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Joshua Seawell
Joshua Seawell is a sophomore and an Urban Studies major. His interests include music, social justice, and politics, and he’s involved in Stanford in Government and student government (ASSU).

In ‘Icarus Falls,’ Zayn subverts the sound of pop stars

Zayn’s public persona is irreparably characterized by those topics of endless media intrigue. He’s an alum of One Direction: our generation’s most popular boy band. He’s on-and-off with Gigi Hadid: one of our generation’s most recognizable supermodels. And he has just left his Muslim faith, though he long bore the weight of its politicization. He’s…

Jessica Lá Rel Casts a Spell at Wine & Cheese

I pull up to Kairos for Wine and Cheese shortly after 10. I almost worry I’ve come to the wrong place. Caution tape adorns the building’s front entrances without explanation. As I approach, my hesitation is assuaged by a louder and louder rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” Following a more confident crowd, I step…

Festival review: We see Coachella’s artists, and they see us too

At Coachella, I was reminded of the enduring power of live performance. Music festivals add performative and visual dimensions to music, exceeding simple concerts with much bigger visuals, larger crowds, more hype and competition with other acts. Under these circumstances, musicians bare their entire artistic capital — guests, new versions of old songs, hastily organized…

Zayn reaches for a new identity

Zayn Mailk, a former member of this generation’s most iconic boy band One Direction, recalls all the typical traits of a former Disney star. Widely recognized and branded, exploited tirelessly by the music industry, handsome and generally inoffensive, Zayn was, for a time, the face of teen pop. Now, in pursuit of a solo career,…

Charli XCX breaks genres, loses focus on ‘Vroom Vroom’

On “Vroom Vroom,” Charli XCX breaks out of genre. She’s known for rock and pop, and has tread hip-hop ground before (“Fancy,” “Drop That Kitty”) but this work isn’t really hip-hop, despite some stylistic inspiration. On her EP, “Vroom Vroom,” Charli XCX inaugurates a new sound (and a new label), composed with a haphazard mix…

Black Love: An audience in action

On Sunday, February 14, Black Love takes over Toyon Hall. For a few minutes, a few hundred formal people crowd in Toyon’s outer lounge, sprinkled generously with rich desserts and Martinelli’s. It’s lit. Someone takes pictures with her friends in front of a balloon arch; someone else flaunts his bow tie (a real one) and…

‘This is Acting,’ a Top-40 tour de force for Sia

“I’ll tell you what you want to hear,” Sia promises on “Unstoppable.” The Australian-born songstress (full name: Sia Furler) has written for Beyonce (“Pretty Hurts”), Rihanna (“Diamonds”), and Britney Spears (“Perfume”), to name just a few. She’s a pop queenmaker, and for good reason. Her original rendition of “Let Me Love You” (later popularized by…

The case for listening

We all remember the recorder. There’s a time in all our lives — the early years — when music is considered an indispensable part of learning. We are excited to blow incongruent melodies through a magical stick and we get even more excited when those melodies become congruent. Though we don’t have the words yet,…

LÉON finding her way in new EP

We first hear LÉON’s voice 14 seconds into her “Treasure” EP, and it’s glorious. “’I don’t know’ is all you have to say,” she gripes though a thick production, substantiating all the genres by which she defines herself: “indiepop/soul/whatever.” The “Treasure” EP represents an exciting, if challenged, debut from the mysterious new Swedish artist and…

Playlist: Lost love and blinging hotlines

  Hi again, Stanford! This week, in honor of Drake’s surprisingly successful single, we bring you “Lost Love and Blinging Hotlines,” a series of odes to the significant other who got away. Though Ingrid Michaelson’s decidedly not over it on “Over You,” and Otis Redding is all broken up on “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember,”…

MixedCo mixes in alumni for 30th anniversary show

Dutifully, Karan Mathur tells me that Mixed Company, or MixedCo, is Stanford’s oldest coed a cappella group. But his passion, along with that of co-president Matt Baiza, clearly lies with Mixed Co’s modern form: namely, its reputation as a tight-knit community of diverse individuals. From over 100 applicants, the singing group accepted eight new members…

Playlist: ‘Convincing my roommate I’m sophisticated’

Hi Stanford! This week, the writers and editors of the Daily music beat are excited to bring you something new: a playlist. “Convincing My Roommate I’m Sophisticated” is a compilation of our team’s favorite eccentric songs and artists, here to help you win your artsy roommate’s respect. If you have any song suggestions for other…

Behind the scenes with the Stanford Concert Network

If there’s a soundtrack to Stanford, sophomore Nick Burakoff and senior Freddy Avis are writing it. This year, the duo (along with co-director Manolis Sueuga, who couldn’t make it to our interview) are leading the university’s Stanford Concert Network (SCN), a musical juggernaut with a hand in everything from small EBF concerts and music rental…

A new, anxious Americana in Halsey’s debut

She’s disillusioned, and ‘Badlands’ says we should be, too. In her promising debut, Halsey (born Ashley Frangipane) navigates dynamics of power and sexuality in a sonic dystopia that looks eerily like modern society. Over cynical alt-pop instrumentals, she plays the embattled anti-hero, an experienced warrior taking on all the institutions holding her down. Our artist’s…
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