Know Your Alumni: Wildcat Tracks Edition

Celia Skaggs, Blogger

When I first came to campus as a freshman, I was blown away at the amount of talent all around me. Living in Willard, I often ran into people playing guitar in the hallway or taking a mid-afternoon piano break in the common room. Northwestern is undoubtedly filled to the brim with musical talent, and many popular artists on the indie scene today used to call Evanston home as well. Over the years, I’ve become exposed to these artists through TV shows, movie soundtracks and radio airplay. I couldn’t be more proud to call them fellow Wildcats, so let’s get down to business. Here is my list of the top five alumni in the music scene:

5. Cary Brothers: A 1995 Weinberg graduate, Cary Brothers first rose to prominence in 2004 when one of his songs was included on the “Garden State” soundtrack. Since then, Brothers has released two full-length albums and a volume of covers that dropped earlier this year. His voice is a soothing addition to a long night of homework.

4. Rachael Yamagata: Virginia-born Rachael Yamagata originally came to NU to study French, but it soon became apparent music was her true calling. She has performed at the Austin City Limits music festival but is perhaps best known to the public for her musical appearances on shows such as “The O.C.” and “30 Rock.” Yamagata has a variety of songs that can set the mood for any occasion, so I’m excited to see what else she releases in the future.

3. Andrew Bird: Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird graduated from NU with a degree in violin performance. He and his former band released an album quickly afterward, and he has been on the rise ever since. The film “Andrew Bird: Fever Year” has taken on the 2012-2013 festival circuit and I hope it brings Bird the recognition he deserves. As both a vocalist and compelling songwriter, Bird is certainly an artist to watch as he releases a new album at the end of this month.

2. Will Butler: As a member of the popular band Arcade Fire, Will Butler is undoubtedly the most famous alumnus on this list. The band’s most recent album “The Suburbs” won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011, and this year Butler and his band completed work on the “Hunger Games” soundtrack. As the band becomes more popular on the national scene, I’m pumped they have an NU alumnus in Butler to represent all the Wildcats across the nation.

1. Joshua Radin: While at NU, there was little indication Joshua Radin would become a popular singer-songwriter. A Communication/Weinberg graduate, he did not release his first album until 10 years after earning his diploma. However, he has quickly become a mainstay on the indie charts, and many of his songs have been featured on shows ranging from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “90210.” For this reason, Radin has greatly influenced the soundtrack to my life, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

<a href="">Wildcat Tracks Alumni Playlist</a>