Essential Valentine’s Day tracks

Your Valentine’s Day playlist will be complete thanks to these picks from our Music Editors.

Tabéa’s Picks:

“Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” by James Blake

In my books, James Blake is an artist who can convey his thoughts and feelings in a raw and affectionate manner, especially when it comes to love in any form. “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” is no exception and an ultimate devotion of Blake revealing to himself and the world how close he feels with his partner. The repetition of him singing that he can’t believe how they flow together only strengthens how well they fit together. This song also acts as a reminder that there is an opportunity to build a stronger connection with any person you love in your life, whether it be platonic or romantic.  

“Kiss of Life” by Sade

Most Sade songs could have been included, but “Kiss of Life” is extra special to me because it’s one of the first songs of hers that I heard. The entire track just screams being head over heels in love with someone, but also with life in general. As Sade softly sings: “The sky is full of love.” However, the energy of the song resides in this line, which takes the cake for me: “I swear the whole world could feel my heartbeat when I lay eyes on you.” She pours her heart out and it’s hard to not feel that loving, contagious feeling. 

“Prototype” by Outkast

This song is one of Outkast’s best in my opinion, especially when the bass comes in and Andre 3000 sings: “I think I’m in love again.” That part is what makes this song so hypnotizing and warm. Despite the song depicting someone who may or may not be the one, it’s all about being fully vulnerable that you’re feeling some type of way towards someone else, but especially the awareness of falling in love again after a while. I especially love the line: “I wanna say stank you very much for picking me up and bringing me back to this world.” To me, it’s such a lovely way to say how meeting someone can make you feel like you’re stepping back into the world through a new connection.

Stefano’s Picks:

“World We Created” by Giveon

Giveon’s “World We Created” is a smooth ballad about basking in the bliss of simply being alongside your partner. Backed by a soft guitar and some ambient nature sounds, the track truly creates a mellow setting that feels like a romantic night under an open sky. The song is complete with a horn section, which truly makes it the serenade it is. Giveon sounds absolutely smitten by even the simplest things (like watching his lover as they lay in bed), and his unique, deep vocal register comes with its own romantic charm. It’s the song Giveon dedicated to couples on his recent tour, and one that you should dedicate to your loved one on Feb. 14.

“BESO” by ROSALÍA & Rauw Alejandro

“BESO” (the Spanish word for “kiss”) finds then-couple ROSALÍA and Rauw Alejandro absolutely infatuated with one another on a record. The song is bright and melodic and their singing voices are beautifully complementary. The track is ridden with compliments and the sentiment of romance is undeniable with lyrics like: “Lo mejor que tengo es el amor que me das” [the best thing I’ve got is the love that you give me]. It’s a lighthearted, heartwarming duet with a nice reggaeton bounce featuring two of the brightest voices in Latin music.


“PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” never fails to amaze me with its driving groove and Beyoncé’s angelic voice. Its jazzy instrumental is laid back and soothing, which perfectly sets the intimate tone one would want on Valentine’s Day. The song is an ode to her husband JAY-Z where she expresses her adoration for all the little things he does that she loves. Beyoncé’s singing is especially soft as she flies in and out of high notes using her soprano voice. The emotion she brings to her vocal performances further emphasizes the song’s sentiment of love. “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” is vividly heartfelt and a perfect tone-setter for Valentine’s Day.


Staff Picks: Study Music Preferences

Learn how The Concordian’s team enjoys music during midterm season.

It is no secret that music can boost motivation and increase energy while also proving soothing and stress-relieving. Here is how some of our staff choose to listen to music with schedules packed with midterm deadlines. Whether you are simply curious of disparities between music listening habits in high stress or seek new focus and concentration music to add to your playlists, look no further! 

Emma, News Editor: “I usually like an upbeat tune playing on my record player. If I listen to slow songs or classical music, I won’t be able to concentrate. When I’m studying, I’ll play Bad Bunny’s albums, “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths and some of their singles. My record player has a bluetooth setting, so I’ll connect my phone to it and play Bad Bunny or I’ll go through my vinyls and play The Smiths. It’s such great motivation music and I feel like I can get through my homework and anything by going all out with what I’m listening to. I also have ADD and sometimes it’s hard to stay focused all the time, but for me, upbeat music keeps me motivated to get things done.”

