The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Expanding your music: summer releases edition


For generations, music has served to unite the world through the comfort, inspiration and the community it brings. At Naperville North High School, music has the potential to change the attitudes of students and staff for the better. It’s important to diversify the conversation of music and introduce new genres and styles to all students.

Over the summer, a lot of new music was released. From “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift to “Unreal, Unearth” by Hozier, listeners across genres have been feeding off of new music. New music releases are truly the soundtracks to our summer and can bring us back into the moment whenever we hit play. Now, we are breaking down three albums released this summer that we anticipated the release for. 

“Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)” – Noah Kahan (Maxie)

Folk music was never a genre I considered getting into. While I would claim my favorite Taylor Swift album was indeed “folklore,” I still didn’t consider myself an avid folk listener. That changed ever since I listened to Noah Kahan. Ironically, I ran into Noah Kahan after listening to Swift’s “folklore” album; Spotify started “playing recommended songs for [me]” and “Stick Season” played. 

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Kahan released “Stick Season” in Oct. 2022 and decided to make a deluxe version almost a year later with seven additional songs. “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)” continues to carry the same themes from the original album which is a perfect listen in preparation for the fall season. With the tremendous success of the original version, I was hesitant about the additional songs in the deluxe album. In my opinion, many deluxe versions of albums usually don’t compare to the original album. However, this album proves me wrong as I believe that some of the additional songs are some of the best on the album. 

One of my favorite additional songs from the deluxe version has to be “You’re Gonna Go Far.” Its meaning is truly bittersweet. The song highlights the idea of leaving and moving on in life despite how much it could hurt. Maybe the feeling of being a senior is starting to kick in, but I can just imagine myself listening to this throughout my senior year. Ever since I gave it a listen, it’s been playing every single day. Kahan’s lyricism is displayed so poignantly yet beautifully when accepting change and saying goodbye especially when he sings “So, pack up your car, put a hand on your heart / Say whatever you feel, be wherever you are / We ain’t angry at you, love / You’re the greatest thing we’ve lost.” Not only does it display progression but it also highlights taking risks, looking towards the future and pursuing new opportunities given to you. This is definitely a song that will be added on my newly created senior year playlist.

This extended version was something I didn’t know I needed until giving it a listen. While “Stick Season” holds a special place in my heart, I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the deluxe version. It’s a shame he isn’t coming to Chicago for his tour this year, but I have ‘no complaints’ in hopes he will ‘come over’ someday.

If you enjoyed listening to the beautiful acoustic sounds from Noah Kahan, I highly recommend listening to Hozier, Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens. 

“i care so much that i dont care at all” – glaive (Bella)

I’ve been listening to glaive since late 2020. He has always been my exception to hyperpop or any sort of loud, fast paced music. Glaive became a big name in the hyperpop genre with SoundCloud released tracks, “Cypress Grove,” this produced hits like “astrid” and my favorite off this project “2009.” Since then, four separate projects have been released, up to the hint of a genre change in his debut album, “i care so much that i dont care at all.Midwest emo is a genre that brings me the full effects of fall and that feeling of being stuck in your hometown. “all dogs go to heaven” was his first full EP, and fully grasped this concept of romanticizing life in a small town.

This album was well anticipated for fans across genres. The Los Angeles Times agree with the hyperpop throne that has glaive’s name on it, but this album gives room to maneuver between soft rock, pop and hyperpop, something that’s never been seen from the 18-year-old. All of glaives’ projects carry this theme like “old dog, new tricks which even samples a lesson from one of his high school teachers. 

“i care so much that i dont care at all” dabbles into themes of love, severe depression, saying goodbye to the old self and navigating your teenage years. This is heavily relatable to teens, like myself, who are at this point in their lives of being a young adult. It is difficult for me to pick a favorite song off this album, but one of the favorites has been “17250.” This album carries a heavy theme of living with regret and this song captures it completely. “17250” is a reference to the chemical cauterization of human flesh. The original song title was supposed to be “cauterized” which is referenced in the singer’s tweets and even the original tracklist. Other favorites from this album include, “oh are you bipolar one or two?”, “the car” and “ive made worse mistakes.”

When you find yourself liking the sounds of glaive, try listening to brakence, ericdoa or even The Front Bottoms if you’re wanting true Midwest Emo. 

“I Love My Girl, She’s My Boy” – BETWEEN FRIENDS (Sarah)

BETWEEN FRIENDS is a musical duo formed by siblings Brandon and Savannah Hudson. They started their music journey in 2013, competing in America’s Got Talent’s eighth season, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals. After collaborating with other artists, the two decided to form BETWEEN FRIENDS in 2017, immediately releasing their first single “suburban wonderland.” Their success really began to grow when they released their hit EP “we just need some time together” in 2018. They announced their debut album “I Love My Girl, She’s My Boy” in April 2023, releasing some singles off the album before fully releasing it on Aug. 25, 2023. 

BETWEEN FRIENDS has a style I can’t completely define. Websites calls them bedroom pop, but they put so much more complexity into their songs than any other bedroom pop artists I’ve listened to. The dynamic between the two siblings’ voices balance each other so perfectly. They’ve shared their love for “complex narrative ideas in musical projects” years before and that’s highly reflected in this project. It follows the storylines of love, heartbreak and some psychotic behaviors. They include unique elements to their music, like mimicking talking over the phone and other various noises. Their music does an amazing job of adding interludes and unique sounds that set this project apart from other artists. The album contains 14 songs, three of which are interludes. 

This album was one of my main comforts going through a deeply emotional breakup. While my boyfriend and I were still together, BETWEEN FRIENDS was releasing singles off of the album, including “Bruise” and “Redlight” featuring Teezo Touchdown. I would play these songs constantly and we began to love the songs together. By the time the album was released, we were at the end of our relationship and never listened to the album together. Because of this album, I have found the words to describe the emotional pain this relationship caused me and truly heal in some aspects. 

This album is incredible, especially for their first one. I’ve been watching Savannah and Brandon’s musical careers grow throughout the years, so seeing where they are now has been amazing to watch. My favorite songs off the album include “Lotto,” “Bb” and “Self Destruct.” They will be performing in Chicago at the House Of Blues on Oct. 29 if anyone reading wants to buy me tickets.  

Listen to our top 3 from these featured albums and our favorite songs from albums released this summer.

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About the Contributors
Sarah Knoop
Sarah Knoop, Features Editor
Sarah is celebrating her senior year at Naperville North. She’s excited to be the Features Editor for The North Star this year. She’s also looking forward to graduating the school year a semester early to focus on other academic opportunities. Outside of the newsroom, Sarah enjoys spending time with her close friends and family, working and listening to aggressive rap on full blast in her car.   
Bella Nordman
Bella Nordman, Special Projects Editor
Bella Nordman is experiencing mixed emotions about her senior year. She for sure feels splendiferous about taking on the position of Special Projects and Editorials Editor for the year. Bella certainly cannot wait to take on projects that are special and further improve her writing skills. Alongside working for The North Star, Bella is driven to speak for the Naperville North Speech Team and listens to a wide range of boy bands.   
Maxie Oasay
Maxie Oasay, Managing Editor
Maxie Oasay is a senior at Naperville North and is thrilled to be writing for The North Star as Managing Editor. She is looking forward to working with the staff and contributing to helping them pursue their journalistic identity as well as pursuing hers. Catch her outside of the newsroom having the time of her life at a concert somewhere, performing with Naperville North’s show choir, speaking for the Speech Team and much more.  

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