Winter break has come and gone and classes are in full swing. If you have not been listening to music this week because you have been too busy waiting in line for books or trying to figure out how to do homework during a blackout, this back-to-school playlist may be for you. With songs ranging from indie/alternative to hip-hop, this playlist tickles the fancy of a wide variety of listeners and hits a whole range of emotions as well.
“Sunflower – Spider-man Into the Spider-Verse” by Post Malone and Swae Lee
Arguably the most popular song from the hit animated picture, “Spider-man Into the Spider-Verse,” Sunflower’s catchy and fun tone takes a more pop-like spin on the hip-hop genre. This song is an ideal way to wake up and get ready for class and it gives a perfect vibe for the beginning of our playlist because of its mellow yet upbeat melody.
“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper and Joey Purp
Chance the Rapper has not recently released a new album, but “My Own Thing” is a new single that was released in November of 2018. The title of the song speaks for itself. This single is a fun and freeing reminder that sometimes you have to do your own thing. If you find yourself drained from a long day of instruction and just need to let loose, then go and do your own thing—within the means of our community standards of course.
“Fresh Squeezed” by Duncan Fellows
The first non-rap song to make the playlist is from a hip, young indie/alternative rock band from Austin, Texas named Duncan Fellows. Their general aesthetic is beach bum with a beachy rock sound characterized by their lazy guitar riffs and mellow synths. Check out their music video if you want to get a feeling of what their hipster vibe and look are like. I am actually not sure what this song is about but it talks about breakfast, so use this song as a reminder to eat “the most important meal of the day” before you get to your class.
“White Flag” by Joseph
Part of the reason “White Flag” makes the playlist is because of my stupid schoolboy crush on these women, who are seriously beautiful and extremely talented. Despite all that, the sister trio urge listeners to “burn the white flag,” which in this case is a reminder to never give up and that you can push through anything. School is a temporary season in our lives and we can be encouraged by people or music to be reminded to hold strong and not give up.
“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
I am not sure if Bob Marley is a “Biola approved” person to be getting advice or encouragement from, but regardless of any stigmas about reggae music, Marley reminds listeners, “don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright.” This is probably one of the best reminders a college student can get. On top of that, the song’s slow, peaceful melody has a lasting calm on listeners that makes them want to sit back and relax.
“Saturday Nights” by Khalid
“Saturday Nights” takes this playlist into a more somber direction. The song itself tells the story of a woman who is down on her luck, but for Khalid this is an opportunity to remind her that she is not alone. This makes the playlist because sometimes Saturday nights for a student can be tough despite the fact that it is the weekend and there are no classes. Although this song is about Khalid being by the woman’s side, we can be reminded that we have our friends and even God on our side when the going gets tough.
“Self Care” by Mac Miller
From his last album “Swimming,” Mac Miller delivers the song “Self Care” as a reminder to take some time for ourselves. Both Chance and Miller call us to do our own thing in the two songs on this playlist. However, “Self Care” takes a dark turn. In his last album, Miller takes the opportunity to talk about a lot of different topics, self care being one of them. Unfortunately, Miller overdosed and was found dead on Sept. 7, 2018. Mac Miller was an extremely talented artist and he will be missed.
“It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” by The 1975
Thinking of that special someone to spend the semester with? The 1975 may have an option for you. Heroin! Not really, but this song is about the lead singer’s struggles with heroin addiction and how quitting is hard because it is a love/hate relationship with the drug, hence the name of the song. Even though this song may not have a lot to do with going back to school, its pop-driven melody encourages listeners to jump around in their dorm room with their friends for a mental health break.
“Mission to Mars” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Here is another indie/alternative rock band to shake things up on this playlist. Again, I am not entirely sure what this song is about, but I have always enjoyed it because of its strong build. The kick drum is the star at the beginning of the song while the rest of the instruments come in one at a time, and the song builds into a crescendo of electric euphoria. It is a little different, but it is a nice song to run to when you are late for a class.
“Homecoming” by Kanye West
Whether you consider Biola your home or not, when we all arrived for classes on Monday, it seemed a little bit like a homecoming. The song is a homecoming tribute to Chicago for Kanye, and it goes hard with strong bass and jazzy keys. It is the perfect mix of gospel and funk in a rap song, not to mention the superb lyricism by West. Its triumphant melody could put just about anyone into a confident and joyous trance that gets them ready to take on the new semester.