Find out what our Varsity editors' favourite songs are in the playlist below!Pexels / cottonbro (

With exams fully underway for many (including myself), breaks are not only a treat but a necessity. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a Music Editor, I listen to music both when I work and when I’m away from work (I like to live my life with a soundtrack constantly playing in the back, I suppose). However, the songs I listen to while I study and while I rest are vastly different. I mostly reserve my catchiest, danciest tracks for when I do not need to focus on writing a 5,000 word dissertation. With that being said, I was curious to find out what songs our Varsity editors have been listening to on repeat recently and have collated my discoveries into a little playlist. Hopefully this can be a chance for you to take a well-deserved break and discover some new music!

“Sidelines” by Pheobe Bridgers
by Sarah Abbas, Fashion Editor

“this may be Phoebe’s most uplifting song to date”

As someone who used to “watch the world from the sidelines”, when I heard my favourite bleached-blonde-sad-girl-singer-songwriter say “now I know what it feels like to wanna go outside”, a world away from her “there’s no place like my room” in “Punisher”, I couldn’t help but to shed a few tears. This song quickly became one of my most played of all time. As a formerly self-proclaimed “sad girl”, finding happiness and purpose in life was echoed in this song. On first listen, the melody and harmonisation is deceivingly sad, yet this may be Phoebe’s most uplifting song to date. The classic Phoebe strings featured in her Copycat Killer EP are combined with unique synths to create a distinctive sound. Bridgers takes another stab at solving life’s most existential questions, but unlike her previous work, “Sidelines” takes a nihilistic yet optimistic route.

Phoebe Bridgers' official video for YouTube / Phoebe Bridgers (

“Don’t Forget” by Sky Ferreira
by Josh Osman, Vulture Editor

“It’s messy, grungy and aggressive, straddling between being assertive and playful”

Announced officially in April 2015, Sky Ferreira’s second studio album Masochism has been on highly-anticipated releases lists for the past seven years. After she released the lead single, “Downhill Lullaby”, in 2019, Ferreira retreated into silence – until recently. In February and March, there were unfulfilled promises of release, but we were given a short, yet enticing teaser: “DON’T FORGET”. Two months later, the long-awaited wish for new music from Ferreira was granted, with one of her most brash tracks yet. It’s messy, grungy and aggressive, straddling between being assertive and playful. Roaring synths and forceful drums provide the blazing pedestal for Sky Ferreira’s fierce vocals and lyrics – when she sings: “Oh no, I won’t forget / I don’t forgive,” she is commanding and firm. “Don’t Forget” is the self-assured comeback of a pop-star and certainly sets high expectations for Masochism.

“Forever” by Mahalia
by Josephine Olayebo, Music Editor

Over the past few months, Mahalia’s music has taken us on a journey. Her latest EP, Letter To Ur Ex, marks a new chapter in this story as she reveals an alternative perspective that was initially presented in her previous single. Although I admire this witty call and response play in Mahalia’s work, “Forever” takes the title as my favourite track. At first glance, it may seem a rather unexpected addition to a project which explores the darker sides of relationships with both lovers and friends. However, for every shadow cast there must be a beacon of light and this song is just that. As one of only two new tracks on the EP, it demands attention. Or perhaps it’s because I am hopelessly in love with the idea of love that it draws me in the most. Its upbeat tempo rooted in the Afrobeat genre is juxtaposed with Mahalia’s long-held vocals that render the overall soundscape wistful, romantic and just my type of song.

Mahalia's visualiser for "Forever"YouTube / Mahalia (

“Talullah” by Jamiroquai
by Daniel Hilton, Music Editor


Mountain View

‘Norf Face’: Profiling music in north London

This song is from Jamiroquai’s sixth studio album, Dynamite. Lyrically speaking, “Talullah” is, to be entirely blunt, your average love song with a forlorn narrator longing for the eponymous Talullah who’s left him with a “hole in [his] soul” after she goes away on an (environmentally unfriendly) “jet plane”. The reason I picked “Talullah”, however, is not because of its lyrical content, instead the song sticks out to me as possibly one of the funkiest things I’ve heard due to the textures used in the music. The conservative usage of harmony instruments leads the song to sound much roomier and gives the bass guitar room to shine while being complemented by noodlings on the flute. The flute/bass combo is ultimately what made me choose this song as it gives it a spacey, more relaxed vibe while still maintaining the ridiculous funkiness you’d expect from Jamiroquai.