I don't know about you, but when I'm going through enormous changes, I like to have a great soundtrack on which I fall back. At this raw age, a lot of things don't make sense. We may find ourselves asking, “What is my biology professor even saying?” or “Why do I not feel like an honors student anymore?” Your questions may even be as thunderously broad and troubling as, “Why do I feel like this?”
Well it's time to make sense of all that, even if just for a little while.
1. “Fake Palindromes” by Andrew Bird
The unique opening of this song echoes an ideal beginning to the semester. It is slightly strident yet unusually melodious. It is the chaos of moving to college and the unfamiliar pleasure in starting over. Also, the girl being described in the song is “East Coast-bred.” I think we can all relate to that.
2. “Dust on the Ground” by Bombay Bicycle Club [“I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose” album version]
Leaving home is always bittersweet, even if you're a returning student. It can seem like you're leading two separate lives: one with the people you love at home and one with all the friends, acquaintances and activities at college. Allow Bombay Bicycle Club to help you realize the connection that can be built between the two. The band's contemplative sound and reflective lyrics prompt the listener to become introspective - able to confront the sting of leaving, come to terms with it and not be confined to hiding behind it.
3. “I'll Be Your Mirror” by The Velvet Underground
Insecurity sucks. It can follow you anywhere, especially to college. But just look at yourself again. You worked hard to get to where you are. This short and sweet song is the perfect confidence-boost; Nico sings, “I find it hard to believe you don't know the beauty you are. But if you don't, let me be your eyes.” She has the kind of voice that will make you believe her.
4. “Sleeping Lessons” by The Shins
At its inception, this song sounds like an eerie lullaby; however, as tension increases, listeners are hit with a brilliant crescendo of emotion. Much of college seems to follow this pattern: Periods of distress or indifference soon burst into roaring episodes of unforgettable glory.
5. “Closer Than This” by St. Lucia
College calls for a little electronica. Enough said.
6. “Hoppípolla” by Sigur Rós
This Icelandic band sure has something going for it. Its sound has been described The Washington Post as “ethereal” and “trancelike.” I'm not an aficionado of the Icelandic tongue, but the exhilarating bliss radiated by this song gets me every time. Have one of those beautifully pensive moments with yourself and a song that could mean anything; you'll enjoy the mystifying happiness of it all.
7. “Never Go Back” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
The title says it all. Sure, you might feel homesick one night, but then have the time of your life the next day. Some of us may feel impelled to utter these words to our parents who are constantly calling us on the phone. Level up your rebellious, post-teen angst phase with this empowering tune.
8. “Until the Morning” by Thievery Corporation
“Hold on,” this tranquil tune says. As mellow as it may be, it offers solid advice that all college kids should take into consideration: sleep.
9. “Boots of Spanish Leather” by Bob Dylan
Folk music has a way of bundling its listeners in eternal comfort; all you have to do is shut your eyes and listen. Sail away with the epitome of '60s folk himself—just remember to bring us back boots of Spanish leather.u