WCC staff blasts catchy tunes


Here are the album covers for each of our staff member’s favorite songs. Graphic courtesy of Sydney Wuu (’20)

A wide range in music taste reflects the sheer diversity of this year’s WCC staff. From K-pop to psychedelic rock, I compiled a full run-down of our team’s all-time favorite songs. Out of our list, the average song length is 4:12, an additional 20% higher than the statistic of songs listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; our average year released was 2011; our most popular genre was hip-hop, trailed closely by pop and alternative/indie; our only three repeating favorite artists are Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, and members of 88rising.

Janina Akporavbare: “Do I Wanna Know?”, Arctic Monkeys

This 2013 British fusion between psychedelic rock and pop projects a catchy chorus. It incorporates the strong percussion rhythm of the drums with the electric & bass guitars to produce a #1-worthy hit on U.S. Rock Airplay’s 2014 charts.

Bianca Arteaga: “New Romantics,” Taylor Swift

If you consider yourself a Swiftie, you will undoubtedly recognize this song that satirizes the nonchalant nature of millenials like Taylor Swift and their approach to love. If you just thought of “New Romantics,” you guessed it! This pop hit peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in February of 2016.

Summer Chen: “Crying Over You ,” HONNE

HONNE’s alternative indie vibes hit listeners hard with the heartbreak embedded into their lyrics. Their 2018 release of “Crying Over You within the Love Me / Love Me Not album is definitely one to listen to after a break-up or other sad event.


Japanese singer-songwriter Joji’s 2018 R&B hit contains soulful lyrics and a metaphor in its title that implies a deeper romantic meaning. This song, “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK,” climbed its way up to #4 in New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ) chart in the 2018-19 cycle.

Amelie Cook: “Drive Safe,” Rich Brian

Rich Brian’s 2019 blend of hip-hop and rap, “Drive Safe,” is one that you should listen to when you are driving alone with the windows down. It is a sentimental love song about a long-distance relationship that uses guitar and string to replace the rhythm of a drum, a rarity in the genre.

Kaitlyn De Armas: “You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift

This karaoke classic pop/country pop song is the perfect Taylor Swift tune to blast in the car, driving windows down after school with friends. I might be a bit sentimental, but it is hard to believe that it has been more than 11 years since this 2008 hit song was released.

Patrick Dóñez: “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine,” Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse’s raw 1997 “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine” screams “indie rock.” Full of thunderous drumming, intense guitar riffing, and expert bass work, this song of nearly seven minutes is the opening track of Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West album.

Matthew Gaw: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen

British rock band Queen originally released “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975 for their album A Night at the Opera. This classic rock hit is a six-minute suite that can be broken down into five sections: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part, and finally, a reflective coda.

Christopher Haliburton: “10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber

This unexpected 2019 contemporary collaboration between country singers Dan + Shay and pop-phenom Justin Bieber produced a rare country, love-pop, top-40 fusion. “10,000 Hours” signifies the amount of time it takes to truly fall in love.

Laura Haushalter: “Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is a 1989 hard rock hit that eventually reached #7 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. Its distinct in-your-face aggressiveness sets the tone for the band’s monster debut album Appetite for Destruction.

Mohammad Igbaria: “Beautiful Crime,” Tamer

Tamer’s 2015 alternative indie single track release is also the background music for the Netflix trailer of Marvel’s Daredevil. Its soft drama builds tension and successfully sets the mood for the superhero, crime-fighting TV series.

Stephen Li: “海阔天空,” Beyond

Although the lyrics to this 2005 Beyond song are in Cantonese, even without understanding the lyrics you can feel its deeper, empowering meaning through its melody. “海阔天空”’s literal translation is “sea wide sky empty,” but its official English song name is “Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies.”

Emma Lin: “UCLA,” RL Grime

This feel-good 2018 electronic dance beat radiates youthful, Los Angeles vibes. It provides a satirical insight into the party culture of wealthier college students in distinguished schools like UCLA. Go Bruins!

Janitza Luna: “Gangsta’s Paradise,” Coolio (feat. L.V.)

Did you know that Janitza can rap every single word to this 1995 hip hop and rap hit? “Gangsta’s Paradise” is a song about individuals trapped in a cycle they cannot escape despite knowing that their situation will probably be their demise. Even though Coolio wrote this song’s verses in one sitting, it ended up as the first rap song to be a year-end chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Nichola Monroe: “Sims,” Lauv

Lauv’s sentimental pop single was officially released on October 3, 2019. Unsurprisingly, “Sims”’s lyrics reference the popular video game, Sims. Lauv self-described this song as one about “meeting the right person at the wrong time.”

Chris Ndiritu: “VIBEZ,” DaBaby

This upbeat, confidently 2019 hip-hop and rap beat revolves around three items: money, women, and the “vibes” that members of DaBaby’s crew bring to anywhere they show up. 

Kara Sun: “Super Rich Kids,” Frank Ocean

This 2012 R&B/alternative hip-hop release delves into the problems of the adolescent, trust fund-inheriting elite. “Super Rich Kids” belongs to Frank Ocean’s debut studio album, Channel Orange, and has appeared on the renowned TV show Gossip Girl.

Cathy Wang: “I’M ON FIRE,” EUN JIWON (은지원) (feat. Blue.D)

Eun Ji-won’s 2019 hip-hop and rap tune heats up the world of K-pop by adding a unique fusion of the American wild west. His song revolves around a burning desire to set someone’s heart “on fire.”

Sydney Wuu: “Dreamcatcher,” Metro Boomin (feat. Swea Lee & Travis Scott)

As the fourth track of Metro Boomin’s NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES album, this 2018 cross-over between hip-hop and rap hooks listeners with its alluring beat and complementary voice collab between Metro Boomin, Swea Lea, and Travis Scott.

Vivien Xi: “White Ferrari,” Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean’s 2016 R&B hit “White Ferrari” falls under his album Blonde. It echoes with soulful, abstract, and psychedelic pop undertones as it explores heartbreak, a whirlwind of emotions, and the permanence of love.

Sharon Xu: “YES or YES,” TWICE

This 2018 K-pop hit is one of the more popular hits of the genre, amassing over 209 million views on their official music video within less than a year since release. TWICE, a South Korean girl group, exudes energetic, positive, and upbeat vibes in their playful song “YES or YES.”

Sunny Yu: “Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem (feat. Rihanna)

“Love the Way You Lie” is a catchy 2010 hip-hop and rap hit that has since then collected 1.8 billion views on its Vevo music video. The lyrics depict a young couple’s dilemma: refusing separation despite recognizing their abusive, toxic relationship.

Dr. Dzula: “What’s Not Mine,” Cate Le Bon

Lastly, our adviser’s over 7 minute-long favorite song is an alternative and indie mashup that examines the sense of self and the uncanny feeling of not knowing exactly where, who, and when you are. It was released back in 2016 and appears as part of Cate Le Bon’s album Crab Day.