Springtime Study Jams

Ah. Spring is in the air, the birds are singing, and the ferocious Nashville ice storms have ended at long last. You look out the window, watching your fellow students frolic about the quad, carefree in the warm springtime sunshine. All you can think about is that beautiful weather, Rites of Spring, summer vacation… but wait… what’s that? What did the professor just say? Midterm next week? Final soon? Shit.

Once you return from your daydream to the sad reality of midterms, you may ask yourself, “What’s a student to do to get through this ridiculous amount of work?” Obviously, you need a playlist of cool springtime study vibes to get through all your nasty homework. Fortunately for you, you’ve stumbled upon the illest and chillest of study vibes. From KAASI to Karma Kid, this playlist is filled with all the relaxing fuel you need to get through the season of school work.

Hozier Takes Nashville to Church


This past week, Hozier literally took thousands of fans to the Mother Church of Country Music, also known as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. I was lucky enough to attend one of his three sold out shows at the Ryman, and as I’m sure anyone else who was in attendance will agree, it was an incredible show. After a great set by opening act George Ezra, Hozier opened with a few of his more upbeat songs – “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene,” “From Eden,” and “Jackie and Wilson.” Each of these songs generated an even stronger and louder reaction from the audience. His next song, “Someone New,” received even more excitement than the songs preceding it, likely because of its recently released music video featuring Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones (the video, released in early March, already has over 4 million views).

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Job opening in Nashville

Music Row has an impending office vacancy.

Sony Music Nashville announced Tuesday morning that current CEO and chairman Gary Overton would be stepping down from his coveted position in the music industry at the end of March after 5 years of work with the company.

Overton’s departure, which Sony noted as mutual agreement between the company and Overton, comes almost a month after an interview in The Tennessean, in which Overton emphasized the importance of country music radio in promoting country music, praised the overall efforts of Sony in the months prior and spoke hopefully about the future of Sony Nashville in 2015, saying, “We had a very busy second half of ’14. Three of our four superstars — Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney — had albums out in the fourth quarter. Miranda (Lambert)’s came out earlier in the year. I believe this year we’re going to have two more superstar albums come out and then a Jake Owen album, a Chris Young album, both those guys are in the studio right now. “

Overton’s view of mainstream country radio as the most important vehicle for success in the country music industry drew a lot of criticism from members of the country music community and sparked a mild amount of conflict amongst current stars.

Image owned by Sony Music Gary Overton no longer owned by Sony Music
Image owned by Sony Music
Gary Overton no longer owned by Sony Music

Prior to serving as CEO at Sony Nashville, the Middle Tennessee State University graduate spent 15 years at EMI Music Publishing in Nashville as the executive vice president ad general manager. Before EMI, Overton served as country star Alan Jackson’s manager.

“Working at Sony Music has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” Overton released in a statement on Tuesday. “I will deeply miss the talented team at SMN, but I am also excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the amazing staff for their tireless commitment to supporting our incredible artists.”

Sony has not announced any considerations for the position, nor has Overton stated whether he, a long-time Nashvillian, will stick around Nashville or leave Music City behind in search of other prospects.

Years & Years is Electrifying Britain. Next Stop, America.


Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.
Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.

Like my colleague Brandon Bout, I made sure to catch a live show over Spring Break.  For me, the destination was London and the band was electro-pop trio Years & Years.

I had heard of the group from a fellow Lightning 100 intern in December.  She had spent time working in Britain and assured me that they were on the verge of blowing up across the pond.  Her promise was confirmed when I learned that Years & Years had won the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2015 poll–an award won in previous years by such acts as Sam Smith, Adele, and Ellie Goulding.  So when I saw that the band would be playing in the British capital during my stay there, I convinced my traveling companions that we needed to go to the concert.

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