In Earshot: Underrated songs from your favorites

Grace Pearson-Thompson, Contributing Reporter

graphic of guitar with in earshot written
Emma Vaughters

We all know Lizzo, Mac Miller, Hozier — the big names in music. Whether they have been big names in the industry for years or they are rising artists taking this awards season by storm, these artists have some underrated bangers you need to hear. 

Lizzo — “Coconut Oil” 

This song starts with some enticing organs and goes straight into a flute solo played by none other than Lizzo herself — and all I can think about is how incredible that would be to hear live. “Coconut Oil” is an easygoing anthem, with all the signature Lizzo elements we know and love, that speaks to the tendency to overthink. Lizzo is telling her listeners to take it easy with this song — but if you need something a little more upbeat, there’s always “Truth Hurts” and “Juice.” 

Kacey Musgraves — “Late To The Party” 

This song represents all the tasteful elements of that barn chic aesthetic of all of those millennial weddings — the kind of song you would slow dance to surrounded by rustic decor elements and strings of industrial light bulbs hanging overhead. It has just enough country twang to satisfy my Texas upbringing but enough sweetness weaved into the lyrics, guitar and harmonies to stop me from putting on cowboy boots. It’s a perfect love song for romantic relationships and friends alike. 

Sam Smith — “Not In That Way” 

The raw emotion that Sam Smith never fails to convey in their songs — namely “I’m Not The Only One” and “Lay Me Down” — is even more prominent in “Not In That Way.” This song is stripped down just to Smith’s vocals and a simple guitar melody. The lyrics portray the craving for love and normalcy to return to a relationship that can never be rehabilitated — a feeling of loss and hanging on that we’re all too familiar with. The simplicity of this song makes it even more heart-wrenching and beautiful. 

Mac Miller — “Senior Skip Day

This banger comes off of Mac Miller’s debut album released in 2010, “K.I.D.S.” The joyful and carefree nature of this song is impossible to resist. “Senior Skip Day” is the quintessential song for rolling down your windows and cruising down Interstate 10 with your friends on a Trader Joe’s run. It seems like every song he has released was quite literally made to make memories to — this one is no exception. Like Mac Miller says in this song made of pure sunshine, “gotta work with what you got.” This underrated bop is so emotionally liberating and perfect for any mood. 

Hozier — “To Noise Making (Sing)” 

What’s so enticing about Hozier as a whole is that he writes about feminine figures as mystical, god-like beings and honors intellect, inner beauty and sexuality. Something feels so artfully improvisational about “To Noise Making (Sing)” off of Hozier’s most recent record, “Wasteland, Baby!” From the piano chords that are strategically clashing to background harmonized vocals transporting you directly into the audience of a gospel choir, this song feels like a community of musicians coming together to create art right before you. Perhaps one of my all-time favorite lyrics is from this song: “you don’t have to sing it nice, but honey sing it strong. At best, you’ll find a little remedy; at worst, the world will sing along.” 

Kehlani — “Distraction

This song should be going straight to that playlist everyone secretly has. “Distraction” comes off of Kehlani’s sophomore album, “SweetSexySavage,” which is packed with undercover bangers, like “Keep On” and “CRZY.” Kehlani’s music is always full of gorgeous harmonies, which is what kicks off this song in particular — a soft bop that goes straight into a suave rhythm after a short intro. Kehlani is asking for a no-strings-attached situation to distract her from the stressors of her daily life, and who can’t relate to that? A universally familiar topic coupled with Kehlani’s vocal runs that are sweeter than honey — coincidentally another great song of hers — is a recipe for an incredible song. 

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