Take a break from essays and deadlines and have a listen to Joanna Burns’ music picks for this week!


‘Janet’  – berhana

Even though there is virtually no information about this Brooklyn rapper on the internet, take time to listen to his first single ‘Janet’ because it’s amazing. It is one of those songs that makes you feel really cool when you listen to it, which, as a fundamentally uncool person, I love. His rough singing voice and jazzy chords are accompanied by interesting rhythmical blips and make a beautifully soulful and funky rap song. Put over audio from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, ‘Janet’ is just a really cool, fun track that will chill you out and hopefully boost your mood.


‘Drowning Shadows’ – Sam Smith

Sam Smith described his new song ‘Drowning Shadows’ as the saddest song he has ever written. And, in typical Sam Smith fashion, it is a very sad song. It is all about how he used to go out by himself to drink at clubs and try and hook up with people to comfort himself. Uplifting stuff… It is a great song and I like the stripped back arrangement with piano and strings, although  I want to see something different from Smith after his music break that he is about to embark upon. It will be really interesting to see if he has the ability to write songs about something other than unfound or unrequited love. There are plenty of one dimensional singers out there but Smith’s voice is totally unique and I think he has the potential to do a lot more than just croon about love.

Listen to the track here.


‘Love Is A Losing Game’ – Amy Winehouse

With the release of the official soundtrack of Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse’s life and career, I thought I would include one of my favourite songs by her. This live version of ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ shows Winehouse’s pretty much perfect voice and the sadness that permeated her life for most of it. I have always been such a big fan of Amy Winehouse because she has one of the most unique voices in the music industry. Her songs always came from the heart and anyone could relate to them in some way.


‘Messages’ – Jamie Woon

Jamie Woon’s second album that came out this week is a must listen. Woon creates simple yet effective melodies and beats that overall, make an incredible electronic album with soulful vocals. The track I chose from Making Time is the first song on the album, ‘Messages’. The simple bass and snare beginning set the song and the album up well. It uses Woon’s ability to take his simple lines and his controlled voice and make a sophisticated track.


‘Treasure’ – LEON

LEON is a Swedish singer/songwriter coming from a very musical family with a cellist mother and conductor/composer father. Her first EP came onto Spotify this week and title track ‘Treasure’ is a great pop/electronic song to introduce LEON as an artist. With a beautiful voice and obvious musicality, LEON has created a really catchy song that brings in interesting musical elements in the voice and the bass.



Joanna Burns