The Game of Telephone: Musicians Edition

Nina Jang, Deputy Digital Director

WSN spoke with seven upcoming bands and solo artists and compiled a playlist of songs by these musicians. As a twist, each musician had the chance to recommend or “telephone” a tune or album to another NYU artist. Check out the playlist:


For those looking for new tunes to spruce up your current music library, this playlist of music by NYU musicians may be the remedy.

Band: Glueboy / Jonathan Marty

Backstory: The band Glueboy formed after many years of playing music with my friend Coby in our small hometown of Pelham, New York. Frustrated by the mundanity of suburban life, we loved to escape to the city and go to record shops and see bands. We formed in the treehouse of Silent Barn and met our current drummer Eli at a show at Shea Stadium.

Genre: Indie Rock, Punk, Pop

Description of song / album: I recommend people check out our Videorama EP. Despite being a lean six tracks, the various styles we mess around with on Videorama are pretty indicative of our sound. From energetic/sing-along pop tracks like “Back to You” and “Lesson to Learn” to punkier fare like “Instant Coffee” and “Forum,” the EP is definitely a great intro to our band.

Telephone to:Songs From My Bedroom (Pt. 2)” by Soccer Mommy. Though (as the title suggests) the release feels charmingly self made, it’s also impressively tight and polished-sounding, with fully-formed instrumentation and no noodling guitar part misplaced. The four incredibly well written guitar-based pop songs that make up this EP combine tender and powerful lyrics with catchy hooks and riffs.


Band: Armen Paul

Backstory: I began performing live shows my freshman year of college, after making an appearance on the television series the X-Factor.

Genre: Pop

Description of song / album: My most recent release is the single “To the Moon and Back,” a mellow song celebrating a universal love. The music video, produced by 7 Wonders Cinema, was just chosen to be a part of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) taking place this month in Seattle, Washington. Check out the music video.

Telephone to: “Lost in the Light” by Lauv. If you haven’t had the chance, check out Lauv’s latest EP. It’s got some laid back 90s Pop/R&B vibes that won’t disappoint.


Band: Safeliving

Backstory: In 2013, I, Marco Chan, had written a couple of songs and started playing solo acoustic sets in Yonkers, New York. After a few shows, I received a message on Twitter from John Rodriguez, who at the time was playing in a band called One Fell Swoop. He asked if I was interested in working together to turn my acoustic songs into full-band songs. I was totally on board. We got to talking and were soon joined by A.J. Chiarella and Brandon Florich (who were also playing in One Fell Swoop), and thus, our band was born. Even after the acoustic songs became full band tracks, we continued writing together and have been playing under the name Safeliving ever since.

Genre: Alternative Punk

Description of song / album: “Felling” is the second track off our debut EP The Flowers in Your Brain.

Telephone to: “Remember Who You Are” by Leah Lavigne. Leah is the first person I met at NYU who genuinely cares about putting together local shows for local artists. Every month, her and her roommates offer up their apartment as a space for performers to play. It’s not a huge space, but it’s always packed. This is a practice that I, and all of Safeliving, truly believe in. Not only has it been a pleasure getting to know her, but it’s also been amazing watching her perform. She’s the kind of songwriter that you listen to for the first time and unexpectedly find yourself smiling like an idiot. You will not be disappointed.


Band: Modern Diet

Backstory: Modern Diet began as the bedroom recording project of singer/guitarist Jake Cheriff while he was in high school. I, Dan Hemerlein (bass) met Cheriff briefly in high school. We reconnected when we ran into each other at NYU Steinhardt orientation in the summer of 2012. After we decided to expand Modern Diet into a true indie band during our first semester as freshmen. We played our first show as a quartet that fall at The Bitter End, joined by Noah Hyams on drums and Lee Meadvin on guitar. We recorded our debut EP “Commuter” as a quartet that spring. During our sophomore year, we recorded a follow up to “Commuter” titled “Chemicals.” During junior year, we band recorded our debut self titled LP and produced our first music video for the song “Drive.” We have played extensively in Brooklyn and Manhattan, hitting venues like The Knitting Factory and Bowery Electric. We’ve traveled to play at other colleges around the Northeast including Middlebury College and George Washington University.  We’re currently writing and recording our second album and planning a US/Canada tour for this summer.  

Genre: Indie / Alternative

Description of song / album: Our most recent album was partially recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn. It was written over the course of our sophomore and junior years.  

Telephone to: “Rockman’s Pier” by Del Water Gap! That is a great tune.  

Check out WSN’s full-length interview here.


Artist: Talullah Ruff

Backstory: The band is really just me and whoever happens to be into my music and willing to play my songs with me, so that’s been changing a bit, unless I’m performing solo and accompanying myself on the piano. I’ve been writing songs since I could form words, even though they were facsimiles of what I thought love songs were. I was initially interested in dance and theatre until I started the after-school program School of Rock, where I started listening to The Beatles, Queen, Stevie Wonder — all of the greats that really influenced and still do influence my music. But my freshman year of high school was when I really started creating and performing songs I thought were both meaningful to myself, and hopefully resonant within others.

Genre: A shifting blend of Rock, Blues and Alternative

Description of song / album: Right now I have an eclectic mix of demos on my SoundCloud and Spotify, as well as a live performance session on YouTube, all just under “Talullah Ruff.” I’m in the stages of planning what’s next and figuring out exactly how I want to package and produce my music, and hopefully soon I’ll be ready to put out some new material that I feel best — or at least better — represents who I want to be as an artist. But before that you can see me live at Muchmore’s on April 28, after another video produced with Chiu Productions is released via YouTube next Monday, April 18!

Telephone to: “When You Entered the Room” by Nick Cianci. I would say that one of the absolute most talented people I’ve heard since coming here is Nick Cianci. His music is mostly a blend of John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen, but in a fresh, head-banging, guitar-driven way. “When You Entered the Room” is definitely a song I can’t get tired of, and I can’t get tired of geeking out to that guitar solo, either!


Artist: Soccer Mommy

Backstory: I’ve been playing and writing music since I was six, but I didn’t start this project until last year when I began learning to record music. I bought a four-track recorder and just started making stuff until I liked what was coming out.

Genre: Bedroom-Pop

Description of song / album: My song “You Won’t Leave” off of “Songs From My Bedroom (part 2)” is a dreamy bedroom-pop song about girls who deserve better.

Telephone to: “Say Hello” by Ali Myers. She’s in Clive Davis and has a really smooth Norah Jones sound.


Band: JIL

Backstory: Three friends that grew up together in New York. We formed JIL when we were roommates last year (mid-2015). All three have been involved in the music scene since we were young.

Genre: R&B/Neo-soul

Description of your song / album: Psychedelic pop

Telephone to: Prelow, “Mistakes Like This.” A great pop tune.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 11 print edition. Email Nina Jang at [email protected].