Here at KSJS, we’re quite grateful for music. It pulls us closer to friends and family, provides us solace in times of hardship and makes us feel a little less alone. We’ve compiled some of the albums we’re most thankful for, so read on and celebrate with us — happy Thanksgiving!
1. Thx by Lomelda
When I come across albums, I usually link it back to how I’m feeling or what I’m going through in that moment. Lomelda’s album “Thx” came out September of 2017. That was the same month I had lost my grandma to Leukemia.
Listening to the album did not create an overwhelming sense of sadness, but rather comfort. This album is the closest I have ever felt with myself and my connection to the world around me. In a way, it felt “at home.” This was my first time experiencing death of someone near and dear to my heart, at an age where I UNDERSTOOD.
Lomelda’s velvety and motherly voice soothed me at my loneliest times. I could say this album and time period was a turning point in my life, because it gifted me with such a loving perspective and for that, I will be eternally grateful for this 10 track album. – M
2. Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes
I’ve always been a blind follower. In middle school I downloaded whatever indie/ska albums my friends (but mostly their older siblings) listened to. Then in high school I used to bop to Kygo’s Soundcloud feed while I was cleaning my room because at school, he was everyone’s “newest discovery.” It wasn’t until I got to De Anza Community College (subtle shout-out) that I was forced to be a lonely little individual without a musical backdrop to fall back on.
If you’ve been to community college you know how it is, everyone’s hustling and the college culture recedes in the shadows for the most part. So I felt a little lonely, but also relieved to finally feel free to pick my own genre of music as well as a new attitude because I think those two are pretty interconnected. I got super lucky at De Anza and I met my best friend Queen who would introduce me to the Alabama Shakes. After that exposure to Brittany Howard’s brassy spin on southern rock and living on the album like oxygen, we saved enough from our retail drives to see them live in Oakland.
The looks she served, leaning into her baby blue ‘87 Gibson squinting at the sky, you can feel her anguish and her power simultaneously in “Don’t Wanna Fight.” The noise is just how a rock band should be I think by essence — always challenging the norm, of how loud you thought music could be, what a rock singer “should” look or sound like, and most importantly, what you think of yourself. -Sydney T.
3. Love is Alive by Louis the Child
This album is a different genre of music and something my college roommate got me into. I fell in love with the beats and overall vibe to the tracks.
Diving right into it, my favorite song is “Slow Down Love.” It starts out with a slower feel and then when the beat drops it’s beyond amazing. I don’t even know how to put it into words but the only way you can experience the feel is by listening to it.
I first heard this song live at Coachella this past year and I basically died inside. The whole crowd has smiles on and is jumping up and down. Although this sounds weird, the beat just carries you.
This album and song has stuck to me because every single track they produce, including the ones on this track, are so awesome. The songs have similar beats but all manage to stay upbeat. They also have people who join in and collab with the tracks. This is the music that you turn in on the car and everyone’s mood picks up and you’re ready for a drive or whatever it may be. -Hailey Rodriguez
4. Thriller by Michael Jackson
After Michael Jackson passed away, I started listening to his music and became obsessed with his Thriller album when I was in middle school. My dad had bought the album decades ago, so I was happy when I found it in our closet. Even several of my teachers had the album, indicating how popular MJ was.
It still is one of the best selling albums in history. Every single song on the album is iconic and legendary, such as Beat It and Billie Jean. I would blast it on repeat every day when I got home from school; homework couldn’t be done without the songs playing in the background. Though I do feel sorry for forcing my neighbors to listen back then.
After much thinking, my favorite track from the album has to be P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) because it’s incredibly catchy and aesthetically pleasing to my ears. The song has some really cool synthesizing, and MJ’s voice fits so well. I usually get sick of listening to the same songs over and over again, but this simply doesn’t happen with MJ’s music. -Johnny Nguyen
5. The Human Condition by Jon Bellion
I’m an unabashed pop fan. I love music that I can easily memorize and scream at the top of my lungs, but I’m also quite the emo enthusiast and I look to music to feel something. I’m grateful for “The Human Condition” because it gives me both in a theatrical, brutally honest way that is distinct and refreshing to this day (even though it was released in 2016).
Jon Bellion is an indie pop artist that has been rising from the underground in the last few years. He cites Death Cab for Cutie and J Dilla as some of his biggest influences as he fuses together elements of electronic, emo, rap, R&B and pop music. At times his sound can be a bit jarring, but it’s still accessible.
