Track of the Day

Cleo Sol – “Rose in the Dark”

By: Rhema Johnson

I believe we can all agree with Jesse that music has served as the main source of escapism during this stressful period. Being home, artists have retreated to livestream concerts, nostalgic DJ battles, releasing albums/singles/EPs, etc. in order to help bring the collective together and keep us uplifted. On a personal note, I’ve been on a UK Jazz/R&B binge recently (thanks to the UK Jazz playlist on Spotify) and one artist that I’ve been following for a while, Cleo Sol, released her album, Rose in the Dark (2020) on March 27th. Cleo Sol is a R&B singer/songwriter who hails from London and is notable for her mellow vocals and soulful, cinematic instrumentation. In addition, Sol incorporates beautiful harmonies that accompany her vocals and when it’s fused with orchestral arrangements, it creates her enticing sound that can truly move your spirit. “Rose in the Dark,” is a track from the album that has a classic, vintage feeling with its steady tempo, deep melodic background vocals, smooth bass-line and gentle guitar licks. With her crisp, ambient vocals, Sol lyrically moves the listener through her personal journey of self-awareness and healing while also serving as a form of support and encouragement. Why is this track of the day? Well, I’ve observed that being home has caused individuals to go into deep reflection and come face to face with, “The Man in the Mirror.” Sol describes a similar experience within the song and repeats, “hold out a little longer, it’ll be alright,” reminding listeners of the light at the end of the tunnel. So, give this track a listen and let the rhythms nurture you during this time as it has for me!




Track of the Day

Frah Quintale – “Nei Treni La Notte”

By: Kareem Mitchell

Anyone who knows me would agree that I’m always wandering off to somewhere— physically, spiritually, or even emotionally to marvel at things, big and small. During this health pandemic, I’ve been stuck at home a little more than often, trying to keep things safe. Although my life is now confined, I still try to find some way to cast myself out without stepping outside. Currently, I’ve been listening to Frah Quintale’s bittersweet love letter about a metropolitan city unbeknownst to us. The song is  “Nei treni la notte,” or “On the night trains” in direct English translation. It is an Italian hip-hop/pop track released back in 2017, the eighth song from his French titled album, Regardez Moi (2017).

In my second year of studying Italian, I needed some extra substance to dive deeper into the beautiful language. During that quest, I found this little melody on the streaming app, Spotify, and I was instantly astonished about its careful presentation of intrusion and wonder. Frah Quintale talks about going back to a newly industrialized city that was once a beautiful home to him. There’s some melancholy in his voice, but he still has a warm heart for his former city; he tries to, as he memorably says in the track, “add some color” to the machines. And by machines, he means the trains. Who knows… the industrialized vehicle that took him out and brought him back in. A true statement of adventure.



Track of the Day

Wallows – “OK”

By: Alexandria McAlpine

Known for their mellow 1980s inspired sounds, the indie-rock trio Wallows, comprised of Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters, and Cole Preston released their newest single, “OK,” and it does not disappoint. The first song released since their debut album, Nothing Happens (2019), “OK” is not quite recognizable as a classic Wallows song from its muted introductory tune, until the bright jingle and familiar soothing vocals kick in. The beginning of “OK” is faster-paced and more upbeat; reminiscent from their debut 2017 singles. Halfway through the song they implement a cool-warped vocal verse, leaning into their 80s synth sounds before tapering off to finish with a feel-good melody, recognizable from the sounds on their last album.

“OK” is a great way to start a morning lounging on your back deck (like I am) or move through an exciting afternoon indoors dancing around your living room.  Wallows is right when they ask, “Can we get up and try to feel okay again?” while strumming enticingly on the guitar. The world is getting stranger with each passing day and it’s the little things, like listening to good music, that can help grant a feeling of normalcy again.  




