Joanna Burns, back with another installment,  gives us 5 new things to ease the stress of the first week of classes.


It is week one, and we are all still refusing to face the reality of having to work. Here are some more chilled tracks to relax you in the first week of term.

The Love You’re Given – Jack Garratt

Jack Garratt is hands down my favourite artist around right now. Mostly, I am just completely obsessed with his voice. His range is phenomenal and this song really shows that off with his falsetto, rivalling my other favourite voice right now, Sam Smith. Jack Garratt is also changing the game by creating music with loop pedals and drum pads. His music is so clever and he has been open about the fact that he will struggle to do some of his tracks live because of its complexity. He has had a lot of attention from Huw Stephens through BBC Introducing and was seen at festivals such as Reading & Leeds and Barn on the Farm this summer. Despite saying he will struggle performing his songs live, here’s ‘The Love You’re Given’ live at SXSW and it is INCREDIBLE. Jack Garratt is one to watch out for and I am so glad intelligent music is coming back.



Feeling Good – Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill’s cover of the Nina Simone classic comes from the album Nina Revisited, composed in tribute to the amazing jazz singer with prominent contemporary artists covering her classic songs in their own way, including Usher, Mary J. Blige, and Lisa Simone (Nina Simone’s daughter). The album accompanies a Netflix documentary which chronicles the singer’s life, featuring footage of live performances as well as delving into her struggle with mental health issues. Lauryn Hill’s version of ‘Feeling Good’ is one of my favourites on the album because her voice -as well as the fuller band behind her- makes it so unique.



Windows Are Rolled Down – Amos Lee

This was the track I played all summer and it makes me so happy. My favourite version of this song is a live version performed at Red Rocks in Colorado. The atmosphere is amazing, obvious through the shots of the crowd and the amazing reaction Amos Lee gets when he appears on stage. It is so rare to see contemporary artists perform with full orchestras but when it does happen, it makes a magical music experience. I love the texture and power of the music as it builds before Amos Lee comes on stage and how it complements the original composition of the song. I love Amos Lee as an artist and this live version of the song is my favourite track of his.



The Want – Kathryn Joseph

Kathryn Joseph won the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year Award earlier this year. Despite this, she has not the recognition she deserves for her album Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled. ‘The Want’ is my favourite from the album but all of them are wonderful. My favourite thing about Kathryn Joseph is the rawness of her music. She recorded the album with Marcus Mackay at Diving Bell Lounge in Glasgow, who has worked with Frightened Rabbit (my favourite band of all time) as well as Snow Patrol and Washington Irvine. The album was primarily recorded live which is very rare nowadays and it makes the whole album completely unique.



Beautiful Escape ft. Zak Abel – Tom Misch

I am completely obsessed with this song right now. Producer Tom Misch has teamed up with newcomer Zak Abel to make the insane track ‘Beautiful Escape’. Both artists are prominent on Soundcloud with Tom Misch releasing various singles and his recent second album Beat Tape 2. Zak Abel also uses Soundcloud to promote his music but has been getting a lot of attention from Radio 1, having been listed in Radio 1Extra’s Hot for 2015 earlier this year. A wonderfully chill track with amazing vocal and production.



Joanna Burns