Contributor Picks: Music

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Within Temptation

By Alex Chester

Within Temptation is one of my favorite Gothic Metal Bands. If you are a fan of Marilyn Manson, or if you like The Nightmare Before Christmas, then you’re gonna love this band! From the Netherlands, Within Temptation very rarely makes their way to the U.S. But a few years back they did and I was so damn happy I got to see them live. Within Temptation has been around since the 1990’s, and I have been following them since the 2000’s. Their music is hardcore, but without the scary screaming most metal bands incorporate. I like to call what they do Opera Metal. Take a listen for yourself. 

The Tiger Lillies

By Matt Blank

I’ve been going back to a lot of my old favorites lately, taking the time to revisit bands I’ve long loved but not appreciated fully in recent years.  These guys truly defy description. The closest I can come up with is to say that the British trio are the lovechild of Kurt Weill and Jeffrey Dahmer. Combining a vaudevillian oompah beat with screeching falsetto, they sing of murder, bestiality, drug abuse, assault and other lovely things.  Wildly theatrical by nature, they have brought to the stage such tales as Shockheaded Peter, The Little Match Girl and Hamlet, adding to each their own incredibly-macabre twist.


Paul Weller "Wild Wood"

By Rebecca Lee Lerman 

This song was playing in the cabin I was in on New Year's Eve, surrounded by people from all parts of the world.  It was the perfect song to mark the place in my journey, living on the ship.

"Climbing, forever trying
Find your way out of the wild, wild wood
Now there's no justice
Only yourself that you can trust in."

After trying to go against the hypocrisy of a corporation, this song spoke to me. The lyrics rang true and the slow and steady beat brought me back to the earth.

Kate Nash

By Melissa Slaughter

There’s one lady I always gotta give props to when I talk about my favorite music. No, not Cher. This time it’s Kate Nash. Yes, that Kate Nash aka Brittanica from Netflix’s phenomenal ladyfest GLOW. I fell in love with Kate Nash in 2012, just after her first album Made of Bricks became a British smash hit. Kate is roughly the same age as me, so her growing pains are my growing pains, and her songs are like the soundtrack of my life. “Nicest Thing” felt like it was ripped my freshman year diary, if I had actually managed to keep one. She’s loud, she’s brash, she’s unapologetic and she’s an icon. Her third album Girl Talk is the feminist album I needed in 2013, her song “Agenda” is the drumbeat to my internal Women’s March, and her album My Best Friend Is You is one of my top 5 Desert Island Albums. I’ve seen her live twice, and I’m seeing her again in May. One of those times I drove six hours with friends, and we bombarded her afterwards. She’s eternal for me. She’s got new music coming out now, and a second season of GLOW being filmed. So jump on the Kate Nash train!!


By Naomi Takata Shepherd

I consider myself very lucky that I’ve got my brother, Matthew, to dredge up artists I would never have found if left to my own devices. Because let’s face it, I’m not very adept at finding new music myself. I believe we were rolling out pie dough for Thanksgiving when Matthew put on “Raingurl” and ever since, I’ve had Yaeji’s EP2 on heavy rotation. Her voice is just the right amount of monotonous and dreamy, her lyrics weave seamlessly between Korean and English, and her beats are just so damn catchy.

Demi Lovato <3

By Sam Tanabe

My music pick for this month is Demi because I love her, and I am basically v. into every song of hers. I admire her as both as a talented artist and complex, bold person. She has cords of steel, allowing her to belt for days, and I really dig the soul she's been bringing out in her music lately. What I love about Demi is that she owns up to her mistakes and has come into her own as a role-model for her fans. Check out her Simply Complicated documentary on YouTube to see what I mean.

Is your favorite missing? Tag @TheHapaMag and tell us what artist/song IS GIVING you life. Or give us a comment below!