“The Human Condition” was the soundtrack to my freshman year of college, and its provocative and raw discussion of isolation, desperation, consumerism, sexuality and hypocrisy broke my heart and put it back together again. Nevertheless, despite the weight of the subject matter, there’s still a lot of fun to be had.
This is one of my favorite albums EVER — the vulnerability behind it made me feel less alone, and I can sing you every single lyric. His sophomore record, “Glory Sound Prep,” dropped just two weeks ago — you’ll definitely want to keep Jon Bellion on your radar. -K-3PO
6. Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex
Throughout life there have been a multitude of albums that have made their impression and mark in my memory. One of those albums happens to be “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”by Skrillex. For not having listened to any of the songs on the album for a couple years, they certainly brought back a lot of memories, more than was expected. For example sitting in my living room, pumping the music on full blast, at the age of 13.
Not only does it bring back memories, but it brings back feelings, past times, and more than what I can write into words. Music goes hand in hand with feelings, and digging back into past music really does have an effect. I am very thankful for this album, being a huge lover of techno and electro music, this album single handedly propelled me into the world that I know so much about today.
This album set the tone for my music listening preferences, and helped me explore just how much I can take. Even having conversations with friends, I find myself being able to say I can enjoy the harder techno more than average. This album has done wonders for me, still being able to enjoy it today, I would highly recommend it to people. -Cole Haft
7. Swimming by Mac Miller
Celebrity deaths don’t ever affect me, but the recent passing of Mac Miller has hit me the hardest. Hearing his cause of death from an apparent overdose at such a young age of 26 was hard to swallow, especially since I grew up listening to him my freshmen year of high school. It completely felt like I lost a close friend.
His fifth and last studio album, “Swimming,” is an album I am thankful for and it’s all I’ve been listening to consistently since it dropped. For the first time in his career, Mac Miller created an album for himself to find peace of mind that he was going to be okay from his past of struggles, failures, addiction, etc. Hence the album cover of him dressed in a clean suit yet his feet are dirty, playing as a metaphor that he has cleaned up his act.
Mac Miller created this entire album as a metaphor towards his life; instead of floating or letting life get the best of him, drowning, he chose to move forward and swim. That is why “Swimming” is a phenomenal album that shows how his music has matured and how he has developed himself into a well-rounded musician. It was great to see how much progress he had made from his previous works such as “GO:OD AM,” “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” and his mixtape work, “Faces” (which were all incredible). This album will forever have a special place in my heart since it taught me to be selfish on my well being and to move forward on things I have control over. -Philip L.
8. Solace by RÜFÜS DU SOL
I am a HUGE fan of music, all genres and it is extremely difficult for me to choose just one album that I enjoy most but lately I have really enjoyed Rufus Du Sol’s album, “Solace.” One, because it is very feelsy, uplifting music that really makes you think about life and all its beauty. Some of my favorite tracks on it are “Treat You Better,” “No Place,” “Lost In My Mind,” “Underwater” and “Another Life,” so basically the entire album.
Two of my other favorites by them are “Innerbloom” (I cry almost every single time), and “You Were Right,” and both are from their album “Bloom.” Whenever I listen to these songs I instantly relate and feel so many emotions at once. It truly does not matter what type of mood I am in; whether I am going out, need a good cry, hanging out with my friends, or even just simply doing homework, Rufus Du Sol’s music is always a good idea.
Rufus Du Sol is alternative dance and house music combined. It’s funny because I was never really into house music up until about a year ago, and from that point on I fell in love. I am not one to dance, but whenever I listen to their music I feel such a deep enough love that I will 100% embarrass myself and “get lost in the sauce.”
There is just something about music that brings people and emotions together to make so many countless memories. I will always have a love for Rufus Du Sol and all that they do; I hope they continue to make many, many more incredible albums. –Emily D
9. The Balcony by Catfish and the Bottlemen
My absolutely favorite band is Catfish and the Bottlemen. Their 2014 album “The Balcony” is where I found their music. Even though I was way too young at the time to relate to the lyrics (I still am), I still found myself completely in love with them. It talked about struggling love, not being accepted by the majority, and wanting to just be free.
My empathetic butt really felt the same, even though I had really not experienced anything like the band went through in their lives. My favorite song off of the album would have to be “Business.” The song just makes me feel good and hopeful for a love life in the future when I am a real adult. This band is really underrated so I would say to listen to it just to get new music. -Ruth Aguilar
What albums are YOU most thankful for? Share in the comments below, and when you’re in search of new meaningful tunes, check us out at 90.5 FM or stream us online!