Album review of ‘Punch’ by Autoheart

By: Annika Getz

Autoheart is a London-based Indie-pop group. Their debut album ‘Punch’, was released in 2013, and features 12 songs. I’ll start by saying that this is one of my favorite albums. With captivating lyrics, catchy hooks, and great vocals, it really is the whole package.

The album opens with “Anniversary”, a great opening song. It sets up the general vibe of the album. An catchy song with an even catchier bridge and great lyrics, which gives you a baseline for what’s to come, without hitting peak lyricism yet.

Following “Anniversary” is “Factories”. This is my personal favorite from the album. The guitar work had me hooked from the second the song started. The lyrics have, to me, the perfect amount of ambiguity. The chorus “I am bride and groom in a darkened room, marrying anguish with one last wish. Will you and I make a breakthrough?” is a good example of such ambiguity. Once again the bridge is my favorite part of the song. The buildup is amazing and the lyrics “Do you recall with our vigor, with the pistol we can trigger, we can violate the liquor on the floor” are so pleasing to the ears.

“Control” is the third song. While I do enjoy this song, it isn’t really as memorable as many of the other songs on the album. It is, however, the first song on the album that isn’t super upbeat and fast-paced. I think it serves as a great set-up for the next song on the album, “Agoraphobia”.

“Agoraphobia” is much slower than the first three songs on the album, bringing a much different feeling. I find the melody to be slightly haunting, though beautiful nonetheless. “Agoraphobia” is a song which to me, perfectly encapsulates the feeling of not having it in you to get out of bed.

Fully shifting gears, the next song “Lent” returns to the fast-paced, upbeat vibe of the first few songs. “Lent” is one of Autoheart’s most popular songs and good reason.

“Moscow” is another one of my favorites from ‘Punch’. With an easy-to-remember melody, and great background guitar, it’s another song that’s just really pleasing to the ears.

“The Sailor Song” was their debut single, originally released in 2009, then re-released on ‘Punch’. This is a fan favorite for a lot of Autoheart fans, but isn’t super memorable to me personally. I find myself more interested in what I see as the catchier of the songs on the album. This isn’t to say I don’t like this song, because I really do, just not quite as much as some of the others.

Anyone like me, who finds themselves slightly underwhelmed with “The Sailor Song” will hopefully be revived by “Hungover in the City of Dust” the eighth song on the album. Once again, a bit of a slower song compared to many others, but something about it has me fully captivated throughout the song. Once again I find the bridge to be my favorite part of the song.

“January” and “The Witching Hour” are both great songs which I can’t seem to get into. I don’t skip them, since while I’m actively listening to them, I still enjoy them. They just aren’t very memorable in my opinion. I don’t seem to be alone in this opinion, since I never see too much about either of them online.

At risk of sounding repetitive, “Santa Fe” is another one of my favorites from the album. It is, like many other songs, catchy with great guitar work. I’m not quite doing it justice in my description, because it’s hard to encapsulate a song in writing, so you’ll either have to trust me, or listen to it yourself.

“Heartbreaker” is the final song on the album, and once again I find myself having trouble describing it well. It’s beautifully tragic, and is a great closer, even if it doesn’t really match the vibe of the rest of the album.

Overall, this album makes me feel like I’m the main character in an indie coming of age film in the best way possible.

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Should the US minimum wage be increased?

By: Isaac Lund

Image taken from: Theguardian.com

The minimum wage in the US was introduced under President Franklin during the great depression. At the time of its creation, it was 25 cents, but today, Saint Paul’s is $12.50.

1.8 million workers, or 2.3% of the US’s workforce, makes less than the federal nationwide minimum, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Should these minimums be increased?

Proponents of a higher minimum wage say it would increase economic activity and spur job growth. The Economic Policy Institute stated that raising the federal minimum wage by $2.85 would inject 22.1 billion dollars in the economy over a 3 year span, while simultaneously creating 85,000 new jobs.

