What your favorite SOU professors & instructors are listening to this summer

As the summer of COVID-19 winds down, all of the faculty in the Communication Program at Southern Oregon University got together to build a Spotify playlist of our favorite songs artists. Just like all of our students, music gives us a break from the stresses of the modern world, and inspires us to step up to the latest challenges we face.

So, come for the close and connected learning experience of our courses in Communication Studies, Social Media & Public Engagement, and Digital Cinema. Then stay for 121 minutes of musical renewal at https://bit.ly/COMMSoundsOfSummer. And find out what we’ve got to say about the music we love:

Erica Knotts, Comm Studies

Alright by Judah & the Lion
Everyone needs a “dance it out song.” When things got overwhelming or stressful this summer, I would turn this song on and have a dance party to get my motivation back.

The best is yet to come by Sheppard
Things can sometimes get a bit dark and it can be easy to feel defeated. This song serves as a reminder for me to keep pushing through and things will get better.

Comeback Kid by New Politics
At the beginning of summer, I went through a personal trauma and this song was my “don’t give up” song. It’s also a great song for working out!

Talk about it by The Mowgli’s
What can I say? Everyone needs a song about summer love and their crush. ;)

Sad (Clap Your Hands) by Young Rising Sons
This one is a little dark with a hidden meaning about hiding our emotions and how we are often told to “suck it up” that a friend shared with me. I absolutely love it.

Alena Ruggerio, Comm Studies

Heal by Allison Moorer
This song speaks powerfully to me about vulnerability and resilience. Allison Moorer and her sister, fellow alt-country artist Shelby Lynne, endured a violent tragedy in their family when they were very young. Moorer released an album and a memoir about surviving the trauma, both of which I listened to this summer.

Fitness by Lizzo
This summer, I did a ton of research for a book chapter on the body positivity of pop artist Lizzo. I play her song Fitness when I’m taking my daily walk around the neighborhood, in the sunshine, doing my best to keep my body healthy, strong, and safe during the virus pandemic.

True Companion by Marc Cohn
I’ve always found this wedding song from folk-rock singer Marc Cohen’s iconic first album quite beautiful. I remember speaking the words at my own wedding, “In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse,” with no idea what was in store for the future. This summer, I’ve learned what it really means to keep those promises.

Erik Palmer, Social Media & Public Engagement

Someway Bi by M.anifest
While on sabbatical in Ghana last year, I encountered the music of a whole cluster of Ghanaian rappers, including Beyoncé collaborator Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and my personal favorite, M.anifest. Be sure to check out the music video for Someway Bi, which cinematically documents the texture of everyday life in Ghana.

Robert Deniro by Queen Sarah Saturday
Archer, Season 10, Episode 9. That is all.

Fetch The Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple
Mostly recorded at her home in Venice Beach, Fiona Apple’s 2020 album Fetch The Bolt Cutters anticipates the new creativity, coronavirus-style. She explains it best: “It’s about breaking out of whatever prison you’ve allowed yourself to live in, whether you built that prison for yourself or whether it was built around you and you just accepted it.”

Gut Feeling by Devo
My summer project: the Wes Anderson catalog. So many classic choices in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (Seu Jorge’s David Bowie covers, David Bowie, The Stooges…). But perhaps none more iconic than Devo’s beach-side battle hymn.

Body Was Made by Ezra Furman
Actually from Chicago, but driven by a horn section seemingly recruited from Bruce Springsteen’s South Jersey shore, Ezra Furman fights the good fight for gender fluidity.

Precious Yamaguchi, Comm Studies

Clorox Wipe by Chromeo
This electronic/house duo created these “quarantune” songs on Instagram during the start of the pandemic. Every time I started to feel down, I would listen to one of their new quarantine songs and laugh. They call themselves the “Weird Al of electronic music.”

Feels Like Summer by Childish Gambino
There is something so Ashlandy sounding about this song. I love Donald Glover’s voice, there’s a leisure sound about it, and it feels perfect for a summer day.

