Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Photo of Yas Akdag

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

Yas Akdag is a junior studying recorded music at the Clive Davis Institute. When she's not consumed by Ableton, she's probably getting French toast bagels or raving about Diet Coke. Find her on Instagram @yasakdaag.

All content by Yas Akdag
An illustration of a women with dark purple hair wearing lavender headphones. Her headphone cords form the text listen to this. She is in front of a blue background.

Listen To This: Julia Michaels redefines EDM on ‘Sorry To Me Too’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Stevie Bill, Channel Tres and more.
Nov 17, 2022

This week, we have four songs that lean pop, but have different interpretations of the genre. There’s Julia Michaels’ heartbreak anthem, which she wrote following her split...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen To This: NYU sophomore Mia Tims’ ‘Live Forever’ is an indie-rock earworm

Read about this week’s most notable singles by hemlocke springs, Camp Kona and more.
Nov 10, 2022

This week, we feature a range of genres — from indie-rock to electropop — as well as two NYU artists. For TikTok scrollers, we also review hemlocke springs’ new track, “girlfriend.”...

An illustration of a women with dark purple hair wearing lavender headphones. Her headphone cords form the text listen to this. She is in front of a blue background.

Listen To This: Rihanna returns with powerful ballad ‘Lift Me Up’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by SZA, Holly Humberstone and more.
Nov 3, 2022

When we heard both Rihanna and SZA were releasing new music this past week, we couldn’t wait for Friday to come around. Neither disappoint with their latest singles — an emotional...

An illustration of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson posing for a photograph while sitting on a stage. McPherson, on the left, has brown curly hair, and wears yellow-tinted glasses, a yellow short-sleeved shirt, brown shorts, white socks, and brown lace-up shoes. Gavin, in the center, has red straight hair and wears a gray long-sleeved shirt, green pants with gray vertical stripes, and brown shoes with tied bows. Maskin, on the right, is wearing a white T-shirt, an orange long-sleeved shirt with brown stripes under the white shirt, gray-ish brown pants, and dark shoes.

Review: MUNA reimagines electropop on ‘Live At Electric Lady’

The queer band released the live EP amid their quasi-sold-out U.S. tour. “Live At Electric Lady” can be streamed exclusively on Spotify.
Oct 31, 2022

MUNA is resilient and driven. The queer electropop band — comprised of Katie Gavin, Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin — formed in 2013 after meeting at the University of Southern...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen To This: Blu DeTiger dials up rhythm and funk on latest single ‘Elevator’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Sarah Kinsley, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more.
Oct 27, 2022

This week, we’ve got pop, funk, house and indie rock. Basically, we have a lot covered. Three of the artists this week also went to New York colleges — Blu DeTiger is a former...

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Staff Recs: Spooky Season

WSN’s Arts Desk highlights some Halloween favorites.
Oct 27, 2022

In the spirit of ghouls, WSN’s Arts Desk has decided to put together a list of spooky recommendations worth diving into this Halloween weekend. From Nick Cave to the latest nerve-wracking...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen To This: With a ‘Pang,’ Caroline Polachek is back

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Caroline Polachek, Katie Gregson-MacLeod and more.
Oct 20, 2022

Listen To This took a brief hiatus, but fear not — we’re back. This week, we’ve rounded up some of the best indie pop and rock singles from the last fortnight. Read on for...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen To This: Sabrina Song just wants ‘To Know You’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsystem and more.
Oct 6, 2022

This week, we have two alt-rock-leaning songs and two alt-pop-leaning songs. Take your pick! As an added bonus, the two pop songs are by former and current NYU students Sabrina...

Against a light purple background lie pink headphones, a yellow backpack, a pair of black boots, two books and a picture.

Staff Recs: Back to school

The Arts Desk spotlights some of their favorite artworks dealing with the highs and lows of college life.
Sep 12, 2022

School is back, the semester is anew. Perhaps you’re still not in the mood for four-hour lectures, bulky worksheets or reading theory. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen To This: After five years, Björk returns with ‘Atopos’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by The 1975, FLETCHER and more.
Sep 8, 2022

Welcome back to Listen To This! Our first edition of the fall semester starts off strong with plenty of excellent releases spanning artpop, Britpop, electropop … well, just all...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: beabadoobee maintains she’ll ‘See you Soon’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by MUNA, Flume and more.
May 5, 2022

