Singles to kick off the new semester in style

Brand New by Ben Rector

What better way to kick off a new semester than with a song by the same name?

“Brand New” is the title track of Ben Rector’s latest and most popular album.

This Nashville-based artist who has been described by Billboard as a “gimmick-free pop nobody” has gained some notoriety with his latest album.

All of Rector’s music is easy to listen to and fall in love with thanks to catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics.

“Brand New” will have no problem getting you in a good mood for the looming winter semester.

– Brian Phillips

After Today by Aaron Lohr

It may seem counter-intuitive to pick an anthem to the last day of school for a playlist devoted to going back, but “After Today” from A Goofy Movie serves as a constant reminder of the great things coming to you if you look to the immediate future and stay present-minded.

When you’re being beaten down by assignments and due dates, “After Today” offers a hefty dose of adolescent optimism through its upbeat, goofy lyrics and promises of a better tomorrow as long as you can hold on through the day.

That is solid advice moving into the semester, plus there is a small level of glee I feel whenever I try and score my life like music.

– Chris Luciantonio

Pleiades Dust by Gorguts

It may seem like cheating to add a thirty-three minute song to a playlist, but the Gorguts mammoth EP “Pleidas’ Dust” is a sweeping saga of the dissemination of knowledge since the Fall of Rome, rendered in head splitting technical death metal force.

It doesn’t so much ask for your ears as it does grab them and scream into them for a half-hour straight and honestly what better way to get you back into “learning mode” than a loud and lasting shock to the system?

Unfolding over seven movements of continuous sound, “Pleidas’ Dust” is an engrossing and layered listen which makes sure you are paying attention.

– Chris Luciantonio

Someone in the Crowd – La La Land

To end off that dumpster fire of a year, I went to see La La Land and I’m really glad I could go into 2017 with such an optimistic soundtrack.

While all the songs are great, the one that stood out most is “Someone in the Crowd.”

It’s a bright song full of inspiration and opportunity which we can all use right now as we start a new term.

Instead of getting behind in our readings by the end of the second week, La La Land’s soundtrack makes me feel like I can glide into February on top of the world.

– Mynt Marsellus

Take it All Back – Judah & the Lion

This tightened, remixed Judah & the Lion single evokes stronger sensibilities: it’s a metaphor for life in transit, expressed through its polished, reworked form. The arrangement is cited in the lyric: “singing along with the banjo … dancing along to the mando’ and some sort of hip-hop beat.”

It’s fusion, with a raspy, Eminem-connoting voice that it capitalizes on while reinventing the Americana trend.

It’s a hopeful song about the future that acknowledges emotional regrets and desperately frames them to line the instant, like a new semester’s fresh start: “(I) feel I’m well on my way to my dreams coming true.”

– Karlis Wilde

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