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Quarantine and Chill to These Sultry Singer-Songwriters

As the music industry undergoes a national quarantine, our favorite concert venues remain closed, ultimately causing the average live music junkies to sit at home in their living rooms. With a surplus of free time on their hands, concert enthusiasts engage in online streaming platforms for significantly longer periods of time than their typical daily screen activity. From browsing YouTube for the latest music videos to updating Spotify and Apple Music playlists, now is the ultimate season for exploring new albums and expanding one’s taste. Why listen to only one genre of music when there’s ground-breaking projects of all styles across the industry?

Whether you grew up listening to The Rolling Stones on vinyl, played The Jackson 5 on repeat throughout your childhood home, or blasted Avril Lavigne on your boombox while screaming at the top of your lungs, your musical preferences share a commonality of authentic songwriting. As Vanessa Carlton best puts it, we’re all “homebound,” stuck inside amidst this pandemic, struggling to get in line with our emotions and keep ourselves busy. Sure, Vitamin C, Biotin, and B-12 all boost our immune systems and provide substantial nutrition, but the best source for strengthening our mental health stems from soothing, relatable music that functions as a catalyst for everyday wellness and tranquility. SO, find your favorite place to Netflix & Chill, open your go-to music streaming service, and check out these sultry singer-songwriters:


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Popularly known as the Season 11 American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips originates from a rare breed of musicians who can growl like a lion while dawning the same first and last name. A hybrid of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Dave Matthews, the Georgia native transports listeners to his World from the Side of the Moon. Fearlessly navigating life’s complexities with a guitar strapped to his back, Phillip channels the past through bluesy rock chord progressions and acoustic ballads. From opening for John Mayer and the Goo Goo Dolls to co-headlining a national tour with Gavin DeGraw, Phillip is no stranger to the spotlight. However, his humility and familial presence on stage capture the essence of a passionate street performer, resulting in his unparalleled ability to receive audiences’ undivided attention each time he sings. Functioning as a window into Phillip’s soul, his three studio albums never cease to provide a taste of “Home” wherever you are.


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It’s not everyday that you come across a hipster, yet naturally beautiful songstress from Easton, MD, with a breakout major-label debut album as grand, yet raw as Carol King’s Tapestry. Recently nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards, Maggie Rogers defies gravity while simultaneously setting her own trends. Blending folk instrumentals with prismatic electronic synthesizing, Heard It in a Past Life fuses Patti Smith’s influence with Maggie’s college study-abroad nightlife experiences. Having opened for Mumford & Sons and HAIM, then selling out her entire headlining tour the following year, Maggie is a force to be reckoned with. In the least cliche fashion, her melodies drive at the pace of a vintage Land Rover cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway during golden hour.


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Unlike your typical boy-band pop stars who began their careers as teenagers and eventually went solo as young millennials, cutting their hair and purchasing acoustic guitars for the first time, Dean Lewis released his debut studio album, A Place We Knew, at 31-years-old. Recently celebrating its one-year anniversary, Dean breaks down his walls and reveals the sensitive man beneath his rugged exterior. An Australian native rocking simple clothes and shaggy hair, Dean pours his heart and soul into each meticulously written song, void of societal materialism. Filled with experiential wisdom and personal growth, his romantically mature music ages like fine red wine. A remedy for self-discovery and mending broken relationships, Dean’s lyrics relate to listeners in their darkest times and provide light in our most vulnerable moments.


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A timeless retro cowgirl bedazzled in rhinestones and designer apparel, Kacey Musgraves is much more than meets the eye. Signed to IMG Models, the Texas-born musician’s near-perfect features and care-free disposition could easily fool one into believing that she’s a life-size Barbie doll dressed in country glamour. However, her emotionally raw and profound songwriting sets the bar extremely high for future waves of artists hoping to follow in her footsteps. Winner of six Grammy Awards, including the highly-coveted Album of the Year accolade in 2019, Kacey continues to redefine the industry and pave diverse paths for country music. Having attended two of her live shows, I can attest to the inevitable legacy of Golden Hour and its ability to give you “Butterflies,” a “Slow Burn,” and hang a “Rainbow” over your head. Kacey may not fit the mold of your standard singer-songwriter image, but her poetic stream-of-conscious truth and stripped-down acoustics irrefutably embody the genre’s niche manifestation.


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Remember that British dude who sang “Budapest,” the most-quoted song among all Hungarian tourist Instagram posts? Well, his name is George Ezra, and his debut studio album, Wanted on Voyage, is pure gold. Number one on the UK charts upon its release in 2014, the LP garnered George with substantial international praise. Inspired by Bob Dylan’s artistry and style, George emulates the hypothetical lovechild of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty and KT Tunstall. His raspy baritone pipes and powerful instrumentation create the idyllic ambiance for oceanside sunsets and hammock dates. A breath of fresh air throughout this season of confinement, George’s recent album, Staying at Tamara’s, provides listeners with a glimpse into his solitary ruminations and transition from open-mic nights to sold-out amphitheaters. Despite the fact that he’s been out of the limelight for a bit, George is definitely a binge-worthy artist who belongs on your next playlist.

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