In Earshot: Bangers to gatekeep, gaslight, girlboss to

Grace Pearson-Thompson, Arcade Editor

We’re all fresh off the high of  “hot girl summer” — gender-inclusive, of course. That looks different for everybody: it could have been an internship, it could have been living at home with your parents, it could have been partying all summer in New Orleans with your housemates and it could have very well been absolutely nothing. We were gifted with some Hot Girl Summer bops this year, like empowering hits from Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo. As we transition into fall, getting acquainted with the semester and the changing — hopefully cooler — weather, you’ll need something to carry you over and keep you glowing like you were this summer. 

Jealous” Lennon Stella

Lennon Stella might as well be the godmother of hot girl music. She’s blossomed into an established, powerful musician since her days of recording viral YouTube duets with her younger sister, Maisy; now, her songs go straight to my “sexy, single, and sparkly” playlist. “Jealous” starts relatively mellow, but an impactful build is looming from the first second. The song comes from Stella’s point of view, criticizing an ex for thinking that she’s doing certain things to intentionally make them jealous — in reality, she doesn’t care. It’s poppy enough for your getting-ready-to-go-out mix, smooth enough for a night drive down Claiborne and glittery enough to make you feel a little invincible. 

So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” — Caroline Polachek 

Sorry, I had to throw one simp-y track on this list. Although the song doesn’t sound like it at all, Caroline Polachek writes this banger about missing someone she can’t have — who also happens to be unbearably attractive. This song, along with plenty of others in Polachek’s discography, feel like they’re laced with glitter. “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is addictively nostalgic. It personally transports me back to a prom in the 80s where I’m watching my crush-who-doesn’t-know-they’re-my-crush dance with somebody else. Somehow, Polachek blends this insatiable longing with the classic sparkly 80s pop sound. It is more than deserving of a spot on your evening drive playlist. 

So What” — P!nk

I’d be lying if I said my dad didn’t introduce me to this song when I was seven — for some reason, he loved it, so it grew on me too. This song is genuinely the embodiment of kickass, being somewhat of a diss track and somewhat of a post-breakup, empowering hit. When I hear this song, I feel a very sudden urge to lace up my Doc Martens, put on dark lipstick and find a tire to slash — not to mention P!nk’s absolutely killer voice with just the right balance of belt and grit. In this banger, P!nk is angry at an ex — and rightfully so, based on her punchy lyrics — so it’s suited perfectly for your curb stomping playlist. 

Bad Girls” — M.I.A. 

M.I.A. has an admittedly fantastic reputation for releasing dynamic hits that will make you feel tough and sensational. If you liked her famous anthem “Paper Planes,” you’re sure to love “Bad Girls.” Both songs instill that same air of invincibility. If perfectly winged black eyeliner could be a song, it would easily be this one. “Bad Girls” embodies the liberation we’re all seeking from the quintessential college experience — after all, the first line is “live fast, die young.” 

Silk Chiffon” — MUNA feat. Phoebe Bridgers

A WLW banger? A collaborative effort between a powerhouse indie trio and the queen of skeleton onesies? This track has it all. It starts off on a very summery note complete with acoustic guitar, one vocal track and an arpeggiator in the background. The song builds throughout the first pre-chorus and chorus — it’d be perfect for one of those commercials on Nickelodeon that was a montage of teenagers running in slow-motion through a field — “wild and free” vibes. The music video, featuring a cheerleading routine, makes the song a perfect transition between “hot girl summer” and cuffing season. 

Clean” — Maude Latour 

Maude Latour’s newest release pays homage to her permanently messy room. She walks listeners through her journey dabbling in self-care over the last 18 months. It’s more raw and vulnerable than other hits like “One More Weekend” and “Furniture,” but it’s got the same glimmer that Latour has made herself known for. “Clean” elaborates on Latour’s efforts to keep herself together over the course of a rollercoaster of life events: she’s “been staying hydrated” and “sleeping early, not going out late like [she] used to do.” It’s a recovery anthem more than anything else — “30 SPF, yeah, ever since you left.” What’s more girlboss than taking care of yourself? 

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