Track of the Day

Grand Blanc – “L’amour Fou”

By: Jesse Benitez

Music has never not been a form of breaking away for me. Even more so now, that I’m at home with my family during the pandemic, the power of escapism is one reason we turn to artists during times like these. I’ve found myself scrolling through my phone for an embarrassingly, ungodly amount of time, but with that comes new discoveries; that’s when I came across electro-pop band, Grand Blanc. Originating from Metz, France, the band blends together harmonic electronica and resounding rock beats, constructing sounds that effortlessly pull you in. “L’amour fou” is the tenth track off their phosphorescent release, Mémoires vives (2016). Out of their discography, “L’amour fou” is their most played song on Spotify, and rightfully so. The bop begins with a melancholic longing for love, and instantly transforms into a razzling midnight car chase. The pleasantly screeching riffs paired with delicate, echoey verses submerge me into a hypnotic portal. The jam is glitzy, but in the most tender, benumbing way. This is why I’ve had this song on on-stop repeat.

s/o to a friend of mine, Brian McDonald, for giving me a couple other good reasons why this band rocks.



Translated to French by Google:

L’amour fou de Grand Blanc

Par Jesse Benitez

La musique n’a jamais été pour moi une forme de rupture. Plus encore maintenant, comme je suis à la maison avec ma famille pendant la pandémie, le pouvoir de l’évasion est une des raisons pour lesquelles nous nous tournons vers des artistes dans des moments comme ceux-ci. Je me suis retrouvé à faire défiler mon téléphone pendant un temps embarrassant et impie, mais avec cela vient de nouvelles découvertes; c’est à ce moment-là que j’ai rencontré le groupe d’électro-pop, Grand Blanc. Originaire de Metz, en France, le groupe mélange électronique électronique harmonique et rythmes rock retentissants, construisant des sons qui vous entraînent sans effort. «L’amour fou» est le dixième morceau de leur sortie phosphorescente, Mémoires vives (2016). De leur discographie, “L’amour fou” est leur chanson la plus jouée sur Spotify, et à juste titre. Le bop commence par un désir mélancolique d’amour, et se transforme instantanément en une poursuite en voiture de minuit éclatante. Les riffs agréablement hurlants jumelés à des vers délicats et résonnants me submergent dans un portail hypnotique. La confiture est fastueuse, mais de la manière la plus tendre et la plus lourde. C’est pourquoi j’ai fait répéter cette chanson en continu.

s / o à un de mes amis, Brian McDonald, pour m’avoir donné quelques autres bonnes raisons pour lesquelles ce groupe rock.


WGMU Radio 2020 Music & Art Festival: Musician and Artist Application NOW OPEN

UPDATE AS OF 03/16/20: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the festival has been cancelled until further notice. We appreciate all of the buzz and support that came from Mason and the community. Your health and safety comes above all else.

~Jesse Benitez, WGMU Radio MD


WGMU Radio is proud to host a Music & Art festival this semester – a night filled with intimate performances from local musicians, art showcases from multi-media artists, local vinyl record vendors, ticket giveaways + prizes, and more!

When: Thursday, March 26, 2020 @ 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Where: JC Bistro in the bottom floor of the Johnson Center, GMU Fairfax Campus

For more info, contact WGMU Radio’s Music Director, Jesse Benitez ( or the station itself (

This is an un-paid, volunteer performance opportunity. Please fill out all the information in the application link below to be considered in the line-up for the event.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 by 11:59pm.

Application is now CLOSED.


Owen Broder @ The Blues Alley

Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

By: Jesse Benitez

On Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, New York based saxophonist, Owen Broder, took the stage with his ensemble in Georgetown’s hidden gem, The Blues Alley. Broder and his group captivated D.C. jazz enthusiasts by celebrating the 60th anniversary of Back to Back (1959) and Side by Side (1959), two incredibly phenomenal recordings by some of the most influential jazz musicians of all time: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges. Broder coined this performance “Hodges and Duke,” an homage giving new life to these historic tunes in the 21st century. Broder and his ensemble played two sets that night in the nation’s capital; both with honest elegance and poised dynamism. I’m not one to frequent jazz shows in the city, if anything, my experience with any sort of saxophonic composition stems mainly from passing buskers every now and then or getting funky with acid jazz loops on an occasional commute. The Hodges and Duke show redefined what little I knew about the genre, all while transporting me back in time and space. Illuminated by an indigo spotlight, the post bop flutters that Broder twitched on his sax were ethereally nostalgic. I felt as though I was in a dim, 1950s, NYC comedy club sipping on scotch and puffing a slim, illuminated by a single candlelight, all while longing for someone or something. Broder and his ensemble said so much without vocalizing at all. The transcendental melodies from the sax, powerful flecks on the keys, and subtle pulses on the bass, collectively encapsulated the blooming comfort of the polyrhythmic, musical tetris that we know as jazz. Broder and his ensemble recontextualized the spasms of vitality and pep in these albums in a way that formulated both a sense of togetherness and cognizance of solace, all while creating a renewed sense of appreciation for music within the human experience. Jazz whispers and declares, often simultaneously, and Broder organically exemplified that in the Blues Alley that Tuesday night.