Folks, here we are … the final edition of “Listen to This” of the semester. We’ve enjoyed writing up our favorite — and sometimes least favorite — singles of the week...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Dear CVS, Megan Thee Stallion is stocking up on ‘Plan B’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Laufey, PinkPantheress and more.
Apr 28, 2022

Everybody seems to be talking about Coachella this week, and, well, we’re going to give you more of that. Megan Thee Stallion debuted her latest single, “Plan B,” at her...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Phoebe Bridgers expands her sonic palette on “Sidelines”

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Jamie xx and Shin Hae Gyeong.
Apr 21, 2022

Phoebe Bridgers, a veteran of the indie scene, has been riding a big high since releasing her 2020 Grammy-nominated album, “Punisher.” Now, she’s also proven her business...

An illustration of a purple heart-shaped bong, two Oreo cookies and a pair of Beats earbuds against a bright green background.

Staff Recs: Crunchin’ the munchies

The Arts Desk recommends the best movies and music for dozing off into high heaven as you celebrate 4/20.
Apr 20, 2022

It’s twenty past four and you need something to do after toking and coughing on a spliff or devouring a brownie whose chemical makeup is a broken ratio of three parts cannabis,...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: After countless breakup songs, Lauv is finally back in love

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Maggie Rogers, Noah Cyrus and more.
Apr 14, 2022

It’s a pop week — that’s for sure — but the songs are all excellent, offering glimpses into artists’ forthcoming projects. We also feature two NYU artists this week:...

An illustration of three Grammy awards against a purple background. One is placed in the center and the other two are behind it. The Grammy Award is a gold record player with a black base underneath.

Jon Batiste and Olivia Rodrigo shine at the 64th Grammy Awards

NYU alums, former students and faculty also took home Grammys on April 3.
Apr 4, 2022

Casinos. Fountain shows. A replica of the Eiffel Tower. That’s right — this year, Las Vegas hosted the Grammy Awards for the first time ever. The show, originally planned for...

A portrait of Jim Anderson in front of a soundboard in a recording studio. He is wearing a black long-sleeve shirt.

With 28 Grammy nominations, Tisch prof. Jim Anderson can’t be stopped

The recording engineer and producer maintains a busy professional life while working as a professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
Apr 1, 2022

As a college student, it’s pretty rare that you can say that your professor has been nominated for a Grammy. Now try 28. That’s how many nominations Jim Anderson has under...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Soccer Mommy’s latest release ‘Shotgun’ pushes her further into dream-pop

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Midwife, beabadoobee and more.
Mar 31, 2022

Welcome back to Listen to This! We were going to say that all of this week’s songs had a shoegaze-rock feel to them, but we just couldn’t stay away from FINNEAS’ latest single,...

A portrait of Claud against a black background. They are wearing khaki pants with a matching button-up shirt. Layered beneath is a neon yellow top. They have split-dyed green and blue hair and are wearing round glasses.

Q&A: Claud takes bedroom pop out of the bedroom and on a national tour

Calling in from the road, the artist spoke about getting signed, their debut album “Super Monster” and their favorite deli order.
Mar 28, 2022

If you were around for the bedroom pop wave circa 2018, then chances are you know who Claud is. Since dropping out of Syracuse University, the formerly half-green-half-blue-haired...

A group studio portrait of six singers from the music collective MICHELLE in front of a white seamless backdrop. Two members sit on the ground, while the other four sit on stools of alternating height.

MICHELLE is a creative powerhouse

The New York City-based collective may be known for their music, but they’re just as skilled in the art and dance departments.
Mar 11, 2022

“Kick-ass bangers.” In three words, that’s how Julian Kaufman of New York City-based band MICHELLE would describe their music, which blurs the lines between pop, R&B,...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Nilüfer Yanya’s latest song confirms she’s an idol in the making

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Rosalía, BANKS and more.
Mar 3, 2022

“the dealer” by Nilüfer Yanya Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Arts Editor To list the music idols who have come from the United Kingdom would be to write a never-ending book....

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Caroline Polachek dazzles in new song ‘Billions’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Father John Misty, Alexander 23 and more.
Feb 17, 2022

Caroline Polachek dropped her latest single, “Billions”, on the same day she started touring with Dua Lipa — talk about having a full plate. And love him or hate him, Ed...

