Entertainment’s Weekly Spin with Halsey, Travis Scott and more

The fourth installment of our weekly playlist features hip hop, pop and so much more


(Trevor Wilson/Amherst Wire)

With more music being released than ever before, Amherst Wire’s Entertainment team keeps you posted with some of their favorite tracks of the week. Check it out below:

Trevor Wilson, editor

Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM”

Coming off of what is potentially the biggest year of his career, Housten-bred MC Travis Scott returns with his first single since dropping is addictive, high-octane “ASTROWORLD.” Released on Oct. 4, “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” takes rides the coattails of a sound Scott employed on his last project. The single finds Scott in his usual form, crooning over airy, uptempo guitar strings and a punchy, restless trap instrumental.

In what is nothing new from Scott, “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” plays like a track off of “ASTROWORLD.” Despite lyrical shallowness, we still hear Scott in peak form as he effortlessly lays down an infectious hook, “Case it’s fumes (Smoke) / She fill my mind up with ideas (Straight up) / I’m the highest in the room (It’s lit) / Hope I make it outta here (Let’s go, yeah).”

Kacey Connolly, editor

City and Colour – “Difficult Love”

City and Colour released a new single titled “Difficult Love” that has the potential star in whatever new coming-of-age indie film producers and directors might be working on. With its slow intro formulating into a perfect combination of slow rock and pop, City and Colour give their song the right amount of nostalgia that might just urge you to sprint to your past lover that truly “got away.”

Much like The Script’s new single on our playlist last week, this track pulls on emotions, however this time with fewer heartbreak vibes and more cruising down a highway in the middle of the night trying to find your place in the world vibes. With chilling lines like, “Days gone by / When we were so young and fearless / We’d pay no mind / To the richness of our time,” City and Colour will send goosebumps right up your arms and into your chest. 

Brianna Silva, writer


Blending a spunky guitar with fresh beats, it’s clear REI AMI takes her music seriously. The song quickly sets the mood with bold and forceful lyrics like, “I don’t need his money, b—- I get it on my own / I don’t need to flex, oh honey they already know / Don’t be mad at me ‘cause they keep begging me for more.”

Halfway through the song, REI AMI shifts gears completely and retreats. The song seamlessly transitions into a soft and tender musical diary with lyrics like “I’m Prozac dependent / Attack when defenseless / Not such a bad b—- when I’m on my own.”

While her music is reminiscent of work from artists like Awkwafina, Billie Eilish and Gorillaz, REI AMI strives to distinguish herself by incorporating bits of her true personality. She’s deliberate and demanding, but she’s not afraid to be delicate. Simply put, “SNOWCONE” is an irresistible and unapologetic piece of music. 

Shane Guilfoyle, writer 

AJ Tracy – “Cat Pack”

The 24-year-old independent artist AJ Tracy is back and in full momentum with the delivery of his most recent single “Cat Pack.” The song is accompanied by a music video and arrives alongside the deluxe version of Tracy’s self-titled album. Produced by Take A Daytrip, the track carries a familiar grime sound, the kind Tracy has come to find his footing in. The track boasts saturated 808s with clap and high hat patterns that feel like they derive inspiration from American trap trends. To put it more simply, it has the best of both subgenres.

The lyrical structure of the song is simple, with a chorus laid between two verses that flow nicely through Tracy’s braggadocious and luxurious cadence. Through bars like “Run out this money, I’m running it back (running) / Running the show, I was running the packs / How can a blogger try say that I’m wack? (huh?) / Nowadays, every song I do’s a plaque (Ching!),” Tracy reflects on his come up and takes inventory of his current position within the industry.

Adam Buckley, writer

Liily – “Wash” 

A four-piece rock and rolling alternative outfit from Los Angeles is hardly a new phenomenon, but few throw themselves so hard into their music as Liily. The kind of frenetic energy found in any worthy up-and-coming band is on display with this track, pulling from influences like Rage Against the Machine, Royal Blood and Foals.

As vocalist Dylan Nash shifts from a Joy Division-style croon, to a shouted hardcore rasp, drummer Maxx Morando lays down a roiling hi-hat and snare rhythm. With a cowbell solo, grimy guitars, and a festival moshpit ready breakdown, Wash has more twists and turns than your dryer’s spin cycle. This is is the band’s latest in a series of standout singles after their debut EP, I Can Fool Anybody in This Town.  The hard-touring group has appeared at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Spotify’s New Noise playlists, soon to be in rotation on your playlist. 

Nasya Blackshear, writer 

Halsey – “Clementine”

Halsey continues to drop singles in anticipation of her new album “Manic” and “Clementine” is her newest hit. “Clementine” shows a softer and more vulnerable side to Halsey, something new and refreshing for long-time listeners and welcoming for newer ones.

There’s something about the soft piano-like tune that gives a sense of childhood comfort with lyrics less so that beg to question who will stay. When Halsey says, “I don’t need anyone, I just need everyone and then some,” you can hear the longing for company. “Clementine” allows listeners to feel okay in times of loneliness, giving understanding to the fact that no one wants to be alone. 

Chloe Lindahl, writer 

Jackson Penn – “My Girl” 

Before now, I never heard of Jackson Penn, but his song popped up on my suggested feed this week so I thought, why not right?

“My Girl” is reminiscent of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons iconic single “My Girl,” but with a modern twist. His impressive vocal range is perfectly highlighted in this song and it shares the same upbeat pop sound that its predecessor does. It’s perfect for a feel-good mood once you’re finally sick of feeling down in the dumps, listening to your obligated “everything sucks” playlist after a rough weekend.

Penn isn’t completely new to the scene, for you might recognize him from his song “Streetlights on Mars,” but he’s still gaining fame as a budding new artist and “My Girl” is the perfect song to boost his namesake. 

David Anderson, writer

Lili Trifilio – “Best Friend”

Lili Trifilio, the frontman of indie rock band Beach Bunny, released a solo album on Sept. 24. Beach Bunny have an upbeat, poppy style with slight touches of emo. Their music gained traction significantly in this past year due to their song “prom queen” going viral on the popular video-sharing app Tik Tok. However, this new album by Trifilio entitled “Book Club” has a different sound than the music released by “Beach Bunny.”

This song is slow and quiet and has an almost dreamlike quality about it. More so than previous songs released by Trifilio, “Best Friend” feels personal. The song starts with quiet chords on acoustic guitar paired with Trifilio’s soft vocals. The instrumentals become more layered as the song goes on, adding a few plucked notes over the previous track of guitar strums.

The lyrics touch on anxiety and existentialism and the track itself feels almost like a diary of sorts. The song fades out which the same dreamlike quality with the line “Do I care, if they care, if I don’t” being repeated. This line simultaneously recognizes the futility of worrying too much while also characterizing its cyclical nature. 

Email Trevor at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @TrevorWilsonOG.

Email Kacey at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @kaceyconnolly1.

Email Brianna at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @brsilvv.

Email Shane at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @shaneguilll.

Email Adam at [email protected].

Email Nasya at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @lilbbynas.

Email Chloe at [email protected].

Email David at [email protected].

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