Touch the Buffalo @ Velvet Lounge

Jonathan Ibarra, drummer and DJ host of The Taco’s Mix
Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

By: Jesse Benitez

On Thursday, September 5th, 2019, indie grunge band, Touch the Buffalo, performed a powerful set in Washington, D.C. on U Street’s Velvet Lounge. Sharing the stage with three other bands, Touch the Buffalo closed the night off with tunes from their latest album release, Heart Is For (2019). Not only do these guys go hard on stage, but they’re changing the game of grunge with a ferocious electric ukulele, notable in “Heart is For,” the first track from their self-titled album of this year. They slowed things down with another track from their latest release titled, “Nerd Love,” a vigorous anthem embellished with spiffy guitar riffs and pounding rhythms materializing from the drums. The crowd in D.C. that night was incredibly supportive and vivacious during the set, cognisant of the bands successful wave throughout the indie rock world. Not only that, but Touch the Buffalo is local, with early roots based in Arlington, VA. They’ve become recognizable by fans throughout the D.C. metro area. The band has already performed at numerous venues in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas, including George Mason University for the annual Plazapalooza Music Festival hosted by the Music Productions Club of GMU earlier this year. The drummer of the band, Jonathan Ibarra, is also a regular contributor for WGMU and the DJ and host of The Taco’s Mix on WGMU Radio. The band has also released over 200 promo copies to college-radio stations around the nation. They’re up and coming- and deservingly so. Touch the Buffalo is one of many bands in the local music scene that’s making big strides in the alternative/grunge rock genre. To get more updates, you can follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

You can now listen to tracks “Heart is For,” “Nerd Love,” and more on WGMU Radio. Your Voice. Amplified. 




OHMME @ DC9 Nightclub

By: Jesse Benitez

On Thursday, April 18th, 2019, Chicago’s finest took the stage at DC9 Nightclub, generating pleasantly noisy soundscapes through Washington D.C.’s already bustling 9th Street. That band is known as OHMME, a two-piece rock band consisting of musicians Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. The night opened with Bottled Up, a D.C. based punk quartet that ripped through rambunctious garage fusions accompanied with familiar, but refreshing vocals. Their most recent album, BU2 (2018), flashes me back to the rowdier moments in my youth as I navigated my way through the ever-changing local punk scene, so believe me when I say, I’ve had this album on repeat since.  

OHMME began their performance with the songs, “Icon” and “Liquor Cabinet,” some of the most prismatic harmonies off their debut studio album, Parts (2018). There’s nothing that makes me appreciate musicians more than witnessing how they translate their recordings on the stage. Maybe I’m just overly dramatic, but OHMME configured their euphonic lyrics into some of the most lively and angelic melodies I’ve heard this year in the nation’s capital. Even in some of their more feedback-inducing tunes such as “Grandmother,” every turbulent and explosive electrical warble blaring from their guitars was beautifully rhythmic. The duo also performed their own roaring take on a B-52’s classic, “Give Me Back My Man,” a jam limited to 545 hand-numbered copies pressed on a bright orange 7” vinyl. Luckily, I managed to take one home that night. As OHMME assembled the loopy and glazy riffs of “Woman,” from their self-titled EP released back in 2017, I spotted a familiar face in the crowd: Bob Boilen, the creator and host of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and All Songs Considered! Boilen carefully maneuvered his way around the stage, photographing the energetic artists; capturing the boisterous, as well as the most tender moments of the show 

