”

London’s pick: “Sympathique” by Pink Martini

According to podcast editor London Sinclair, this classic from Pink Martini’s debut album is “cosmopolitan,” likely because it is sung entirely in french. The track helps Sinclair tune into all her francophile fantasies and stay calm.

“While the reality of today is not always gentle, the song remains soft,” Sinclair said. “It’s been shifting the unprocessed pain and exhaustion of the election to a comforting memory.”

Ms. Taylor’s pick: “A Moment to Myself” by Macy Gray

Although the song was performed by R&B singer Macy Gray more than 20 years ago, publications advisor and English teacher Kristin Taylor believes the song resonates deeply during hard times, including 2020.

“I really love this song, and part of the reason I love it so much is the lyric ‘Deep in the struggle I have found the beauty of me,'” Taylor said. “I just think that that’s a really appropriate lyric right now for everything we’re going through with the pandemic, and it’s keeping me strong.”

Liora’s pick: “How Bad Can I Be?” by Ed Helms, The Lorax Cast

Staffer Liora Ginzburg appreciates the “allegorical” meaning behind this catchy track.  The song was written for 2012 film “The Lorax” and is sung by comedian Ed Helms.

“The movie represents connections to the environment as well as corporations, and their connection to each other,” Ginzburg said. “This specific song, however, demonstrates the thought process that allows people to justify harming the environment in their head. Also, I like the visuals that accompany it.”

Greta’s pick: “Girl” by Beck

Experimental artist Beck has been a touchstone for staffer Greta Irvine during quarantine, but her favorite song is his “upbeat” “Girl.”

“[The song] just calms me down and you feel content with where I am,” Irvine said. “I’ve been listening to a lot of his songs for right now, but this is the one that I kind of have on replay. And it’s a really fun song that definitely if other people listen to would find joy and excitement in it.”

Andrea’s pick: “B.O.M.D” by Clairo

Viral sensation Clairo has been captivating audiences with her indie-pop anthems since 2017. Staffer Andrea Ramirez praised one of her most recent tracks, which is short for “Boy of My Dreams,” as a song she “never gets tired of.”

“[Clairo] has such a nice, beautiful voice and along with the beat in the background it’s a song that really calms me down and kind of makes me feel happy,” Ramirez said. “I know that I can always sing along, which makes it 10 times better, because I know the song front to back.”

Rose’s pick: “All of the Lights” by Kanye West 

Rihanna, Elton John and Drake are only a few of many stars featured on this popular track. Staffer Rose Sarner chose this song as her favorite because it is a “mood booster.”

“It just puts you in such a good mood. I also love all the artists on the track,” Sarner said. “I just think a favorite song should … get you excited.”

Norah’s pick: “How to Save a Planet” with Alex Blumberg and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

As a writer passionate about the climate, it’s no surprise that columnist Norah Adler’s favorite listen is not a song, but a podcast. She listens to the 40-50 minute episodes on her daily walks, and some of their conversations even inspire her writing on the Oracle.

“[The podcast represents] what I hope is the future of the movement,” Adler said. “This is a podcast that is focused on climate solutions. That’s what I like about it because it does feel really very doom and gloom when [the crisis] is all you focus on, but this podcast makes me very hopeful and also gives me a way to talk about different solutions.”

Alejandra’s pick: “cardigan” by Taylor Swift

Columnist Alejandra Ayala is one of the millions who fell in love with Taylor Swift‘s newest album, “folklore.” While she loves the entire album, she believes “cardigan” is one of the most “chill” tracks.

“I’ve always liked Taylor Swift; she’s always been one of my favorite artists,” Ayala said.  “So when she came up with folklore this summer, … I immediately listened to it and I think “cardigan” is one of the best songs in the album, and the song itself is very chill. I can do homework to it or listen to it in the car.”

Marissa’s pick: “Frozen” by Sabrina Claudio

In difficult times, columnist Marissa Gendy enjoys listening to this song, one of the Latinx-American singer-songwriter’s first. Gendy appreciates the track’s ability to “lift [her] up.”

“Especially during the time of quarantine, when I’ve found myself at my lowest moments, [the song] always seems to bring me joy and make me hopeful for a better future,” Gendy said. “It always gives me time to myself to [get] out of a bad place and just be hopeful for a better day to come where I can be with my friends [again] and make memories.”

Our curated playlist along with other Oracle favorites are available on Spotify under our username, archeroracle. We hope these songs uplift, affect and inspire you during this difficult year.