Jasper Jams: Winter Break Edition

by Gabriella DePinho, Senior Writer

Though winter break was only a week longer than usual this year, it felt longer because of the time spent away from campus. After campus closed just before Thanksgiving, the semester went on, but the winter break mindset of lounging on the couch and baking cookies kicked in earlier than usual. I finished my classes out despite the desire to hibernate and held off on listening to holiday music until the end of finals. 

Winter break is usually a weird time for music. Lasting from mid or late December to mid or late January, it’s not necessarily a popular time for new releases. Artists may feel inclined to do a late November release so their albums are wrapped as gifts for the holidays, or wait longer into the new year to release music, so their songs are not lost in the shuffle of the transition to the new year. Yet, winter break was not without noteworthy releases and songs I can’t stop listening to, so in case you had some doubts about what kind of music has been released, look no further– this Jasper jams is for you. 

drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo 

I had to start out strong with one of my new favorite songs. If you haven’t heard this song yet, I’m impressed because this track has been everywhere. And so has the drama that supposedly is the story behind it; however, the drama (that reminds me of the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus drama of the early 2000s) is not what drew me to this song. At 17, Rodrigo has written and released one of the best and most emotional breakup songs I have ever heard and I truly cannot stop listening to the lyrics and her powerful, yet controlled voice. Also, it’s been smashing streaming records, so clearly I’m not alone in loving the track. 

this is how you fall in love – Jeremy Zucker, Chelsea Cutler

Zucker and Cutler, successful artists in their own right, are just a short time away from releasing their second collaborative EP, “brent II” which is named after their first EP together, “brent.” I admire the musical friendship between Zucker and Cutler (that extends into a semi-quadrilateral with artists Noah Kahan and Quinn XCII) because it’s an admission that the music they make together as a unit is distinct and unique from the music they make individually. This song was released ahead of the EP and if it’s a hint at what else is to come, I’m excited. Also, who doesn’t love listening to a good love song immediately after a breakup song? 

DRIVE – John the Ghost 

John the Ghost is the name for the solo projects of John O’Callaghan, the lead singer of the band The Maine. My roommate — who loves The Maine — made me aware of this track and I joked that “we love driving-themed songs” but it’s true. The track’s quiet and chill vibes make it an easy and welcome listening experience. I also love solo projects from band members because his voice is familiar and pleasant but sonically, it’s a unique experience from listening to the band. 

Holy Feeling – Greyson Chance 

If you feel like the name Greyson Chance might vaguely be familiar, it’s because he went viral on YouTube covering Lady Gaga in 2010, ended up on ‘Ellen’ and ended up with a record deal. His music has drastically changed over the years and I have always loosely listened along. This is Chance’s first release of 2021 and according to his own words, “It captures the most unpolished version of” himself. I appreciate authenticity from artists, so I think this song is a success. 

King Bed – Emma Jayne 

I didn’t even know Emma Jayne had released a new song until I went to go listen to her 2017 album “Jetlag” and I saw the new release sitting at the top of her artist page. You can never go wrong with a soulful Emma Jayne song and I recommend listening to her entire discography when you have the chance. Also, in terms of diversifying perspectives in your listening, she’s Jewish and a member of the LGBTQ+ community and she talks about it openly, which is neat. 


I’ve been a fan of ELIO, otherwise known as Charlotte Grace Victoria from Canada, for about a year now, after finding her through another band I like. Her debut EP “u and me, but mostly me” arrived in summer 2020, but just a few months later, she released another seven song project “Can You Hear Me Now?” in January. ELIO continually delivers great songs, and I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from her. 

hi neighbor – contradash 

Chase Blohm, a 22 year-old artist better known as contradash, just released his debut mixtape “ALL-STAR” with Interscope Records, which features this song. The upbeat track is different from the rest of the mixtape’s sound, but contradash’s brand comes across through his voice, which sounds the same regardless of what drums and basslines play behind him. 

blame game – Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny’s most popular song is “Prom Queen” after the song became a viral audio clip on TikTok. The four-piece band has been working at music since 2015 and six years later, has a steady following. Their new ep ‘blame game’ is a four track follow up to their debut album “Honeymoon” released in February 2020. Though ‘blame game’ (the song) was not the lead single from the short problem, it’s the one that Spotify happened to recommend when making this playlist, and I think Spotify knows what it’s doing. 

Self Care (with COIN) – The Knocks Remix – Louis The Child

I saw both The Knocks and Louis The Child at the Governor’s Ball music festival in 2016. It was the first music festival I’ve ever been to — also the only one. This remix, which features COIN, a band that I love, makes me think back to that festival. Nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic, it’s crazy to think we used to partake in such large crowds with such nonchalance. 

Resonant Body – Maggie Rogers 

Just when finals finished, Rogers released her album “Notes from the Archive: Recordings 2011-2016” which I’m tempted to call her “sophomore” album, but that’s not quite what it is. Rogers decided to release music that had previously been unheard by the public, before taking the next step in her musical journey. The album is evidence that Rogers has always been a talented singer and songwriter and she makes it hard to pick just one track for a playlist.