As lovers celebrate their romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day can be the perfect time to enjoy a heartbreaking breakup album. (Staff Illustration by Aaliya Luthra)

This Valentine’s Day, listen to a breakup album

If you’re bitter about being alone on Valentine’s Day, check out the breakup albums we rounded up so you didn’t have to.
Feb 14, 2022

We’ve all been there — as Feb. 14 approaches, it seems impossible to escape anything red, pink or heart-shaped. If you’re single, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something...

If securing a Valentine’s date proves to be a failure, WSN has you covered with a list of movies to watch alone on Valentine’s Day. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Staff Recs: Anti-Valentine’s Day films

The Arts Desk recommends the best films to protest Saint Valentine’s Day.
Feb 14, 2022

“The Living End” directed by Gregg Araki Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Arts Editor Nothing says Saint Valentine’s Day like sex, death and hedonism. Gregg Araki’s New Queer...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Australian artist Mallrat heads to hyperpop

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Lucy Dacus, John Legend and more.
Feb 10, 2022

In this edition of Listen to This, we have a diverse range of songs, from indie rock to unsuccessful pop punk. Yes, we have a negative review this week — listen to it at your...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Another posthumous release from XXXTENTACION

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Lauv, Wallows and more.
Feb 3, 2022

Pop, rap, rock. What isn’t covered this week? Dive into these eclectic reviews to find the freshest new music to add to your library. “vice city” by XXXTENTACION Jordan...

“Caprisongs” is the latest mixtape by artist FKA twigs, released on Jan. 14. FKA twigs is a Grammy-nominated English singer-songwriter. (Image courtesy of Atlantic Records)

Review: On ‘CAPRISONGS,’ FKA twigs is reborn

The British artist adopts a trap aesthetic on her playful new mixtape.
Jan 24, 2022

FKA twigs’ latest release, “CAPRISONGS,” is phoenix-like — on the 17-track mixtape, the British artist-dancer-wushu-sword-fighter is reborn. Strong, sexy, confident and...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Black Country, New Road releases new single ‘Concorde’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Mura Masa, Aeon Station and more.
Dec 2, 2021

After a brief Thanksgiving break, we’re back. The releases are winding down as Christmas songs begin to dominate the charts. Nevertheless, there’s still brilliant new music...

Alexander 23 performs for a sold-out crowd at Terminal 5 in Manhattan in early March 2020. The former New Yorker is performing songs he wrote during the pandemic on tour. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

An interview with sad-pop artist Alexander 23

The former New Yorker talked about working with Olivia Rodrigo, music production and his favorite spots in the city.
Nov 22, 2021

Alexander 23 is notorious for writing sad music. His song “IDK You Yet” — written about a difficult period in his life — is certified gold and recently went viral on TikTok....

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Beyoncé releases new song ‘Be Alive’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Nilüfer Yanya, Beach House and more.
Nov 18, 2021

Honestly, we don’t have much to add here. Beyoncé pretty much speaks for herself. This week, we also review new songs by British artist Nilüfer Yanya, indie duo Beach House...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Mariah Carey releases another Christmas song

Read about the most notable singles by Charli XCX, IDLES and more.
Nov 11, 2021

Mariah Carey defrosted early this year, releasing a new Christmas song featuring R&B artist Khalid and choirmaster Kirk Franklin. Charli XCX also dropped a collaboration-heavy...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: BENEE’s latest single dives into the struggles of anxiety

Read about the most notable singles this week by Conan Gray, Porcupine Tree and more.
Nov 4, 2021

This week, Gen Z stars BENEE and Conan Gray are back with new music. For you old souls, fret not, as we also review tracks by Porcupine Tree and John Mayer. The reviews speak for...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: ABBA’s latest release ‘Just A Notion’ teases their upcoming album

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Gracie Abrams, Mastodon and more.
Oct 28, 2021

ABBA is back with a new song ahead of their album release next week. If you somehow haven’t heard about the band’s return, we’re pleased to inform you that “Voyage” comes...

As a musician with a growing TikTok fanbase, Stella Smyth has been gaining attention for her unique songwriting and production style. (Photo by Rhianydd Hylton)

Stella Smyth is the electro-pop artist you need to watch

After a somewhat rocky start on TikTok, this Clive Davis student is making a name for herself through her exquisite and introspective hyperpop.
Oct 22, 2021

Singer-songwriter-producer Stella Smyth blew up on TikTok — not because people loved her music, but because they hated it. In fall 2020, the NYU student posted teaser clips...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: 8 years since his last album, Stromae returns with new music

Read about the most notable singles this week by Snail Mail, Julia Michaels and more.
Oct 21, 2021

If you like danceable pop or brooding rock, this week you’re in for a treat. Snail Mail and Kito delight once again, Julia Michaels surprises and Stromae steps out of the shadows....

