Music On Repeat

On Repeat: summer edition

Our Music Editors share what they’ve been listening to over the summer.

Guillaume Laberge, Music Editor

Summer 2022 saw the birth of countless projects, some more memorable than others. Regardless, here are the songs I have been obsessed with for the past four months — hopefully you’ll discover something new here.

“Count Me Out” – Kendrick Lamar

Of the many songs I could have chosen from Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, “Count Me Out” is the one that stuck with me the most. There are so many layers and tempo switches to this track that it makes you sit on the edge of your seat for its entire duration.

“Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy

Whether it was on TikTok or on the radio, this song was inescapable over the summer, and for good reason. With “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy crafted an indie pop anthem that contains arguably the catchiest chorus of the year.

“Big Ass Bracelet” – Westside Gunn

The Flygod himself dropped perhaps the underground rap song of the year with “Big Ass Bracelet.” The soul sample used in the track is so mesmerising that it took me at least ten listens to realize that he was saying something over this angelic drumless instrumental.

Honourable mentions

“Sugar/Tzu” – black midi

“Me Porto Bonito” – Bad Bunny

“Survivors Guilt” – Joey Bada$$

“Sticky” – Drake

“Chop (Nouvelle École)” – Fresh

Saro Hartounian, Assistant Music Editor

This summer brought about the release of many fantastic albums and singles (the new Kendrick record comes to mind), and I am pleased to showcase my favourite songs that were on repeat during my vacation to Gaspésie and Québec City!

“Auntie Diaries” – Kendrick Lamar

This song moved me to tears. Honestly. Regardless of the heavy topic it explores, I would play this during late summer nights where the pad synths would envelop my room. If you haven’t checked out this song I highly recommend it for the lyrics and the crescendo up until the very end.  

“hydrogen” – Sirintip  

Sirintip did not disappoint with her new single! The acid drum machine over ethereal jazzy vocals. There’s at least three tracks for her voice: two panning left and right and one in the background whispering a response from the former two. I know this is an oxymoron but hear me out… think “upbeat lounge.” 

“Magenta Mountain” – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

This song off King Gizzard’s Omnium Gatherum album was a must-listen through the summer months, especially for long drives. The Minimoog’s bass paired with the oriental melody gives off the feeling of a monastery way up in the mountains. Shangri-La, anyone?

Honorable mentions

“Tippa My Tongue” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Welcome To Hell” – black midi 

“Shotgun” – Soccer Mommy 

“Complacency” – Tide Rider

“La Rivière” – Pomme


The most anticipated albums of 2020

2019 was an excellent year for music – can these 2020 releases top it?

Drake – TBD

As expected, the chart-topping king will return in 2020 after a fairly quiet 2019. Scorpion came and went in 2018 and despite its long run in Billboard’s charts, failed to resonate with most of its listeners. It was too long, too safe, and the number of bad songs outweighed the number of good ones. The year 2020 represents an opportunity to return to form. No longer shadowed by a deadly beef that kept criticisms of the rapper high, Drake can release an album on his terms with his own promotion.

“War,” the first new bit of Drake we’ve seen in a while, borrows elements from Chicago’s drill music and the UK’s grime scene, but ultimately wound up being just another passable moment in his lengthy discography. Let’s just hope the new album is less filler and more killer.


Frank Ocean – TBD

The elusive Frank Ocean has been confirmed to headline 2020’s Coachella after releasing two singles (and a few other snippets) in 2019. When Blonde came out, the R&B singer was difficult to track. Now, it seems he’s ready to embrace the fame a little bit more as he’s been sneaking in new songs at various events he’s hosted throughout the year. “In My Room” and “DHL” weren’t as well-received as his previous songs, but perhaps they’ll sound better in the context of the album.

We still have no indication of when the album will drop, but we do know it’s coming (eventually).


Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

The Slow Rush will end a five-year drought from the Australian music project, Tame Impala. Backed by a few singles like “Borderline” and “Posthumous Forgiveness,” the fourth studio album from Tame Impala is shaping up to be another strong entry to their already proven discography. Thankfully, the wait is almost over.


Rihanna – TBD

Look, this one’s been floating around since Anti dropped, and the hype for Rihanna’s newest album keeps growing as every Instagram post of hers has a wave of comments imploring her to release new music. Anti was stellar and whatever kind of project Rihanna decides to drop, we’ll be accepting it with open arms. Twenty-twenty needs this.


Kendrick Lamar – TBD

We all knew this one would be on the list. I mean, it’s been three years since DAMN. and we want more. The Black Panther soundtrack was passable and Lamar’s features continue to be subpar but we can all agree he has yet to release a bad album. His follow-up to the acclaimed 2017 project is expected to be an Album of the Year contender across the board. There is absolutely zero confirmation that an album is on the way this year, but one can only hope.