Lockdown by Koffee
Is there anything more summer sounding than Dance Hall music? Koffee is a young 18-year-old musician from Kingston, Jamaica. I’m loving her sound and playful twist on our current times of quarantine.

Texas Sun by Leon Bridges
This is such a great driving song! Listening to it while driving anywhere in the Rogue Valley sets the tone for summer. Plus, Leon Bridges just has such a soulful and relaxing voice. This song has been on constant repeat for me.

Andrew Gay, Digital Cinema

Leaning On You by HAIM
From their fantastic third studio album, Women In Music Pt. III, this pretty little acoustic ditty speaks to the pandemic moment: it’s taking all that we got not to [mess] this up, and we’re leaning on one another to get through it.

epiphany by Taylor Swift
Never been a committed “Swifty,” but her summer album folklore is pretty incredible. This haunting dirge is very relatable content in the midst of all we’ve been through this summer: “Only twenty minutes to sleep / But you dream of some epiphany / Just one single glimpse of relief / To make some sense of what you’ve seen.”

Ride Out in the Country by Yola
One of my favorite moments of the summer was an evening where my kids, stir-crazy with cabin fever, begged to just go for a sunset drive with the windows down. We drove around the Ashland hills on the outskirts of town, as Yola sang, “I take a ride out in the country / In the soft summer breeze / Forgetting about you / Forgetting about me.”

Wait for It by Leslie Odom Jr.
With the Disney+ Hamilton release, the soundtrack enjoyed renewed obsession in our household. This track in particular has had its hooks in me, a good reminder that “I am the one thing in life I can control.”

When You Were Mine by Cyndi Lauper
I’ve had to be very productive over the summer, and my fall-back productivity music is 80s pop because it usually has tons of energy, but is light enough to ignore. For whatever reason, whenever Lauper’s Prince cover pops up in rotation, I find myself getting lost in the performance.

Kristin Hocevar, Comm Studies

Graceland by Paul Simon
This was an album my parents played a ton when I was a baby, and has remained a long-standing favorite. This song is a great road trip song and reminds me we will again be able to travel… someday!

Buka by Hana Rani
I don’t listen to a lot of lyric-less music unless I’m doing work and using it as background, which of course I’m doing over summer! I play the piano, and this pianist has some very pretty contemporary takes on the instrument.

Confessions by Sudan Archives
I think this song and artist are incredibly unique — it’s indie meets classical violin. Lyrics “there is a place that I call home / but it’s not where I am welcome” seem pertinent right now.

I Wanna Go by Summer Heart
Nothing too deep here — just a fun, hazy Euro dream-pop summer song. Always makes me think about summer, relaxing, and the beach. I miss the beach!

Is This How You Feel by The Preatures
Another fun summer song. It’s older, but I just discovered it, and it has good summer energy.

Chris Lucas, Digital Cinema

Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
From the soundtrack to the summer I started grad school in Texas — felt like the coda to my life in Seattle

Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco
I played Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to death, and the documentary about the making of the album (I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) was really important to me.

Unless It’s Kicks by Okkervil River
My fave Austin representative, and Okkervil River keyboardist Justin Sherburn wrote our soundtrack for our documentary Above All Else.

Always Alright by Alabama Shakes
This is an older song so I’m not sure why I associate this with my drive to Oregon in 2016. It’s also on the excellent Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack. I probably should have just listed that.

Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
Watching my kids karaoke this when they were younger was one of my favorite things.

While we are getting ready for a Fall term unlike any other, Communication and Digital Cinema faculty at Southern Oregon University are sharing things we are reading, watching, doing, and hearing that get us excited to get back in the (virtual) classroom. Stay connected with whatever got you to this post, and we’ll look forward to bringing you more communications about Communication soon.

Earn BA/BS Degrees and Certificates in Communication Studies, Social Media & Public Engagement, or Digital Cinema @SOUAshland. #ThatIsSOU