James, Creative Director: “I have always listened to Homework by Daft Punk when I want to get in the groove of an essay or big project! The fact that it says “HOMEWORK” on the album cover serves as a reminder to stay focused every time I look at my phone and I find the repetitive but energetic energy of the music to be a great way to keep me on track. The sound is a little abrasive, so I don’t fall into the trap of getting too comfortable and getting distracted and it also doesn’t have too many words so my brain can focus on the words I’m trying to write!”

Matthew, Assistant News Editor: “I like listening to jazz while I study and do things. It fits the atmosphere very well especially since the weather is getting colder. Chet Baker is my go-to, otherwise I mostly exclusively play instrumentals. Another favorite is the artist Sewerslvt, who is retired now but she has a wide array of electronic music. It ranges from really hyper to slow and melancholic. For me, this music is mainly for writing while jazz is for studying!”

Stefano, Assistant Music Editor: “When it comes to studying, I either opt for specific albums and playlists or no music at all. Benny the Butcher’s Tana Talk 3 (2018) has always been a go-to for me due to its simplicity. The album is mostly boom-bap beats with a minimalist, nocturnal, and airy sound. Alfredo by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist is another example: at only 10 tracks and 35 minutes, it creates an entrancing, moody atmosphere—thanks to a combination of jazzy, soulful instrumentals and grittier boom-bap inspired ones. This explains why I also listen to The Alchemist’s instrumentals to study: the genres in these instrumentals are soothing, relaxing, and even hypnotic when looped into a full beat. The cohesive mood and setting created in these projects also makes them optimal for full listens since the slow-tempo and groovy qualities are calming, which allows me to focus. I use headphones very often, although sometimes I tend to let my vinyl collection just spin in the background. Plus, getting up to change the records helps put little breaks in between my studying, creating intervals (which is often recommended by professors & professionals).”

Mackenzie, Copy Editor: “Normally, if I’m in a noisy and busy environment, I’ll prefer to put on music in my AirPods with noise cancellation. Music is always better than the buzzing of activity for my concentration. I’ll choose either a lo-fi comfort playlist or my Autumn Vibes playlist, which currently consists mainly of indie folk songs. However, the music I pick for studying always has to be very familiar to me to avoid me getting irritated by unknown sounds and lyrics. If I’m home and it’s relatively silent, I usually stick to the silence. I feel that adding music in this situation only makes it harder to focus and I spend more time choosing music than actually working. If I do decide to put on music in a quiet place, I prefer instrumental lo-fi playlists that I’ve precurated. I used to always have music playing when I studied in high school or cégep, but university made me a bit more tired and overstimulated, hence the newfound pickiness.”


Best-loved summer songs from our staff

Check out The Concordian’s music picks from this summertime! 

Summertime is notorious for celebration across the board and for a lot of us, it is an opportunity to travel outside of our year-long cocoon of a city. It involves new soundscapes to accompany us through places we’re heading to and in the midst of discovering them, it reminds us of people we’ve carved new relationships with or even briefly encountered. Music is a natural attachment through and through, acting like a time capsule to specific feelings and slices of life. Whether you spent your entire day at the beach in some European town, stayed in your neighbourhood to run important errands, or hung out at a park in Montreal with your friends, I’m sure we all had music in some proximity this season. Here is a list from some of our staff members sharing a piece of how music came into their summer window and what it means to them— and potentially you.