Also, raising the minimum wage may reduce poverty: the current federal minimum wage is 8% below the national poverty level for single-parent households.

The minimum wage is also not indexed for inflation, so even as consumer prices rise, salaries for the poor do not necessarily increase in kind.

Increasing the minimum wage has also been shown to reduce income, gender, and race inequality. A Human Impact Partners study also showed that such an increase would reduce premature deaths by giving a wider range of people enough to eat.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage argue that raising minimum wage would increase unemployment levels. This would happen because companies would be forced to lay off some employees to stay afloat with the new minimum, and would also likely have to lower hiring levels. Many companies in their entirety may be forced to close.

Of course, consumer goods and housing prices would also increase sequentially.

Finally, many predict that more companies would outsource to countries with lower wages, like Southeast Asia, compacting on to an already-terrible issue.

Both proponents and opponents of this issue have valid points, and several of both sides’ predictions would likely come to pass if the minimum wage was increased. I personally believe an increase would be prudent, but maybe a small one at first, just to see what it brings.

World hunger and ways to solve it

By: Musab Mohamud

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World hunger is an issue that plagues millions of people globally. The suffering that many face isn’t easily fixable and is one of many issues caused by war, famine and poverty.

Hunger is viewed as a third world issue when in reality, humans are starving everywhere. In cities such as Paris, New York, and Rome, the streets are full of people who are forced to beg for their next meal. Many children in the United States rely on school food so they won’t go hungry.

There are many proposals to help end hunger; funding agricultural programs is one that is sustainable and practical. In settings like rural Africa, Asia, and South America, it could be integral to feeding a family or village. However, it would be limited in more urban areas with the lack of space necessary for enough food for mass consumption. There are vast spaces in those rural countrysides that could be used as planting areas. Pushing people to create gardens with free seeds could be very helpful in improving food production.

A solution for urbanized areas could be government sanctioned food drives directed towards homeless and impoverished people. While there are already programs of the sort, they are not very effective. With countless organizations attempting to help stop hunger, they are making progress, however, it’s obviously not enough. Non-profit organizations simply don’t have the resources that the government does.

A quote from a student reads, “People should consider using compost more, you can reuse inedible food to grow food again.” Compost is a very good example of sustainable agriculture and could be used to reduce waste and help grow healthy and natural food. Soil is very important in the growth of food and cannot be wasted, so introducing compost to the mix could increase food production and lessen costs as a side effect.

Ways to keep you stress about school low

By: Ella Sutherland

School can be one of the most stressful things in a teenager’s life. There are so many different classes and with those classes come homework, projects, and tests. It can be very hard to keep on top of all your work and not feel overwhelmed with stress, but if you use the skills that are in this article it will be easier. Lots of these worked for me.

First of all, we are coming to the end of the 1st semester, which means finals are coming up. Lots of teachers are giving tests and projects.

Personally, I think tests are a lot more stressful than projects are. Some ways you can prepare yourself for them include keeping on top of the homework and class work that the teacher is giving you. Lots of helpful things will be in the class work, and it will be a really good source of practice.

Another thing you can do is take notes. If the teacher assigns notes make sure you take them, because sometimes teachers will let you have notes on the tests. Even if the teacher doesn’t let you have them while you are taking the test they can act as a really good way to study and review.

Even though not many people like doing this, studying actually works. If you just take like 10 minutes a day to go over your notes, or your assignments that you had done that week, you can actually learn a lot. For math especially, if you just go over what you have done earlier that week you can really get the system for what you have to do, and that will really help on the test.

And finally, if you have a project to do, either group or individual, you really need to keep on top of the work that is needed for the project. When projects are assigned you usually get around a week or so, and when you have that long period of time it feels like you don’t have to do it right away so you end up procrastinating. In the end, that doesn’t work as well as working on time and splitting up the things you need to do. It will not be as rushed, and if it is not as rushed then it will end up being a better project and you will actually know the information you’re doing the project on.