• November 5, 2020 |

    mid-semester playlist

    songs to get you through these times

    article by , illustrated by

    We are over halfway through the semester. You might be feeling the midterm slump, the impending doom of winter, or the stress of the current election. These are strange times indeed, and it can be hard to find motivation or hope. The one thing that I can always rely on to inspire and heal is music. So, I have curated a playlist of songs that I feel encapsulate this moment in time—hopefully you can find solace in it, too. You can find the extended playlist on Spotify. 


    “Why Are Sundays So Depressing” by The Strokes 

    I sing a song, I paint a picture

    My baby’s gone, but I don’t miss her

    Like a swan, I don’t miss swimming

    All my friends left, and they don’t miss me”


    The Strokes have made the perfect pandemic album, accurately entitled The New Abnormal. This song is a reflection on past times and previous attitudes toward life and, similarly, I often find myself pondering the state of the world these days.


    “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” by Jack Johnson 

    I keep playing your part

    But it’s not my scene

    Want this plot to twist

    I’ve had enough mystery

    Keep building it up

    But then you’re shooting me down

    But I’m already down


    This song is technically about the frustrations of pursuing an unrequited love, but I think this sentiment also applies to the feeling of being stuck that I and many others have experienced this year. 


    “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

    Like a heartbeat drives you mad

    In the stillness of remembering what you had

    And what you lost and what you had and what you lost


    Has anyone else been having freakily vivid dreams during quarantine? This must be the result of overthinking everything and using my dreams as a way to escape reality for a few hours. As much as I’d like to say I’ve adapted to this new way of life, as the song suggests, there is an inevitable draw to remembering how things used to be and seeing this change as a loss. 


    “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd 

    Hello? (Hello, hello, hello)

    Is there anybody in there?

    Just nod if you can hear me


    Another classic song that encapsulates my mood these days, especially with midterms and the election happening.  The constant daily stress has desensitized me to everything, creating this meh feeling I carry around.


    “Insane” by Flume, Moon Holiday  

    “Your mind is on track

    For games we play these days

    With every path we take

    You know you’re safe, safe, safe

    The only risk is that you’ll go insane

    The only risk is that you’ll go insane”


    This song is an electronic trip. It’s a journey down the spiral of mental games we play with ourselves. The energy of the song is constantly building, making for a great addition to your solo or pod raves. 


    “Chamber of Reflection” by Mac DeMarco 

    No use looking out

    It’s within that brings that lonely feeling


    Okay, I know a lot of these songs seem rather depressing, but I see it as catharsis. DeMarco’s signature synth vibes and longing voice in this song make me want to lay out on the Main Green and stare into space for hours. 


    “Oblivion” by Grimes 

    I will wait forever

    Always looking straight

    Thinking counting all the hours you wait


    It feels like I’m lost in oblivion searching for a sign to snap me out of it. While I wait for that to happen, I will be dancing carelessly to this song, which can only be described as an ethereal atmosphere of pop. 


    “The Suburbs (continued)” by Arcade Fire 

    “If I could have it back

    All the time that we wasted

    I’d only waste it again

    If I could have it back

    You know I would love to waste it again

    Waste it again and again and again”


    The continuation of my favorite song, this short track is the feeling of nostalgia encapsulated in sound. It makes me think that if I knew our whole world would be upended, I wouldn’t want to go back and change things before the chaos had begun because there is something special in how simple things were before. This makes me smile. 


    “Forgive Myself” by Sam Smith 

    “Now and then you cross my mind

    It takes me back to a sweeter time

    But I let it go

    I let you go”


    I think it is way too easy to think about yourself and what you should have done or should be doing. This song off of Smith’s new album Love Goes is a reminder to myself to let go of the regrets, forgive myself, and just keep growing up.