Dalia Nardolillo – Editor-in-Chief“Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa (2023)
This is going to sound super corny but this song was the highlight of my summer. I worked at Lush this past summer and we recently released the Barbie collection. My coworker Michel blasted this song throughout the store and we would just have a party in the middle of the day. It was the best time I’ve ever spent at a summer job.
Lucas Marsh – Managing Editor“I’m Just Ken: from the Barbie Soundtrack” by Ryan Gosling (2023)
Sticking with the Barbie Theme, if there is one song that I will associate this summer with it’s gotta be “I’m just Ken.” I got to see the premier of the Barbie movie while I was in Athens. When we got to the part in the movie when this song started to play, a group of elderly Greek men sitting around me started to sway and dance in their seats, overcome by the song. 
Mackenzie Sanche – Copy Editor“New Perspective” by Noah Kahan (2023)
This was my go-to song this summer for long windows-down drives on a beautiful sunny day. I love the feeling of freedom it gives me to process nostalgia, how fast time goes and how things change, while also accepting that it’s a good thing.
Carleen Loney – Graphics Editor“Self Care” by Mïrändä (2021)
An absolute bop! Poppy, vibrant, and sweet, this song is all about slowing down the pace of your life. For me, my summer was a weird blend of high-stress-constantly-busy-workaholic-central so I needed a reminder to take a breath and just lay in the sun. Never feel bad about taking care of yourself!!
Casey Kiss – Opinions Editor“Timeless (Taylor’s version) (From the vault)” by Taylor Swift (2023)
As a big Taylor Swift fan, I kept up with her tour, album announcements and releases this summer. This was also the first album release my boyfriend got to experience with me and listening to this one got me a little teary-eyed. Itinstantly became a new favourite.
Emma Megelas – Co-News Editor“Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams (1984)
I traveled to Ogunquit, Maine this summer as I’ve done every year since I was young. My mom went there for the first time when she was my age and every time we’d hear this song on the radio, it reminded her of summers in Ogunquit. She dragged me down the rabbit hole of 80s songs and I got hooked on this one from the start. Now every time I think about Ogunquit, I play this song.
Stefano Rebuli – Assistant Music Editor “Sprinter” by Dave & Central Cee (2023)
From the moment this song dropped on June 1, I loved it and had it on loop for hours. I left for the UK a month later and the song was in constant rotation throughout my trip (both rappers are British). It not only played during the day at Wireless Festival, but I also got to see Central Cee perform it at Osheaga, which further cemented it as my song of the summer.
Tabéa Benlakehal – Music Editor “Sasaci Pererê” by Jorge Ben (1986)
One of my core moments was spending time with my Brazilian friend in Portugal and notably exchanging with the big Brazilian community there. I am very fond of Brazilian funk (also called funk carioca from its emergence within the favelas in Rio) and MPB so I overplayed the genre a lot— especially this song shared to me by um brasileiro at a hostel. 

The Concordian staff’s top halloween movies

Bringing you our favorite spooky flicks

Halloween is almost here! But with distancing measures in place, participating in the festivities that many of us usually look forward to is no longer an option. So, cozy-up and grab a few snacks… here are The Concordian staff’s top movie picks to keep you busy on Halloween night.

Lorenza Mezzapelle, Arts Editor

Thriller and horror are my favorite genres, which made choosing a movie difficult. Finally, it came down to gore. I think that if you’re going to watch a movie on Halloween it should sort of be, well … gross. So, my pick is Carrie (1976). Blood! Telekinesis! What more do you want? Also, bullying is central to the plot which always makes for an entertaining film. If bloodshed is not what you’re looking for, then It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) is a good ol’ wholesome, festive classic.

Abigail Candelora, Copy Editor

If you’re like me, a silly little ball of anxiety who is frightened of basically everything, look no further! Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, a Disney Channel Original Movie from 2001, follows young witch Marnie Piper and her grandmother as they race against time to save their beloved Halloweentown – and, in turn, the world! This movie really has it all: early 2000s nostalgia; generations of spunky witches; an engaging, if silly, central plot; “evil” spells that are basically just normal spells but en français; Debbie Reynolds. And for my fellow sapphics: this movie has a special place in my heart (and lesbian awakening) thanks to Gwen Piper and her button-ups. All in all, you can’t go wrong!

Louis Pavlakos, Music Editor

Out of all the places to find a gory, gut-wrenching horror series, NBC is not what I had in mind — until I started watching the disgustingly beautiful Hannibal series from Bryan Fuller. If you’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs, then you know how disturbed the cannibal Hannibal Lecter can be, and this new iteration of the beloved maniac is a whole new level of insane. Mads Mikkelsen playing the titular character is one of the finest casting choices of the 2010s and Hannibal’s chemistry with opposite Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy, is engrossing. Hannibal lasted three amazing seasons, but was ultimately cancelled due to low viewership. That started my on-going beef with NBC since it was arguably the last time they created a good hour-long series. Thankfully, it’s available on Netflix now, so no excuses! It truly is one of the best horror series ever.

Wesley McLean, Assistant Music Editor

With so many run-of-the-mill slasher and found-footage horror movies out there, I’ve always loved the original A Nightmare on Elm Street for how truly unique it is. Having a villain that exists only in peoples’ dreams opens the movie up for a lot of creative scenes and makes Freddy Krueger completely unavoidable. Just a quick power nap on Elm Street can lead to a character’s demise. The movie also has a chilling score, and Robert Englund perfectly captures the role of Freddy Krueger. Sure, the film is pretty dated by today’s standards, but the well-balanced mix of visual horror and campy humour makes it the perfect spooky season movie.

