The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


This month in music: Vol. 2 (October edition)… Part 1

As October nears its end, four albums among the best from this month offer something to love for everyone.
Brett Brose
The top albums of October include the likes of Taylor Swift and The 1975.

Midnights – Taylor Swift

The tales of 13 sleepless nights, documented, written, and recorded by Taylor Swift, culminate in the creation of Midnights, a collage of memories swirling with heartbreak, revenge and, of course, love. As the pop music icon continues to break new streaming records with each release, her 10th studio album delivers raw and free-spirited songs dazzling with synth and dream pop instrumentation.

Swift immediately displays her maturation as a songwriter with the first two tracks, “Lavender Haze” and “Maroon,” delivering traditional love songs encapsulating the burning passions and rushes of a new relationship, yet leaving room for the complexities that accompany and so often go unspoken.

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Standout track “Labyrinth” finds Swift wistfully recounting an abrupt fall into love, distrusting yet indulging in the process. Rippling synths flutter through the instrumental and shine hazy light upon the baren underlying bass, with Swift faltering into different vocal effects as she plummets deeper into a romance she cannot help but embrace.

While Swift tops the charts with each consecutive release, her die-hard fanbase is quick to tune in faithfully as new music comes out. Two “swifties” from Antioch Community High School, in particular, seniors Leo Vazquez and Mackenzie Carley, both jumped at the chance of streaming Midnights immediately.

Vazquez rated Midnights 7.1/10.

“You can tell Taylor was having more fun with [Midnights],” Vazquez said. “I was not entirely impressed because I went into [the album] hoping it was going to be more like Folklore, and it was not. I do like it more after listening again and giving [the new sound] a chance.”

Carley rated Midnights 7.7/10.

Midnights had a variety of both upbeat and sad songs, which I liked,” Carley said. “You get all spectrums of emotion within this album, something that you don’t necessarily get in some of her past [releases].”


Rating: 7.6/10

Best Song: Labyrinth

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Being Funny In a Foreign Language – The 1975 

English pop-rock icons, The 1975, introduce their fifth studio album as a lighthearted yet emotionally vulnerable collection of earworm hooks and retro instrumentals. Being Funny In a Foreign Language finds lead singer Mathew Healy at both cheerful highs and hopeful melancholy lows.

The 1975’s signature eponymous opening track glimmers to life with jumbled keys and shakily tuned vocals, Healy in an introspective, depreciating mood. He begins by criticizing his self-exploitative tendencies, a slew of self-referential lyrics regretting “making an aesthetic out of not doing well and mining all the bits of you you think you can sell.” By the end of the track, after the keys falter and Healy’s tangled singing winds away, a wall of illuminating strings surrounds the gleam and ushers in a sense of hope that encapsulates the rest of the project.

The lead single and fourth track, “Part Of The Band,” combines elements of self-deprecation and hope previously touched on in the opening track. Streaks of sarcasm plague Healy’s voice as he sarcastically recounts failed romances, drug dependency and superficial egos, all the while a clumsy ensemble of strings and deep horns switch off with a chorus of gently strummed guitars, Healy’s vocals following suit and morphing to a soft falsetto.

Not only does The 1975’s music continue to evolve with time, but so does Healy’s writing. Being Funny In a Foreign Language calls upon past mistakes and faults, issuing apologies and new wisdom for each. The charm is never lost; however, as the band approaches heavy topics with a lighthearted swagger, a humorous sarcasm that can often be lost through translation—almost as if being spoken in another language.


Rating: 8.0/10

Best Song: The 1975

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CHAOS NOW* – Jean Dawson 

“If I die before I’m out of words, I’d like to end with an asterisk. I’d like to affirm my position on defying the rules of existence” – Jean Dawson. CHAOS NOW* is an abrasive, whiplash-inducing clash of harshly fuzzed instrumentals and angrily yelled ballads, tiny moments of tranquility speckled between. Dawson’s sophomore album is a poetic dedication to defiance, chaos and the children who will grow up to change the world.

Throughout much of CHAOS NOW*, Dawson’s lyrics are ambiguous; “BAD FRUIT*” utilizes personified metaphors of volcanoes, the moon and fruit dangling on the limb of a tree, all to convey a sense of dejection and individualism. The track is antithetical to the surrounding soundscape, a single acoustic guitar gingerly carrying the disgruntled, muttered voice of Dawson. Earl Sweatshirt provides an uncharacteristic guest verse, subdued and slurred, rapping about adversities throughout his career and the tendency to outcast himself.

The closing track, “PIRATE RADIO*,” finds Dawson in acceptance, hopeful of what is to come and feeling triumphant over what has transpired. The song is strangely cheerful compared to the rest of the project, a collection of strings rising and falling like the tides referenced within the lyrics, Dawson floating into the ocean without a sense of fear but rather amusement.

CHAOS NOW* not only calls upon disruption and disorder but also cherishes the individuality that comes with it. Dawson laces each track with powerful imagery, poetry oozing through the seams of even the harshest moments, while brief glimpses of peace remind of the beauty that hides behind the chaos.

Rating: 8.6/10

Best Song: BAD FRUIT*

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The Car – Arctic Monkeys 

English rock band Arctic Monkeys introduced their seventh studio album as an unapologetic contradiction to the break-neck sound that previously defined their career. The Car is a cinematic venture into love and the lack thereof, a rich and extensive ensemble of instrumentation encasing lead singer Alex Turner’s sweet-tempered falsetto. 

Lead single and opening track, “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,” opens the curtain on a jazz-inspired arrangement of mellow hi-hats, keys and strings—an introduction that strips itself down and builds itself back up before Turner’s wistful, love-sick contemplations billows into the spotlight. Turner depicts a relationship already winding down to its final moments, utilizing a metaphor of his lover walking him to the car—a departure that not only signifies the end of the night but an end to the couple’s time together.

Standout track “Body Paint” explores deeper into a deteriorating relationship, Turner giving a theatrical performance over dreamy rock balladry, all the while his depicted lover indulges in adultery and deception. Despite being able to see the signs of unfaithfulness—or “body paint”—upon her body, Turner’s infatuation leaves him yearning for more. 

The stark contrast to their previous work has sparked the curiosities of many fans and fellow musicians, including ACHS seniors Addie Gjelsten and Justin Pedersen.

Gjelsten rated The Car a shockingly specific 8.357/10.

“I love how they combine full orchestras,” said Gjelsten. “It’s incredible how they’ll start with just a baseline and a chord that is so basic, but then at the end of the song, they just have these full orchestras. It just fills your soul.”

Pedersen rated The Car a skeptical 6.5/10.

“I really love the uniqueness in the chord progressions where it’s not predictable at all,” Pedersen said. “There’s some aspects of [the album] that deserve a way higher [rating]. However, the novelty of it goes away a little bit after more listens.”


Rating: 9.2/10

Best Song: Body Paint

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About the Contributor
Brett Brose
Brett Brose, Tom Tom Staff
Brett Brose is a senior that has been on staff for three years. He enjoys reading, listening to and playing music in his free time. He spends most of his money on records, books and coffee. Brose especially loves to write about music, as well as work on creative writing projects of his own.
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