Five-or-so years ago, Sorority Noise formed from the gangrenous limbs of dying emo bands.
Everybody knows that the beauty of music is that it can elicit a plethora of emotional responses. Need a good cry? Queue up that sad songs playlist that we all secretly have. Need motivation to get through anything, from finals season to a particularly rough workout? Throw on any pop, electronic beat. Need a confidence booster? For that, look no further: Megan Thee Stallion, the 24-year-old rapper from Houston, Texas, will have you feeling on top of the world after playing just one of her fast-paced, pulsating rap masterpieces.
Stripped of his garish appearance, lewd tattoos and ostentatious social media persona, he is Daniel Hernandez, a kid from Brooklyn’s northside. Hernandez has been refining his public image since the eighth grade. Following the death of his father, who was shot and killed mere feet from the family’s home, Daniel began acting out in class and was eventually expelled at the age of 13; he would never attend another educational institution.
From graduate student to pop sensation, Maggie Rogers is the definition of viral success. As part of a music production master’s class at New York University’s Tisch School, each student was asked to submit a song for Pharrell Williams to critique. With not much to show for her efforts that semester, Maggie tentatively played for the pop icon her only demo-ready piece, a song she called “Alaska.” In a recording of the session that ended up going viral, we see Pharrell’s eyes widen and brow furrow in a look of shock as he listens along. The track concludes and he says after a tense pause, “I have zero, zero, zero notes for that, and I’ll tell you why: it’s because you’re doing your own thing.”
From the ruins of heartbreak, forged in isolation, Bon Iver was born. In 2006, Justin Vernon, the principal member of the group, was in his mid-20s when his life seemingly fell apart. The woman he loved left him, his band split up and Vernon was bedridden for months when he fell ill with mononucleosis and a virulent liver infection – it was far from any “bon hiver.” He felt as if everything in his normal, happy life was lost, so he ran away from it all in a Thoreau-esque quarter-life crisis.
The lights had already dimmed and the crowd was shifting restlessly. This group of concertgoers was overwhelmingly teenaged, the majority dressed in thrifted corduroys, denim jackets, Vans and beanies. But that’s not to say that every member of the crowd was a carbon copy, as the diversity of the audience was notable: People of many races, ethnicities, genders and sexualities were all present. Yet everybody was waiting for the same thing.
Brightly dressed in a big, billowy windbreaker patterned with clunky primary colors and bell-bottom jeans, his babyish face festooned with a pair of red, plastic sunglasses you’d expect to find at the checkout counter of a gas station, sitting below a crisp and remarkably well-manicured bowl cut, Oliver Tree makes no attempt to fly under the radar.