Juliette Palin, News Editor 

Recently, I struggled to find a horror movie that was able to make my skin crawl. As a horror movie junkie in the spooky season, I have watched many horrible films that immunized me to jump scares and the typical scary stuff. But then came The Shining, which kept me up for days. The scary, gloomy scenes are beautifully shot, and the soundtrack will stick to the inside of your ears, making your whole life sound eerie for days to come. I can always appreciate a slow-paced horror film. It may take longer to get to the climax, but the anticipation just makes it a whole lot better.

Aviva Majerczyk, Commentary Editor

I am completely incapable of watching scary movies. Just a trailer or DVD cover art for a horror film can keep me awake at night. So, my Halloween film pick is less spooky and more campy: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I first saw this movie musical at a Halloween party when I was 13, and I’ve been watching it every October since. Typically on Halloween, Rocky Horror fans would get dressed up and go to a theatre to watch a screening, complete with audience participation, but I think it’s just as fun to watch at home with friends. There is nothing more exciting than initiating a first-time viewer (or so-called “Rocky virgin”) into this cult-favourite film and watching them be simultaneously entertained and completely confused. The songs are super catchy, the characters are bizarre and iconic, and the plot is gloriously raunchy. It’s an absolute kitschy fantasy distraction, but that’s sort of what we need right now.

Chloë Lalonde, Creative Director 

I had to think about this for a while. I am a big fan of thrillers, true crime and hauntings, but not horror and gore (unless it’s oldschool). I decided to go with the first, the OG, the underrated, Interview with the Vampire, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Kirsten Dunst. The movie is based on a novel by Anne Rice, and is absolutely iconic. It’s incredibly dramatic, features both zombies and vampires, provokes social and racial discussions, and has amazing outfits. Oh, and it’s set during the plague, so its relevance ensues. To add some more umph to this, I wanted to include a moment from the film that my best friend and I think is hilarious, but I couldn’t quite remember it, so I sent her a text, begging her to remind me: “Do you mean the part when Brad Pitt is chopping everyone?” she wrote, or maybe, “the gasoline in the coffins?” or this: *sends me a picture of Brad Pitt kissing Antonio Banderas* … Need I say more?

Katerina Barberio, Revenue Manager 

Halloween is my least favorite holiday — except for all the Kit Kats and Tootsie Rolls, of course. The thought of bats, black cats, and jack-o’-lanterns is not something that brings me much joy. I love movies but seldom do I watch scary ones. I remember one Halloween night in high school, my girlfriends wanted to watch a scary movie because it was an “excellent night for an exorcism.” Regan’s eyes in The Exorcist still haunt me to this day. I refuse to watch it again years later. I will stick to the type of scary movies I admire like Ghostbusters and pretend I love Halloween while eating Kit Kats.

Lily Cowper, Production Assistant

Because I need to get my yearly dose of Christopher Walken and refuse to watch Hairspray for the 50th time, The Dead Zone is my go-to spooky flick, about a psychic man who can predict tragedy using the power of touch. The film, based in wintery New Hampshire, has all the markers of a 1980s classic (eerie soundtrack, dramatic one-liners, and oversaturated colors), and is also incredibly picturesque. Another Stephen King adaptation, Children of the Corn, casts a similar vibe. The movie features stunning vistas of the American Midwest, where a couple driving cross-country happen upon a rural town where all of the children have been corralled by a demon to revolt by murdering all the adults. If you like corn, and you’re uncomfortable around children, you should find this film sufficient. While you’re at it, why not throw The Happening into the mix? Zooey Deschanel stars in this modern classic with ol’ Marky Mark himself. The plot follows a group of people bonded together in an apocolyptic world where all the plants have begun to release gas that triggers a person to commit suicide. Seriously, these are three of the most unsettling, cringiest films I have ever watched — make it a movie marathon if you’re in the mood for some bleak nightmaring.

