Posts by Ann Yao Zhang

Soundcheck Mar. 9 – Have a great spring break!

Happy spring break! Although it may not feel like spring here in Rochester yet, check out this week’s track list for some peppy, fun music for a reminder of sunnier times.

Bea Miller’s much anticipated sophomore album Aurora is finally out. You might recognize some of the tracks from a sequence of EPs she released over 2017, including some favorites here at Soundcheck like “Repercussions” and “To the Grave.” New standouts include “Bored,” featured today and “Outside” which had airtime last week.

Singer-songwriter Nadia Ali has started a new project under the name HYLLS and is out with a new single, “All Over the Place.” Definitely a departure from her electronic music beginnings, and an exciting start to a more indie pop sound.

Safe travels to those of you off to (hopefully warmer!) locales, and to everyone, I hope you have a lovely week off.


Soundcheck Feb. 23

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this drizzly, gray day. Here’s today’s track list with some cheery, upbeat songs to brighten the end of your week.

Alison Wonderland is out with a new single, “Church,” ahead of the release of her sophmore album Awake. You might recognize her name from her EP Calm Down or her remix of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.” Great to see a female electronic/EDM artist finding success critically and on the charts.

Also, Tove Stryke – her latest single is “Changed My Mind” – will be opening for Lorde on her world tour! This will definitely be a boost to the profile for this Swedish pop singer-songwriter. Her upcoming album “Sway” is slated for release in May.


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Soundcheck Feb. 16

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday this week – here’s the track list from today’s show to finish it off.

Charlotte Lawrence is out with a new single, “Just the Same.” After “Sleep Talking” and “You’re the One That I Want” last year, she’s surely an artist to keep an eye on. Hopefully an EP or studio album is in the works.

K. Flay’s “Run For Your Life” will be on the soundtrack of the new Tomb Raider film. Hard to believe that she signed with Interscope only two years ago and Every Where Is Some Where came out just last year. Great to see another another female artist who started out and broke the mold in the indie/alt scene on the up and up.


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Soundcheck Feb. 9

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this snowy day – here’s this week’s track list with some Valentine’s-themed songs to warm you up!

Love Sick’s latest single “Hope” opened today’s show, and Fleurie’s single “Hurricane” closed it.

Another standout is Rhys’ “Maybe I Will Learn,” released at the tail end of January.

Also, a new version of Noah Kahan’s “Hurt Somebody,” this time with with Julia Micheals (of “Issues”-fame) is out now. It’s the title track on his debut EP. You might remember the solo version of this song on Soundcheck last year, and its pretty compelling as a duet too, in addition to performing well on the charts so far.


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Soundcheck Jan. 26 – Welcome Back!

Happy Spring Semester! Welcome back to campus – I hope your classes are off to a good start. Here’s the track list from this week’s Soundcheck.

Also catch up on the full list of Grammy nominees here, and take a look at Variety‘s Chris Willman’s predictions.

Børns’ sophomore album Blue Madonna is out now. “Second Night of the Summer” closed this week’s show. “God Save Our Young Blood” features Lana Del Rey.


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Soundcheck Dec. 1 – Happy December!

Happy first of the month! Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck. Catch up on tracks from today’s show here, including new music from MØ and Harry Hudson.

This Up Next Session with Australian singer-songwriter Amy Shark is great. Her debut EP Night Thinker was released last year. Single “Adore” opened today’s show.

Also check out “Only One” from rising artist Carlie Hanson. Find it and her debut “Why Did You Lie?” on her Soundcloud.


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Soundcheck Nov. 17

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck! You can find today’s track list here.

Although this show doesn’t often feature Top 40 pop, Taylor Swift’s reputation, which dropped last Friday, is making serious waves and will certainly have an impact on pop, and inevitably indie and alt sounds over the next few years. “Delicate” is a standout, and “I Did Something Bad” which opened Friday’s show, represents a serious shift form Swift’s 1989 days.

Ann Powers’ insightful review of reputation for NPR can be found here. This album has already moved over a million units in less than a week, but the music really speaks for itself. Swift’s pop culture capital is as strong as ever.

Have a good weekend, and for those headed home for Thanksgiving break next week, safe travels!


Soundcheck Nov. 11

As always, thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this chilly Friday!

Catch up on tracks from this week’s show here. A fun mix of new music, including Allie X and Verite’s collaboration, “Casanova,” and some pop bops of the ’10s.

Rising indie artist Spelles’ latest single off of her debut EP is out now. Check out “Teach Me How to Pray” here. “Dead in the Water” is another standout track featured on this week’s show.

Some airtime also for “Savage,” from Lights’ concept album “Skin & Earth.” Here’s an interesting read from Billboard about the album and how it came together.

Stay warm, and see you next week!


Soundcheck Oct. 27 – Happy Halloweekend!

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this Friday before Halloween next Tuesday.

Lot’s of new music dropped this week, including “Trust” from Sophie Lowe, Bishop Briggs’ “Dream,” and a stellar single, appropriately titled “New” from Daya who has just recently signed with Interscope. It’s pretty incredible that her other charting songs, including “Don’t Let Me Down,” and “Hide Away,” were released before she was with a label.

You can catch up on all of these tracks here. Also check out Chicago duo Win and Woo’s “Gold,” which features Shaylen.

Irish singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy’s “Moments Passed” is out now too. He’ll be embarking on North American tour soon.

Have a fun & safe Halloweekend!


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Soundcheck Oct. 20

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck! Catch up on today’s track list here. Some standouts include Tove Stryke’s newest single “Mistakes” and Maty Noyes’ “Say It to My Face.”

Also check out K. Flay’s “Giver,” her latest single off of Every Where is Somewhere, her debut studio album since signing with Interscope.

British DJ and producer Salute’s “That Girl,” featuring Gabrielle Aplin, is out now too.


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