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Music of the Month: January

A look at our top songs for the month of January.
Cali and Brianna compile a list of their top songs each month and go in-depth with them.
Kaitlin Dunn
Cali and Brianna compile a list of their top songs each month and go in-depth with them.

Welcome back to school! We had many adventures together over break, however, our highlight was when we went to the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. We thought it would be fitting to include our favorite Leafs songs in honor of our adoration for the team (Go Leafs Go!). As always, enjoy!

Want to see what else we’re listening to? Check out our Spotify accounts! Cali: Footos | The Fresh Fighter Brianna: Benusom

Cali’s Picks

“Auston Matthews” by SVDVM, “Auston Matthews” (2017)

After being selected first overall in the NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews had much hype to live up to, even being called a generational talent by some. However, the young center did just that with his explosive debut season the same year, allotting a total of 69 points and winning the Calder Trophy in 2017. Paying homage to Matthews’ impressive rookie season, Ontario-based rapper, SVDVM, created “Auston Matthews,” a song that moved throughout the league. Beginning with isolated piano beats, the track quickly picks up the energy with a booming bassline and the first reprise. Within this section, SVDVM coined the phrase, “Hit ‘em with the four like Auston Matthews,” in reference to Matthews’ first game where he scored a monumental four goals. In the verse sections of the number, fellow Canadian rappers, Xuave and Black Iri$h, deliver hard-hitting verses, relating events in their lives to the exhilaration and aggressiveness of Matthews’ play style, before refraining to the chorus established by SVDVM. As time has passed, Matthews has remained a dominant forward, racking up substantial points and remaining one of the NHL’s top players. The track still remains an anthem for any fan of the Leafs or the stud, especially since Matthews currently leads the league in goals.


“Sinking Ship” by The Backseat Lovers, “When We Were Friends” (2019)

Serving as the closing track on the Backseat Lovers’ first full-length release, “When We Were Friends,” “Sinking Ship” encapsulates many themes of the euphoric LP, such as breakup, heartache, and the wake that follows. Beginning in a hushed fashion, the intro and first verse solely feature lead vocalist and guitarist, Joshua Harmon. The dynamic nature of the track highlights the narrator’s positive development after experiencing a breakup, realizing their new-found independence. With muted guitar licks, much emphasis is placed upon Harmon’s peaceful vocals that exhibit the emotional turmoil he has experienced throughout the relationship in question. However, once the second verse begins, the rest of the band joins with tranquil drums and loudening vocals. As the track continues to gather energy, the third verse envelopes a spirit of growth from the troubled relationship, as Harmon and drummer Juice Welch harmonize on the blissful line “I don’t want to be the ball to your chain.” As the tune transitions into the chorus, the mood of it continues to strengthen, as a raucous lead guitar soundly accompanies the harmonized bellows. Following the chorus, the pace slows down once more as the composition opens up into an expressive instrumental break, before returning to the upbeatness with the final chorus and outro. 


Brianna’s Picks

“Beleaf (Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Anthem 2023)” by Peter Jackson, “In God’s Hands” (2023) 

Canadian rapper Peter Jackson brings the hype and energy within this track to celebrate the Toronto Maple Leafs making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2023. As an Ajax, Ontario native (a suburb just outside of Toronto), Jackson captures the true essence of what it means to be a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, someone with undeniable hype and spirit. This is supported in every section of the track. Opening with the crowd’s “Go Leafs Go” chant, the Leafs goal horn, as well as a repetitive, yet catchy beat. Not only does he include in-game elements, Jackson also integrates live sports feed commentating on Leafs goals. Throughout the entirety of the track, Jackson calls out the majority of the Leafs players during the 2023 season, incorporating their names within the catchy lyrics and rhyme.  The track closes on a more isolated version of the “Go Leafs Go” chant that was heard in the beginning, bringing the closing impression of the united fanbase, thus encapsulating the high energy and pride of being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. In addition to “Beleaf,” Peter Jackson also released “2019 Toronto Finals Anthem” (2019), which follows an identical structure to “Beleaf” by integrating catchy lines, a hyped beat, and game announcer commentary. 


“Mortal Projections” by Djo, “Twenty Twenty” (2019)

DJO’s (pronounced as ‘Joe’) captivating track “Mortal Projections” showcases poignant lyrics and unique sounds. Known for his role as Steve Harrington in the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” Joe Keery has also been using his time to progress his music versatility within his solo work and music projects. The track opens with a dream-like synth, capturing the listener’s attention from the beginning and maintaining it until the very end. The bass then kicks in, providing a fuller, ominous tone to accompany the melancholic feeling evoked throughout the track. To accompany the ethereal synth, Keery expands the sound on this track even further by layering his vocals and duetting himself in the chorus, interjecting between the main vocal track. The solo has a kazoo-like quality, utilizing characteristics of extreme buzzing and nasal qualities. Contrary to these characteristics, the solo still executes distinct notes that correspond to the chorus. As the ninth title on his debut, “Mortal Projections” progresses into a gloomy tone while maintaining elements that were utilized in the beginning and throughout the three-minute duration. Although Keery didn’t do any form of promo or announcement for the album, fans were still quick to recognize the “Stranger Things” star’s excellence in the music trade. 


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About the Contributors
Cali Rowe
Cali Rowe, Features Editor
Cali Rowe is a junior and is in her third year of journalism. Cali enjoys playing guitar, writing, listening to music, and playing softball in her free time. She loves travelling anywhere and everywhere, especially to the beach, hanging out with friends and family, and dedicating time to her faith. Cali is pleased to serve as a features editor this year, and is excited to once again be part of the Norse Notes staff.
Brianna Nusom
Brianna Nusom, Editor-in-Chief
Brianna Nusom, senior, is in her fourth year on the Norse Notes staff. She has been involved with Oakmont's theatre for four years- the past three she has been the sound technician for plays, musicals, choir and band concerts, and dance shows. Brianna has been a cheerleader for six years and looks forward to what the senior season will bring her. Brianna has a great passion for all things music and in her free time she enjoys composing and listening to music. Outside of school, Brianna plays many instruments ― her favorites include drums, bass, and guitar. Her essential music genres include grunge, folk, and metal, consisting of artists such as Alice In Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Stills, Deftones, and Greta Van Fleet.  

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