The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

5 spectacular and underrated albums of the 2020s to listen to

Ivan Mendoza
As people continue to rely on music for escapism and relatability, musicians utilize their talents to create amazing albums and captivating tracks. Music benefits people in various ways: it helps reduce stress and anxiety while boosting an individual’s energy and creativity. From critically acclaimed singers to influential producers, people can create and discover an endless amount of music to provide unforgettable experiences.

Whether an individual prefers to listen to hip-hop or classical music, people tend to circle back to the same playlists and fear branching out to new genres. People listen to the nostalgic music they listened to during their teens and 20s and avoid any form of musical arrangement outside of their favorite era. According to Johns Hopkins University, new music can help boost an individual’s creativity and memory; listening to music from different countries with diverse languages can also help expand an individual’s knowledge about international cultures. From Spanish-oriented projects to ambient pop music, The Chant would like to appreciate music as an art form with this list of underrated albums.  

Moses Sumney“græ” 

Released in 2020, Moses Sumney’s “græ” stands out as a gorgeous collection of songs thanks to Sumney’s stellar vocal range and interesting production choices. The second track “Cut Me” contains a unique blend of piano keys and buzzing synths, and the following track “In Bloom” beautifully meshes Sumney’s high vocal performances with blossoming production. The artist discusses topics such as masculinity and co-dependency throughout his sophomore album, and he even revamps a classic Jill Scott song in the track “jill/jack” as a way to critique society’s perception of gender norms. In an album full of surreal instrumentals, the song “Polly” contains simple guitar plucks and heartbreaking lyrics about a relationship between a monogamist and a polyamorist. “Polly” presents an original perspective on self-love and loving others, and Sumney shares poetic writing within this album. 

Natalia Lafourcade“De Todas Las Flores” 

Grammy-winning artist Natalia Lafourcade deserves all the praise for her nearly flawless discography. Born in the state of Veracruz in Mexico, Lafourcade has cultivated various albums incorporating folk elements combined with incredible singing and songwriting. In 2022, the prolific singer released her magnum opus “De Todas Las Flores” with acclaim from both fans and critics. As songs such as “El lugar correcto” and “Caminar bonito” transport the listener into a world of tranquility, tracks such as “Cante la arena” showcase brilliant instrumentation and rhythm. From gentle tunes with astounding engineering to cheery instrumentals with lyrics centered around love, this 12-track record contains songs that will resonate with students and teachers. 

“The first song I listened to from her was ‘Soledad y el Mar.’ This song purposefully stopped the world around me to take me to the ocean, a place of tranquility and solitude. This song not only helped me learn Spanish but also the importance of instrumentation. She combines her beautiful guitar solos and other folk instruments and I feel at peace. Her recent album ‘De Todas Las Flores’ holds beautiful songs that I would recommend to everybody,” magnet senior Kameron Harvey said. 

Parannoul“After The Magic” 

Originating in the late 1980s, shoegaze remains a fascinating subgenre of alternative rock for its usage of dreamy reverb and soft vocals. From iconic groups such as Slowdive and my bloody valentine, shoegaze musicians utilize vocal performances as an additional instrument alongside noisy guitars and distorted sounds. The anonymous South Korean musician Parannoul has gained virality for his modern take on shoegaze and dream pop. His sophomore album “To See the Next Part of the Dream”  shot him into the spotlight of modern indie music with its loud yet mesmerizing instrumentation. His 2023 record “After The Magic” stands out as an amazing piece of music as it incorporates low vocals with orchestral sounds and a nostalgic undertone. 


Tainy always stood out as an influential producer in the scene of reggaeton. From creating modern classics such as “telepatía” by Kali Uchis and “Callaita” by Bad Bunny, Tainy’s production remains unique and creative. After years of co-producing award-winning projects, Tainy released his highly anticipated debut album “DATA” in June 2023. The project features over 20 artists and all of them perform beautifully on their tracks; from the energetic posse cut in “PASIEMPRE” to the reunion between old and new reggaeton artists on “LA BABY”, each artist showcases their talents with Tainy’s superb production in the background. The prominent artist also showcases his versatility in his beats; where beats such as “MOJABI GHOST” and “Sci-Fi” sound ethereal and futuristic, “Lo Siento BB:/” and “SACRIFICIO” contain sentimental production. Credited as an architect of the new wave of reggaeton, “DATA” takes the popular Latin genre to new heights. 

What I find so special about the album ‘DATA’ is how Tainy was able to bring out not only the whole reggaeton community but basically every prominent Latin artist in music today. The diversity of musicians made the album more enjoyable going from songs with Daddy Yankee, Myke Towers, or Arcángel to songs with The Marías and Julieta Venegas; artists from completely different genres yet they were able to meet through one artist. This album was much anticipated by the Latin community with Tainy having produced older reggaeton albums such as Wisin Vs Yandel ‘Los Extraterrestres’ all the way to the newer wave of reggaeton such as, KAROL G’s ‘MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO,’Kennesaw State University freshman Anapaula Nunez-Garcia said. 

Ana Frango Elétrico“Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua” 

Known for their fusions of jazz-funk and música popular brasileira (MPB), Ana Frango Elétrico consistently releases music that sounds calming yet addictive. With prominent artists such as Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges casting a shadow of influence over the MPB genre, Elétrico seems to solidify herself as an exciting addition to urban Brazilian music with her 2023 album “Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua.” From jubilant songs with English vocals such as “Electric Fish” and “Boy of Stranger Things” to bewitching orchestral arrangements in “Camelo Azul” and “Insista em Mim”, the alternative artist creates a beautiful and groovy record that people should check out. 

As music continues to evolve along with social norms and technology, artists will discover new ways to create songs that will help listeners escape or confront their current issues. With hard-hitting reggaeton anthems from Tainy to dreamlike performances from Parannoul, high school students can listen to these artists whenever they need energy or imagination. Music can provide people with escapism, but it can also provide them with tranquility; from Lafourcade to Sumney to Elétrico, music remains accessible to students and teachers as calming music can reduce the stress and anxiety that stems from grading essays and completing homework.

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About the Contributor
Ivan Mendoza
Ivan Mendoza, Page Editor
Ivan Mendoza is a senior at NC and has been a part of The Chant staff since 2022. Since his adolescence, he always pursued reading and writing and felt that The Chant provided the perfect outlet for him to write about whatever he wanted. From music reviews to thorough investigations to award-winning documentaries, Mendoza is not afraid to expose his thoughts and opinions on the world around him. Whenever he’s not writing for The Chant, Mendoza is either filming a video, biking or wasting his entire paycheck on amazing novels, memoirs or superb vinyls. Find him on Instagram at @ivans.interludes.  

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