Jacob Carey, Managing Editor

As a kid, I always loved going to watch horror movies in theatres. Of all the flicks I have seen, I always remember being most frightened by The Grudge and The Amityville Horror. There are some jump scares that were so perfectly executed and petrifying that I still remember them to this day (the under-the-covers scene in The Grudge and the mirror scene in Amityville, to be specific). Admittedly, nothing that’s been released in recent years stands out to me as much as these two do. Getting older has made me appreciate creepiness over a temporary jump scare in horrors. Midsommar is the most recent movie that stands out to me as a truly great horror movie, although it’s definitely more eerie than scary. In retrospect, I don’t know why my parents allowed their nine-year-old kid to watch all these terrifying and brutal slasher movies…

Maggie Morris, Head Copy Editor

I was somewhat of an adrenaline junky as a 12-year-old, and spent the summer between grades seven and eight becoming well-versed in horror movies. My girlfriends and I spent many evenings huddled up on each others’ basement couches, forcing ourselves to sit through the fear. While my love for horror films has dwindled, I still catch the occasional new fear flick in theatres. To this day, though, nothing has spooked me quite like Paranormal Activity did. I was probably one of few people on earth who actually bothered to watch the sequels — all the way up to Paranormal Activity 4, and honestly, they did get worse, but some of those jump scares have stuck with me to this day.

Lillian Roy, Editor-in-Chief 

For someone who really, really, really loves Halloween, I sure hate horror movies — too many jump scares for my frail heart to stand. While my movie pick isn’t a classic Halloween movie, it certainly has Halloween energy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Wizards and witches? Check. Werewolves? Check. Crazed mass-murderers on the loose? Check. Freaking dementors??? Check. Teen angst? Check. Crookshanks? Check.


Graphic by Lily Cowper.


The Concordian staff share their go-to tunes for stressful school days

Find out what we’re listening to during exam season

There’s no doubt about it, midterm period can be hellish and it takes its toll on your sanity. Some of us need classical music to study, while others need to tune out and unplug and be productive in an absolutely silent environment. Find out what staff members at The Concordian are listening to (or not listening to), during this midterm season.

One of the perks of being a journalism major: No midterms. And usually, very little tests to study for. During the ‘study break,’ it’s safe to say my favourite song to listen to was our beloved “Oh Canada” every time a Canadian took the podium in Sochi, instead of actually studying. But the few times I find myself trying to focus on preparing for an exam, the Hockey Night in Canada theme song is always a good distraction.

-Samantha Mileto Sports editor

Young the Giant and Mumford and Sons always make my study playlist. Both are the perfect blend of mellow and upbeat tracks that get me through any cram session. New tunes like “Afraid” from The Neighborhood and Half Moon Run’s “Give Up” also do the trick and ironically describe my emotions during finals. To keep me from going insane, Pharrell’s “Happy” is my definite go-to and ultimate spirit-lifter.

-Angela De Cicco Assistant Life editor

I love to put on some lyricless music like Fabrizio Paterlini and Joe Bongiorno when I have a lot of reading to do. I get thrown off easily by singing when reading. Writing, though, is a different story altogether: Anamanaguchi, DJ Sharpnel and Renard (RQ) are some of my picks for work-music.

-Jocelyn Beaudet Assistant Arts editor

I think my go to study music would be a combination of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, Dark Side of the Moon and this one 8tracks playlist of strictly hip-hop instrumentals. Both are perfect for keeping your sanity and not going absolutely bonkerbananas (yes, that’s a made up word) during the stress-inducing midterm period.

-Jessica Romera Music editor

Give me some Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, or Do Make Say Think and I’ll be set to cram for any deadline. Though, if the deadline is passed and I’m looking to mend the damage I’ve inflicted onto my brain through sleep deprivation and over indulgence in chemical stimulants, I’ll probably switch on some Broken Social Scene, Beatles, Bob Dylan or Pinback. But that’s only if catastrophe was successfully averted.

-Keith Race Photo editor

Call me crazy, call me old-fashioned, but I need total and complete silence to study. People around me are always plugged in to their devices and I’m sitting there like, how is this even possible? However, to get me through this part of the semester, I’m all about Phantogram’s Voices.

-Elizabeth Tomaras Copy editor

I’m happy with the program that I’m in. No midterms or exams, only projects. So whether I’m working on my project assignments, studying for a test or even sleeping, I always put on my earphones and listen to my favorite playlist. As for my go to study jam, I tend to stay away from any music that has lyrics just because it can distract from what I’m doing. I listen to instrumental piano or jazz music to have a peaceful mind so I can stay focused on my work.

-Jennifer Kwan Graphics editor

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