Lana Del Rey – White Hot Forever (tentative)

Immediately after releasing her best album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Lana Del Rey announced she had another project in the works with an expected release in Fall 2020. The tentative title is White Hot Forever but she also stated that it could change. Del Rey reached new heights with NFR and expectations will undoubtedly be sky-high for this new record.


The top 10 songs of 2017

The Concordian music staff reflects on the year’s best offerings

Last year was marked by triumph, defeat and outpours of optimism, and artists across the globe relayed this the best way they know how—through song. Here are the best tracks of 2017.

  1. “Love Galore” – SZA (ft. Travis Scott)

After spending half a year in our collective psyche, SZA’s sultry collaboration with Travis Scott secured a tight spot in the canon of timeless breakup songs. In the span of three minutes, the duo swap bitter kiss-offs and dissect past relationships while maintaining remarkably complex emotional maturity.



  1. “Magnolia” – Playboi Carti

Named after the infamous housing project in New Orleans, “Magnolia” is a stunning crystallization of Playboi Carti’s best assets—his natural ebb and flow on the mic and his critical sense of next-generation sounds.



  1. “The Bus Song” – Jay Som

“The Bus Song” not only introduces Jay Som’s excellent Everybody Works, it’s also a staggering reflection on love, friendship and the gratifying solace of trudging from desolate street to crowded bus stop, only to repeat the cycle on a daily basis.



  1. “DNA.” – Kendrick Lamar

“DNA” is a hip-hop masterpiece. Kendrick Lamar takes aim at a culture of misrepresentation and the long-standing effects that have perpetuated such divides. With mesmerizing production coming from Mike WiLL Made-It, “DNA.” is a disarming reminder that Lamar has plenty left to contribute to the zeitgeist, and then some.


  1. “The Story of O.J.” – Jay-Z

With a Nina Simone sample as its main hook, “The Story of O.J.” tackles traditions of racial discrimination and the diaspora of African culture in America, past and present, all delivered with some of Jay-Z’s sharpest writing in years.



  1. “123” – Girlpool

Girlpool’s sound hovers in its own innocuous space, where high school fantasies and dreamlike imagery act as a guiding beacon. On “123,” the duo peer through the looking glass with a sense of hyper-curiosity that reminds you of how powerless you really feel in this world we call home.



  1. “LMK” – Kelela

Kelela’s “LMK” is a nocturnal blow-burner that asserts the singer’s dominance as one of R&B’s most interesting forces. The singer pairs lavish R&B with pop accessibility and complements it with a backdrop of earth-rumbling bass, ornate synths and unwavering confidence.



  1. “tonite” – LCD Soundsystem

After laying dormant for six years, LCD Soundsystem’s core sound remains very much untouched. But that’s exactly where “tonite” draws its energy. Perhaps the year’s most proper return to form, the track pumps with the flashy tongue-in-cheek irony and existential musings LCD is known for. And after nearly two decades, they still sound as fresh as ever.



  1. “Bank Account” – 21 Savage

One of 21 Savage’s best standout tracks, “Bank Account,” continues the sinister trap persona the Atlanta rapper cultivated on his first few mixtapes. The nonchalant cadence of 21’s flow lurks with a cold and natural prowess, imitating the feeling of being watched without even knowing it.



  1.  “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) – Power Trip

Power Trip’s “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” embraces a platonic passion for heavy metal reverie. The track is a sneering plea for the arrival of judgement day, where the only means of escape rests at the feet of the reaper’s axe.


Review: Kendrick Lamar takes a victory lap

The show highlighted Lamar’s appreciation for dance, martial arts and, most of all, his fans

The DAMN. tour hit Montreal Thursday night, and it did not disappoint. Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar showcased his new album while incorporating an appreciation for martial arts culture and a gratitude for his fans.

The show opened with a light-hearted performance by DRAM, who danced along with the crowd in front of bright neon lights. Through and through, DRAM performed with a massive smile on his face to hits like “I Like To Cha-Cha” and the infamous “Broccoli.” He shimmied off stage to greet the crowd, which gave way to the confident YG.

I never realized how many songs I knew by YG, and it felt like I was in a club somewhere on St-Laurent Blvd. in 2015 — especially when he set up a fake strip club booth, complete with two stand-alone stripper poles and dancers to grind with.

YG’s set was mostly about having fun and getting “f**ked up.” His performance of “FDT,” which stands for “F**k Donald Trump,” was the only exception. YG brought out a Trump impersonator to open the outspoken song.

“This crowd is very big,” the impersonator said over continuous boos from the audience. “It’s almost as big as the KKK meeting I just came from.” YG chased the impersonator off the stage, and the crowd belted out the simple lyrics to the infamous song.

Aside from the YG song, I thought the show was going to be more political than it ended up being, which the audience clearly appreciated.

