Check out some album and song suggestions from 4 members of our team! And, don’t forget to follow us on Spotify @hopeconcerts!


Hi everyone! My name is Gina and I’m one of the Co-Directors for Hope College Concert Series! As someone in love with music ranging from Alternative to EDM, choosing just one album that I love can be hard. My Spotify “Discover Weekly” looks like a hot mess. I have everything on there from T-Pain to John Mayer to Galantis. Give me a situation and I will match the mood with a playlist ready to go.

I personally love Dominic Fike’s new album What Could Possibly Go Wrong. If you’re looking for a good song recommendation, I suggest “Chicken Tenders” and “Vampire”. Both are great bops to put on and drive with your friends to (a personal favorite of mine). I chose this song because during last semester’s quarantine, my friends and I put on his new album and just drove. Especially during a time when no new music was coming out, this album drop was very much needed!

Michael: My name is Michael Pineda and I am a Co-Director for Hope College Concert Series this year! My recommended album from the last semester is “Live in Cuba” by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra.

My personal song favorites are 2/3’s Adventure and Light Blue. It was released in 2015 and as the name suggests, recorded live in Havana, Cuba in the Teatro Mealla. This album has a super special place in my heart – I had this album on repeat during my study abroad semester in Vienna, Austria, which ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I actually saw the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra live in Vienna in one of the concert houses, and it was an incredible experience. This album showcases their extremely high-performance standard and their fluency in the jazz language, and seeing them live is unreal! Each of the musicians is really good, and as a group, they are tightly knit and soulful. If you are not familiar with big band music, this is a great introduction. Here, is a link for a video from this very same concert with the group playing 2/3’s adventure.

Nate: Hello! I’m Nate Koorndyk, a new core member of Concert Series this year. One album I love that helped me get through quarantine was Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers. Released in mid-June, my pandemic feelings had a few months to incubate at this point. I’ve always been one that tries to compartmentalize what I feel, so by this point I was beginning to crack under all the emotion of the times.

I had been following Bridgers’ work for around a year, and frequently listened to her debut Stranger in the Alps. As a result, I was very excited for this album, and it did not disappoint. Bridgers is an extremely honest songwriter, which helped me to get in touch with some of the things I had been feeling in the past months. Themes of isolation and monotony on the album became an outlet for me, while more sonically layered tracks such as “Kyoto” and “ICU” keep the experience dynamic. The album ends with my personal song of the year thus far, “I Know the End.” The song slowly builds into one of the most cathartic musical experiences I know of, which was exactly what I needed to begin to deal with and accept the circumstances we all found ourselves in. Make sure to check this record out, as you will not regret it!

Gracyn: Hey everyone! My name is Gracyn Carter and I am a new core member of Hope Concert Series this year! I would love to share with you one of my favorite songs to come from last semester: “Whatever We Feel” by Sammy Rae and The Friends.

I have been a huge fan of Sammy Rae since fall of last year. Trying to describe her style has always been a bit tricky because of her ability to mesh genres, but I would describe her as a modern jazz/soul sound with a bit of a folksy twist every once in a while. Her smooth and soulful voice mixed with a full jazz band and funky beats is a recipe for a bust of serotonin with every song.

This single in particular was one that provided a much needed ray (no pun intended 😉 of sunshine in the midst of quarantine. I was blessed to have a healthy and happy home to go back to in a crisis, but being alone in my room while trying to stay motivated to do homework proved a challenge for me none the less. However, this funky and fresh tune put a new spin on the idea of isolation by acknowledging the freedom in doing what you feel like when you have space to be alone with your thoughts, feelings, and imagination. With an upbeat ukulele introduction and a lovely blend of harmonies, this song proved to be an anthem for self love, the importance of patience, and hope for the days when we can all be back together to experience true connections. I would highly recommend checking out Sammy Rae’s other music, especially her EP “The Good Life” and her newest single “Living Room Floor.” Until next time, grab your striped socks, your silver hoops, and do whatever you feel!

Where can you find this music?

Check out all these artists and more on Spotify or Apple Music! And don’t forget to give us a follow on Spotify @hopeconcerts!

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