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: FLETCHER reimagines Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’

Read about the most notable singles this week by James Blake, Arca and more.
Oct 14, 2021

This week we review two songs by NYU alumni. The Venezuelan producer Arca and New Jersey native FLETCHER both attended the Clive Davis Institute at NYU. Arca pushes the boundaries...

Coming from a family of creators, Saleka is an artist to look out for. The rising R&B artist recently sat down with WSN for an interview. (Photo by Shervin Lainez)

An interview with Saleka, a rising R&B icon

The singer-songwriter discusses writing for movies, living with a creative family and her upcoming New York City show.
Oct 8, 2021

Regarding up-and-coming R&B artist Saleka’s music video “The Sky Cries,” one YouTube user commented, “Aaliyah had a baby with Jessica Rabbit ... It’s cruel that she...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Mitski ends her hiatus with new song ‘Working for the Knife’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Gracie Abrams, Kali Uchis and more.
Oct 7, 2021

It seems Twitter is ablaze with Mitski memes since both the release of her latest single and the announcement of her 2022 tour. Therefore, it’s only natural that we would review...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Elton John and Charlie Puth team up on their latest release

Read about the most notable singles this week by Wallows, Subsonic Eye and more.
Sep 30, 2021

There may be three indie rock songs featured here this week, but two of them are in Malay. Bet you haven’t heard that yet — though if you have, that’s cool. We’ve also...

Sun Room takes the stage at the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side. Hailing from San Diego, the young band has already amassed a sizable Spotify following. (Staff Photo by Yas Akdag)

Surf rock band Sun Room brings Californian energy to New York

The San Diego natives kicked off their tour at the Lower East Side’s Mercury Lounge.
Sep 27, 2021

Thursday nights are the new Friday nights. It certainly seemed so on Sept. 16, when I went to watch an up-and-coming surf-rock band called Sun Room. Out of breath after speed-walking...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: As Lady Gaga goes jazz, Enrique Iglesias plays it safe

Read about the most notable singles this week by Lukas Graham, Will Wood and more.
Sep 23, 2021

This week’s reviews sprawl across a range of genres. From Kehlani’s popcorn butter-smooth R&B to Snail Mail’s electrified indie-rock, these singles will spice up your...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Metallica covers growl alongside lush pop tunes

Read about the most notable singles this week by Mac DeMarco, Troye Sivan and more.
Sep 16, 2021

This week’s reviews range from covers of Metallica’s “The Black Album” to a slinky Big Thief song about certainty. They discuss Radiohead’s upcoming triple-album release...

The Clive Davis Institute hosts an annual Artist-In-Residence each year. This year, Clive Davis hosts Grammy winner Jack Antonoff. (Photo by Herbert River Ortiz)

Jack Antonoff is this year’s Artist-in-Residence at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute

The Grammy Award-winning musician launched his residency with a Q&A for Clive Davis students.
Sep 15, 2021

Hit artist, songwriter, producer and five-time Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff has been announced as this year’s Artist-in-Residence at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Singles from Sept. 1-7

Read about the most notable singles released this week.
Sep 9, 2021

So many good singles this week. So many great music videos — every track on here has one. We’ve gotten extremes in genres, ranging from hyperpop to lo-fi, and included an NYU...

Blu DeTiger performs songs from her latest EP, “How Did We Get Here?” at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. DeTiger is a DJ, bass player, and NYU-student-on-leave, and energized the crowd with renditions of her popular songs. (Staff Photo by Yas Akdag)

Blu DeTiger excels at Music Hall of Williamsburg

A former NYU student’s first headline show energizes and stuns.
Sep 8, 2021

“Blu, Blu, Blu, Blu, Blu!” the crowd chants, eager for the blue-bass-toting musician to hop onstage. Their wish will soon be granted, as blue lasers flicker across the room...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Singles from August

In case you missed it, here are new tracks by Kacey Musgraves, BTS and more.
Sep 2, 2021

August may have slipped away into a moment in time — and sipped away like a bottle of wine — but that doesn’t mean August releases have to! If you feel like refreshing your...