The DAMN. album has a much stronger political tone than Lamar’s older projects, but he never made America’s current political climate a focal point of the show. It really felt more like a victory tour for Lamar, with a set list packed full of timeless hits, art and a focus on having a memorable time with his audience.

Lamar draws heavily on his alter ego, Kung Fu Kenny, in DAMN. and in concert. I talked to some people before the show at his pop-up shop in Montreal. One of the things fans kept mentioning was Lamar’s tendency to assume different characters in his music.

“To me, there’s a relevance [between Kendrick’s lyrical themes and Canadian life]. I grew up in Montreal North, so there’s a lot of gang violence going on. Not as much as in Compton, but I’ve seen all that going on. So to see him rap about it without glorifying all that gangster stuff is really refreshing to me.”

— Anonymous Montreal native

A DAMN. album lyric is pictured on a fan’s hat as he stands in line at the pop-up shop in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jesmer

Lamar’s set opened with a short video where he’s learning from a wise master, gathering wisdom about who he, Kung-Fu Kenny, is and what he’s capable of. It was reminiscent of the type of stop-and-go storyline that Lamar crafted using the poem in To Pimp A Butterfly, weaving the videos in and out of the show in between songs like a train of thought.

As the video ended, Lamar emerged from beneath the stage in the middle of what looked like the spring-back foam floor typically seen in a dojo. Lamar was crouched in smoke, and the audience felt more than a minute go by. This happened a lot during the show — Lamar would stand still and alone, looking out over the sea of people, nodding as he listened to the crowd roar regardless of whether he was making noise or not.

In between back-to-back hits like “ELEMENT.,” “King Kunta,” “Collard Greens” and “M.A.A.D. City,” there were pauses that made it seem like everyone was pinching themselves, trying to grasp the reality that they were in the same room as Kendrick Lamar. The crowd showed an overwhelming sense of appreciation throughout the whole affair.

“I think there’s a better word to describe what we got going on,” Lamar said before starting “Loyalty.” Lamar is one of the biggest, if not the biggest name in hip hop right now, and he’s aware of it. It was fitting to see him standing on a dojo floor in his yellow button down and matching pants. He was facing the front with a zen-like aura, calculating his next moves. Like a samurai or a martial arts master, he was focused.

By the time Lamar started “HUMBLE.”, one of his hits off DAMN., the audience was electrified after heartfelt performances of “LOVE.” and “LUST.” He rapped maybe two lines of the first verse, then cut the music and slowly faded his voice out. The audience carried the rest of the song, reciting it back to the artist on stage in acapella. When it ended, everyone got quiet and the air seemed heavier with the love shown. For a minute and a half, Lamar stood and looked out at the crowd, nodding in approval. The audience cheered and bowed their arms when they weren’t clapping. The show was full of awe-inspiring moments like these.

“I say he’s probably the most significant artist in hip hop right now. He’s got a lot to say.”

— Alex Bisaillion from Ottawa

Lamar’s performance revealed his deep appreciation for dance and martial arts. For example, at the beginning of the show, he left the stage momentarily to showcase a dance battle between a woman and a ninja.

The show’s visual elements consisted of big-screen video projections of Lamar in a coming-to-wisdom enlightenment story with clips of VHS-quality shots of King Kong and the Apollo 11 moon landing, which played behind the track “untitled 07.” The videos gave Lamar a chance to rest his voice. He is known for utilizing voice manipulations on his records, and the difference was noticeable between his natural voice and the studio. This was most apparent during older classics like “Money Trees.”

I appreciated how he didn’t shy away from putting the focus on his voice while rapping along to songs like “XXX.” towards the end of the set. Before Lamar closed with the encore track, “God,” he singled out a guy in the front and passed him a shirt that he’d grabbed from backstage. For Lamar, it’s all about the fans, his loyal following. And Montreal’s fans were no exception.

“I will be back,” Lamar yelled as he walked away for the night. A job well done, indeed.

Music Quickspins

Frank Ocean – Blond

Frank Ocean – Blond (Boys Don’t Cry, 2016)

His picturesque storytelling and mellow voice with smooth R&B beats were greatly present in this album. The whole album is a story to follow, from the first track up all the way to the end. Compared to previous album Orange Channel, Blond is much more experimental. There are many collaborations, such as “Pink+White” which features Beyoncé’s beautiful vocals in the background, making the song magical. There’s a skit called “Be Yourself” in which a woman sends strong messages about being true to yourself and the impacts of drug abuse. His track “Solo” is sung from the soul, giving the song great depth. Ocean’s lyrics make you want to understand and put together their meanings. “Nights” is a roll your windows enjoy the sunset low key type of track. Frank Ocean mastered a great work of art. Overall, very creative.

Trial Track: “Nights”


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