One of the most vivid tracks from Thursday night wasFingerprints,” as Cunningham and Stewart bounced multiplying echoes, atmospherically throughout the chorus. The final moment that transported me through an ethereal cosmos was in “Sentient Beings,” the seventh track off their latest album. Every hit on the drum, slash through a chord, or bow to the violin was pure, weightless resonance. It has always been their asymmetric rhythms, buoyantly recoiling through my ears that shaped my admiration for experimentation. That could be the explanation for why I had once kept Ohmme (2017), on non-stop repeat to this day. 

Rosemary’s Reviews| When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

By Rosemary Idisi

Billie Eilish, a girl that grew up being homeschooled and joined a children’s choir when she was eight years old is now a seventeen-year-old pop sensation. The singer and songwriter just released her debut studio album titled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019). 

 This album has fourteen songs and is a mixture of electropop and trap. Every track on the album was written by Eilish along with her brother, Finneas O’Connell who produced all the tracks as well.  

When this album was released, it received widespread praise and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. This made Eilish the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album. 

In just the first week of its release, this album had 313,000 album sales, which made it the second-largest sales week for an album in 2019. The first being Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next (2019). This album also had been pre-ordered 800,000 times on Apple Music before its release and if that doesn’t impress you, just know it also topped charts in fifteen other countries.  

Billie Eilish has a sort of jazz-like sound when she sings. She throws vocals like that over trap beats and piano asides and makes sinister sounds seem classy. Eilish gives whispering vocals and chilling melodies in this album and pairs them with very creepy music videos.  

This isn’t the average album. That can be understood as soon as you play the first track on the album titled !!!!!!!. This is the introduction to the album and isn’t just any introduction… This intro is fourteen seconds long and contains slurp sounds of Billie taking out her Invisalign and saying things like, “I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the album.”  

The lead single for the album titled You Should See Me in A Crown” was released in July 2018, way before the album was released. This single reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was inspired by the BBC show Sherlock. This track has a very dark tone combined with dubstep music and is truly a unique sound.  

The second single released for the album is When the Party’s Over“. This track is slow and gives off a very sad mood. It opens with the lyrics, Don’t you know I’m no good for you? I’ve learned to lose you, can’t afford to- and is basically about Billie putting distance between herself and her lover. The music video for this single featured Billie crying thick and inky black tears. The video reached #1 on YouTube and was trending in several countries.  

The third single released titled Bury A Friend” contained Eilish detailing her confusing relationship with the monster under her bed. This track has a Prismizer effect, which is known to manipulate pitch and frequency. This track was like a goth-R&B and had very unique sounds. The visual released for it was very creepy and contained Billie’s face being grabbed by multiple gloved hands.   

The song Wish You Were Gay” is Eilish singing about what it felt like to be rejected by a boy she liked and selfishly wishing he was gay. The lyrics, “-I just kinda wish you were gay-” were repeated in the song over a slow tempo of beats. 

A lighter, more playful track on the album is Bad Guy”. This single is the opening song for the album after the introductory track and is Billie’s farthest reach toward pop. The lyrics, “-I’m that bad type, make your mama sad type, make your girlfriend mad tight, might seduce your dad type, I’m the bad guy, duh-” are thrown over an electric chime and snaps. Billie gives off Harley Quinn vibes in this song and this single topped charts in several countries.  

A word to describe this album? Different. This album is so different than the current norm in so many aspects and it is brilliant. Give it a spin.  

Promise Nothing Interview

By Robert McGreevy

Promise Nothing is a up and coming band from Northern Virginia revitalizing old school and 90’s Rock. Sean Gorena, Mike Holland,  Fabio Rubiera, and Ivan Stoykov created Promise Nothing in 2018, and they’ve been performing live venues all across Washington, D.C. since. Recently, they played Plazapalooza at George Mason University and they have agreed to tell us their story. Their upcoming performances are Pre-Mason Day Fest April 25th, 7:00-7:30 and Mason Day Fest April 26th. Come on out and show your support for Mason’s own musicians!